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I've just bought – or, perhaps, not bought – an H-575, to go with my pair of H-150s and as a sibling to my ES-175.  It's a single-pickup one.  Because it's this year, I didn't play it before buying it (but I have the option of returning it: I am a fool for guitars but not that much of a fool). I knew before buying it that it had had its neck broken in the usual place around the truss rod/headstock, but I understood it had been well-repaired (and also it is a lot cheaper than any H-575 I've seen).

Well, it's not been well repaired and in fact the repair has failed in transit.  The obvious option is just to send it back but I am tempted to try and cut a deal as there is a local guitar shop which has really competent repair people, and also it's just a really beautiful guitar .

So I wanted to ask a couple of questions.

  • Based on serial number it's 2006 – does anyone know what pickup it is likely to have?  I know they changed at some point, but not when.
  • Were/are the single-pickup ones economy versions?  I don't see why they should be but it has an unbound neck which might indicate it is.
  • And the important questions: is a competent neck repair likely to affect tone in any significant way?  Is such a repair likely to be durable assuming I don't drop the guitar (I'm pretty careful)?

Thank you

Edited by tfb
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  • tfb changed the title to A sad H-575

Hi and welcome to the HOC. Pictures would really help. I'd like to see the pickup and the neck repair/breakage.

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32 minutes ago, PunkKitty said:

Hi and welcome to the HOC. Pictures would really help. I'd like to see the pickup and the neck repair/breakage.

I have a few photos but they're rather limited as I decided not to remove it from the case or otherwise disturb it until I'd talked to the seller to sort out what to do (they might just say to send it straight back & get a refund).  I just didn't want to perturb it until then.  I'll post the photos after talking to them as it seems unfair otherwise.

So, sorry, I may have been premature posting this: I just wanted to gather as much information as quickly as I could.  

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Lots of variables in play here.  Seems you may be in a kind of catbird's seat, so take your time with this.  I, too, would like to see the pictures of the break and the whole guitar. 

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It's your choice, but if it were me, I'd send it back and save up for the right H-575.  They are great archtops, especially if they don't come with drama like the one you've described. 

Also, unlike laminate ES175's, H575's are carved top/back/sides and sound far superior to 175's both acoustically and plugged in.  I own a 175 as well as 575, and the Heritage can do much more.  To me the 575 sounds closer to an L4CES than 175.  You won't be disappointed once you land the right one.  Good luck.

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Here are two pictures of the break I took yesterday.  They're limited as I didn't want to take it out of the case or disturb it until/if I've come to an arrangement with the seller.  I stupidly did not take a general picture of it, and it's back in the packing box now to keep it safe.  But it looks generally in good nick ... but who can tell if bracing is loose, say, from outside...

I am sure the rational thing is to return it.  But it has strong 'injured kitten' fumes.

 

64639A05-3EFC-446E-8065-6E38DA73223A.jpeg

DD2096FC-1FB8-400E-834B-4913ABDF179D.jpeg

Edited by tfb
make it clear these are yesterday's photos
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If you got it at a discount due to the neck repair, why not get an estimate for the repair from a shop that can perform the repair properly (I'd think splines would be the way to go, probably maple) and have the seller of the guitar pay for at least a good chunk of the repair cost? If you post your region of residence, the people on the board may know exactly who to send it to. Dan Erlewine, of course, comes to mind immediately, but it'll cost some money. There is a reason that Bill Lawrence introduced the neck volute in the Gibbons line back in the '70s. Not pretty, but the headstock joint was very strong compared to the traditional joint. Consider that Michael Schenker has had his original Flying V rebuilt countless times and it's still the original that he uses (when he can figure out which one it is of all the ones he has. :) ).

Good luck. I have a H-170 that I bought with a cracked headstock joint that was re-glued(for a ridiculously low price), and it gave up in about 3 years. Fortunately, the headstock re-fitted to the neck very well, and with some very good quality carpenter's glue, I re-glued it (I had to build some clamps first to hold everything in the right position), and it has held up just fine for somewhere around 15-20 years just fine. Not so pretty on the back of the neck, and you can see the cracks on the face, but it plays like a little monster, best SG I ever had.

Just a suggestion.

rooster.

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45 minutes ago, rooster said:

If you got it at a discount due to the neck repair, why not get an estimate for the repair from a shop that can perform the repair properly (I'd think splines would be the way to go, probably maple) and have the seller of the guitar pay for at least a good chunk of the repair cost?

I did get it at a discount – about 1/2 the cost of any other used H-575 I've seen which is not on a different continent, although all the others I've seen have been 2-pickup ones.  So that's what I'm probably going to do.  There's a very good repair shop fairly near at hand so my current plan, which I've agreed with the seller (a shop) who bought it with the repair and obviously had no idea that it was about to fail, is:

  1. take it to repair people;
  2. get them to give a price for the repair and an assessment of how durable it will be (I don't generally drop guitars, but I don't want to be worrying every time I change strings that the headstock is going to hit me in the face);
  3. get them also to have a poke around to see if there are any other easily-spottable troubles (like bracing, say, or incipient cracks in the top);
  4. if (2) & (3) seem OK, get the seller to pay for the repair and maybe ask for a bit more off it as well.

I think that sounds like a reasonable approach.  I'm going to put the seller and the repair people in direct contact so there's no question I'm trying to extract money by inflating the price of the repair, as well.

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1 minute ago, tfb said:

I did get it at a discount – about 1/2 the cost of any other used H-575 I've seen which is not on a different continent, although all the others I've seen have been 2-pickup ones.  So that's what I'm probably going to do.  There's a very good repair shop fairly near at hand so my current plan, which I've agreed with the seller (a shop) who bought it with the repair and obviously had no idea that it was about to fail, is:

  1. take it to repair people;
  2. get them to give a price for the repair and an assessment of how durable it will be (I don't generally drop guitars, but I don't want to be worrying every time I change strings that the headstock is going to hit me in the face);
  3. get them also to have a poke around to see if there are any other easily-spottable troubles (like bracing, say, or incipient cracks in the top);
  4. if (2) & (3) seem OK, get the seller to pay for the repair and maybe ask for a bit more off it as well.

I think that sounds like a reasonable approach.  I'm going to put the seller and the repair people in direct contact so there's no question I'm trying to extract money by inflating the price of the repair, as well.

Sounds like a good plan.  Hard to tell from the pics (better to see the actual raw wood at the break), but seems a "good" break for a repair, especially if the wood fibers aren't twisted.  Looks as though the truss rod isn't involved in the break.  Good luck with moving forward.

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Not sure which part of the U.K. that you live in,but I can recommend Brook Guitars down in Devon who

I think would have no problem with this.I have 2 Brook guitars,one of which was made to my specification

with me picking the exact pieces of wood from their store( see  news  on their website for Feb 2014,the Brook Lyn)

They also did a wonderfull repair on a 1925 Martin 0-18K of mine a couple of years ago,also shown on their website

news.The news column if you look through it shows many brilliant repairs done for people.I have no affiliation other

than a satisfied customer,but if you contact Andy or Simon say a hello from Bendigo (me !!)

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I'm not sure exactly when Heritage stopped using Schaller pickups, but I believe it was some time in the mid-2000s they switched to Seymour Duncans, so the pickup may originally have been a 59 or Seth Lover.

The unbound neck is standard on a 575 - bound necks would have been a custom option.

A properly done neck repair shouldn't affect the tone.

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1 hour ago, houndhome said:

Not sure which part of the U.K. that you live in,but I can recommend Brook Guitars down in Devon

Oh, that's an amazing coincidence!  I am not very far from them at all (but didn't know they existed).  I've just spoken to them on the phone and I will almost certainly take it to them.  Thank you!

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I wanted to say thank you to everyone here for being so helpful: this has really helped me think about whether it's worth repairing it or whether I should just send it back and wait for a better one, and I now have a plan which I think I'm happy with (described above, but I'll take it to Brook guitars).  All the people who have replied have helped make a bad experience less bad, so thank you.

Finally, I took it out of the box again and took a couple of the pictures I should have taken yesterday, still not taking it out of the case so I don't disturb the break more than I have to.  They're below.

 

IMG_1729.jpg

IMG_1730.jpg

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wow that is gorgeous!

if it was insured for shipping, maybe that can pay for the cost of the repair?

Edited by bolero
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13 minutes ago, bolero said:

wow that is gorgeous!

That's the problem: rationally I know I should walk away.  But it is just sitting there saying 'I am so pretty and so broken, and you could mend me and I would be yours and love you for ever'.  And even though I know that it won't love me for ever, or possibly at all, and one day will certainly leave me for a better player, I can't resist any more than I could if it was a person (and surely, everyone here knows that guitars are people).

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From the twin adjustment screws on each side of the pickup I would say that it's a Schaller.

I've owned a twin pickup H575 (F32205) with Schallers with black plastic covers for about 25 years

and it's a lovely guitar.i dont think that you will regret getting the repair done and Simon and Andy

at Brook do really great work.Best of luck with it.

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some of my favourite guitars have repaired headstocks. They play & sound stellar!!

I would definitely get it fixed. It's also a good feeling, knowing you saved a guitar

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1 hour ago, houndhome said:

From the twin adjustment screws on each side of the pickup I would say that it's a Schaller.

Or it could be an HRW - even better!

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Could be,my H150 Ultra has HRW's.Of course since this guitar is single pickup there is no selector switch

with the black dot on top to give the game away.

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6 hours ago, tfb said:

I wanted to say thank you to everyone here for being so helpful: this has really helped me think about whether it's worth repairing it or whether I should just send it back and wait for a better one, and I now have a plan which I think I'm happy with (described above, but I'll take it to Brook guitars).  All the people who have replied have helped make a bad experience less bad, so thank you.

Finally, I took it out of the box again and took a couple of the pictures I should have taken yesterday, still not taking it out of the case so I don't disturb the break more than I have to.  They're below.

 

 

 

Take a look inside the F-hole and see what the label has written on it. 

Single pickup H-575's are a special order.  Also, if the pickup is an HRW it might be indicated on the label.

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12 hours ago, houndhome said:

Could be,my H150 Ultra has HRW's.Of course since this guitar is single pickup there is no selector switch

with the black dot on top to give the game away.

That's answered a question I hadn't yet asked: thanks.  One of my two H-150s (I used to commute weekly from Scotland to London and it was just easier not to cart the guitar every week on train & tube, so ... two guitars) definitely has Schallers (just based on date: I got it 2nd hand in, I think, 1999), the other I got new and was told it had special magic pickups.  And it has a black dot on the pickup selector, so I think they must be HRWs.  Not sure which I prefer: the HRWs are a lot hotter and tonally very different. (I have some synesthesia: the Schallers are blue-green and the HRWs are green-brown (neck) and pretty much a warm white (bridge).)

Now I need to look up threads on pickups here!

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I think all things considered, if you have it repaired right, you're going to have an excellent guitar.  I'm a fan of repaired headstocks.  Usually means you get a really good deal on a guitar as the value is significantly dropped.

Congratulations and be patient while you wait for it to be fixed.

Hopefully, they do a full repair which includes refinished the paint to really hide it.

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Yes that guitar is beautiful and reminds me of my ex wife. I do believe that your guitar can be fixed where as my ex wife.....uh....

Anyway, please send pix when you get it back from the repair place. I have a friend who has a 120 year old German string bass that sounds as good as anything I have ever heard. It fell over and broke at the headstock. He sent it to this place in Seattle called Hammond Ashley and apparently it is now stronger than it was. I tell you I have seen miracles in this modern era!

I also believe that the bridge pick up is unnecessary on any kind of jazz box.

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