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ES335 Crack in Wood or Lacquer?


New member
May 13, 2021
Having some Trouble with my ES335 Dot from 2008, build in Memphis. It's developed some 'cracks' or 'finish checks' on both Horns. The larger one on the right Horn (first Photo) looks to me like a typical Hairline Crack in the Lacquer.
But the other small one on the left Horn looks different, more jagged (second and third Photo). I wonder if this comes from the Wood Grain...I read some articles about the glued Laminate in the ES Models causing such Problems sometimes. You can see in the reflecting Light that the Top in that Area is sunken in in some spots, like the wood has worked.

Always been careful with this one, bought in in 2018 used in Mint condition..had it hanging on the Wall for some Time, know I'm storing it in the Case.
First discovered the 'cracks' like a year ago, so it seems to be stable and not getting worse..

Anyway, i think about selling the ES and wonder how much this will devaluate the Guitar? I mean you can only see it from an angle in right Light and it seems to be stable, but still might be a little turn off for potential buyers..
I don't even know how to describe this, because i dont know what it is, Finish-Checking? ..Crack in the Wood, or both?


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Well-known member
Dec 3, 2006
There would be no doubt if the crack was in the wood. If it was in the wood, you'd be able to wiggle or bend the guitar gently and see that crack open and close.
Finish crack = a gentle itch on your ear or elbow.
Wood crack = you find that you can now touch your ear with your elbow.

Also, the top, sides, and back of that guitar (ES335) is made of plywood which cracks only under the most severe circumstances. (For example, you accidentally left it in a swamp for a month or you're the guitarist for The Who...and even if you've left it in a swamp, it'll be repairable. Google Chris Robinson hurricane 335. )
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Well-known member
Apr 26, 2016
Finish cracks with out a doubt , I have wood cracks 2014 VOS ES 345 they stand proud too the surface .

Like top ply cracks & delaminates, its plywood I will play the crap out of it !!!