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Physical waves on R8 top

GimmeGibson

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May 27, 2021
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78
So my new 2021 R8 has these waves on the very edges of the top, right near the binding. Not the optical waves we all love, I mean a physical waviness (dips and rises like a warped record) running around the top edge. It’s not all the way around and not deep enough that I noticed it in the store. In fact I really need to hold it on a shallow angle with the light catching it on the top just so, to see it. It’s looks like an uneven sanding, as if it was sanded to deep in spots.
Both my 50’s Standard and Classic are as smooth as can be, mirror smooth. I’m wondering if this is something anyone else has on their custom shops (or any Les Paul for that matter.) Is it “a look” to make it resemble an older guitar, or perhaps what they actually looked like in 1958?

It’s not bad enough to send back. This beauty is a keeper, unless there is some reason to be concerned about it in some unknown to me structural sense.

I’ll take a picture later if I can capture the waves well enough to post. It’s not visible in my earlier NGD post.

Anyone familiar with this?
 

83Custom

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Jun 25, 2006
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6
I’ve been lurking so many years without posting that I couldn’t even remember my user name to actually reply to this. Lol.

I think this example is why having a Custom Shop, where some things are still done by hand, can create guitars that aren’t all carbon copies of each other.

There is evidence of your guitar being a hand crafted instrument.

Embrace that.
 

GimmeGibson

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May 27, 2021
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This was my thinking exactly. However, being my first Custom Shop I thought I would question the knowledge pool here.
Thanks for the reply, and glad you remembered your user name.
 

Flogger

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Sep 23, 2008
Messages
508
Thin finish and wiggle wood.

Flamed wood seems to have varying density depending if you're looking at the crest or the trough .

You can hide it with a thicker application of finish, and it'll work until the nitro sinks, eventually.

4 years ago my Firebird was like glass, but the finish is sinking and acquiring the wood's texture.
 

axeman565758

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Jan 23, 2007
Messages
1,114
both my 2018 M2M R7 Goldtop and my 2020 60th Anniv. M2M R0 have similar "issues"
As stated above, these are Custom Shop instruments and therefor receive a lot of detailing "by hand"
Also, the wood(s) do have natural flaws which you may feel when you hold the guitar. That fact that the nitro finishes are considerably thinner that other finishes enhances the uneven feel.
To me, this is not a problem and is simply, the nature of the beast. Its not going to effect the future value. I also doubt you'll have any kind of finish or structural issues.
Play it and enjoy it.
 

GimmeGibson

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May 27, 2021
Messages
78
Thanks people.
Yes I was thinking along these lines.
I’m not worried, just curious enough to ask around and I appreciate the input.
As I said, it’s a keeper for sure. A stunning work of art if I do say so myself.
 

Pat Boyack

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Oct 19, 2011
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4,355
If you have handled any good amount of vintage gear you'll notice all kinds of anomalies. Constancy in 50's and 60's production was laughable compared to today. You'll notice the owner of a 59 with the same "waves" will love 'em and embrace them. These days we expect perfection in models that are supposed to be based on imperfect yet masterpiece designs.

Either way, like what was mentioned above; embrace the things that make your guitar special.
 

Brek

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May 23, 2020
Messages
60
My 2020 R0 has the same waviness evident if you look for it lol. Not sure if its a physical effect i.e. the wood does sink in a bit, or an optical one caused by the woods figuring. It bothered me when I first noticed it, but now, not so much.
 

renderit

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Jan 19, 2009
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10,345
I have noticed this when you have rings vs the stuff in between (we use to call it punkwood).

The rings (darkwood, flaws, etc) are harder so when hand sanding it is easier to cut in there (the softer stuff) vs the darker stuff.

Sometimes you don't notice it until later either.

Where the tree grows faster during spring and summer with a lot of water you will have softer wood.

But in your pictures it looks more like somebody used their fingers on the back of the slack belt sander instead of a paddle...
 

GimmeGibson

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May 27, 2021
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I know I didn’t notice anything on the R8 I returned. Just this one. But I prefer the flame on this one. As long as it doesn’t cause any problems I don’t really mind it.
As I say, I have to look for it to see it.
 

renderit

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Jan 19, 2009
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One of my R4's has a depression where someone screwed up on the sander.

I love it to death anyways.

Absolute LOG for a neck.

Look around the waist on this to see the spots...

36311007455_6b0515054c_3k.jpg
 

NYCBURST

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May 11, 2016
Messages
287
Just the way the lacquer settled... Not a big deal at all... I would go with the "embrace it" comments... I've learned to embrace the fact that as guitar players and collectors we are Crazy and we analyze these things to death when they really mean absolutely nothing ...
 

El Gringo

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Apr 8, 2015
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5,088
I’ve been lurking so many years without posting that I couldn’t even remember my user name to actually reply to this. Lol.

I think this example is why having a Custom Shop, where some things are still done by hand, can create guitars that aren’t all carbon copies of each other.

There is evidence of your guitar being a hand crafted instrument.

Embrace that.
Also Mother Nature is known for not making 2 pieces of wood look the same as well .
 

GimmeGibson

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Joined
May 27, 2021
Messages
78
I had to pick up a stand and exchange a faulty cable this morning and while I was in the store where I buy my gear, I looked at the 3 other R8’s and 2 R9’s hanging on the wall. They are up real high so it was the perfect angle to look at reflections. They all show the same flaw…umm sorry, I mean ripples to varying degrees. So yes, I would very much agree that this is a normal phenomenon with Custom Shop guitars.
(man, I wanted to take another one home!)
 

Any Name You Wish

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Apr 15, 2021
Messages
95
The maple cap is going to be pretty hard to sand and get perfect on that dished surface. The builder could spend hours and hours and still not get it perfect, and then on the next one it just comes out perfect without a lot of work. Hardwoods are like that. Harder and softer areas making it just about impossible to get it smooth along the dish. or concave shape. If I hold my R9 at just the right angle I can see a little waviness in there. You really have to look for it. I've seen a lot worse in vintage Gibsons, and it is probably going to happen to all of them eventually as the finish coat dries out and settles.

As a side note, I am finally starting to wear through the finish on the fret board of my '52 Tele AVRI. Cool! I thought it would never happen.
 
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