I bought a defective guitar... what should I do with it?

Hot Jimmy

Electromatic
Mar 9, 2022
13
Garlic capitol
Hey, my first post. Be gentle-ish. I'm a stranger in a strange land and all that...

Hope this will be appropriate although it's not about a Gretsch guitar. In my defense, I have played several Gretsch guitars and liked them quite a bit. My friend had a Tennessee Rose and a Country Gentleman at one point. They were unmistakably high quality and perfect for the Big Bill Broonzy, Sadies, Cramps style that he played.

I bought a Firefly LP. I know...
But it was $200 shipped. I know...
I got what I paid for. I know...

The neck "pocket" was altered on this guitar. It was probably returned at least once and Guitar Garden (never again) felt it would be ok to recirculate the guitar like it was new and not defective.

By now, the return window long closed. I might try to send it back for some money anyway, but I won't drop this abomination on the used market. I might give it away.

But first, I want to determine if it's just me, or if the neck is truly fubu. tempImage5g3CQl.jpg
 

FiveAces

Gretschie
Mar 1, 2009
241
San Diego, CA
Not being totally familiar with the Firefly LP, it would be an easy issue if it's a bolt-on neck, but weather it's worth the trouble to do yourself would be the question (too cheap of a guitar IMHO to have paid labor fix it!). Looks like shimming the neck could likely correct it assuming the resulting angle & action can be accomodated at the bridge. I've fixed numerous bolt-on necks with great results and you can't tell. But if this is a set neck... hardly worth the effort! Curious... it sure looks bad, but is it even playable as is? Can it even be set up and be made playable???
 

Randy99CL

Country Gent
Feb 17, 2020
1,995
Albuquerque
I see that the neck is not parallel with the guitar top, but is it lined up with the pickups/tailpiece? IOW, can you adjust the truss rod and bridge to make it playable?
I don't know if that is abnormal for those guitars.

I saw good reviews for an Indio ($99 monoprice) Tele and Glarry bluesboy Tele ($119) and foolishly ordered one of each. They are not horrible, they are somewhat playable but really cheap in feel, sound and setup. I actually bought them for an Esquire project I wanted to make but they were just too cheap.
I will do a good setup on each and give them away to deserving beginners in the family.

And try to come up with a few hundred more and get a Gretsch. Even the least expensive are surprisingly high quality. A few are on sale at MF right now: https://www.musiciansfriend.com/ele...ame=category-page&Nao=0&recsPerPage=30&Ns=pLH
 

Hot Jimmy

Electromatic
Mar 9, 2022
13
Garlic capitol
I'm under the impression that the neck join should be parallel with the top of the body, like a real LP. I've seen other Firefly LP's where the join is parallel. Don't know what to make of it.

The neck does line up on a flat plane with the pups, tailpiece and bridge. However, the neck is already mostly straight with no back bow or anything. Adjusting the truss rod might not do much. Maybe the guitar was meant to be this way?
 

Hot Jimmy

Electromatic
Mar 9, 2022
13
Garlic capitol
Not being totally familiar with the Firefly LP, it would be an easy issue if it's a bolt-on neck, but weather it's worth the trouble to do yourself would be the question (too cheap of a guitar IMHO to have paid labor fix it!). Looks like shimming the neck could likely correct it assuming the resulting angle & action can be accomodated at the bridge. I've fixed numerous bolt-on necks with great results and you can't tell. But if this is a set neck... hardly worth the effort! Curious... it sure looks bad, but is it even playable as is? Can it even be set up and be made playable???
Unfortunately it's a neck through or it would be much easier to fix and worth trying. It's playable but the low E goes out of tune quite a bit. The G needs work too, but that might be the nut or the string angle from the nut to the tuning peg (or both). Outside of the neck thing, it's actually a decent guitar that I'd furnish with better pick ups. That was the plan.
 

Hot Jimmy

Electromatic
Mar 9, 2022
13
Garlic capitol
Is that a fingerboard extension to set the neck angle? It looks to me like it was made that way for a reason.
I'm too much a novice to know how a fingerboard extension can be made to set the neck angle, but I have my doubts given that it's a set neck. Tell me how a fingerboard extension works for that?
 

new6659

Country Gent
Dec 10, 2018
3,236
Southwestern Ontario
The fingerboard extension is a piece of wood which lifts the end of the fingerboard above the body at an angle so that the path of the strings will meet up with the top of the bridge. The higher the bridge is, the greater this angle has to be. The Les Paul body has the top, itself, at an angle under the end of the fingerboard so that the neck is pitched upwards (about 3-4 degrees, I think).

On your guitar, the body in this area appears flat so they have used a triangular piece of wood under the fingerboard end (as well as an angled cut where the neck joins the body) to achieve the same geometry (there's a lot of geometry in guitar building).
 
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MrWookiee

Country Gent
Jun 17, 2020
1,302
SoCal, USA
You might also try a new set of strings to see if they hold tune better. Even high-end guitars usually arrive with crummy strings (or otherwise decent strings that have been sitting detuned on the boxed guitar for who knows how long).
 

Hot Jimmy

Electromatic
Mar 9, 2022
13
Garlic capitol
You might also try a new set of strings to see if they hold tune better. Even high-end guitars usually arrive with crummy strings (or otherwise decent strings that have been sitting detuned on the boxed guitar for who knows how long).
It came with D'Addario XL's which were fine but ran out of tone quickly, so I put on a set of 10-46 GHS Boomers.

The tuning is decent on all but the low E and G... which leads to me thinking it might be a setup issue more than the neck. It wavers in tuning with only a little forward or backward pressure on the neck.
 

Hot Jimmy

Electromatic
Mar 9, 2022
13
Garlic capitol
Thanks for all the replies. I could be overthinking this guitar, having never noticed the neck angle at the pocket on Les Pauls, which are new to me as a player. Looking around on the net didn't yield much in terms of how the neck angle should look, or if there should even be one.

I'll take her in for a setup and if it goes well and keeps tune, upgrade a thing or two. It's not a bad guitar and maybe just right for where I am in my playing.
 


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