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Thread: Valentine - dents in the fretboard edges: Fixable?

  1. #1

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    Valentine - dents in the fretboard edges: Fixable?

    Hello everyone,
    first time poster here. My name is Adrian and 1,5 months ago i pulled the trigger and bought a EBMM Valentine in buttermilk after wanting it for over 3 years.

    Backstory:
    I played a Valentine Ivory White BFR in 2016 (?) and I couldn't get it out of my head. It was awesome. It wasn't my kind of finish but I knew: thats my guitar. I fell in love with the buttermilk finish and found a dealer near me which had a gold one. I was talking about what I wanted: buttermilk, trem and a roasted maple neck that looks like a tiger. He told me there are only 2 buttermilks coming to germany in the next months and he could order both of them and I could pick one of them If there is one I like. I visited him, played the gold one he had in stock just to make sure everything was as good as it was in 2016 (taste changes sometimes) and I went for it. The guitars arrived, played both of them but look wise it was pretty sure which I would take home with me. I checked potential flaws but I couldn't find one. The shop was pretty "dark" and had not much daylight. At home I found a few little dents in the edge of the fretboard. You won't notice it while playing but its visible if you play it under normal light conditions.

    Here is a link: Imgur: Valentine EBMM Neck - i tried my best to do them justice but it's pretty hard to photograph them. Just click on the photos to zoom in. Because of the size limit of attachements here I decided to upload them on IMGUR.

    Here are the 2 dents that are visible the most. One on the first fret and another one on fret fourth. It's just a cosmetic flaw but I am a little bit sad my valentine isn't in perfect condition since I paid 3000 Euros. I am also a perfectionist and every other guitar I own looks like new. I see guitars as art and thats how I treat them. (And yes, I play them as well, a lot.) I bet some of you already scratching their heads but I treat all my stuff like this.

    I guess it's something that could have been easily fixed while building the guitar or should have been seen by the QC but nobody noticed. I can't give the guitar back since I passed the 14 days here in germany and also I don't want to since I am very much in love with it. It's an incredible instrument and plays better than anything I've owned before. I just have to look at the dents because I know they are there and it drives me a little bit crazy. My question is: Is it fixable?

    Please keep in mind that english isn't my first language and I had trouble to explain the technical side of things. I tried to translate what he said into english and hope I got it right.

    I had a chat with my dealer which also operates as a workshop doing fretwork, paint jobs etc. He said:

    1. Because of the special varnish (his words: polyurethane varnish) MM uses you can't really get rid of the old varnish and add new one because they won't "connect/unite" with each other and in the end you have two layer of varnish.
    2. The dents are at the edges of the fretboard. If you try to sand it down the chances to damage the varnish is pretty high.
    3. Since it's a matte varnish the parts where you would try to sand it down would be glossy afterwards and be more visible.


    *I thought the roasted maple necks had no varnish on it but I don't know nothing about building guitars or even woodwork in the slightes form.

    Long story short: He said I should just simply "live with it" since there isn't much to do. I highly appreciate his explanation and I do believe him, my hope was somebody at MM had some insights on their production (=more knowledge) and maybe a solution to fix it. Every help is appreciated! Thank you!

    Cheers,

    Adrian
    Last edited by adriangrizzly; 07-14-2019 at 02:43 AM. Reason: New Link, more and better pics

  2. #2

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    I'm afraid that the only phrase that I can think of is one you have already heard. "Live with it".
    Speaking as someone who is not that bothered about marks or dings on my guitars and who regards it as character. I did struggle to see the dents. I do appreciate the disappointment involved in paying a large sum of money for imperfection. I would rather concentrate upon how beautifully it plays. Would you rather have an example that is cosmetically perfect, but does not feel or play so well? I know what I would rather have. Be thankful that you own a guitar that you love playing.
    Last edited by dnr666; 07-14-2019 at 06:42 AM.

  3. #3

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    I have steamed out dents similar to that before, from the photos it appears possible to remove most of it. They seem to happen when the instrument is leaned up again an amp, or gets bumped into something.

    There should not be any lacquer or poly finish on that neck if it doesn't have binding. Don't try steaming if it does!
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  4. #4

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    While this might not be the optimal solution, a very light sanding along that edge would certainly ease the most obvious edges of those dings and possible all but remove the smallest ones. It would end up similar to an already slightly worn in fretboard. Talking a minimal, almost imperceptible amount. This happens almost as a matter of course if you were to dress the fret ends up and down the board before final individual end dressing. And maybe a light wipe with Tru Oil after to even the appearance. I think after that I'd forget they were ever there.
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  5. #5

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    I got a Morse Y2D really cheaply from GC due to dents in the fretboard, suspect it hit something in the store. Works like a charm anyway and who cares, with gigging it will get more dents anyway.

  6. #6

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    Personally, I don't think I'd worry about it if they aren't causing an issue with playability. They're small and not likely to be noticed by anyone.

    I've had mixed results with steaming dents out, but it's worth a shot if it bothers you that much. As Pete said, that should be an unfinished neck, but customer service can probably confirm that if you're worried about it.
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  7. #7

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    Steaming can work sometimes but only if the neck is unfinished. Just be careful to not over do it and make it worse. Take it to a pro if you're unsure or maybe just live with it.
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  8. #8

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    Looks almost like someone with rings on their fingers tried to play it. That's not normal wear at all. Usually you see little dents/dings on the very back of the neck from leaning against things, but who knows. Some people unfortunately really don't see things like that as a problem.
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  9. #9

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    Sorry I am late but I was on vacation when the Mods approved the thread so here I am. First of all: Thank you for everyone who tried to help and replied!

    Quote Originally Posted by dnr666 View Post
    I'm afraid that the only phrase that I can think of is one you have already heard. "Live with it".
    Speaking as someone who is not that bothered about marks or dings on my guitars and who regards it as character. I did struggle to see the dents. I do appreciate the disappointment involved in paying a large sum of money for imperfection. I would rather concentrate upon how beautifully it plays. Would you rather have an example that is cosmetically perfect, but does not feel or play so well? I know what I would rather have. Be thankful that you own a guitar that you love playing.
    I try to see it that way now. Thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteDuBaldo View Post
    I have steamed out dents similar to that before, from the photos it appears possible to remove most of it. They seem to happen when the instrument is leaned up again an amp, or gets bumped into something.

    There should not be any lacquer or poly finish on that neck if it doesn't have binding. Don't try steaming if it does!
    I (my dealer) ordered the guitar straight from the States and called me the day it arrived so it wasn't a store guitar that's why I was "surprised" it had dents.

    Quote Originally Posted by nervous View Post
    While this might not be the optimal solution, a very light sanding along that edge would certainly ease the most obvious edges of those dings and possible all but remove the smallest ones. It would end up similar to an already slightly worn in fretboard. Talking a minimal, almost imperceptible amount. This happens almost as a matter of course if you were to dress the fret ends up and down the board before final individual end dressing. And maybe a light wipe with Tru Oil after to even the appearance. I think after that I'd forget they were ever there.
    Exactly what I had in mind but wasn't sure how it would turn out. I think I will take it to a luthier some day and will talk to him about this. Thank you for the reply!

    Quote Originally Posted by ksandvik View Post
    I got a Morse Y2D really cheaply from GC due to dents in the fretboard, suspect it hit something in the store. Works like a charm anyway and who cares, with gigging it will get more dents anyway.
    That's the healthy approach I'll try to copy. Since I don't gig it's harder to get this kind of mindset.. ;-)

    Quote Originally Posted by kimonostereo View Post
    Steaming can work sometimes but only if the neck is unfinished. Just be careful to not over do it and make it worse. Take it to a pro if you're unsure or maybe just live with it.
    History taught me one thing: Never ever fix something on your own. I destroyed so many things by trying to fix it. So I will definitely take it to a pro if I want to fix it.

    Quote Originally Posted by tbonesullivan View Post
    Looks almost like someone with rings on their fingers tried to play it. That's not normal wear at all. Usually you see little dents/dings on the very back of the neck from leaning against things, but who knows. Some people unfortunately really don't see things like that as a problem.
    The back of the nack is totally fine and the guitar was a custom order from the states so the only guys who had it in their hands were the guys at music man, the distributor here in germany and my dealer/shop. So I don't think any of those guys would play it with rings on their fingers, which is pretty odd.

    Quote Originally Posted by spychocyco View Post
    Personally, I don't think I'd worry about it if they aren't causing an issue with playability. They're small and not likely to be noticed by anyone.

    I've had mixed results with steaming dents out, but it's worth a shot if it bothers you that much. As Pete said, that should be an unfinished neck, but customer service can probably confirm that if you're worried about it.
    It doesn't it plays absolutely wonderful. I think I'll try to get in touch with somebody from the customer service and see what the think! Thank you!

  10. #10
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  11. #11

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    Looking at that neck again, you can see the finish line between the headstock and the rest of the neck. That's not a finished neck: it's oiled. There is no "varnish" on the neck, just tru-oil and gun stock wax. Those dents should steam out easily, and then you can re apply the oil/wax finish.
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