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StereoB

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Hi all.
Recently acquired first EB MM a 2016 Majesty in Polar Noir. Impressed for so many reasons... The action is fantastic (low & clean), massive DiMarzio fan already and I appreciate quality.
So my first (and so definitely not my last MM has a couple of issues that I can live with but wonder whether anyone can offer some advice on please? The easy one is the oxidising black chrome but I can either ignore that or buy some new knobs.
The tricky easy one is what is the polyurethane ( - I think?) lacquer on the fingerboard has come away and has an ugly cloudy air gap in. I see from other posts this isn't a one off but it looks like a bad case of it and I am wondering whether I can carefully repair it somehow? There's a hairline crack between the fretted surface of the fingerboard and the side and wondering whether just a tiny pin head of CA might seal it? It's largely cosmetic, I can't feel it and I might be able to ignore it but would be nice fix. Interestingly if I introduce moisture onto the crack the moisture makes it disappear perhaps suggesting it's a very thin gap.
As I said I have seen others on here with bubbles around fret ends and understand this is likely wood shrinking back from the fret ends?
Anyway that's very wordy but if anyone gets to the bottom and has words of wisdom to share that would be great.
In every other way this is an outstanding and I am already eyeing up additions to my collection...:)
 

fbecir

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Hello & welcome

Do you have pics ??? We need them because we want to see your guitar and it will be easier to see issues you are talking about.
 

StereoB

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Appreciate the reply & interest. Attaching a small photo here that's hopefully clear enough.
The lightened area where there is a bubble/gap actually varies depending on moisture so if I dampen it it gets much smaller. Kind of a weird effect but makes sense. In the photo its about average and at worst that whole area goes cloudy rather than black and becomes very noticeable,
I would love to "fill" or seal it.
 

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StereoB

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Reply from Customer Services - summarise as follows -

Fret sprout which underneath a now slightly shrunken finger board delaminates the polyurethane finished fingerboard.
So the frets sprout and take the lacquer finish away from the side edge of the ebony fingerboard and even if the fret sprout either resolves through acclimation (i.e. the fingerboard swells again) the delamination will stay looking rather ugly.

I don't think that's particularly great and this is clearly quite a common issue with the Majesty.

I own a MIM Strat with maple 'board - can see the same effect but that's a $600 guitar so no drama.

Are all Majesty fingerboards lacquer finished and not just bare ebony? I am not sure I would risk this much money on a instrument that could equally well deteriorate in this way.

Real shame - in every other way a great guitar.
 
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tbonesullivan

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Water thin Cyanoacrylate at the ends of the frets should move in by capillary action.

Do you know if the guitar was stored at the proper moisture levels? Fret sprout is somewhat common if a guitar is not stored correctly. It's not a cosmetic issue on guitars without finish or binding, but it still make playing uncomfortable, and at worst, cut your fingers.

With bound guitars, the binding cracks, and yes, you see it a lot on older and used guitars. On guitars with finished fretboard edges, it depends on the finish used. Nitro usually just cracks, while poly can lift.
 

StereoB

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Water thin Cyanoacrylate at the ends of the frets should move in by capillary action.

Do you know if the guitar was stored at the proper moisture levels?

Thanks for the reply and yes I had specifically wondered whether CA glue might creep in and fill and seal the gaps. I am not sure there is much of a gap to creep into apart from the very fret end. Application could be a bit challenging tho....

As it was bought second hand I have no idea how it was stored. I imagine many wouldn't take much of an interest in that aspect of ownership. It is exceptionally dry here right now so am making an effort to bring RH up.

I hope I can find a Majesty with unfinished ebony - it's not clear from the www.
 

fbecir

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Hello

We all love to have a "perfect" guitar. But keep in mind that if you play a lot your guitar, there will be some wear.
For instance, my SUB :
MUY5NjQxOTIQq6NKArxXzik3vTNCCnt1.jpg


Thus, if your Majesty plays and sounds the way you like, you will play it a lot and the neck will have some wear marks.
 

StereoB

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Sound words fbecir and very much agreed. It has taken some hits already (from previous owners) and that's just fine but if I am thinking about the possibility ofthe purchase of a new Majesty at £££/$$$ then finding this out of the box does not sit well with me - and it has happened on new ones as delivered.
And there will be plenty that are 100% - it's a lottery.
 

DrKev

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I don't think that's particularly great and this is clearly quite a common issue with the Majesty.

Sorry, no.

If it was clearly a common issue we would see it reported here often, just as you have. We have not seen it, and in fact I don't remember another one. So it's clearly NOT a common issue.

The good news is that a good luthier will be able to fix it for you. If you bought it from a dealer (you have consumer rights for 6 months in the UK even if you bought it used) go back and talk to them about it.
 

StereoB

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Sorry, no.

If it was clearly a common issue we would see it reported here often, just as you have. We have not seen it, and in fact I don't remember another one. So it's clearly NOT a common issue.

The good news is that a good luthier will be able to fix it for you. If you bought it from a dealer (you have consumer rights for 6 months in the UK even if you bought it used) go back and talk to them about it.

http://forums.ernieball.com/ernie-b...air-bubbles-fret-edges-music-majesty-6-a.html

there's another one or two in here too.
 

StereoB

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And fair enough "common" not a best description - we don't really know the number of instances - but it's more than me! :)
And remember it isn't new so there's not likely to be any recourse to unknown dealer 4 years ago !
And maybe my Majesty was left in the sun and force dried out - I don't know ....

Believe me I hope it's highly uncommon as otherwise this is a great playing experience.
 

DrKev

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And remember it isn't new so there's not likely to be any recourse to unknown dealer 4 years ago !

I meant where you bought it from. (You said you recently acquired it, right?) If you buy a used guitar from a retailer, you still have coverage. They may be able to fix it for you (which could be at their cost) or give you a partial refund towards the cost of having it fixed. It's worth asking!

Consumer Rights on Second Hand Goods - Catalyst Law
 

TripHazard

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Might not be something you would want to do, but I’d perhaps ask a luthier to remove the lacquer on the edge, and perhaps then re-lacquer it. Not sure whether you would need to remove from whole finger board and relacquer it all... just a thought. Not my area of expertise in all honesty.
 

JJBC

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Hi!

Do you have any update?

I think that if you control the humidity where you store the guitar, the fretboard will swell again. If you want to get rid of the bubbles, take it to a luthier, get it fixed and make sure to control the humidity in the future to avoid fret sprout again. 45-55 % RH is recommended, but I have mine at ~40 % RH and they seem to be ok.
 

StereoB

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An update....

Yeah, EBMM confirmed it's delamination - didn't actually say fret sprout was the cause but I think we all know it is. With a thick layer of poly the layer is "pushed" away by the fret under the receding ebony fingerboard.
It's not worth major surgery with a luthier and it would be a tricky job to get 100% so I am going to live with it. In every other way it's a fabulous guitar.
The delamination occurred with the previous owner and humidity is something that I was already aware of and not a problem in my own home.

It is however something I am going to be cautious with future purchases of a top end guitar like the Majesty.
 

StereoB

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Sorry, no.

If it was clearly a common issue we would see it reported here often, just as you have. We have not seen it, and in fact I don't remember another one. So it's clearly NOT a common issue.

The good news is that a good luthier will be able to fix it for you. If you bought it from a dealer (you have consumer rights for 6 months in the UK even if you bought it used) go back and talk to them about it.

No, sadly I am going to have to revisit my response on this - this IS a common problem. I have just taken delivery and now returned a new (non-display)late 2019 BFR with a small amount of delamination towards the top of the neck and taken a look at an otherwise mint Monarchy that has a lot of this on both sides of the neck. I imagine atmospherics play a part in this, but this really spoils an otherwise impeccably designed & built guitar. Is it just the Majesty? I have a JP 6 that looks fine.
I am now disinclined to "invest" several thousand £/$ in something that shows such a defect even if it is purely cosmetic.
I don't really understand why it is finished in this way and why I have never seen this effect on other makes?
 
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MrT-Man

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I bought a Majesty 7 that had this issue, there was delamination in 3-4 spots across the neck. It had been on display in the store, without proper humidification. I returned it for another.

I think the conclusion is, these guitars need to be kept humid. I have no idea what the "safe" lower humidity threshold is -- I just keep my ebony-neck guitars in their cases, with humidipaks, during the winter whenever they're not in use. It's a bit of an annoyance, though I'd rather have an ebony fretboard than another type. I'm not blaming Ernie Ball because this seems to be more of a question of physics, and wood type, than anything else.

Wish I could just keep my music room at 40-50% humidity in the winter, but that's not practical -- too much condensation on the windows.
 
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