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Cracks On Ibanez Neck

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After deciding to use pre-made necks for my first few projects I've been looking round anywhere I can for them. I have noticed a number of Ibanez necks on ebay, some of which have cracks on the back side of the nut, like this one :


While that doesn't look too bad, I'm guessing a set of tight strings won't do it any good (and I like 9s or 10s tight), so how could the back of the nut be reinforced? or is it even worth bidding on?

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I consider that a major design flaw on Ibanez guitars. I've fixed two necks that had that same problem, where it cracked and the headstock broke off. The reason it has a tendency to crack there is because of the following things: wide cut truss channel slot (suprisingly wider than average), ultra thin necks (19mm and less), and the two big holes drilled out to hold the metal locking nut in place. It all adds up to less wood to support the neck at the most critical area. My thing is, why can't they use smaller bolts to hold it in?


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Normally in this situation you would have to finish the break and seperate the headstock from the rest of the neck and then glue the two peices back together. If done correctly it should be stronger than it was originally.

I have a 1987 Ibanez Jem RB that's I've been using regularly since I bought it new in 1988. The neck developed a small crack behind the nut several years ago... I never noticed until the luthier that did a setup for me told me about it. He put some super glue in the crack and I have never had a problem since.

I even went through replacing the fretboard and the stress of doing that did not affect the crack. :D

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I think there's a big risk in buying used necks off ebay.

For one thing, there's always a reason why the seller has taken the neck off the body. Sometimes the issues not with the neck, but it's a matter of luck --and honesty on the seller's part.

Luckily this seller appears honest --he's pointed out a major issue upfront.

And since it's a crack in the headstock, your natural reaction ought to be: run away!

I bought a supposedly unfinished neck recently --I'm working on it right now. This one was a factory second (probably fished out of a dumpster) and it's clear now what the problem with the neck was (the heel wasn't cut level!).

The seller made no indication of this. On the other hand, the price wasn't so high. And it looks like I can fix it (otherwise the neck looks great).

Still, I feel like I've been had.

So beware! If I buy another neck, it'll be new --Warmoth, or someone else.

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You certainly don't have to/want to finish the break. A lot of my Ibanez guitars had the cracks, (or breaks) and I've repaired them with thin superglue. As long as it penetrates your problem will be solved. The reason most of mine have it is because over the years as I've bought, sold, and traded, I've gotten way more money for uncracked necks. So I keep the fixed ones. The truth is, if the CA penetrates right, you have a stronger neck than new. The fault line has now been locked into place. Dare I say I prefer an Ibanez neck that's already cracked and been repaired properly. They've recently gone to top mount nuts and volutes, so that solved the problem, although about 17 years late.

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Here is an excellent tutorial on fixing cracked necks, and on Ibanez specifically.


Rich, the guy who wrote it, is a very well respected source of knowledge on Jemsite.com. I used this tutorial to fix a cracked 87 ibanez neck and it turned out well. I have not yet put the neck on a body though. Good luck.


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I wouldn't buy a cracked neck. If you happen to get screwed in ebay deal and get one delivered in teh mail, I would return it, and report it.

There are plenty of good necks on the bay..specially number of sources whom sell guitars in parts. Mostly in list you see whole guitar in parts. Pick and choose.

In doubt...have selling make specific pics of area. (although photoshop can still be applied of course.)

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