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White Spots On/in Black Satin Finish


Stonefree
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Hey,

I had my ESP Eclipse in for a setup recently and noticed that the satin finish on the back of the neck is covered in clusters of white spots. The guitar is only 10 months old and it's hardly been out of its case since I got it, so I'm pretty sure that this isn't down to me. I can't get my head around it though, as I'm way too inexperienced, and I can't find much info related to satin finishes.

Just wondering if this could have been caused by the repair guy powder coating the headstock on 3 separate occasions to repair the finish that he carelessly sanded off while he was leveling and reprofiling the frets?

He was handing the guitar back to me on the same day that he powder coated it, so I'm thinking that he must have been cooking the shi* out of it to get it ready that fast? The binding is also cracked in roughly the same area and neither of these issues existed prior to him touching the guitar.

Thanks for any help.

SF

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Hard to say for sure from just a pic,but it looks like overspray.It sounds like your "repair guy" might not be that great if he doesn't protect the finish while he does the work.

You have to be careful with such things,because much of the time they just consider your little satin guitar a cookie cutter instrument with no real value(to them)..they are just trying to get through yours as quickly as possible so they can take extra care of the $4000 Gibson they have in for a new nut...some of them don't remember the days when they treasured an inexpensive guitar because it was all they had.I do all of my own work on my guitars because of that.

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Yeah you're spot on, he managed to wreck a pristine £1,500 (not cheap :)) guitar in around 90 minutes. You wouldn't believe me if I told you the full extent of the damage he caused. The guy's a disgrace and shouldn't be in the business.

it looks like overspray

This is probably gonna come across as dumb, but do you mean powder coating overspray? I'm a bit confused because he was powder coating the h/stock black and the spots are white?

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Yeah,but does he do other instruments in the place where he worked on yours?Overspray doesn't have to come from the same spraying process.

It doesn't have to be "cheap" if the guy just thinks of it as "not a Gibson,Jackson USA,etc".It just depends on how Elitist he is in his own mind...Some guys don't consider it great unless it's a custom shop or handmade model.The satin finish in this case might give the impression of a cheaper model.ESP is just about the only manufacturer that uses a satin black on a "mid priced" instrument AFAIK...but those finishes are getting more popular.

Yours is an actual ESP?Not an LTD?If so there is no excuse at all for taking chances with a repair because there are no "cheap" ESP guitars.

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Wow, if this is what happened then the dude really dropped the ball on this one after trying to pick the ball up from dropping it in the first place. Although ultimate blame is difficult to prove, he should have insurance which should cover a full repair or compensation. A $1500 guitar is still a LOT of cash and a third of the cost of a $4500 guitar.

Look at your options and consider seeking legal advice if you cannot work this out satisfactorily with the repair guy. There comes a point where you shouldn't have to consider compounded repairs which don't actually do what was agreed upon.

You really need to be able to prove that it was your repair guy though. Things can get ugly really quickly in these situations....especially when numbers like "$1500" get thrown around after a repair which maybe cost a tenth of that and netted the repair guy maybe a hundredth in profit.

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Yeah,but does he do other instruments in the place where he worked on yours?Overspray doesn't have to come from the same spraying process.

Right yeah.. man I've got a lot to learn. Of course he would have been working on other guitars while mine was drying or whatever. Who would damage somebodys property, then charge them for the work as if nothing had happened, then cause even more damage while trying to repair the original damage? That's just fck'd up.

I suppose I should have known better when he got pissed off and started acting like I was the one in the wrong after I originally complained. He only sanded the finish off the h/stock, glued the nut back on with a big chunk missing from the side of it, and put an off-white cement like substance into one of the bridge posts. Who wouldn't complain about that?!

The satin finish in this case might give the impression of a cheaper model.

Yours is an actual ESP?Not an LTD?If so there is no excuse at all for taking chances with a repair because there are no "cheap" ESP guitars.

Yeah it's a Japanese ESP Eclipse. The Korean LTD look-alike is the EC1000 deluxe and is half the price of an Eclipse.

I've attached pic of my guitar, I think you'll agree it looks anything but cheap lol. The guy works freelance in a guitar store that stocks ESP's, so he knows what they cost. The Gibson Les Paul Standards they stock go for around the same price as the ESP's, btw.

Thanks for the reply :)

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Yeah,those are sweet instruments.I love the ESP custom shop's work.I have an Edwards Forest GT done up in the ESP shop and the work is spectacular..you could eat out of the control cavity.When i first got it,played it,and opened it up to look at it,I was severely disillusioned about the USA Jacksons and Gibsons I owned.

It was certainly worth more than the $1000 I paid for it and the couple of hundred in import fees and taxes.

Love the guitar.Hope you get it all straightened out

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You really need to be able to prove that it was your repair guy though. Things can get ugly really quickly in these situations

Yeah I know that only too well. I don't really see how I can actually prove it was him, but then I don't see how he can prove that it wasn't him either. Hopefully the 3 repair attempts, along with the fact that he has a spray-shop facility, and that he carried out unauthorized work on my property (I have email evidence of this), will go in my favour. I think the best he'll be able to do is try and bluff his way out of it, probably by saying he was bending over backwards to please a picky customer as a gesture of good will. The usual bull :)

Thanks for the heads up about insurance btw. That's another thing I didn't think about.

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By the way i also have an LTD Deluxe EC 1000 FR and it's nowhere near the quality of the Edwards....and both cost the same.I feel the Edwards on Ebay are the best instrument for around a grand by far in existence.Twice the quality of Gibson for less cash...and I love Gibsons

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Yeah,those are sweet instruments.I love the ESP custom shop's work.I have an Edwards Forest GT done up in the ESP shop and the work is spectacular..you could eat out of the control cavity.When i first got it,played it,and opened it up to look at it,I was severely disillusioned about the USA Jacksons and Gibsons I owned.

It was certainly worth more than the $1000 I paid for it and the couple of hundred in import fees and taxes.

Love the guitar.Hope you get it all straightened out

Cheers mate.

Yeah ESP custom shop guitars are cool. I'd love to get one, but due to everything that's happened I never will, cause I'm superstitious. Not ESP's fault at all :)

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Yeah the Edwards are cool too. Think I'd go for an original Burny, Tokai or Greco first though.

I used to own an EC1000, which was a solid all round guitar. I sold it cause I needed the cash for my Eclipse, which I thought was gonna be a much better guitar. Turned out I was wrong though, as there isn't a lot of difference in tone or playability. The Eclipse is much cooler looking and it feels a bit lighter, but that's about it. Very regrettable move :)

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Yeah,Japan only...you have to pay some import fees,but they aren't too much.They also still make the lawsuit explorer and you can buy it and they ship it.

I stared at them forever before I pulled the trigger and bought one.They are truly great guitars.

I bought mine from "Meester Sparkle" I think.

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Any chance those are pinholes from bubbles?

SR

I don't think so, but I don't really know what that means tbh, so maybe?

Would pinholes from bubbles become smuged?

Probably not. If it's overspray, there's a chance you could feel each spot. A rub with fine steel wool should take overspray off too without messing up a matte finish. Bubbles/pinholes from too thick of a finish coat would not be felt or rubbed out.

SR

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Now wait,don't rub each spot,you can damage the finish around the area before getting the spot out...use a razor blade to carefully scrape each dot back to the surface,then lightly use fine steel wool to get the entire area back to that matte finish.

It is still unlikely to be truly invisible though

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Actually, I would hold off on any remedial work until you figure out how you're dealing with the perpetrator. He could easily wash his hands of the problem if you attempt any work on it yourself. I would take it to another repair guy and ask for a second opinion on what it is. Don't drop names, just ask for an honest opinion. Even competing techs don't stab each other in the back much. No more than twice a day, so go in the morning. Early.

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Actually, I would hold off on any remedial work until you figure out how you're dealing with the perpetrator. He could easily wash his hands of the problem if you attempt any work on it yourself.

Even if I knew how to work on a guitars finish, I wouldn't for exactly that reason. Too many people will happily wriggle off the hook rather than be cool and sort the problem that they know was down to them. There should be a law against being a dick :)

I would take it to another repair guy and ask for a second opinion on what it is. Don't drop names, just ask for an honest opinion. Even competing techs don't stab each other in the back much. No more than twice a day, so go in the morning. Early.

lol nice one

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use a razor blade to carefully scrape each dot back to the surface,then lightly use fine steel wool to get the entire area back to that matte finish.

Is that even possible without seriously messing up the neck? There's easily more than a thousand spots.

I would never take a razor blade to any of my guitars, that just wouldn't end well at all :)

I remember trying to wet & dry sandpaper my cpu heatsink when I was into computer modding and managing to make a mess of it. Tried a similar approach with a scratch on my girlfriends car recently and she didn't speak to me for about a month lol

I wish I could work on guitar finishes, but I don't think it's ever gonna be :(

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It isn't easy,and it takes a steady hand and a lot of patience.The object is to get the spots off without getting into the existing finish very much at all,and then you rub the entire neck with fine steel wool to get back to the matte finish.

If you are not good with finishes I would leave it be...but yes,I have done it on a truck that got overspray on it from being too close to a spray crew on a jobsite.Of course,that was a gloss finish,so I had to buff it after all of the removal

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Seems straight forward enough, but the spots are as smooth as the finish and can't be felt.

You can see that something has smeared most of them though, so probably not bubbles/pinholes (thanks SR).

Assuming it's paint that laid light enough to not be felt, is it possible that a half-arsed repair attempt could/would have smeared the spots like in the below pic? or is there any other reason why this would occur?

Sorry for all the questions btw, and thanks for the help :)

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