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Gibson es 345 and es 339 broken necks on plane travelling !!!! Anyone same problems
Old 29th December 2010
  #1
Gibson es 345 and es 339 broken necks on plane travelling !!!! Anyone same problems

Hi there ...
So ; here is the problem i had : I ve been forced by airplanes compagnies to send a gibson es 345 custom shop with the rest of the backline equipment ... Discovering after 25 hours flights ( from paris to noumea ...) that the neck of the guitar was broken ...same happened let s say 1 week later with a gibson es 339 ... It felt on the floor being in his case ( not a flight case ; just a regular gibson case ...) ; the neck had broken exactly the same has the first one ...
Is it bad luck ? Does anyone had kind of same problems with those guitars models ? What u guys think ? Any bad experiences as mines ?
For the es 345 i m currently in all those insurances with the flying compagnie ...
Old 29th December 2010
  #2
Old 30th December 2010
  #3
Lives for gear
You KNOW that they're not going to take care of your guitar: they're going to throw it on the conveyor and good luck. So you've only got two choices:

1. Plead to take it on as carry on and place it in the little closet at the front. Sometimes works with a small guitar, NOT with a 335, sorry.

2. Buy a case that will protect it. If you simply can't afford a flight case then do this: loosen the strings, pack the thing into the gibson case TIGHTLY with newspaper or rolled up T-shirts (no movement and no ability for the neck or headstock to flex), then close the case and box the guitar up in a box with at least 2" of bubblewrap on all sides. Then liberally tape the box. Now there's at least 3" of material and two layers of rigid material between the guitar and the world. It could crack but it won't break (and I've had 50s Gibsons shipped to me this way, so people knew what they were doing). For added protection look for the 1970s Gibson "protector" cases: the heavy black plastic ones.

And, BUY INSURANCE. Not airline or shipping insurance. Get Heritage or Clarion to insure all your gear, they'll fix or replace anything damaged or lost!
Old 30th December 2010
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Kenton's Avatar
 

Like DrBob - I would (at the very least) ask to carry the guitar to the gate. NEVER let them take it at check-in. Once you get to the gate there's a good chance they'll let you on the plane with it... It helps if you're smartly dressed and polite.
A couple of times they've taken it from me at the gate and put it in the hold - once I was able to get it returned to me from the hold at the far end without it going through baggage reclaim.

Gibson cases aren't robust enough for flying. Vinyl covered hardboard...??!
I have a Hiscox case and it seems as good as a purpose built flightcase.

Best solution - in a flight case, inside a trunk.
Old 30th December 2010
  #5
Gear Guru
 
henryrobinett's Avatar
Gibson es 345 and es 339 broken necks on plane travelling !!!! Anyone same problems

I am traveling now with an ES-355. But I've learned to never travel without a flightcase. It just doesn't make sense and the risk is too great. The policy is to not take the guitar on board. Mostly they let you do that, but I used to fight them for the right to bring it on with me. With enough international flights I decided it's not worth the risk.
Old 30th December 2010
  #6
Lives for gear
Anyone who tries checking a $2000+ guitar on an airline with a regular guitar case is an idiot. Of course it broke!

You need to get an ATA-approved case, such as the ones SKB and other ones have. Your Gibson case is for carrying your guitar to gigs. The neck broke because there's no support in a regular case; one drop and it's toast.

I'm always amazed by people who spend $2-3,000 on a guitar and then balk at $3-400 for a quality road case.
Old 30th December 2010
  #7
Gear Guru
 
henryrobinett's Avatar
Gibson es 345 and es 339 broken necks on plane travelling !!!! Anyone same problems

Well yeah! I was trying to be gentler than that. I would never use a regular guitar case on a plane.
Old 30th December 2010
  #8
Thanks so far to everyone who took time to reply ...
for sure we do ATA CHECK for our backline anytime it s needed ( we usually travel with about 500 kg )... but with all weights problems there are ( u can t have cases exceding 32 KG ) ; we restarted carrying our guitars and basses years ago on planes with no major problems ... till this december ...
The band is a major act TOURING WORLDWIDE ; the booking is huge and unusual meaning south america ; africa ; islands everywhere ....lots of planes sometimes very small ones ( 6 people ...)
so sorry ; that s why we aren t idiots ; but sometimes u don t have the choice ...
i would like to hear bout any similar stories with gibson neck broken ; not necessarely during flights ...
it s first time breaking two necks ... any problems with those models from gibson ????

mordicus
peace
Old 30th December 2010
  #9
Lives for gear
Of course there's problems from Gibson. The Gibson neck design uses an unsuported headstock, carved at an angle from the rest of the neck, usually out of a softer wood like mahogany. Start with those specs, drop a guitar and the headstock snaps off every time. The good news is that any decent luthier can fix it, stronger than stock, and it won't change the sound. Then you get some kind of case to protect it. If you can't use ATA specs because of size and weight, then get those fibreglas flight cases...

That said, the Fender neck: tight grain maple with the headstock inline with the neck, is much more durable (it's essentially a baseball bat and they stand up pretty well), plus you can disassemble them to ship in a smaller box with no risk of breaking...
Old 30th December 2010
  #10
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by MORDICUS View Post
Thanks so far to everyone who took time to reply ...
for sure we do ATA CHECK for our backline anytime it s needed ( we usually travel with about 500 kg )... but with all weights problems there are ( u can t have cases exceding 32 KG ) ; we restarted carrying our guitars and basses years ago on planes with no major problems ... till this december ...
The band is a major act TOURING WORLDWIDE ; the booking is huge and unusual meaning south america ; africa ; islands everywhere ....lots of planes sometimes very small ones ( 6 people ...)
so sorry ; that s why we aren t idiots ; but sometimes u don t have the choice ...
If the band is a "Major Act," then they're even dumber for checking a +$2000 guitar in a regular case on a plane.

And you do have a choice - if you can't check it on the plane, ship it instead. Or plan on having more broken neck guitars. Or tell the guitarist to buy cheap Epiphones and you can break as many as you want.

Planning ahead with logistics is something a "major act" should be able to plan or have planned for them. The fact that this has happened several times makes me doubt how "major" this act is. No one who goes on a "worldwide tour" would do what you're doing. Sorry, but this is tantamount to shipping your amps in a cardboard box with no padding and then being surprised when the amp arrives damaged with tubes broken inside.
Old 30th December 2010
  #11
Well NEDORAMA
This band has been on the road for years ; and there is no real tour organised has some does ... why ? because this band plays dubai and two days latter dominica island ( west indies ) . no need to say that there s no way to send backline in advance ... we just travel a lot and sometimes it s taking a long time ( 2 days to get to those places ... do u get me ???) no way we can do fret !!! do u get me ??? we all know about the things you re saying ; we just choose some years ago to bring instruments in cabin ; thats what we been allowed for hundreds of concerts ... it seems things are getting more and more complicated and that will be getting everything in ata cases ... thats what has been done for years ...playing 30 countries a year is not like touring the states ; or europe ... that is easy ... we ve done it this way because we had to ... now we ll have to do another way ... nothing that s exceding 32 kg can travel ; that why for example we had to separate some parts from amplifiers : 2 flights cases for a jc 120 ( splitting the head off... ) so that what it is ...
i don t need stupid comments ; or at least don t post if u find this stupid ...
i m just looking for comments helping us out ... and to hear bout issues people had fixing those problems ...
and one last thing nedorama ; skb is a **** ...
don t trust it ; but sure u don t because u play in a major act who is doing world tours ? isn t it ???


PEACE
MORDICUS
Old 31st December 2010
  #12
Lives for gear
You asked for opinions on why your precious Gibsons broke in their gig cases, and I pointed out that this was asking for trouble. While you may have been able to carry on in the past, I know this day has passed due to more stringent security measures for one thing. That ship has sailed.

And no, I'm not in a "major act" as you put it, but I also wouldn't be caught dead checking any guitar I owned over $500 in a regular guitar case in luggage - the chances are too great you won't get it on the plane or that it will break in flight. I am frustrated when I see/hear of people with $3,000 guitars that don't ship them properly. I understand your band flies a lot, but there could be other ways you can get your guitars to shows safely.

If you are weight restricted on overall gear, it would seem more important to protect and use your weight limit to check the guitars in ATA cases than a JC120 - I would hope most places you play would have one or at least something similar (Fender Twin, etc.) It's a great amp, but not an uncommon one. Advancing the shows could have the band dictate that a JC120 or Fender Twin (or whatever substitutes you like) be part of the package are standard for other bands. For ultimate insurance, pack your favorite DI, POD or similar to just plug into the PA.

If you think this SKB case is **** (http://www.skbcases.com/music/produc...e by SKB Cases) (weighs less than 10kg so with your guitar would be well under the 32kg limit)

there are many others:
http://www.ascase.com/productcart/pc...&idcategory=10
weighs in at 14 kilograms.

I can't think of an ATA case plus an ES345 or 339 that's going to weigh more than 70lbs/32kg. An ES345 weighs less than 10kg, so you have 22kg to play with. Worst case, paying slightly extra for going over the limit vs. protecting your guitar is worth it.

These are just two manufacturers, I'm sure you can find the case you like that keeps you under the weight limit. I would also call the Gibson Custom Shop and ask what they would recommend, since they are probably sending guitars to key customers weekly around the world.

Last edited by nedorama; 31st December 2010 at 01:08 AM.. Reason: URL links
Old 31st December 2010
  #13
ok thanks for helping NEDORAMA ...

PEACE MORDICUS
Old 6th January 2011
  #14
Gear Nut
 

I'd suggest bringing a single or dual soft case with you on board if possible, and have it gate checked if not.

Pros: Avoids the conveyors and idiots loading/driving the luggage on the tractors. My breakage problems have come from gear falling off the trailers (rack gear, not guitars in my case).

Cons: Upon arrival the gate checked guitars will be taken from below and set in the Jet-Way where anyone getting off the plane in front of you can steal them.

I've flown worldwide for 20 some years, doing usually 250+ gigs a year, and I've never had a problem with breakage or theft doing it this way, but YMMV? I did have problems checking guitars prior to doing it this way, loss though, not breakage, while using Fenders.

Gibson necks are much weaker structurally, so you might look into using Fenders if possible, they're much stronger and much smaller so they're easier to get on board, though I've successfully flown a chambered Gibson Les Paul in a soft/rigid Gator case with no problems (that would be carry on, and though it's a cheap POS case it works with a lightweight 6.5lb LP). Also, some Asian Gibson clones use the Asian neck construction method which is much stronger around the nut area than a Gibson.

Good luck...
Old 6th January 2011
  #15
Gear Maniac
 
Warren Beck's Avatar
 

Terrible to hear, I am sorry for your losses.

I send artists regularly all over North America and to Europe with classical instruments - way more fragile than a 335. The only solution for them to do is purchase an additional seat for the instrument, do so over the phone with the airline after you have booked your own seat, and they will arrange for you and the instrument to be together, and the attendants have special webbing with which they strap in the cello, double bass, etc... With guitars you 99% of the time can take them as carry-on luggage and store them where business men do their suits. NOW 1 thing to remember..... airline staff are not the brightest bulbs in the package. Not an insult at all, but determined fact by being a musician, and now musicians agent for 10+ years. Talk directly to the airlines Ombudsman department to learn of that carriers specific criteria. The American governance body of aircraft spells out musical instruments quite well, get that first, understand it before proceeding to the airlines. When you go to get on the air plane, have in your hands the guitar(s), boarding pass, and the legislation of that particular airline with you.

It does not matter if it is a Fender, Gibson, Martin, Gretsch, Laskin, Larrivee, etc.... all necks can break. Pack them well so there is never any movement, remove the humidifyers, pack them in an additional card board box to not advertise musical instruments, and FRAGILE stickers everywhere.
Old 6th January 2011
  #16
Gear Nut
 

While this is of course true, solid body Fenders are very tough. Solid body Fender necks are typically hard maple and their grain goes straight near the nut, while Gibson's are typically mahogany and their grain turns near the nut due to their headstock angle, so they're much weaker in that area.

Solid body Fenders are able to use thinner soft cases than Gibsons due to this headstock angle strength issue, and by default they're easier to carry on when space over-head is tight (which seems to be just about all the time these days). You should always plan on using the over-head vs the first-class closet which is often iffy, unless you're flying first-class of course. To that aim you want as thin and as strong of a guitar you can find, in a thin as possible soft case.

Many Asian Gibson clones use a different two piece neck arrangement that improves that area's strength over Gibson's, though they're still weaker than Fenders. They are better for traveling, and cheaper to replace seeing that airline liability is limited.

If you must use a hollow body or acoustic, then I've seen equal number of musicians flying either checking in a heavy ATA Flight Case (extra costs etc), or carrying on it in a soft/rigid case and gate checking if need be.

Another thing to consider is if you check your instrument, you have no guarantees that it'll arrive at the same destination as you! I lost a 65 Strat for more than a week once back in the 80's, though Air Canada finally found it and returned it to me. If you don't like playing last minute replacement guitars then it's always best to carry it on!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warren Beck View Post
Terrible to hear, I am sorry for your losses.
It does not matter if it is a Fender, Gibson, Martin, Gretsch, Laskin, Larrivee, etc.... all necks can break. Pack them well so there is never any movement, remove the humidifyers, pack them in an additional card board box to not advertise musical instruments, and FRAGILE stickers everywhere.
Old 6th January 2011
  #17
Gear Nut
 

My band flies and checks guitars all the time, and has had excellent results with these cases.

Casextreme.com

They're honeycomb corrugated plastic, with foam standoffs, so your instrument doesn't touch any of the sides at all, and is shock mounted by the foam. You can stand on the case, it won't crush, but it's very light weight. We typically put two guitars in gig bags in each one, and the weight is still under the 50 lb. limit. Easy opening and closing for TSA inspection.

Over a hundred thousand air miles annually for several years and no damage to any instrument. The cases are scuffed, but still sound.

The owner used to exhibit at NAMM, Hall E. Don't know if he still does.
Old 7th January 2011
  #18
Lives for gear
 
octatonic's Avatar
After several bad experiences I only tour with bolt-ons these days.
Old 7th January 2011
  #19
Lives for gear
Actually, the best guitar to travel with is an original "kleenex box" Steinberger. It's small enough it fits in the overhead with no arguments, it's made of carbon fibre mainly, so it's tough as nails even without the gig bag, and it's light so you can carry a few tshirts without destroying your back... Of course, it's hard to pull off if you're playing an oldies gig, although Michael Hill manages it with a blues band...
Old 7th January 2011
  #20
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by djdayson View Post
I'd suggest bringing a single or dual soft case with you on board if possible, and have it gate checked if not.

Pros: Avoids the conveyors and idiots loading/driving the luggage on the tractors. My breakage problems have come from gear falling off the trailers (rack gear, not guitars in my case).

Cons: Upon arrival the gate checked guitars will be taken from below and set in the Jet-Way where anyone getting off the plane in front of you can steal them.

I've flown worldwide for 20 some years, doing usually 250+ gigs a year, and I've never had a problem with breakage or theft doing it this way, but YMMV? I did have problems checking guitars prior to doing it this way, loss though, not breakage, while using Fenders.

Gibson necks are much weaker structurally, so you might look into using Fenders if possible, they're much stronger and much smaller so they're easier to get on board, though I've successfully flown a chambered Gibson Les Paul in a soft/rigid Gator case with no problems (that would be carry on, and though it's a cheap POS case it works with a lightweight 6.5lb LP). Also, some Asian Gibson clones use the Asian neck construction method which is much stronger around the nut area than a Gibson.

Good luck...
The challenge here is that the soft case offers even less protection, and seeing how domestic carriers handle jetway bags, strollers, etc., I'd be even more concerned - The handlers getting jetway bags usually are throwing them down a metal chute when you hand it to them, and with a soft case your guitar is without any protection in cargo. We had a stroller break from being manhandled on the jetway.

As I've said, I've been able to get a Fender case in the business class suit closet (when traveling coach) 3 times, but in 2009 it almost didn't happen - It wasn't an expensive guitar, but would have been bummed had it been broken.Given how stringent the TSA today is, not sure you could still go through security and get it on board.

If you can get your guitar up in the overheads, great, but with an ES gibson, you won't get it to fit. A lot of planes also have smaller overhead bins or they're segmented and don't have the length. Definitely a gamble.

Good site for checking out your plane - seatguru.com - shows you a lot of info on your specific type of plane. Can also show you which seats have power outlets, which is great if you are working on your music, a presentation, or have kids that want to watch a video.
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