Gibson Guitar Repairs

Gibson Repairs

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In my 33 years of experience  Gibson Necks Break more
than all other brands of guitars put together

At Ed Roman's custom shop we have fixed more than 7500 broken Gibson necks. In fact at any given time, there are usually at least 2 Gibson Les Paul's in the shop for headstock or neck replacement. Does this mean that Gibson neck designs are bad ???   Click here

Gibson ES 295 Rebuild and Restoration

When Mike Oatman shipped me this guitar it was a total disaster.  This guitar was approximately 43 years old and it looked it. The binding was all coming off, the frets were worn to the neck and the body itself was cracked in several places.

I took some photos of it when it came in but I think they got misplaced. When and if they turn up I will post some before pictures here.


A Grouping of Gibson Double Cutaway Les Pauls
One of the few Gibsons that I personally like
Ed Roman

Click Here To Read About Gibson Neck Repairs

Flying Vee Broken Neck Joint Repair
When this job is done it will be absolutely impossible to tell it was ever repaired.


This is a before picture

Close up & personal.

Neck joint is cracked on both sides of the neck.
These are not finish cracks. They are cracks right in the wood.

As you can see the Korina Wood is split right at the neck joint. The finish is cracked also but that would not be a sufficient reason to restore this guitar.

This is an extremely valuable instrument when there are no major problems like a broken neck joint. This type of job requires great skill and very few people are qualified to do a repair like this one. I suggest that if you need a repair job like this one done that you send it to me.

If you do send me a repair, try to send it as soon as it breaks. Waiting will cause more problems with expansion and contraction. Also, don't let some idiot hack do a temporary repair until you feel you can send it to me.  99% of the time it will be much harder to repair after some moron has gone in and tried to fix it half ass.  These cracks reduced the value of this guitar by thousands of dollars.


Broken Headstock
Leslie West's Les Paul
Before After

This repair is a very common one. It is absolutely guaranteed not to break again

04/20/97 Leslie West's Les Paul got broken, Above are before and after photos.   (This repair was performed by Ron Blake) I realize that the 2 pictures above appear to be 2 different colors. The exposures are different because of lighting. At the time these photos were taken there has been no painting. Anyone who hasn't been in a coma for the past 15 years knows that Leslie usually uses an unbreakable  LSR  guitar. But occasionally he will still use the Les Paul. I am collaborating with Leslie right now to build him a custom variation of his current guitar along the lines of my PB-1 and EB-1, It will be called the "WB-1". They will all be personally signed and numbered by the Great Fatsby himself.  Please contact me if you are interested in procuring one.


Leslie uses Pearlcaster Guitars and LSR Headless Guitars almost exclusively

Mark Hitt's Gibson ES355

This early 60's 355 has belonged to Mark Hitt of "Ratrace Choir" for almost 35 years. If you lived In New York, New Jersey or Connecticut over the past 30 years you probably remember seeing Mark playing this guitar. (it used to be sunburst). This Guitar was played very hard 7 days a week for over 30 years and if you ever saw Ratrace play you know what I mean.  

Some of the greatest music I ever heard in my life came out of this guitar.  In fact seeing Ratrace was one of my life's major inspirations and a large reason for me getting into the music business in the first place.  I remember hearing Mark play Hammer-ons in the early 70's long before I ever heard of Eddie Van Halen. I'll bet this neck saw more beer bottle slides in it's life than most people can drink.  I can remember guitar players stacked 6 deep standing in front of Mark with their Jaws on the ground staring at his fingers (I was one of them).

Mark Hitt, Gibson 355 completely restored at Ed Roman GuitarsI swear to God!!! I once heard Mark make this guitar sound exactly like the Hammond Organ solo on Deep Purple's "Hush".

So when Mark asked me to repair it I was flattered and honored. And a little scared.

The condition of this guitar was nothing less than totally horribly atrocious, The neck had been repaired twice from two separate breaks. The repairs were done well but they were 100% visible. There was literally no binding left on the guitar, the wood on the top was worn almost through in several places. The electronics were rusted out and a total mess. The frets were played down to the wood and the fingerboard was almost scalloped by Mark's fingers. Mark uses very heavy strings. The body had major cracks in the wood and the seams. The guitar was just about ready to literally come apart top sides back and neck joint.  Mark had resisted fixing the guitar for so long for the simple fact that he used it daily and simply could not make a living without it.

Fixing this guitar required a new fingerboard, frets, totally rebinding the body & neck and some serious surgery to the top, back, sides and neck.  Mark was not in the least concerned about originality he was not worried a bit about resale value. What he was concerned about was reliability and functionality and tone.  I installed a Mike Christian Piezo System and reworked the pickups that were custom wound for Mark by Larry Dimarzio In 1980.  (Today Mark is using Seymour Duncan's)

When the guitar was done I was very worried that Mark might be displeased.  I was quite nervous because I had been tampering with black magic. You always hear about guitars getting redone or re-fretted and losing their tone and/or magic. When a man and an instrument are as close as Mark and this guitar I knew I was seriously playing with fire. I'm sure that Mark knew every centimeter of that guitar, I am sure he knew every dent in every fret and every divot on the fingerboard well enough to give them all separate names.  Here I was making  literally hundreds of changes to this guitar.

I delivered the guitar to Mark one rainy night at a gig in Mahopac New York. I don't mind telling you I was a bit jittery. I asked him how it looked and he seemed quite pleased. (I wasn't worried about how it looked I knew that was cool) I also knew it would be at least a week before I would find out what he really thought.

To make a long story short  Mark loves the guitar and takes it with him everywhere he goes.  Most guitar players carry several picks in their wallet. Mark carries his guitar (this guitar) everywhere. Mark was given many new Gibson 335's by the Gibson factory,  He doesn't use them. He has tried to get a Heritage endorsement several times. Heritage just doesn't give away guitars.  Heritage quality has fallen off even worse than Gibson !!!!

This Repair Was Completed in 1993
In 1999 Mark Switched To An Ed Roman Quicksilver  (see photo above)

See The new Blues Deluxe which is made from real wood !!!!!!!

Today Mark Hitt uses A Quicksilver Guitar. Once in a great while he still pulls out the 355 but the Quicksilver smokes it, Ask him he will tell you !!!