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Unread 03-02-2004, 05:07 PM   #1
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2nd Factory, Second AAAA

Wadda guys,
i was wondering what a 2nd factory item is, i know it has something do with a defect while making the guitar...
and also what does "Second AAAA" means,
i noticed some guitars on ebay had them
also some guitars have one less A in "Second AAAA", what does that mean?

im searching around cuz i wanna buy a decent guitar but dont have a substantional amount of cash.

thanks.

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Unread 03-02-2004, 05:45 PM   #2
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I believe the first is usually used as "factory 2nd" and esentially means that an instrument had some faulty parts when first built, but instead of being junked, was taken back in and redone. These are just as good as a brand new instrument and cost less, but generally have a smaller warranty.
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Unread 03-03-2004, 12:35 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PianoMan
I believe the first is usually used as "factory 2nd" and esentially means that an instrument had some faulty parts when first built, but instead of being junked, was taken back in and redone. These are just as good as a brand new instrument and cost less, but generally have a smaller warranty.
Tho, truth be told, warranties usually don't count for anything, so, no worries.

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Unread 03-03-2004, 08:06 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CheshireCat
Tho, truth be told, warranties usually don't count for anything, so, no worries.

Chesh
Not to be too much of a partisan, but Martin warranties are excellent for what they cover. It's amazing to hear the stuff they fix even on 30+ year old guitars. You said "usually," so I'm sure you had the Martin warranty in mind as an exception.

I've never heard the term "second AAAA,' but I'd suspect that the seller is trying to say "this is a factory second, but it's in excellent (quadruple A?) condition." Naturally, caveat emptor when it comes to any second, particularly one being sold on eBay.
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Unread 03-03-2004, 03:19 PM   #5
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AAAA designation is quite often a veneer quality designator. Is this a flame/quilt top?
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Unread 03-03-2004, 04:24 PM   #6
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Most likely it's the best piece of 2nd hand garbage that's as good as new with a full factory warranty to boot.
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Unread 03-03-2004, 08:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Friend
AAAA designation is quite often a veneer quality designator. Is this a flame/quilt top?
flame/quit top?
it says
Body Shape: Dreadnought, Cutaway
Top: Solid Spruce
Back: Nato
Sides: Nato
Color: Natural
Pickup: Active with Treble, Mid, Bass and Gain controls
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Unread 03-03-2004, 09:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BurntHombre
Not to be too much of a partisan, but Martin warranties are excellent for what they cover. It's amazing to hear the stuff they fix even on 30+ year old guitars. You said "usually," so I'm sure you had the Martin warranty in mind as an exception.
Well, actually, I wasn't thinking in terms of acoustics, tho that is relevant.

Would you like me to elaborate?

Chesh
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Unread 03-03-2004, 09:20 PM   #9
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Acoustics bust way easier then electrics....
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Unread 03-03-2004, 09:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rainer123
Acoustics bust way easier then electrics....
True.

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Unread 03-04-2004, 08:24 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CheshireCat
Well, actually, I wasn't thinking in terms of acoustics, tho that is relevant.

Would you like me to elaborate?
Yes -- I am an empty vessel waiting to be filled with knowledge.
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Unread 03-04-2004, 12:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BurntHombre
Yes -- I am an empty vessel waiting to be filled with knowledge.
You're humility is inspiring and most noble.

Well, this is a treatise from another post, and put's things in an interesting light. Now, mind you, it's specifically referrencing solid body electrics, but when I researched this, I found that the acoustic counterpart warranty wasn't really much better. You'll see what I mean.

Quote:
Now, for those who have read the above tip and immediately thought, "Oh no!!!! What about the warranty!?! You'll VOID THE WARRANTY!!", I include here a treatise and analysis I did of this very subject.

Now, understand, I am not advocating that anyone do anything that patently voids a warranty, but then again, as you'll see, there really isn't much to void unfortunately.

What do I mean by that? Well, read along . . .

Quote:
Hot-rodding is the great equalizer. With it, you are not limited in any way, shape, or form to what kind of gear you have to get, because of "stock availability". You have total freedom to play the gear that YOU want to play, totally to your spec. That's how I ended up building guitars in the first place. I had a Squier Bullet that had a plywood body, but decent everything else, so I thought I would do the ultimate hotrod and change out the body! Well, one thing lead to another, and before I knew it, I had a totally new guitar (which looked nothing like a Bullet!).

Hot-rodding is your friend!!

Now, there are those individuals who, upon hearing the term Hot-Rodding, play the waranty card (the same card they should have already sent in if they really cared about registering it) and say "No, don't do that! You'll void your waranty!!".

Okay . . .

Let's dig into this a little more and really analyze this.

Here is some of Gibson's warranty from the website.

Quote:
Your new Gibson instrument is warranted to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for the life of the original retail purchaser, subject to the limitations contained in this warranty.

[Then, later on . . . ]

THIS WARRANTY DOES NOT COVER:

yadda yadda yadda

6. Any instrument that has been subjected to extremes of humidity or temperature.

more yaddas, then . . .

8. Any instrument that has been purchased from an unauthorized dealer, or upon which unauthorized repair or service has been performed.
9. Any factory installed electronics after a period of one (I) year following the original date of purchase.
Well, first of all, let's realize one thing here. If a guitar is built right, and treated well, there should never be any warranty issues of this nature. Gutiars are incredibly durable, and you would have to seriously abuse it before they would start to break down.

We're talking about a solid piece of wood here!! And metal. And plastic. These are very durable things indeed. That's why so much stuff is built with them!! (Guitars obviously being no exception.) If you know what you are looking at, you can pretty much spot faulty craftsmanship.

So, really, the warranty is a non-issue. That's why Gibson (and perhaps Fender, but they didn't have warranty info on their site . . . funny, you'd think they would) can offer these "Lifetime" warranties. They know darn well that there is absolutely nothing that you can do to their guitar to damage it, in any way, shape, or form. The only things you could, in theory, do to your guitar would be covered (read: cover their assets) by the limitations. So, it totally looks like they are covering your back, when, really, they are covering theirs.

Now, nothing wrong with that. You have to draw the line somewhere. I'm just saying not to let that get in the way of you modding your guitar to fit your needs. I mean, isn't that why you bought it? To fit your needs?

That all said, let's look at some interesting things in the warranty. (I'll assume, for practicality sake, that Fender's warranty is probably identical. Heck, I'll bet $$$ they use the same lawyers.)

Quote:
6. Any instrument that has been subjected to extremes of humidity or temperature.
Well, that covers the truss-rod. The only persnickity thing on a guitar is the truss-rod. ("persnickity" = techincal term ) That's also the only thing that can't be replaced. Well, it can, but it is a pain and a half!!!! A Witch with a capital B! Way pricey. They have to take the fretboard off, then pry out the trussrod, and replace it. They would just assume replace the neck, which on a Gibby also won't be cheap. On a Fender, they will, most likely.

So, if the truss-rod is bad, then odds are, the neck won't work (i.e. hold tension) and you'll find that out straight away. If, however, you have problems later, they can always say that it was extreme temperature, like having left it in your car on a hot day or something.

Not that they would purposefully defraud their customers, but I have heard tons of horror stories about warranty loopholes and how companies got out of paying up.

Other than that, the truss rod is the only real issue, if any.

Quote:
8. Any instrument that has been purchased from an unauthorized dealer, or upon which unauthorized repair or service has been performed.
Well, that pretty much eliminates everyone except Brook Mays, GC, or Sam Ash, (Musician's Friend?) plus a few guitar boutiques.

What does that mean in real world terms?

Well, how many posts have I seen on here about getting gear on Ebay? Tons, no doubt. Well, who here thinks that Ebay is a warranteed/authorized dealer? How about all of your local mom and pop shops? Very few of them, if any are actually authorized Gibson dealers, or Fender, Iby, and so on. So, you can get a brand new guitar there, or in excellent condition, and you can forget about any warranty coverage, period.

Also, check out the bit about only sending your gear to "authorized dealers". That pretty much precludes your friendly neighborhood Luthier or Guitar Tech down the street, unless, of course, he's an "authorized warranty repairman." That probably precludes that really knowledgable guy at your local shop. Also, GC's don't have repairmen. What if you live out in East BumbleFudge? What if you have to send your guitar to some guy two states away, just because he's "authorized"? Well, you're definitely paying for it (so much for the benefits of the warranty) and then you have effectively voided the warranty!! Remember? Any instrument upon which unauthorized repair or service has been performed has been voided. Now, I would hope that that sort of thing would be determined on a case by case basis, and within the context of matters both customary and reasonable, but, if not, they are covered legally.

So, what is an unauthorized repair? Well, how about a nut job? What about the electronics? What about a blown pot? You could spend $20 to have it repaired, or $50 to ship it to the warranty center so as not to void the warranty.

BTW, speaking of electronics, consider this:

Quote:
9. Any factory installed electronics after a period of one (I) year following the original date of purchase.
Interesting, yes? The only parts that can breakdown and be problematic in a real, practical way, are only covered for ONE YEAR!?!

See, guitars are not like regular electric appliances, except in one way. They don't have sophisticated, delicate, brittle moving parts or components, or circuits, like toasters, VCR's, and microwaves, except for the guitar electronics themselves. And actually, guitar electronics are usually more durable than all those other things. But you still get blown pots from time to time, or lousey, cheap wiring, and so on. For instance, a poorly soldered joint/connection could come loose, in which case the sound can go out on your guitar. Something might ground out. And that kind of repair is only covered for one year, which means you won't likely get any coverage for it, because it will probably work it's way loose after a year or so of playing. (As you turn the knobs, you apply a micronic amount of torque, which, on lesser parts can wear them out after repeated turnings, like turning your volume down to kill the sound.)

So, regardless of warranty, you're paying for that. Period. Tho, here's my question, if the electronics go on your guitar, after warranty no less and you have to pay for it, do you still have to send it to the warranty center? Even tho it isn't covered, and you have to pay for it, will having your local guy fix it - like replacing a $2 pot - will that count as an unauthorized repair? Will that void your warranty, even tho the repair wouldn't have been covered by the warranty? Hmmmmmmm . . . Don't know, but that would make for an interesting Catch-22. Not like you can just call up Orville Gibson and straighten that out. I'd like to know how they handle that. I mean, will the customer service dept. tell you to talk to the authorized tech, and he, in turn, will tell you to talk to the customer service department?

And, here's the biggest kicker of all!!!!! You guys will love this one!!!

Have you ever noticed how many do-it-yourselfers we have on here? Tons! All the way from Nate doing his on Tele work, all the way to some newbies trying to tweak their trusses. Well, who here is an authorized repairman for Gibson (Fender, Iby, etc.)? Anyone? I know I'm not. I'm betting Nate isn't either. Hmmmmmm. Isn't that interesting. If a single person on here even thought about trading out a blown pot on their Gibby, or maybe getting a better quality switch for their Tele, that would void the warranty, no?

Notice that I have not mentioned hot-rodding once in this whole section of this post on warranties? We are just talking about basic functioning of the guitar.

Now, I am not trying to make Gibson, or anyone else, out to be some big faceless corporation who doesn't care about their customers, but they are covered from every angle (which gives me pause to wonder), and that warranty doesn't strike me as very valuable. The most vulnerable parts are only covered for a year, anything that happens to the guitar is not covered, any truss rod issues can be written off as extreme temperature, the most durable parts that will probably last forever are covered for the life of the ORIGINAL OWNER (so much for "resale" value) and you can only buy from limited stores, meaning buying at retail price, or whatever you can haggle. Not to mention that you can't touch it, nor can anyone else who hasn't been anointed with the imprimatur of "authorized" by Gibson (Fender, so on).

There's really not much there to void, is there?
Well, like I said, I don't advocate carelessness nor recklessness, but if you want to make an improvement to your guitar, that's something you can definitely do without fear of voiding something which really doesn't have much to void.
Does that make sense?

And, as far as knowledge goes, does you cup runneth over, you great Empy Vessel, you?



Chesh
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Last edited by CheshireCat; 03-04-2004 at 12:24 PM.
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Unread 03-04-2004, 12:51 PM   #13
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Excellent treatise on warranties! The warranty-as-marketing-gimmick is definitely something to be wary of.

Speaking of which, this reminds me of an unexpectedly good experience I recently had with some gear. I'll post about it later.
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Unread 03-04-2004, 02:15 PM   #14
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That term itself would have me running for cover. Factory 2nd is usually used for a "BLEM" or otherwise less than perfect specimen from the factory. Many companies that have a good reputation like Taylor do not allow them out of the factory. They cut them up. There is no room for them with a Taylor label on the headstock. AAAA is a wood rating that can be used to designate grain and tone. AAAA is one of the higher quality rating woods. Taylor calls the higher stuff PS or presentation series quality while PRS calls them 10 tops.

The term Factory 2nd AAAA is in itself an oxymoron. It is a blemished perfect piece of wood? Come on. They are feeding you a line. Walk away.
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