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Thread: diminished value from a repair?

  1. #1

    Default diminished value from a repair?

    Hi mandolin friends! I don't post very often, but visit the site multiple times a day - the classifieds in particular

    So I have a 2019 red diamond mandolin (fantastic in so many ways). I decided to have the frets replaced with larger ones. When it was shipped back the headstock got cracked, despite being in a new hoffee case and a very sturdy box (heartbreaking - I'm so bummed!). Such a frustrating and upsetting experience, but it is what it is. I talked with the builder Don MacRostie (incredibly nice guy), and he said he could repair it so that it wouldn't be visible. I'm curious what folks think about how much the value would be diminished (it was $15k new)? Even if repaired perfectly, if deciding to sell it in the future I would of course disclose the repair. I know if I was buying a used high end mandolin I'd be very hesitant to buy one that had been repaired and certainly wouldn't pay nearly as much as if it had never been repaired.

    Any thoughts? I appreciate the input!

    happy pickin' to all!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: diminished value from a repair?

    If he fixes it and you can't tell, the repair will make it stronger than it originally was. So why tell anyone? Just keep it forever. I buy to play not as an investment, well as an investment in myself.

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: diminished value from a repair?

    Typically, a cracked head decreases the value of a used instrument by 50% of what it would otherwise bring in the same condition.

    Since the builder is still active, you might want to consider having him re-neck the instrument rather than repairing the head; especially since the mandolin is of very recent issue. It would seem to me that the resale value of a 2019 mandolin with a 2020 neck by the original builder would be considerably higher than a mandolin with a repaired head, especially if he does a good job of matching the finish.

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    Registered User grassrootphilosopher's Avatar
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    Default Re: diminished value from a repair?

    In the vintage guitar world a refinish would cut the value in half. So it is with a broken headstock, etc.

    Bu the more damage and repairs a perfectly functional instrument has suffered the less the whole number of repairs will affect the (remaining) value.

    So you have a refinish and a broken headstock your guitar is not worth 1/4th of the orignial value.

    In the mandolin world things seem a bit different. A refinish (f.ex. by Steve Gilchrist) will not really affect the value much. A broken curlique/ear on an F-5 will affect the value marginally. A cracked headstock is different to a broken (off) headstock.

    Letīs say a broken headstock devalues the (non vintage) mandolin by 1/3rd.
    Olaf

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    Default Re: diminished value from a repair?

    Is the break structural or superficial? I would think that would make a considerable difference.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: diminished value from a repair?

    If it was me it would already be on the way to Don for the repair.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  10. #7
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    Default Re: diminished value from a repair?

    Reading into the above responses, it seems like simply stating ...

    Quote Originally Posted by PacificPicker View Post
    ... the headstock got cracked ...
    ... can have different meanings to different folks. Photos or a more detailed description might help.
    - Ed

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    Registered User JAK's Avatar
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    Default Re: diminished value from a repair?

    Just don't ever sell it, then it's not a problem. If it's a Red Diamond then it's a keeper....
    John A. Karsemeyer

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    Default Re: diminished value from a repair?

    Ed's correct. We'd need to know more to assess any particular instrument. In general, a clean break that's well repaired will reduce the value by about 30% compared to market price of the same instrument without the damage. The uglier the break and/or the repair, the worse it gets.

    Having a new neck made is one option (on a recent instrument) but it's seldom economically feasible. If replaced by the original maker, it will likely raise the resale value, but not usually enough to cover the cost of the replacement neck when the basic repair is inexpensive by comparison. Since he offered, I'd have it repaired by Don and move along.

    This kind on thing makes a good case for an inland marine insurance policy, such as sold by Heritage. It would cover the cost of the repair and the diminished value.
    Todd Yates

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    Default Re: diminished value from a repair?

    To put things into perspective, a scroll tip broken off the upper edge of a peghead is not a major concern and does not heavily de-value an instrument, especially if it has been skillfully repaired.
    A major crack or break which extends the full width of the peghead de-values an instrument significantly.

  14. #11

    Default Re: diminished value from a repair?

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    Hi all, thanks for all the quick responses. I attached a picture. Definitely structural, it's pretty much hanging on by a thread. I chatted with Don first thing this morning and will send it to him for repair, and I'm sure it'll be beautifully done and likely not even that noticeable. I do have instrument insurance, which covers devaluation. But I'm trying to determine if it's worth going through the hassle of getting multiple appraisals once the repair is done along with the deductible. It's a fantastic mandolin and far more than I can justify for my ability level, and I do plan to keep it, but never know if unforeseen circumstances force me to sell it down the road...

  15. #12

    Default Re: diminished value from a repair?

    That's really not what I would consider "structural". In my mind, structural would be top crack, side crack, neck snap or break at the nut, etc. I think a repair on this won't devalue your mandolin very much, maybe $500 in the grand scheme of things and maybe less with a great repair.

  16. #13
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    Default Re: diminished value from a repair?

    First off, that scroll breaking off is common. It's not going to affect the structure. It's more cosmetic than anything else. Send it Don and don't send it in the same case. This guy played one like that for years.
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    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: diminished value from a repair?

    A broken scroll on an F-Style mandolin is not what we'd normally think of as a "headstock crack" or "broken headstock". It's strictly cosmetic in the sense that it can be broken off entirely and the mandolin will still function. Structural damage implies a significant or total loss of function without a repair. I would expect this to have minimal impact on the value after a clean repair by the maker. Maybe it would knock $500 off the selling price, maybe nothing if nearly invisible.
    Todd Yates

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  19. #15
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: diminished value from a repair?

    Take a look at this thread. Frank Ford weighs in on how he fixes them as well in that thread. There are literally dozens of threads about this on the Cafe.

    I understand this is upsetting but this one is a pretty easy fix.
    Last edited by MikeEdgerton; Jul-15-2020 at 1:13pm.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: diminished value from a repair?

    Why multiple appraisals?
    Just send a copy of the bill to your insurance company. If you want to add an appraisal, one from the nearest established vintage or boutique dealer should be sufficient.

    Correctly repaired, the broken scroll will have only a small effect on the instrument's resale value.

  21. #17

    Default Re: diminished value from a repair?

    Hi all, thanks so much for the responses! I definitely see what folks mean about this not being a structural issue (apologies for using incorrect terminology, definitely not well-versed in this stuff), and it seems like it's not as big of a deal as I was originally thinking. I'm sure Don will do a fantastic job! Ron - the multiple appraisals were a requirement of the insurance company if trying to get compensated for diminished value, but I don't think there's a need to go down that road...

  22. #18
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    Default Re: diminished value from a repair?

    As other have said, NO, this is not exactly what we would refer to as a "cracked headstock." And NO, it is certainly not "structural" either, as it in no way affects the straightness of the neck, the path of the strings, the tension applied to them, and so on. It doesn't affect the mandolin sound, either.

    A broken headstock scroll (curlicue) is a common problem on F5 style mandolins -- it's their Achilles heel! -- and it's an easy and comparatively inexpensive fix. This scroll is strictly cosmetic, and it does not bear load.

    If the repair is done well, and Don is certainly the man for the job, then it should affect the resale value only marginally, if at all. Say, 5%-10% (tops).

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    Default Re: diminished value from a repair?

    Any recourse from shipper?
    -Newtonamic

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    Default Re: diminished value from a repair?

    Last year I had a new Campanella mandocello"s top crack during a 27 degree below zero clod snap. Heritage just said, get builder to evaluate, and send letter detailing repair, and decreased value, vs, top replacement and we will make decision with customer as to how to proceed.... letter written, full top replacement approaved.... no problem... great outfit with whom to work...
    John D

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    Default Re: diminished value from a repair?

    glue it, clamp it, pocket the $500 or whatever and take the wife on a megadate or a couple megadates, and score big points!!
    (big points come in handy down the road when you find that whatever that you simply must have and know is not necessary, but.........)

  27. #22
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    Default Re: diminished value from a repair?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    First off, that scroll breaking off is common. It's not going to affect the structure. It's more cosmetic than anything else. Send it Don and don't send it in the same case. This guy played one like that for years.
    Then he got it fixed and kept playing it. Now it's worth way more than it was before.

  28. #23
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: diminished value from a repair?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Haywood View Post
    Then he got it fixed and kept playing it. Now it's worth way more than it was before.
    Now it's probably the most valuable mandolin in the world. Go figure.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  29. #24
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    Default Re: diminished value from a repair?

    Don is one of the finest builders and nicest guys I know; I'm proud to call him a friend. There is no better person in the world to work on one of his instruments, but you might want to consider a different method for shipping it.

    That broken headstock scroll that is almost eventually guaranteed on every Gibson style clone F5 due to a very poor design flaw that has been going on for over 100 years: so common that you would think it was originally suggested by a repair person as a form of job security!

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  31. #25

    Default Re: diminished value from a repair?

    Not to redirect from the repair issue, but- looking at that break and how the Hoffee case cradles the neck its whole length, I'm trying to visualize how the mandolin could have shifted inside the case to impact the side of the headstock scroll? Shy of destroying the case (they're carbon fiber), it doesn't seem possible. Like the OP, I would think that's a very secure way to ship a mandolin. Would a Calton fare better?

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