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  1. #51

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    About 18 years ago I had a factory repair on a guitar by Gibson that involved refinishing. It arrived back to me in January during single digit temperatures. I was very excited to get it back. I was ignorant about letting the box warm up. As I flipped open the lid I watched the dreaded fog appear on the guitar followed by crazing of the finish. I didn't take blame, and asked Gibson to take it back since they had shipped it when it was 4 - 8 degrees outside and something must have happened. Luckily, they refinished it at no cost and threw in a free T-shirt. But I learned an important lesson - that I was ignorant and sneaky.

    I keep a humidity/temperature gauge in my instrument room. It is for a reptile tank and has a remote sensor on a 3-4 foot wire. I make a hole in the box and feed it into the box to monitor the temperature of the outside of the case. I suppose any thermometer on a stick or coat hanger would work. When the case is near room temperature, I remove it from the shipping box and wait a 3-4 more hours to let the guitar warm up. Then I open it. This has worked well for me. Also like someone else suggested, always arrange shipping so a guitar does not sit in a truck over the weekend.


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #52

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    I have the Wu 400 coming soon, but I don't plan to wait that long to unpack it. Dead of winter here in southeast Texas, and the temperature forecast for the next 10 days is near 70.

    Actually, it's technically not winter yet. The first day of winter is the solstice, the longest night/shortest day of the year. During winter, the days get longer and the nights shorter, contrary to popular belief. We did have snow last week, though, and an inch of snow is huge news here. It didn't last the day, but there were millions of photos made of what there was.

  4. #53

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    The Wu's have a very delicate finish, think french polish for the color and only a couple of thin coats of lacquer and then almost all of it buffed out, ala Eastman. Let that sucker rest in the box a while. Please... You really did get a killer price on that sucker. Anxious to see sunny sky NGD photos of your beast !!! Good luck.


  5. #54

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    175 in the box just arrived in Fairbanks Alaska from Seattle
    I'll let it sit until Sunday Morning

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  6. #55

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    I apologise if this is the wrong forum, but I'm travelling by commercial airline and checking my ES-175 in its original Gibson case as baggage.

    Should I remove the bridge and put it in the case and put bubble wrap across the top of the guitar and under the tailpiece? Or just loosen the strings? Or do nothing?

    The last similar guitar I travelled with in this way came through with damage to the case but the guitar was fine. Solidbodies and thinlines have previously all come through okay.

  7. #56

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    Last time I did this, I wrapped the case in bubble wrap and put it in a cardboard box, with a piece of fibreboard covering the top side of the case. I didn't remove the bridge or anything, detuned it though.

    *Also packed it snug within the case itself with bubble wrap/"air bags"

    If you're flying overseas be careful with the whole rosewood thing

  8. #57

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    I would simply not fly with such a guitar, unless you used a flight case!! Too many risks ...

  9. #58

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    I remove the bridge usually when I'm shipping. A second choice is to detune some and pack under the strings on both sides of the bridge.

    I learned this the hard way. I received a nice guitar with the top really scratched up. The bridge had slid loose and gouged the top a few times. The loose strings scratched the top.

  10. #59

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    You will improve your odds of the guitar surviving greatly if you use a Hiscox Pro II case for your ES-175. Of course, you may be a gambling person who lives on the edge of high risk.

    Since you don't seem to mind a damaged case, toss the Gibson case or sell it before you leave and get a Hiscox Pro II GAD Dreadnought from Musician's Friend. They are often on sale for between 10% and 15% discount off $279 Black, $329 White. Yeah, there is no equality in the colour of cases, too.

  11. #60

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    Remove the bridge!

  12. #61

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    I'm moving abroad and have a lot of guitars so I covered my bases by shipping some with my home furnishings; one by DHL; and two with rosewood by "muling" 'cause in thirty years I've never had my bags inspected at the particular airports involved.

    So, the link was very helpful and I did most of what they said. I LOWERED the bridge and pickups only, however, so that the bridge, pickup rings, and pickups would all share the stress of any pressure or blow.

    Turkish Airlines were very attentive, and upon arrival the guitar appeared with other fragile items on a separate baggage cart, not the conveyor. And the case was fine. I'm NOT recommending this method of shipping, but out of about a dozen guitars I've shipped in the hold, one had damage to the case. The rest were fine.

    MANY thanks for the advice!

  13. #62

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    Shipped over 100 archtops. Always loosened the strings AND wrapped them with heavy brown paper. Reinforced the bridge placement both above and below. Never had a single issue...knock on Spruce.

    Packing an archtop properly is not rocket science. Do a thread search here and you'll discover those packing threads.

  14. #63

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    Hello everybody,

    I need to ship a thinline archtop guitar, and I was wondering--is it necessary to remove the bridge while doing this? If so, what sort of tape is safe to put on top of a nitro finish to mark the bridge placement?

    The reason I ask is because this website here: shipping your guitar suggests that you actually don't remove the bridge on thinline guitars.

    Thanks for the help!

  15. #64

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    I have never removed a bridge on a guitar that I have shipped and I have never received a guitar with the bridge removed. I just loosen the strings slightly and put a thin piece of cardboard between the strings and the fret board and body so that the strings can’t dig into the frets or pick ups. Personally I wouldn’t worry about marking the bridge placement. If you leave the strings tuned a full step down it shouldn’t move.

  16. #65

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    Are you asking about a guitar w a floating bridge or for example a stop tailpiece on a Gibson 335?

    I always remove floating bridges, if the box the guitar is in takes a big shot in the area of the bridge it could easily damage it, you're focusing a lot of force in a small area, not ideal, seen it many times.
    But for a stop tail or similar, if you pad that area a little should be fine.

  17. #66

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    It’s a guitar with a floating bridge.

    that’s what I was thinking as well..

  18. #67

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    I see people marking the position of the bridge all the time when taking it of, but in 99% of the cases, the ‘dents’ or notches in the f-holes mark the position where it should be:

    (Here on a violin but you get the point.) No need for marking it with tape, pencil or sharpie!

    Personally I would remove the bridge for transport, if the guitar lands on its top, the bridge is prone to take the blow. (Although a good case should avoid that.)

  19. #68

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    PS: advises to remove the bridge. I think by thinlines they mean semis a la 335 with fixed bridges....

  20. #69

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    I just packed a Super 400 last night. This is what I did, and it is the best way I know of.

    The recipient didn't want the strings I had on it, so I removed them. I took the bridge off and taped it to the bridge bass with painter's tape so the post wheels won't turn then put it in the compartment. I removed the toggle switch and likewise put that in the compartment. The tailpiece is wrapped so it won't gouge the top. Lastly, and very importantly, the headstock is tightly wedged with firm packing above and below to prevent flexion forward or backward when dropped. It is packed rigidly under pressure front and back.

    If the buyer wanted the strings, I'd leave them on. If not, toss them. Once I received a guitar in which the strings got loose and scratched the top.

    The most dangerous time in an archtop's life is shipping.

  21. #70

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    I've seen it done both ways with hollow archtops, thin and deep. Haven't had a problem so far, but the sample size is small. I think it's better to remove the bridge and stow it in the case pocket. The strings can stay in place, but something needs to be used to prevent the strings from striking the top. A piece of cloth, perhaps around a piece of plastic foam padding, works well for this. It can be held in place with tape, placed over the strings and onto the padding. Absolutely pad underneath the tailpiece. I also think it's better to remove the pickguard, because those do not handle sharp blows well. The danger there, IMO, is mostly not to the pickguard itself, but to the top and/or side of the guitar, where a screw could be ripped out, or the top hammered in. To me, this is more likely than damage from the bridge, because the pickguard is so much larger, therefore more force applied to smaller areas. I have received guitars with the strings still at full tension, more or less in tune, without damage, but I wouldn't want to bet on it. On a semi-hollow, the block is under the bridge, and protects the top from damage. The pickguard is still a little vulnerable, though. On the few shipments I've made, I follow's advice. He probably handles more shipments in a week than I have ever been involved in.

  22. #71

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    "I removed the toggle switch and likewise put that in the compartmen"

    Is this a triple pu toggle like on a Switchmaster? I could see taking that off but not a standard switchcraft toggle.

  23. #72

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    I’ve shipped loads of archtops. I used to remove the bridge, but after talking to many others who deal with archtops, I stopped have probably shipped over 100 archtops since then. I now tape the bridge in place with 3M blue painter’s tape and loosen the strings. I have not had a single instance of damage as a result. If packed well, the guitar will be unable to move at all within the case, negating any chance of the bridge causing additional pressure to the top should there be a shock to the guitar.

    Interestingly, the most common cause of shipping damage to any guitar in my experience is a failure to secure any loose item that ship with the guitar. Loose parts or accessories can rattle around and cause significant finish damage.

  24. #73

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    I've done it both ways without problems. Lately, I've just been putting the bridge in the case pocket in bubble wrap, along with the endpin (the only major shipping damage I've ever had was a '63 BKC that apparently was dropped off a loading dock, cracking the tail block.) Here's the most recent thinline I've shipped, ready to go:

    On Shipping Guitars-byrd-packed_01-jpg

    Danny W.

  25. #74

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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon
    "I removed the toggle switch and likewise put that in the compartmen"

    Is this a triple pu toggle like on a Switchmaster? I could see taking that off but not a standard switchcraft toggle.
    Why, yes it is.

    Nonetheless I have received a guitar once with the toggle switch depressed into the top.

  26. #75

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    Here's a couple of pics from my packing last night.

    First, how many things can you spot that may get smashed into the top?

    On Shipping Guitars-1-jpg

    Next, this is the headstock packing I did. You don't want any plastic to touch the nitro. Notice the neck does not rest on the support under it. That will only occur when the case is closed. There is uniform pressure under the entire headstock to prevent cracking at the neck/headstock area.

    On Shipping Guitars-2-jpg

    There is a final layer of protection to put downward force on the headstock when the case is closed.

    On Shipping Guitars-3-jpg

    I don't claim that this is the best, but I've never had the same damage twice. There are lots of thoughts on packing. I haven't had any in years actually.

  27. #76

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    One thing to do is mark the bridge bass with a small dental pick underneath. This allows the person to know what side bridge is oriented. It can make a difference slightly and while normally it is obvious sometimes the saddle gets taken off. I suppose the key is to publish specs to mark bass side.

    I mentioned this because I recently made a new saddle for my new super 400, had a tunomatic and I wanted ebony. I notice Gibson did not mark the orientation like I am used to seeing and really in the end it did not matter but it did make me think a bit a first. Normally my mentor Hollenbeck always marked the bass side and a few weeks later I worked on a Hollenbeck and had to take all the hardware off for cleaning and sure enough the little mark just gave me instant success.

    Remove the bridge from a floating type set up it just makes it safer. Also if a player is not comfortable with getting the guitar set back up it is worth a few small dollars to take it to a pro for set up. That can be good just to get another eye on the guitar you bought and while many players are capable of setting up there guitars it should not cost much unless something needs real work.

  28. #77

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    I bought a used Epiphone Sorrento, laminated thin archtop online from a national retailer and it was shipped from the west coast to the east coast via UPS. Guitar was tuned up, and naked in it's hsc and that was packed in an unlined cardboard box. The guitar was fine, and that was my experience.

  29. #78

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    I just sold my 2013 Taylor T5z earlier this week. The guitar was shipped from western PA to North Carolina. The buyer sent me two sets of photographs of the guitar. Apparently he opened the guitar upon arrival. The buyer identified several issues. The first set of photographs show a chip missing at the bottom of the fret board. The other email maintains there is a buzzing issue and a bulge in the fretboard. He said he's taking it to Sam Ash an authorized Taylor rep.I thank the seller for the information and notice that it arrived safely. The first thing I asked is if he allowed the guitar to accumulate for a minimum of 24 hours. I mentioned the temp and moisture condition between PA and NC. I have not heard back as of yet.
    I discounted the guitar to price it below other similar models. Then he ask for another discount and free shipping which I gave.

    The guitar was fully insured for the sale amount.
    Any thoughts? Please see below.
    Last edited by Wildcat; 01-17-2020 at 12:48 PM.

  30. #79

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    On Shipping Guitars-20200117_095524-jpg
    On Shipping Guitars-20200117_095552-jpg
    On Shipping Guitars-20200117_095642-jpg
    On Shipping Guitars-20200117_095721-jpg

  31. #80

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    The danger in selling online is that some buyers are too nitpicky or dishonest to let a deal be a deal. I have had guitars come to me that needed a truss rod adjustment from the climate change or have an undisclosed flaw and I always figure that is the risk I took (unless the flaw is substantial). Sorry that this happened to you. If the extra discount that the buyer seeks is small, it is not worth fighting over. Negotiate your best deal with him and move on (and never buy or sell with him again).

  32. #81

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    Thank you for good thoughts.
    If anything I tend to under estimate how good of a condition a guitar is to avoid issues like this. I discounted the guitar knowing I was losing money.
    I listed on this forum, The Gear Page, Acoustic guitar forum, Craigslist, Reverb, and Ebay.
    Made up my mind this is the last transaction on Ebay. I have 450 transactions with 100% feedback over the past 14 years. Time to move on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    The danger in selling online is that some buyers are too nitpicky or dishonest to let a deal be a deal. I have had guitars come to me that needed a truss rod adjustment from the climate change or have an undisclosed flaw and I always figure that is the risk I took (unless the flaw is substantial). Sorry that this happened to you. If the extra discount that the buyer seeks is small, it is not worth fighting over. Negotiate your best deal with him and move on (and never buy or sell with him again).

  33. #82

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    I always list everything "wrong" in the description, but I also state that the sale is final, sold as is, no refunds full or partial.
    Haven't had an issue....

  34. #83

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildcat
    I know the feeling. But I personally hold off for 24. Had a friend who taught, play out and graduated from Berkeley yell at me when I opened the guitar case outside on a cold day. Shut that case!

    That chip was not there when I shipped it. Also the setup was good and guitar sounded great. No problems with the tone and electronics.

    To help mitigate these potential disputes over item condition, I tend to video any expensive item I am selling, just before placing the item in a shipping box. I keep the camera rolling until the item is sealed in the box.

  35. #84

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    Just slap a shipping label onto a gigbag and send economy

  36. #85

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    On Shipping Guitars-ec7e43a5-9ef2-40dd-9f7e-60a0b81bd89d-jpg

  37. #86

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    So....what was in the bag?

  38. #87

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    I always make sure a seller knows how to correctly pack a guitar before they ship, sop

  39. #88

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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon
    I always make sure a seller knows how to correctly pack a guitar before they ship, sop

    i did, in great detail. He agreed and then went ahead anyway

  40. #89

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    Miraculously it survived. The driver said they processed it by hand in the depot, and put it in the passenger seat of his truck. They also never see this and did their best.
    Restored faith in humanity !

  41. #90

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    I’ve had this happen a few times, although typically with a label slapped on a hard case, although also on chipboard cases, and once a gig bag. USPS is the only ones who it seems will accept a guitar like this, but in my experience they have always ended up taking great care.

  42. #91

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    An inside was a 1924 Lloyd Lore L5 right?

  43. #92

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    Quote Originally Posted by deacon Mark
    An inside was a 1924 Lloyd Lore L5 right?
    close ! But a ‘94 not a ‘24

  44. #93

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    He shipped an L-5 in a gig bag. That is unprecedented!

  45. #94

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    OK guys, true story here:

    John Jorgensen told me that he once got off a plane and went to luggage claim to get his Calton cased guitar and while waiting saw a guitar in a gig bag that had been checked and was now going around in the turnstyle. John looked at it and saw a label that said "Joe Pass". John told me that he couldn't believe that it was the "Joe Pass" and after retrieving his guitar, John decided to wait and see what was up with the checked gig bagged guitar. John told me that it was indeed the "Joe Pass" who came and snapped up the guitar. I asked John if he talked to him and John said he was intimidated to approach him (I sure understand that!). John asked me if I thought that he would have done that with his D'Aquisto and I surmised that it must have been his Ibanez. But who knows? Too late to ask Joe.....