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  1. #1

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    Well after over 5 months of waiting, my 1950 Gibson L-4 has finally arrived! Some of you may have seen my thread back in mid April where I was asking for info on L-4's and during the thread I pulled the trigger on one from Chicago Music Exchange. After the deal was done they told me there would be a delay as they had to have the CITES inspection done due to the Brazilian Rosewood neck, and with the Covid lockdown just starting it could be while!

    Well it was! It wasn't until early September that it was shipped, and then it was stuck in customs in the UK for over 3 weeks! It's a long story but UPS were absolutely hopeless, I was phoning them almost daily and being told a different story every time I called. They eventually told me I needed an import license because of the Brazilian Rosewood. This had never happened to me before and I've imported several vintage guitars with this wood from the US to the UK during the past couple of years (including a 1960 Martin 00-18 in April this year). There was even talk of them destroying the guitar at one point, and this was a day after I paid another £380 in import duty.

    Anyway, eventually I spoke to a very helpful lady at UPS brokerage called Michelle who told me that Brazilian Rosewood was only restricted and needed an import license if it was over 10kg. The whole package including the hard case was only 11kg! So after explaining to her that it was only the fretboard and possibly the floating bridge that was made of BR she contacted customs and managed to get them to release the guitar.

    How could customs themselves not know this! And if they did, surely they would realise that if the whole package weighed 11kg that there was not 10kg of Brazilian Rosewood in there, even if the guitar was made entirely out of it! They had already opened the package to get the CITES export doc so they knew there was a hard case etc.

    Anyway, rant over! And happy to say it was worth the wait and hassle. It's a really nice example with a great neck - totally straight and nice angle. Very playable with a low action and the bridge is even jacked up a little. Sounds great with lots of natural reverb. Here's a couple of pics.....

    (finally!) 1950 Gibson L-4-img_0723-jpg(finally!) 1950 Gibson L-4-img_5805-jpg

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  3. #2

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    Gorgeous! That guitar had quite a journey. Glad it finally arrived!!

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Paulie2
    Gorgeous! That guitar had quite a journey. Glad it finally arrived!!
    Thanks Paulie, you and me both!

  5. #4

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    What a great guitar, I sure like my 1952. I hope you have many wonderful years together.
    Thanks John

  6. #5

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    Happy End! Congrats!

  7. #6

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    Wow! You know there's some tunes stored up in that baby! Beautiful!

  8. #7

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    A nail biter with a happy ending. A big Congrats ! I am shipping a very expense new L4 right now via UPS so I am in nail biting mode.

    Do enjoy

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by powerwagonjohn
    What a great guitar, I sure like my 1952. I hope you have many wonderful years together.
    Thanks John
    Thanks John, I'm sure I will! I can't see me letting this one go

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by TOMMO
    Happy End! Congrats!
    Thanks Tommo

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by rsh
    Wow! You know there's some tunes stored up in that baby! Beautiful!
    Thanks, and yes indeed! It has a great vibe to it, it's covered in finish checking and lots of general play wear, the neck is very worn and feels super comfy! Its obviously been played a lot, I'd love to know the history of it but unfortunately the seller didn't know.

    (finally!) 1950 Gibson L-4-img_2926-jpg

  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by vinnyv1k
    A nail biter with a happy ending. A big Congrats ! I am shipping a very expense new L4 right now via UPS so I am in nail biting mode.

    Do enjoy
    Thanks! I'm sure you'll be fine, if customs hold it just make sure they are aware that there is less than 10kg of rosewood and they should release it. Like I said I've never had a problem with previous guitars. If I knew the rule about 10kg I would have just called customs straight away and it probably would have got sorted a lot sooner! Best of luck

  13. #12

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    Glad to hear this turned out well. Play it in good health!

  14. #13

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    polish that honey up a bit and enjoy!

    congrats...a guitar purchase you will never forget!! haha

    cheers

  15. #14

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    That's a very nice intrument. Congratulations, and play it in good health!

  16. #15

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    Such a long wait....with added uncertainty to deal with.
    So glad its finally arrived and even better that you're happy with it!

    Looks good.....bet it sounds good too!

    z

  17. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by zizala View Post
    Such a long wait....with added uncertainty to deal with.
    So glad its finally arrived and even better that you're happy with it!

    Looks good.....bet it sounds good too!

    z
    Thanks Zizala, it does indeed, it sounds fuller than a lot of other archtops I've played with a really sweet top end. It's just what I was looking for. Thanks again for your help on the original thread!

  18. #17
    Thanks guys, it will carry on being played a lot thats for sure!

    neatomic - good point, I meant to ask about what you guys use to polish your guitars?