Is Brazilian Rosewood worth it?

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zavaletas
Posts: 261
Joined: Sat May 19, 2007 9:51 pm
Location: Tucson

Re: Is Brazilian Rosewood worth it?

Post by zavaletas » Tue Dec 26, 2017 11:04 pm

As a dealer who has to deal with the hassles of importing and exporting, Brazilian rosewood is a royal pain. Buying new from overseas requires the maker have legal Brazilian rosewood-- whose chain of custody, bills of sale, date to prior to 1992 when it was listed as an endangered species. The same is true if you wish to export a guitar made prior to 1992, you must show that it had been legally imported prior to 1992.

As to acoustic properties, it is a bitter harder than Indian rosewood and so has a brighter tone, which needs to be managed (some makers will not sand it as fine as they might Indian, for example). There are many species which compare well-- within the the dalbergia family (all now listed as well as of Jan 2, 2017 and requiring CITES permits) Madagascar and Cocobolo and Dalbergia spruciana come to mind. Spruciana is so close to Brazilian that only chemical tests can distinguish them. There are many good non-dalbergia species that are now being tried-- see Lmii.com
James, Zavaleta's La Casa de Guitarras

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Frousse
Posts: 335
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2015 8:02 pm

Re: Is Brazilian Rosewood worth it?

Post by Frousse » Tue Dec 26, 2017 11:42 pm

To me it is not worth all the hassles.

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joachim33
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Location: Scania

Re: Is Brazilian Rosewood worth it?

Post by joachim33 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:11 am

Within the EU BR guitars require permits even for advertisement for sale. Once you did anything illegal the guitar will always be illegal and can never be legalised again. An illegal guitar may in some countries be gifted. I think you can always pass as part of your inheritance.

In short: Hoever good it is, based on the current situation if you live in the EU, I would advise against any BR guitar. There have been prosecutions for BR guitar trading in e.g. Sweden.

coreybox
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Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:24 am
Location: Dallas, TX

Re: Is Brazilian Rosewood worth it?

Post by coreybox » Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:44 pm

BRW isn't a great predictor of whether a guitar will be a stellar instrument or not.

Great and even terrible guitars can be produced with the wood.

IMO, the builder/design is the single greatest factor. I'd consult the builder/company with their opinions on if BRW is a good option for you.

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zavaletas
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Joined: Sat May 19, 2007 9:51 pm
Location: Tucson

Re: Is Brazilian Rosewood worth it?

Post by zavaletas » Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:32 pm

I have not bought Brazilian in sometime because of the CITES issues. Even when an instrument is legit, these days it can take months to export or import. I recently sold three instruments which had rosewood to a collector overseas. These guitars, which were over 80 years old, even without Brazilian rosewood being directly involved were a real headache, as the identification of woods were questioned. I had to provide proof that the wood was not Brazilian-- which required my paying for an expert to run tests. Had they had any Brazilian components, I would have had to supply proof of legal importation or would have been required to provide bills of sales going back to prior to the listing of Brazilian in 1992. With the listing of all species of rosewood on CITES as of January 2, 2017, even Indian rosewood has become a headache. The last two guitars that I have imported even though they had CITES certificates, these took the maker's months to obtain, and then once sent, they took about 6-10 weeks to clear customs and inspections. As a result, I am ready to swear off all rosewoods as not being worth the hassles.
James, Zavaleta's La Casa de Guitarras

Cincy2
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Location: Tampa, FL

Re: Is Brazilian Rosewood worth it?

Post by Cincy2 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:46 am

coreybox wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:44 pm
BRW isn't a great predictor of whether a guitar will be a stellar instrument or not.

Great and even terrible guitars can be produced with the wood.

IMO, the builder/design is the single greatest factor. I'd consult the builder/company with their opinions on if BRW is a good option for you.
I agree completely. But when a great builder is paired with great old growth Brazilian, the end result is magical. Three dimensional trebles that I have not heard with any other wood.

Cincy
2015 Traphagen Brazilian/Spruce

A wood box, empty
A sensitive heart, too full
You and I connect.

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