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FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / Would you buy a 1972 Martin D18 for $400?

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archiestone
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El Californio

Oct 6th, 2017 12:41 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Definitely go 'Martin Authorized.'
The local guy here in East SF Bay is a wizard. Plus, if you ever decide to sell it you can say the work was done by a Martin-anointed repairman.

Chris Greene
FDP Host

Idaho, USA

Nine mile skid on a ten mile ride
Oct 6th, 2017 01:19 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Who's the guy, arch?

Ragtop
Contributing Member
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The older the violin

the sweeter the music.
Oct 6th, 2017 05:23 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Good on you to do right by that old guitar.

Sometimes we aren't the "owner" of old things, but rather the "curator."

You'll have yourself a stellar old player when the work is done.

I wish I would have bought a nice mahogany Martin decades ago, but I was a rosewood snob. Got one now, though.

reverend mikey
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N of I-90, E of I-29

You're old. Then vintage. Then good!
Oct 6th, 2017 08:08 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

No matter where you get it repaired, if the luthier does a good job you'll have an incredible guitar! Old wood is good wood!

Peegoo
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Enjoying

the downtime
Oct 6th, 2017 08:55 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"Who's the guy, arch?"

Probably Gryphon Stringed Instruments near Palo Alto. They are world-renown for their quality work, and a Martin-authorized repair center.

Viera
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Santee CA

I forgot my tagline
Oct 6th, 2017 09:21 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I've always liked the looks of those blackguard D-18s. If you like the feel of the neck and the sound as is it might be worth the $ and effort to have it repaired, even though you seem to be more of a rosewood guy.

BTW, I read your UMGF thread. Those guys really do like Kimsey. If I were going to spend what it will take to do the repairs you have mentioned, I would spend a little extra and have the braces shaved, which Kimsey is renowned for, among other mods.

If you haven't already done so you might ask Stephen Neal Saqui if he can and will do some of the Kimsey mods. His store (The Blue Guitar) did have a good reputation for repair work while he was down here in San Diego. I had some excellent work done on a Martin by one of his protégées.

Ayns

UK

England's Sloppiest Guitarist
Oct 6th, 2017 09:34 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Wow. I paid £1k (approx $2k at the time) for a 1974 D18-12 a few years ago. I've just checked eBay and they are £2k - £3k now. Good score.

Bubbalou

USA

THE LOW END OF UPPER TEJAS
Oct 6th, 2017 09:34 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

That is a beautiful guitar and should be a phenomenal guitar with some necessary TLC

Chris Greene
FDP Host

Idaho, USA

Nine mile skid on a ten mile ride
Oct 6th, 2017 10:44 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I spent about 45 minutes on the phone with Steve Neal and got his story as well as talking about what to do. Some time in the next couple weeks, I'll go camping up in the SNRA and bring the D18. He's about 45 miles from Stanley.

When I called Martin this morning, told them about the guitar, and mentioned I lived in Idaho, the guy (Harry) immediately said to bring it to Steve. I know Kimsey is legendary in certain circles but I'm not as interested in modding the guitar as much as restoring it to as close to original as I can.

archiestone
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El Californio

Oct 6th, 2017 11:08 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Not Gryphon here in the East Bay: Lewis Santer in beautiful downtown Oakland.
He did a neck reset under warranty for me 2 yrs ago and it is flawless.

Lewis Santer instruments

(This message was last edited by archiestone at 01:18 PM, Oct 6th, 2017)

larryguitar19
Contributing Member
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South Florida

larryguitar
Oct 6th, 2017 11:14 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

FWIW-- I have a theory on pickguards.

I'm not sure they are necessary if you play correctly. The proper technique should be to anchor with the pinky and palm and control the pick so it moves in a small area.

Gibson put on some el cheapo adhesive pickguards on their J45's which peeled off in humidity. Mine came off in the first year.

But honestly it's not a problem and I think the guitar sounds better without it.


Chris Greene
FDP Host

Idaho, USA

Nine mile skid on a ten mile ride
Oct 6th, 2017 11:25 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

archie, I looked up Martin repair sites last night and assumed it was Santer you talked about. I know about Gryphon. Our own 6L6 is a regular customer of theirs. However, I'm confident after Martin's strong endorsement of Steve Neal here in Idaho, especially after talking to him on the phone this morning.

Viera
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Santee CA

I forgot my tagline
Oct 6th, 2017 11:40 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

^ Sounds like a good choice, especially if you're looking to keep it close to original.

larryguitar19 regarding pickguards: I hear you, but sometimes I like getting loose and letting go with my playing. A guard can come in handy in those situations.

Chris Greene
FDP Host

Idaho, USA

Nine mile skid on a ten mile ride
Oct 6th, 2017 12:17 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The D18 came in its original case which seems to be worth a couple hundred all by itself. I transferred the guitar into a modern Martin thermo case that came with my D42. I bought another vintage style Martin case for the D42 as the molded cases bother me.

As I've spent more time with the guitar today, I'm impressed with the neck which is a little bit chunky and seems to have a little modified V shape as you move up the fretboard. It kills me that I might spend as much as a grand to do everything I'd like (it has the Grover roto tuners and I really like Waverly open tuners) but to own a guitar that was made when I was just 21 has all sorts of good vibes for me and I want it put back right.

Peegoo
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Enjoying

the downtime
Oct 6th, 2017 01:36 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The repairs won't be cheap tho.

Chris Greene
FDP Host

Idaho, USA

Nine mile skid on a ten mile ride
Oct 6th, 2017 01:52 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Depending on what is actually done, $600-1000. I'm certain that it needs a neck reset which includes refretting - $450. Then, it depends on whether we replace the saddle or shim it. Same with the nut which might be ok with filling the slots and recutting or shimming it. The pickguard crack is another $100 plus whatever pickguard I might use. Then there are the tuners. The seem to be fine (Grover Roto) and original to the guitar. If I changed them to Waverlys, there's a couple hundred more. If they check out OK, I'll probably keep them.

I'm prepared to spend up to a thousand but will see what we can do to not spend that much. At $1400 (price of the guitar and repairs to a thousand), I wouldn't have been in the market for a mahogany guitar. But now that this old thing is in my hands, I'd hate to leave to further deteriorate. One great thing is the finish is really, really nice for 45 years. No cracks or checking anywhere.

hushnel
Contributing Member
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North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Oct 6th, 2017 04:39 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Nice guitar, it looks like a fairly straight forward repair, it looks like it's cracked at the sound hole inlay too, It'll be a great guitar once it's been rehabbed "o)

Chris Greene
FDP Host

Idaho, USA

Nine mile skid on a ten mile ride
Oct 6th, 2017 04:43 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

It is, hushnel.

archiestone
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El Californio

Oct 6th, 2017 04:52 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Oh yes, definitely keep it local. + Shipping insured high-end guitars these days is expensive.

Chris Greene
FDP Host

Idaho, USA

Nine mile skid on a ten mile ride
Oct 6th, 2017 06:31 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

arch, he's about 180 miles from here so it's not exactly "local" but I can make the excuse for the trip as I go up to the Stanley area at least 2-3 times a year, one of which is October for the fall colors. It's the drive back a few weeks later that's the rub. All state highway, no interstate.

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FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / Would you buy a 1972 Martin D18 for $400?




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