Cleaning House

Vintage Martin, Gibson, and Other Acoustic Used Guitars and Other Instruments for Sale

I am not a dealer.  These are nicely used guitars from my personal collection that I've purchased to study, to photograph for my web site, and to play, with the intention of keeping them indefinitely. But I need to make room for new guitars, and I do have more guitars than I can play, so I've decided to pass some of these guitars on to you, if you can play them more often than I have time for.  My goal is not to make a profit, but to match the instruments with the folks who will appreciate them the most.

It would not be appropriate to publicly post the values of instruments in a personal collection as a dealer would.  I also respect your privacy, and don't think the world needs to know how much you've paid to buy one of my guitars, unless that's your choice.  So let me know what guitars you're interested in, what other specific photos might help you make a decision, and any other information you might need, and I'll get back to you with prices, photos, and/or information to help with a potential purchase as soon as I am able. 

Please understand that I've been busy with life, caring for a 100-years-old dad, and overwhelmed with more inquiries than I can possibly keep up with, so it may take more time than I would have preferred to get back to you.  Please do let me know if you need information to make a buying decision immediately, and feel free to send me a friendly reminder if you've been waiting to hear from me.  Thanks for your patience.

Serious shoppers are welcome to make arrangements to inspect guitars in person in Philadelphia or Southern New England.  I've had folks drive 8 hours or fly from Austin, Texas to look at and purchase guitars.  If you can't check out a guitar in person, I encourage you to send payment and have me ship the guitar so you can to take the time to check it out at home for a couple of days at your leisure, and return it in the same condition for a full refund, less shipping, if you find it's not for you, for any reason whatsoever.  I try to describe guitars as accurately as I can, but there's no substitute for having a guitar in hand to discover how it works in your hands and for the type of music you play.

Send me your shipping address, and I'll calculate shipping costs, including insurance, by UPS Ground, FedEx Home Delivery, overnight or two day air, or international delivery. 

I generally prefer to avoid shipping over a weekend when possible.

I'll be sure to pack securely, which is the first key to safe travel.  I use proper guitar shipping cartons, and pack well with bubble wrap and/or foam peanuts, being especially sure the neck is supported near the headstock and heel.

International buyers should know that due to restrictions specified by the CITES Conventions on endangered species including the ivory and Brazilian Rosewood found on many of these guitars, shipping overseas has become a tricky process.  I am currently in the process of obtaining the necessary licenses and permits, which takes some time. 

I've gathered what I've learned so far here:

A Primer for
Obtaining Proper Permits for Shipping Vintage Guitars
and Other Musical Instruments Overseas from the USA

Payment by personal check is fine, and I can ship as soon as the check clears, to avoid the trouble and expense of obtaining a bank check.  Or you can make a free direct Paypal transfer from your bank account to mine.

Now that I'm finally getting back to people, the guitars are selling.  Interesting how that works!  No rush at this end.  Whatever you decide is fine with me, but several people have hesitated, missed out, and been disappointed.  So as soon as you decide and let me know that payment is on it's way, I can put a guitar on hold.  I just want the guitars to go to good homes!

This information is current as of August 13, 2014.

Thanks again for your interest,


Click here to e-mail with inquiries about instruments for sale.


Scroll down to see descriptions for the following guitars:

Martin 1919 Southern California Music Co.  0-18K / 1400

Martin 1919 Southern California Music Co.  0-18K / 1350

Martin 1919 0-45 - now available

Martin 1922 Wurlitzer  2092 / 0-42

Martin 1926 0-21 - sold

Martin 1926 00-18 - now available

Martin 1927 0-18K - sold

Martin 1928 00-21 - sold

Martin 1930 2-17 - sold

Martin 1930 2-17 - now available

Martin 1933 OM-18

Martin 1934 00-40H - sold

Martin 1936 0-17 - sold

Martin 1936 0-17 #2 - sold

Martin 1937 00-18 - sold

Martin 1939 0-17 - sold

Martin 1940 0-18 - sold

Martin 1941 0-15 - sold

Martin 1942 00-18 - sold

Martin 1943 000-18 - sold

Martin 1945 00-18 - sold

Martin 1946 000-18 - sold

Martin 1949 D18 - sold

Martin 1952 000-18 - sold

Martin 1953 0-18 - sold

Martin 1957 00-18 - sold

Martin 1957 00-18 #2 - sold

Martin 1962 000-18 - sold

Martin 1964 0-18 - sold

Martin 1966 D-12-20 - sold

Martin 1966 D-35 - sold

Martin / Wurlitzer / Olcott-Bickford? Rebuilt / Re-topped Guitar - sold

Martin 1894 1-26

Martin 1933 R-18 Archtop - sold

Gibson 1931 Brazilian Rosewood L-2

Gibson 1934 Carson Robison - on hold

Gibson 1937 Roy Smeck Stage Deluxe - sold

Gibson 1941 L-4 - sold

Gibson 1947 J-50 - sold

Gibson 1947 J-50 #2 - sold

Gibson 1951 Blonde Flame Maple ES-5 Pre-Switchmaster Model with three P-90 pickups

Gibson 1953 J-185

Gibson 1933 L-2 Rosewood Tenor

Gibson 1926 L-1

No-name 2-17


Fairbanks / Vega 1919 Whyte Laydie


Martin 1870 1-28

Martin 1907 0-30

Martin 1916 Ditson Concert

Martin 1927 5-17T Tenor

Martin 1927 Original Left Handed 12 Fret 000-18

Martin 1928 0-21

Martin 1930 or 1931 0-18T Tenor

Gibson 1921 L1

(You may inquire about buying the above guitars as-is.)


In the "Electric" section, you will find a number of lap steels, as well as Rickenbacker solid body guitars:


Gibson Blonde Flame Maple ES-5 Pre-Switchmaster Model with three P-90 pickups

Gibson ES-150


1960 National/Supro Val-Trol - sold

1956 Rickenbacker Combo 400

Rickenbacker 1965 Model 450

Rickenbacker 1966 450 12 String

Rickenbacker/Electro ES-16 - on hold


National Dynamic lap steel

1930's Rickenbacher Style B Bakelite Lap Steel

1930's Gibson E-150 Aluminum Body Lap Steel

1946 Early Fender Princeton #A158

1950's Fender Studio Deluxe


Hollow Body:

Gibson/Recording King Electric with cool oval shape Charlie Christian Pickups

Solid Body:

National 1964 Newport 82 with Map shaped Res-o-glass body

Lap Steel:

National Chicagoan Lap Steel

National New Yorker 7 String Lap Steel

1930's Rickenbacher Style B lap steel,  Bakelite with chrome metal plates and desirable 1 1/2" wide horseshoe pickup.

1930's Rickenbacher Style B rare Spanish Model,  Bakelite with chrome plates and desirable 1 1/2" wide horseshoe pickup.


Martin / Southern California Music Co. 1917 Model 1400 and 1919 Model 1350

Important and very historic koa wood Martins, the sisters to my SoCal which are illustrated in the New Longworth and Washburn & Johnston books.   Made by Martin for the Southern California Music Company, these were the first production guitars Martin ever made for steel strings.  Originally and surprisingly first made with fan braces similar to those Martin used at the same time on the original Ditson Dreadnaught. 

The koa for these was supplied by SoCal, and came from the big Island of Hawaii.

These earliest Martin Hawaiians were made with regular frets for regular Spanish style playing, and came with a nut extender to play Hawaiian style, so don't need a conversion to play either way. 

Martin 1919 Southern California Music Co.  0-18K / 1400

A very early example of an uncommon model, the rough equivalent of a Martin Style 21. 

With Hawaiian rope style rosette, pyramid bridge, colored herringbone backstrip, Hawaiian motif on Headstock, and distinctive fan bracing, like on the earliest Ditson Dreadnaught, designed for steel strings,

Has been either over-finished or professionally refinished.

I have two of these, the other is illustrated and documented extensively in both the New Longworth and Washburn & Johnston books.

Very nice, extremely rare, and could be sold at a very attractive price. 

SoCal Serial number 167

Still needs minor finish touch up around the bridge...

Colored herringbone backstrip...

The original Waverley tuners have been replaced.

Martin 1919 Southern California Music Co.  0-18K / 1350

This is an early X braced version.  Stamped inside: "C.F. Martin & Co., Nazareth PA", Stamped on the back of the headstock "Southern California Music Company, Los Angeles."   I have two of these.  One is pictured below.

Beautiful inside with two cleats that were standard on a size 0 Martin and a nice small maple bridge plate notched into the scalloped braces.  

A rare guitar, and a beauty.

Martin Serial Number 14003.

The SoCals began using Martin serial numbers beginning with 14000, the first of this batch.

3lb .8oz.

The string height at the 12th fret is 5/32".


C.F. Martin 1919 O-45
An original early pre-war Martin Style 45 guitar with a rare early Cedar or Sitka spruce top.

It has been said that Martin was experimenting in the late teens with what was then known as "Airplane Spruce."  
   The top has been authenticated as original by TJ Thompson, with original bracing and bridge plate.  TJ has observed that the top feels like cedar.

Finish is original, with overspray on the Brazilian Rosewood back.  A new original OM Style pickguard has been fashioned for this guitar by TJ Thompson.  A traditional 45 style torch inlay in abalone decorates the headstock, and 45 style fancy inlays are on the ebony fingerboard.  Abalone trim on the perimeter of the top, sides, and back of the guitar is unusually brilliant and fine.

Serial number 14302






This 1919 0-45 has a backstrip design which is not the typical for a Style 45, though 1919 saw many differences due to the huge growth inproduction and problems with meeting the demand.

This guitar still has the original bridge plate tucked into the braces, with cleats added to secure the cracks.


  C. F. Martin / Wurlitzer 1922 2092 / 0-42

Beautiful original condition variation of the style 42 made for the Wurlitzer Company, one of Martin's most important accounts, and sold as the Wurlitzer model number 2092. 

One of only 11 made in this style, the finest of the models produced by Martin exclusively for the Wurlitzer Company

Martin  Serial Number 17128

A rare and important instrument with the appointments of a Martin Style 42, which was Martin's top of the line model for roughly 50 years.

This example is illustrated in the book "Martin Guitars, a Technical Reference" by Johnston & Boak.

This later example has a Martin serial number and Martin Style 42 appointments.

Designed with the finest materials available on a Martin of the time, including ivory nut and saddle, and top and back body binding, fingerboard bindings, and tuning pegs all made of Ivoroid. An abalone pearl border is inlaid on the top of the guitar.   An additional connecting link of pearl is inlaid around the end of the fingerboard, and abalone is also inlaid into the soundhole ring, as well as the bridge pins, and end pin.   Beautiful 45 style marquetry in backstripe.  The back and sides are French Polished Brazilian Rosewood, the top is red spruce, and the fingerboard is ebony, with Martin style 42 fancy inlays.  Dove tail joined headstock and neck with volute.  Scalloped X style braces.  The pyramid style bridge is a perfect replica of the original, with improved intonation, made by TJ Thompson to replace an earlier oversize  replacement.

With the work done for me by T.J. Thompson, the guitar has a perfect neck set, with a string height of 1/16" on the first string, beautifully playing bar frets, and a perfectly stable top and wonderful sound with silk and steel strings.
Serial number 17128.  "C. F. Martin & Co. Nazareth, PA" is stamped inside the guitar on the center strip inside the back.  The name "Wurlitzer" is stamped on the back of the headstock above "C. F. Martin & Co. Nazareth, PA" .

Unlike the early 2092 with inlays on six frets, the later 2092 has a standard five frets of somewhat more complex inlays.



Unlike the early 2092, with the Wurlitzer stamp only, the later version features both Wurlitzer and Martin stamps.


The tuners on the Style 42 are typically silver Waverlys with an engraved design.

The only compromise to this guitar is the mark left from an earlier oversize bridge, and the touched up finish.  The finish could still be touched up to be a bit less noticeable.

The top should have a small amount of belly behind the bridge to be correct.

Laying a straight edge across the frets, the edge should meet the top of the front edge of the bridge for the neck angle to be correct.

The interior is extremely clean, with one nicely done spruce top cleat on the treble side and a rosewood bridge plate.   Rosewood bridge plates have attracted a bad reputation due to the unnecessarily oversized rosewood bridge plates used by Martin in the 1960's, and ignorance of the fact that most of the nicest early Martins did not have maple plates.

The diamond spruce cleats on the center seam are an original feature seen on small body 12 fret Martins as late as the "New Yorker" models of the 1960's.

Martin 1926 0-21

Martin's favorite size was always the single 0, and I believe the 0 and 00 12 fret Martins from the late 1920's are the prototypical Martins, and perhaps the best thing they've done.  1926 was the first year the rosewood Martins shipped with steel strings. 

I started to complete work on this one many years ago, after having Michael Menkevich, in Fred Oster's Shop, repair the top, but haven't managed to get past the initial coats of filler and finish.  I'd like to finish the job, but would consider selling as is if you would like to take on the project.


Martin 1926 00-18

In extra fine original condition, except for refret, neck set, and perfect replica replacement bridge, with no cracks.  Braced for steel strings.
From Gruhn Guitars:

AB7772, Martin 00-18, 1926, EXF, 12-fret slot-head neck, neck reset,
refretted and new bridge by Third Coast Guitar Service (Chicago), original
bracing designed for light steel strings.

...the 00-18 is a wonderful sounding & playing guitar. It's a little
more robust than you might expect from a 20's guitar. It's a little bright
yet full on the bottom and is responsive...

Serial number 26622








Martin 1927 0-18K

Beautiful koa wood Martin, converted from original Hawaiian set up for excellent standard play, with a new bridge with compensated saddle and T-frets added to the original thick fretboard.  Scalloped braces, and wonderful clear focused tone.  Old style Martin stamp on back of headstock.

A great guitar, which rings like a bell, with tremendous clarity, and very solid, since it was originally built for Hawaiian playing with steel strings. 

I use light gauge steel strings.  The guitar is X braced.

The neck is a standard width 12 fret Martin neck at 1 7/8" with a very comfortable round, not v-shaped, contour.

The string height at the 12th fret is 3/32".  It plays very well.  A real joy to fingerpick.

2lb 11.2oz.






Original 1927 12 Fret Left Handed Martin 000-18

A rare great player, an historically significant Martin  - and a "Lefty's" dream!

In the eyes of the luthiers I respect the most, from the U.S. and abroad - those who know best - the 12 fret 000-18 is a personal favorite guitar - favored above 14 fret Martins, and favored above rosewood. 

The 000 size was very slow to catch on, so only a few dozen pre-war 12 fret 000's of any style were built in the first 10 years, and less than two dozen 000-18 were built in the first 20 years.

  The 12 fret 000 was a huge guitar in it's time, and not designed well to handle the giant top, so the earlier ones are problematic and don't tend to sound very good, with a tendency to sound "Woofy".

The 12 fret 000 finally came into it's own when it was shipped with steel strings in 1926.  In the few years from 1926 until the introduction of the 14 fret OM, Martin only built between 50 and 224 per year:

1926 - 224
1927 - 201
1928 - 50
1929 - 182
1930 - 68
1931 - 178

I spent 20 years looking for a 12 fret 000-18.  Of the few that were built, not many have survived in great condition.  The mahogany backs and sides on Martins from the period were extremely light, brittle, and prone to crack, and more so than rosewood Martins, the 18's were players, and not babied.

Of the few 12 fret 000-18, only one was built as a "Lefty".

In fact, Martin made less than a dozen original pre-war 000 or D sized "Lefties", and less than two dozen pre-war left handed guitars of any kind.


The left handed 1927 000-18 is pictured to the left of a standard 1927 000-18 below.

The 1927 Martin had no pickguard and a straight, uncompensated saddle, so a left handed example is not obvious.

Look inside, and you will find a mirror image of standard braces...

Serial number 33328.

"Standard" 1927 000-18

Martin 1928  00-21

Refinished, patch in top, "Slipped block" neck set, a bargain price for a stable, great sounding steel string rosewood 12 fret from Martin's best years for 12 frets.  Pre-war style herringbone rosette and slotted square fingerboard inlays, with original small maple bridge plate.





Martin 1930 2-17         

Some belly to the top, which seems to be typical of these, and a closed center seam crack.  The bridge is starting to lift, and needs to be re-glued. 

It has what is likely a nice replacement bridge, but I'm not sure.  Appears to have a decent looking replacement rosewood bridge plate.  Everything else looks original.

It's a nice playing guitar.  Looks nice but not immaculate.

The string height is a bit high.

Priced at less than 2/3, or over $1,000 off "book".

Later soft case.

2lb 9.2oz.

Serial number 42958

Stamped 10/28/30





Martin 1930 2-17         

I've decided to make a second 2-17 available to make room for a couple of new 2-17 guitars made by Martin for other firms.  This one is all original and in very nice condition. 

The sound that comes out of these little guitars always blows people away.  The perfect travel guitar!  Great for blues.  Not at all the compromise that you might expect. 

The string height is excellent at the 12th fret at 3/32" on the Hi E and 4.5/32" on the low E, with nice bridge and saddle height.

3+ 4.5 3 12

Later hard case.

2lb 9.2oz.

Serial number 43730

Stamped 8/28/1930

Martin 1933 OM-18

The OM is one of my favorite guitars, and certainly one of Martin's greatest creations.  This one happens to have a somewhat less typical neck for an OM-18 with a softer, more subtle "V", and a shallow depth front to back that's reminiscent of my rare early OM-28 that has perhaps my favorite neck of any Martin I've ever played.  Wide enough to finger easily, but perfectly comfortable to wrap your hand around, without the thicker "shoulders" of later 1 3/4" necks.  The OM became a little more solid each year, so this one is perfectly stable, with a flat top, prepared to take the strings of your choice with no worries, but still with a lighter build than even a mid-thirties Martin.

Among OM aficionados, it's almost a given that even the nicest original OM-18 will have significant back and side cracks.  This example has no back cracks at all, and unusually short side cracks.  The original clipped-end Grovers are perhaps the most desirable and hardest to find of any tuners for a vintage Martin.  They do have a tendency to slip a bit, but I find that you learn to work with them with experience.  The original belly bridge has developed a hairline crack that I haven't had a chance to repair, but could easily be made invisible with glue and ebony dust.

Beautiful original hexagonal maple bridge plate notched into the scalloped braces.

The pre-war OM is legendary for good reason.  With a long scale and relatively wide but shallow neck, for easy fingering, it is considered by many to be the ideal fingerpicking guitar.  Though many people who extoll the virtues of the per-war OM have never actually played one!  In fact, many have a tendency to sound harsh and less than ideal, with little warmth.  A nice one is a thing of beauty.  I like this one!

Hi E at 12th fret - 4/32", string height 14/32", bridge height 11.5/32", saddle height 2.5/32"

"Excellent condition. This is the guitar that all of the modern makers are trying to copy. Last pre-war production year for this model. 000 size body with mahogany back and sides, Adirondack spruce top, 1-3/4 inch nut with a V profile neck, ebony fingerboard and bridge, long scale at 25.4 inches. It has been played and shows some playing wear as well as a couple of short repaired side cracks with spots of light overspray. No top or back cracks. Neck has been reset, frets are fine, tuners are original clipped end Grovers, and the action is low and comfortable. Very lightweight guitar with a beautiful open clear sound. Its an extremely complex tone with lots of volume, clear trebles, and a strong focused bass. It has a quick and delicate sound that responds equally well to fingerstyle or a flatpick." - Mandolin World Headquarters

"repaired side cracks, over sprayed sides & neck" - Larry Wexer

3lb 4.2oz.

Martin  1934  00-40H

Would be nearly mint if not for cracks from storage and/or age. One of 12 made in 1934.  Set up as originally designed to be played in Hawaiian style. 

The sibling of my 00-40H #56430, an absolute stunner of a magnificent sounding guitar.

My main playing guitar for most of the past 30 years or so has been a late '20's rosewood 12 fret 00-28. 

After thinking for some time that the 00-40H was the best deal in Martins, being a pre-war pearl-trimmed version of the 12 fret Martin for not much more than the price of a 00-28, one day at least 10 years ago I played a 1934 00-40H at Vintage Instruments that sounded like my 00-28 on steroids.  Literally the loudest, fullest, and richest sounding Martin I've ever played.  The mid '30's 12 frets tend to be a bit more robust than the late '20's, and the Hawaiian 40H seems to be more robust as well, making them louder and fuller sounding, and also capable of easily holding medium gauge strings.  After the guitar sold, I thought to myself, "You moron!  Why didn't you buy it?"  Fortunately, the same guitar came back for sale a few years later, and I did not make the same mistake again.  It became my new favorite guitar.

When I had the chance to buy an unconverted 00-40H two serial numbers away, from the same batch, with a top that looked identical, that must be from the same red spruce log, I couldn't see passing up the opportunity.

The guitar was poorly repaired, with multiple top cracks glued together with a dark unattractive glue, so I removed the glue to do a cleaner looking repair.  I have not had the chance to finish the job yet, which I intend to do.  But I have had a number of requests to buy the guitar as is, so even though I was intending to keep the guitar for myself, I've decided that I would sell it to the right person who wants to finish the job and will enjoy playing it, since I already have one I love and do need to clean house.

The bridge is possibly a replacement, but has the proper footprint and would need to be replaced again anyway if the guitar were converted.

Has about a half dozen cleats under the top, and a nice original hexagonal maple bridge plate notched into the top, which could easily be made like new with proper small plugs and/or a bit of wood dust and hide glue.
Serial number 56433

3lb. 9.4oz.




 Martin 1936 0-17

Simply amazing condition, natural finish, all solid mahogany construction, scalloped bracing, 14-fret neck, 20-fret Brazilian rosewood fingerboard, ivoroid dot inlays, 1-3/4" nut width, 24.9" scale, Brazilian rosewood bridge, tortoise plastic pickguard, perfect mid-'30's nickel Grover tuners with oval metal buttons, perfect set-up with recent neck reset and re-fret by Elderly Instruments, sweet sounding little guitar.  Original period case.

 Serial number 63156





 Martin 1936 0-17

Another 0-17 from 1936, also in great condition, with a gloss finish, all solid mahogany construction, scalloped bracing, a 14-fret neck, 20-fret Brazilian rosewood fingerboard, Ivoroid dot inlays, 1-3/4" nut width, 24.9" scale, Brazilian rosewood bridge, and tortoise Celluloid pickguard.  

This example was built slightly later, but has the earlier clipped-end tuners that were possibly made by Waverly. 

This example also has the more expensive glossy finish that was given to the Style 17 to differentiate it from the lower priced Style 15 when the 15 was introduced with the less expensive matte finish.  The finish, and the whole guitar, is in beautiful condition other than the type of surface scratches that could have been produced in a few short sessions of playing with a heavy hand.  

Tight and solid, and structurally sound with the original bridge and bridge plate.  The scarcity of noticeable wear to the pin holes in the near perfect bridge plate shows that this guitar has seen precious little use.  The saddle is low, but with the saddle as is, the guitar sounds great and is easy to play, and the neck set is about as perfect as physically possible, with a straight neck and a string height at the 12th fret of 1/16" on the high E and 3/32" on the low E.  

Another example to show that the pre-war Style 17, with it's beautifully hand sculpted scalloped braces and carefully tucked bridge plate and braces, was built with the exact same level of interior fit and finish seen on a $350,000 Style 45!
 Serial number 64013


Martin 1937 00-18

I hadn't planned to sell my '37 00-18, but it made me feel so good to see the '42 00-18 go to a good home, perhaps I should let someone enjoy my '37 00-18 as well.

1937 is the classic year Martin chose to copy their "Authentics" from.

Beautifully aged crack-free natural amber colored red spruce top with the perfect amount of playwear to look well loved but not abused, with absolutely no repairs. 

Has the gorgeous distinctive brown swirl pickguard that you'll only see on a 1930's Martin.

Perfectly clean inside, with scalloped braces and beautiful original hexagonal bridge plate.

Desirable 1 3/4" neck, ebony fingerboard with five frets of graduated dots, and original genuine ivory nut.

1/8" string height on the hi E and 3/16" string height on the low E at the 12th fret with a beautifully carved full 3/8" high untouched original ebony bridge and original genuine ivory through saddle.  Original hard to find mid-'thirties Grover tuners

Ultra-comfortable 00 size, with classic mid thirties tone. perfectly balanced across the strings, from bright clear trebles to strong clear bass.  A perfect responsive fingerpicker and a strong flat-picker.

100% original with absolutely no alterations beyond the bridge pins, strings, and saddle height and untouched by repairs.


Martin 1939 0-17

Pre-war Martin with mahogany top, back and sides and scalloped braces.

Serial number 73909

The '39 0-17 is a great little guitar, though the bridge is split and needs repair now.

The style 17 is a versatile guitar, and sounds great for many styles of music.  They tend to be warm, so I generally prefer the single 0, which is a little brighter and clearer, to the 00.

The 0-17 has a string height of 1/8" first string and 5/32" 6th string at the 12th fret, 1/32" saddle, 11/32" total string height, and 5/16" bridge height.


The sticker on the back of the headstock is from Bergstrom's, the large dealer in Hawaii that sold a good number of the Hawaiian guitars going back to the Hawaiian craze of the teens, and where the Kingston Trio bought their instruments in the 1950's.

The original Waverly 12:1 ratio tuners are seen on some of the highest end Martins from 1939 through 1946, and are worth quite a bit on their own.

The one amazing thing about Martins, especially in contrast to Gibson: An inside view shows a Style 17 built with the same degree of precision and care as a 45 DeLuxe!

Note the golden color of the original hide glue.

...and the perfect hexagonal bridge plate tucked into the braces...


Martin 1940 0-18

An extremely nice pre-war Martin with beautiful highs and a clear solid bass.  Some pickwear on the upper bout, with crazing, but otherwise very solid.  Recent neck set with high bridge and saddle.  A mahogany 14 fret prewar with the ebony fingerboard and bridge usually seen only on the high end Martins.  Scalloped braces, and red spruce top.  Original old style tuners and red tone pickguard seen in late 1929 and 1949.



Martin 1941 0-15

One of the most amazing things about Martin guitars is that the least expensive budget model is finished off with the same finesse as the most expensive, as evidenced by the interior fit and finish of this 0-15, which is literally no less than a D-45.  The 0-15 of this era also sports the fancy tortoise headstock design, which also was a notable feature of one of the most exemplary D-45, owned by Eagles member Bernie Leadon before becoming part of the Yasuda Collection. 

The pre-war 0-15 definitely wins the prize for the most bang for the buck in a Vintage Martin.

String height 1/8" +/- at the 12th fret.

Serial Number 78768


Martin 1942 00-18

The type of guitar lots of us look for, a great player that looks like it's been enjoyed, but never really abused.  Fantastic sound, extremely articulate and well balanced.  Scalloped braces and red spruce top.




Martin 1943 000-18

1943 is one of my favorite years for Martins.  Some years stand out, and as Eric Schoenberg has also pointed out, the top wood used in 1943 seems to be exceptional.  Perhaps it was an exceptional log of spruce, perhaps it was the weather in 1945 made for optimal building, or perhaps both.   So the 1943 000-18 is one of my favorite guitars, enough so that I bought two of them.  I spent a lot of money having noted Martin luthier TJ Thompson bring this one to perfect operating condition, with every intention of keeping it, but I really need to make room for other guitar, and it's hard to justify keeping two!  All original, with repairs by TJ.

A great guitar, with tremendous definition.  May not be the best choice if you're playing is rough.  If you're playing is clean, every note rings through with amazing clarity. 


Martin 1945 00-18

We've known for some time that pre-war Martins have scalloped braces that allow the top to vibrate differently and give them a wonderful sound.  In recent years we've begun to discover that not all post-war Martins have the same straight bracing, but starting in 1945, Martins had a transitional thinner "tapered bracing" which some folks believe makes for a wonderful Bluegrass guitar, or a great fingerpicker.   More recently, I've discovered that the 1945 Martins have bracing with a greater taper which gives them a unique clear, punchy sound unlike any other Martin.

So I jumped at the opportunity to purchase this 1945 00-18 which was available at a great price due to a square hole in the mahogany on the treble side of the guitar. 

I brought the guitar to David Musselwhite, a noted luthier who formerly ran the repair department at Martin, to have the hole patched with old growth mahogany, and put the guitar back in perfect shape for playing, with it's rare original brass frets. 

The original straight maple bridge plate, notched into the tapered braces, appears to be in great shape.

The guitar will be ready for sale for $3,500 as soon as I install new replacement tuners.

The string height at the 12th fret is 4.5/32" on the 1st string, and 1/8" on the 6th string.

3lb. 2.2oz.


Martin 1946 000-18

        A beautiful rare example of a 100% untouched and original early postwar Martin, with all of the definitive features that you only see in 1946, including a big round ebony-reinforced neck, distinctive brownish-red 1946 Sitka top wood with terrific bear claw, and the large dots you only see in 1946.  With original rare wartime tuners.

Has the original small, rectangular bridge plate notched into the distinctive 1946 style round tapered braces in very decent shape.

The string height at the 12th fret is 1/8" on the 1st string, and 3/16"  on the 6th string.

3lb. 7.0oz.




I noticed what appeared to be the edge of a fabric patch on the inside of the lower bout, which surprised me, since I didn't see any obvious cracks.

I was still shooting at about 3am, and was tired and ready to go to bed, but fortunately decided to take one more photo to check out the fabric patch.

And I'm glad I did!  It was put in there to attach a flat pick and a rattlesnake rattle, which was sometimes added to old guitars to add good luck!

Martin 1949 D18

Could be a nice guitar, but will need some work.  Appears to have had a slipped block, a common early type of neck set.  Braces have been scalloped.  Top has a belly which may indicate loose braces.  Replacement bridge.  Refinished.  Neck had a longitudinal separation which has been glued and been entirely stable in the years I've owned it.  Needs work, so it's priced accordingly for a project guitar.

The guitar appears to have a slightly larger maple bridge plate, painted black, and a couple of interior patches.

3lb. 12.2oz.




Since I took the first photos, I've stripped the neck and see that the neck separation is short and doesn't look bad at all.  The guitar will look a lot nicer and more original once the neck, which had an excessive and unnatural looking dark and glossy finish, is finished properly.

Martin 1952 000-18

All original with the exception of the refinished back, which was finished without proper pore filler.  Attractive, and a real boomer.  One of the nicest sounding 000's I've owned, from any era. 

The guitar speaks for itself.  3/32" action at 12th fret. Repaired top crack and typical pickguard crack.  Original vintage tuners.  Later hard case.  

It will look terrific with the back properly done. You can wait until I refinish the back, or buy it now as-is for less.

The interior looks to be extremely clean with a nice original rectangular maple bridge plate notched into the braces.

3lb. 10.8oz.



Martin 1953 0-18

A rare fifties Martin with Englemann Spruce from the small batch that was discovered on a wood buying trip by Mr. Martin.  Incredibly focused sound that you'll never hear from Sitka.  All original.  Very solid, with three tiny holes in the end, apparently from a tailpiece.



Martin 1957 00-18

I have two 1957 00-18's which are both great, but it's hard to justify owning them both. 

They are both all original and in very nice shape.  The first has 3/32" action at 12th fret and a nice clear sound.  It has attractive and unusual very light blonde tortoise binding, and has the orange-red pickguard that's distinctive for 1957.

This is a really comfortable guitar.  I'm partial to 00's.

The other has 1/8" action at 12th fret.  Nice clear sound.  Also with the distinctive orange-red pickguard that tells you immediately it's from 1957.  Some finish checking on the top.

I've been thinking that one of these would make for a really nice birth year guitar for somebody!

I'm very self conscious about writing descriptions that sound like I'm hyping, but every time I've sold one of my 50's or 60's Martins I've had the same experience.  Damn, this is good.  Why am I selling this?  With a house full of '30's and '40's Martins, I'm constantly amazed at how good the post-war Martins are.  The '50's and early '60's Martins I've owned have a clear, responsive, and solid sound.   Sometimes I wonder if they are better, or at least as good and different, and better at some things! 

The only Martins I would buy now that were not made in the old North Street Factory with hide glue are models that were introduced later and are not available with hide glue, such as the D-35.  I believe the combination of hide glue, and the greater amount of hand construction that it required, makes a huge difference.

I've always thought that there's no such thing as dead strings if the guitar is good enough.  I tend to keep "dead" strings on most of my guitars, because I believe that with new strings you are hearing the string, not the wood.  Both of these '57 00-18 have dead strings now, and are bright, responsive, and "woody", with a lot of "punch".

The first one pictured below has the lower action.  Both have a beautiful small maple bridge plate in the squeaky clean interior.

Serial Number 152942

3lb. 9.2oz.



Serial Number 157270







Martin 1962 000-18

This '62 000-18 is in pretty amazing condition.  If you look closely enough, you can see some light crazing from age.  From a foot or so away, you'd swear it was a brand new guitar.  I don't know of any work that's been done to it.  Extremely articulate and well balanced.   Like all Martins from 1964 or earlier, built in the old North Street Factory, so it's assembled with hide glue.  The action is as close to perfect as any guitar I've seen:   Hi E  2/32, Low E  3/32, saddle 3/32, string height 13/32, bridge 10/32, nut 3/32.



Martin 1964 0-18

Fantastic sounding Martin 0-18 in beautiful condition with ringing highs and clear concise bass.  All original, with added piezo pickup.  

Serial number 196272.  





Martin 1966 D-35    

This guitar is original down to the red dots on the pins, and very nice.  Beautiful Brazilian, tortoise pickguard, small maple bridge plate - All the desirable features only seen on the earliest ones.  Sounds great.  The neck set is perfect, with low action, 2/32" at 12th fret. The frets are on the flat side.  No pickwear, some finish checking on the top, and the usual small pickguard crack.  Obviously a well maintained guitar.  The most popular guitar for singer-songwriters in the late 1960's.  Has lighter 1/4" braces than a D-28, which gives it a fuller and warmer tone.  Newer hard shell case.



Martin 1966 D-12-20

Excellent all original condition.  Early Martin D-12-20, with mahogany back and sides, tortoise pickguard, and small maple bridge plate.

Recent neck set, bridge reglue, refret, set up etc. by TJ Thompson.

1966 was the last year Martin was still building with maple bridge plates and tortoise pickguards, and Martin built only 376 D-12-20.  The following year, production nearly tripled to 1076, and by 1969 production reached 1675.

I had always wanted a D-12-20.  When the rosewood D-12-35 was introduced, it looked beautiful, and sounded like a Martin, with a lot of warmth, but didn't have the distinctive bright, jangly sound that's typical of a 12 string.  The mahogany D-12-20 works much better to my ear with the classic 12 string tunes. 

Twelve strings produce a lot of tension, this was Martin's first modern era twelve string, and a few have had problems.  So I felt especially lucky to have found one that TJ Thompson had worked on, set up, and given his seal of approval to.  Most folks don't realize that a neck set corrects the angle of the entire neck as it relates to the body, but doesn't do a thing to change the curve of the neck itself.  The combination of a neck set and compression re-fret by TJ is something that few luthiers can match, and even more meaningful when you're playing 12 strings.   But the cost of the work can almost equal the price of this guitar, making this an especially good deal.

"This guitar is completely structurally sound and has had a recent neck set, refret, and set up by T.J. Thompson.  There are no cracks with the exception of the often-seen-in-vintage-Martins pickguard crack (one on each side of the pickguard - please see photos) flanking the original and authentic nitrocellulose tortoise-shell pattern pickguard.  The pickguard crack has been expertly repaired and is completely stable and solid.  The "belly" on this guitar is nice and flat, the action is perfect for fingerstyle and even slide: 3/32 at the 12th fret under the low E string and 2.5/32 (aka 5/64) under the high E string.  This is a very easy-playing 12 string guitar.  The neck has the vintage original non-adjustable stiff and strong Martin T-bar reinforcement and the neck is straight.  The nut is 1 7/8 inches wide and the string spread at the saddle is 2 5/16 inches.   There is plenty of saddle height: 1/8 inch above the bridge."

The guitar has three tone bars, unusual for a Martin, and a nice solid maple bridge plate inside.  I'm not sure if is was original or was added by TJ.

"Now for the sound of this guitar: luscious, woody, full, loud, responsive!  From the 12 string orchestra of Leo Kottke style to singing harmonies of harp-like fingerstyle, this guitar does it!  Wonderful fat (and phat) tone that leaps out of the instrument.   In short, an exceptional guitar!"

Before I purchased this guitar, I consulted with TJ, who responded:

"The d-12-20 is a very nice guitar. It is totally ready to play/
repaired and practically like new. I did all the usual jobs to get
it ready for sale - neck set, bridge re-glue, re-fret, set up etc.  Tj"

4lb. 2.4oz.


Martin / Wurlitzer / Olcott-Bickford? Rebuilt / Re-topped Guitar

In the general style of a Martin 0-30.

I bought this guitar to research, and am now selling it exactly as I bought it, with the information given to me.  I wish I knew more about it.

The guitar has an interesting Martin/Wurlitzer stamped neck with an ivory bound fingerboard, and the headstock also ivory bound on the top borders, in the style of a Martin/Olcott-Bickford, making it look like it came from an Olcott-Bickford ordered by Wurlitzer, or a custom higher end Martin/Wurlitzer model, though we don't have documentation of any such models.  I just had to buy this to check it out.

The top is new, and bracing is said to have followed the original X pattern.  The braces are more substantial, making them appropriate for steel strings, than typical ultra-light Martin braces of the period, which would have been built for gut strings only.  The back and sides are old Brazilian rosewood, with simple center strip similar to an Olcott-Bickford, but the source of the body is unknown. 

Has a new ebony pyramid bridge.

Comes with a new white custom Tolex hard shell case.

The string height at the 12th fret is 7/64"

I am selling this "as is" at the price I paid, $1,368.  A fascinating specimen, at the price of a "no-name" parlor guitar.





Martin 1894 1-26

pics coming soon...

Martin 1933 R-18 Archtop

It's generally agreed on that the early round hole models are the best sounding of Martin's archtops, and they've been seeing a resurgence in recent years.  Folks are no longer assuming that a Martin archtop is best converted, and have been appreciating the natural sound as-is for various styles of playing.  

This very early Martin round hole archtop has a natural finish which looks to be oversprayed.  Being from Martin's prime transitional period, like an early OM-18, it has both the traditional stamp on the back side of the headstock and the early version of the Martin pre-decal logo, in gold leaf with no black outline.

This guitar has all the original desirable and hard to find hardware, including the tailpiece and bridge, and the most sought after "clipped-end" Grover tuners, seen on the most important transitional Martins you'll see in the Martin Museum, including OM's and the earliest 14 fret Dreadnaughts.

Has a nice small maple bridge plate notched into the interesting mix of tapered and scalloped braces.

3lb. 6oz.



Gibson 1931 Brazilian Rosewood L-2

The Gibson L-2 changed several times in the transition from the 1920's to the 1930's, from small 13 1/2" to large 14 3/4" wide body, from 12 frets to 13, to 14, mahogany to rosewood and back, from pin bridge to trapeze tailpiece and back, from raised to large glued pickguard, and from natural top to Argentine Grey with Gold Sparkle border and back. 

While Gibson made relatively few rosewood guitars, it's long been assumed that those vintage rosewood Gibsons were built with Brazilian rosewood.  It's recently been discovered, however, that even rare and expensive rosewood Gibsons such as the Advanced Jumbo built from 1935 on were built with Amazon or East Indian rosewood.

This 1931 L-2 is made from beautiful Brazilian Rosewood of the kind rarely seen on Gibsons, and having much more of the appearance of the most attractive rosewood Martins.

This guitar has no pickguard, and holes which are obviously from previously installed electronics.

The Brazilian Rosewood trapeze tailpiece L-2 is often converted to a pin bridge guitar.

Gibson 1931 L-2 FON 119

Gibson 1934 Carson Robison

The Carson Robison is ladder braced, with an added adjustable rod.

I think it's a fabulous sounding blues guitar.  Some people convert these to a X bracing, but I wouldn't consider it.

This is the description that came with my Carson Robison:

"This in an excellent 1934 Gibson Carson Robison acoustic guitar.  You won't find one that plays this good.  I have been a luthier for 30 years and do warranty work for major guitar companies.  I also build Rising Fawn guitars.  I did several hundred dollars worth of work to assure a fantastic playing guitar.  I removed the neck, installed a two way adjusting rod, re-fretted with jumbo frets, and scalloped the braces.  Everything else is original on the guitar with no other repairs or damage.  The action is low and the neck is perfect."

I'll have to take a better pic of the back, without reflections.

I was planning to keep it, but I really do need to make room, so I would sell the Robison for $1,350, which is about what I paid for it.


Gibson c. 1936 Century

The Gibson L-C "Century of Progress" Model, with it's space age plastic "mother of toilet seat" fretboard.

Built for the 1933 Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago.
Beautiful condition, all original.  Minor surface scratches.  Sunburst spruce top, with repaired center seam below bridge.  Maple back and sides.  
MOTS on fingerboard and headstock.  Grover G-98 tuners.  With hard shell case.
  A real dazzler.  Bright clear sound.  Plays like a dream, with tremendous clarity and evenness from string to string.  Exceptional for recording.

Purchased from Vintage Instruments in Philadelphia, almost six years ago, after searching for quite a few years for the best sounding and best balanced small body Gibson fingerpicker I could find.  I was shopping for an L-00, but this thing just captivated me, and quite honestly, was so much better balanced than any of the L-00 that the decision was easy!

Looks beautiful inside with a beautiful, thin, original small maple bridge plate, delicate braces, and a nice cleat on the center seam.

Very low action, extremely easy to play.

High E 1/16" at the 12th fret.

3lb. 10.4oz.


Gibson Roy Smeck Stage Deluxe, 1937

16" Jumbo size body with Red Spruce top and Mahogany back and sides. It's been converted from Hawaiian, still with full width 2 1/16" neck, which I prefer to keep.  Over-sprayed or refinished in the 1950's.  12 frets to the body.  It has the beautiful original 1930's Grover G-93 tuners with pointed end plates and plastic buttons, the originals that 1950's Grovers attempt to copy, but distinguished by the flat top gears that are only seen on the mid 1930's originals.  Repaired top crack and small dent in one side.  I've been cleaning up the finish, and it's looks are much improved.  A player's player.

These are the favorite guitars of Jackson Browne for very good reason.  They are amazing boomers!  Great finger-picked as well as flat-picked.

I recently had a chance to compare this one side by side to my other two original Roy Smecks, my other Stage Deluxe and my 1934 Brazilian rosewood Radio Grande, and this one really is a stunning sounding guitar, clear, loud, and beautiful sounding, absolutely one of the best sounding guitars I've played.

Has two straight tone bars.

3lb. 14.6oz.



The top could easily be refinished, but once it cleaned up, the top had the beautiful color and quality of an early Martin amber shade top, so I couldn't bring myself to change it.

Here are some shots after I polished up the finish a bit more:


Gibson 1941 L-4

I bought this Gibson archtop to fix up, but just haven't had the time yet, so I'd be willing to sell it as-is at a great price, as-is, for $875, if you're interested in doing the job.

This is the version of the L-4 archtop with the very cool Nick Lucas inlays!


Gibson 1947 J-50

I've been reading over and over again that 1947 was the magical year for the Gibson J-50, so I had to check it out for myself.  (Though some say the small rectangular bridge J45/50 is from 1946.)

Early post-war Gibsons and Martins are being appreciated lately to the point that folks are wondering, can you really say that the a pre-war is better?

Very cool with the Gibson teardrop pickguard and the much more desirable rectangular bridge. 

Lighter than my early Roy Smecks, at 4 lb .8 oz.

With two scalloped tone bars.

If you're looking for a great "player" grade guitar, with fingerboard divots to prove it, at a "player" price, this one is worth considering.

The string height at the 12th fret is 1/8" on the 1st string, and 4.5/32  on the 6th string.

4lb. 0.8oz.


Gibson 1947 J-50

After owning the first rectangular bridge J50 shown above, when I heard that a friend was selling his near perfect example that I had heard great things about in order to buy a smaller guitar due to his shoulder problems, I simply couldn't pass up the opportunity.  As much as I'd love to keep it, I feel that I should pass it on to someone who will play it more, and free up cash for some other important recent acquisitions that have come my way.

With the Gibson teardrop pickguard and the desirable rectangular bridge.  One of a number of examples of Gibsons stamped with a "2" on the back of the headstock, presumably for "second", but typically showing nothing that seems compromised.

With two scalloped tone bars.

Tight and solid, and structurally sound with the original bridge and bridge plate.  The condition of the bridge plate shows that this guitar has not seen much use.

Original three-on-a-plate Kluson tuners, the same seen on pre-war Gibsons, with the beautifully matched original color buttons from Antique Acoustics in Germany.

Unlike Martin, Gibson continued using red spruce after the war, so with the straight, wide grain red spruce "Adirondack" top, attractive book-matched mahogany, small rectangular bridge with pearl dots, small maple bridge plate, scalloped braces, tortoise Celluloid teardrop pickguard, and Kluson tuners, this 66 year old guitar has virtually all the features, and advantages, of a pre-war Gibson J35 at a surprisingly affordable price.

A beautiful, "no issues", "no excuses", "no compromises" example.

Absolutely perfect set up, with a string height at the 12th fret of slightly more than 1/32" on the 1st string, and 2/32  on the 6th string.

This guitar has been beautifully maintained.

Also includes the absolutely beautiful original case in exceptional condition.  About the nicest original case I've ever seen anywhere, worth a healthy price on it's own, much nicer than the ones that are selling separately on Ebay these days for amazingly high prices.

FON 4048-29


Gibson Blonde Flame Maple 1951 ES-5 Pre-Switchmaster Model with three P-90 pickups

OK, it is an electric, but it is an archtop, and it is way cool!

It's also a very special one.  The early pre-switchmaster ES-5 is a wonderful guitar, but very impractical in it's limitations.   A lack of a switch to select pickups means having to adjust individual volume controls and then re-adjusting the tone controls every time you want to solo or change pickups to get a new sound.  Fortunately, I was lucky enough to receive an education from my friend Duke Robillard, who T-Bone Walker's biographer has called T-Bone re-incarnated.  Duke advised me to add a pickup selector switch, but it didn't end there.  I had no idea how complicated wiring electrics could be.  Wiring pickups is not nearly as straightforward as one would think.  Duke also calculated and explained to me how to wire the electronics to allow for selecting the most useful combinations of pickups, taking into account how changing one setting can affect another.  Absolutely nobody knows how to make a guitar work the way Duke does, and it didn't hurt that Duke set me up to have his most trusted luthier do the work for me.  Working together, they did a magnificent job.

The guitar is in wonderful condition, complete with gold waffle tulip button tuners, and is all original with the exception of the work Duke suggested.

Gibson 1953 J-185

A desirable early year J-185, one of the most intriguing guitars Gibson has made.  These were the only post-war flat top Gibsons to have the same body shape as a standard Gibson archtop, including Orville's original guitars and the classic L-5.  Much nicer than the larger and overly-heavy J-200 in my book, and just as cool looking, but much more comfortable.  The perfect guitar to make you look like a country star, and also a fabulous sounding guitar for ragtime and blues, with a very nice feeling neck.  These are the most versatile Gibsons I know of.

It's awfully hard to find one of these in decent condition.  I honestly can't remember if I've ever seen one with a label that wasn't torn or missing.  Evidently the people who bought them played them.  I was thrilled to find a nice professionally refinished one that looked this great at an affordable price.  It has a couple of nearly invisible plugged holes that appear to have been cut for electronics, in the darkest part of the sunburst, that I didn't notice until a year after I bought the guitar.

Has a clean maple bridge plate which I honestly don't know much about on these.

This early example was made before the braces changed a year or so later.

The friend who sold it to pay for a mint one he found said they both had the exact same sound.

The string height at the 12th fret is 1/8" on both the 1st and 6th strings.

Gibson 1933 L-2 Rosewood Tenor

Tenor guitars are seeing a resurgence on the West Coast, while roundhole archtops are seeing a resurgence all over.  You won't find a neater example than this one!  A rare rosewood Gibson that's unusual in being a transitional L-2 example with Brazilian rosewood sides, with a back of the same rosewood that you'll find on an early Advanced Jumbo!

Looks beautiful inside, with a small clean maple bridge plate and the great razor thin braces typical of the period.

Gibson 1926 L-1

This historically important guitar is the first model of flat top that Gibson ever made.  Gibson was very late to the party with flat top guitars, arriving 93 years after Martin.

This first version traded the arched top for a flat top, but still retained the arched back.  And who knew that a 20's Gibson had a beautiful pyramid bridge? 

Looks beautiful inside with ladder bracing and original maple bridge plate.

Another project guitar that could use some loving care.  I have two of these, so I'll pass this one on to you cheap, as-is, for $1050.

2lb. 15.0oz.

No-name 2-17

On the outside, this guitar looks almost identical to my 1930 Martin 2-17, but it has no name on it, and the braces look a bit different.  Looks all clean and original inside.

Since I really don't need it, I'd be willing to let this one go cheap - for $875.

Comparing headstocks...

Fairbanks Vega Whyte Laydie Banjo #2

All original in fine condition

An iconic banjo, a Whyte Laydie built after the Fairbanks Company was bought by Vega, but before the name was changed.  The ultimate clawhammer and frailing banjo with original 5 string neck.

This is the banjo I dreamed of owning someday growing up!

Entirely original, including tone ring, 5 string neck, tuners, tail piece, and all 28 brackets, and near perfect, with minor scuffing of rim.  New sturdy hard shell TKL case.

A beautiful example.

27" scale.

11 3/8" rim

Signed Jos. B. Rogers Jr. *** highest grade calfskin banjo head from Farmingdale, NJ.

Matching serial numbers of  36753 on rim and dowel.

1870's Martin 1-28

All original in fine condition

Feedback From the Buyers... 

1966 D-12-20

Got home, gave the guitar five or six good tunings, and started playing.  I told you about my broken left hand, but on this guitar my fingers just automatically go to the right place without any pain. 
The volume is tremendous and the tone is wonderful.  No trouble finger picking, either.  The left hand pressure required is actually less than that of my classical guitar...
This twelve string has a lot of sentimental value to me, as well as musical value.  Thank you for making it available and for working with me to make the purchase possible.
Stay well.  You still have a lot to contribute to this part of our culture.
Thanks again.

1933 R-18
The R-18 has been a real joy to play.

L-4 - As Is
The L4 shipped AOK. I'm kind of liking it as is. Needs those new frets dressed and some binding but it plays surprisingly well.

Thank you so much for getting the Gibson J 50 to me. It arrived safely yesterday and I had a chance to play it. It sounds incredible! Words don't do it justice.
Thank you very much!

1941 0-15
i LOVE the guitar! it sounds beautiful!
...i really love it, so excited! and thanks for the photos :)

1927 0-18K
Well the guitar arrived today. I've had a chance to spend a little time with it, and it truly sounds terrific.
...It definitely has 'that sound', and I'm extremely grateful that you allowed it to leave your collection and find it's way into my stable.
Thanks again Robert, & I'll keep an eye out for you on the forum.

1934 00-40H
While I imagine you feel a lot of joy from what you're doing, I've come to realize the great responsibility you've accepted along with that joy.  Your research, clear, explicit photography,
and your documentation is a lot of work.  You're leaving a permanent gift to humanity by what you're doing.  Thanks for getting me involved in a small way.

1936 Martin 0-17
HI again.  May not remember but I bought a 1936 Martin 0-17 from you a few months ago.  Just writing to say that after a modest investment to have the neck reset and some new frets – this guitar is amazing.  My luthier was very impressed by the build quality – even for this (at the time) low end Martin.  I am amazed by the tone, and the volume, of this little guitar.  I love it.  thanks again – money well spent.

1942 00-18
Hi Robert:  Finally made it home around 1:00 a.m., double o in tow. What a great guitar! I will enjoy getting to know it better. It was a pleasure meeting you, wish you well in your endeavors.

1943 000-18
Hi Robert,  Regarding the  '43 000. Spending further time with it yesterday morning I recovered my appreciation for it's sound.  It is a fine-sounding guitar.  Its strength is  more subtle with very good string definition, especially in the mids and highs which are particularly nice, and it has nice sustain, especially in those ranges.  I took it to two vintage dealers and one top notch vintage luthier in town yesterday. They all felt it was a very nice guitar, structurally sound, despite the repairs, with a very good sound.  I think I'm going to wind up being happy with it, even though it doesn't do everything, which is why I have several guitars. 

1942 00-18
Hi Robert,  The 00 arrived safely, thank you.  I want to tell you that I love both of these guitars.  They are indeed very different and will allow me a wide range of musical expression.  As I spent more time with the 000 this week my love affair with it deepened, and I was hearing more and more subtle tonal detail and dynamic range in that  old wood as I found it was inspiring me to play different material and to play old familiar material in different ways. And I love how light it is. It's very exciting to be discovering more of its character as I continue to play it.  The 00 is equally delightful but totally different. It really growls when I dig into some of the country blues I like to play but is a strong strummer as well for old time stuff and vocal accompaniment.  I'm quite sure I'll be using and my playing both of these for a long time, and I very much appreciate your making them available to me and "matching" me up with them.  Again, I am delighted that you let me have this guitar.

I hope that you had or are still having a nice visit with your father.  I really thought the picture you took of him in Lucky Garden was excellent.  To me what makes for good portraits in addition to composition, lighting and technique is the relationship with the subject, and one can see the love in his eyes. Obviously you are lucky to have each other.  Robert, I do hope we can be friends, and I appreciate your hospitality, generosity with your knowledge and patience with me as I learn more about world of vintage instruments.

It's interesting to get people's different reactions to the guitars. I had a friend over last night who plays mandolin and guitar, but more of the former these days. I pulled out the 000 and told it something about the war period and materials and let him try it.  He played it and seemed politely unimpressed, which didn't entirely surprise me. It actually didn't sound so good to me when he was playing it. Then, I explained that it's not the sock you in the gut kind of guitar but had a more refined elegance which I then demonstrated by playing it. It sounded like a different guitar when I played it.  As you originally told me, it's not a forgiving instrument but one that rewards good technique.  i'm coming to think of it like a fine Italian sports car: if you nudge the wheel or accelerator, it'll obey, but it won't blow the door off the competition like a 1965 GTO.  I played 000 for our after dinner jam session on a number of tunes and it held it's own very nicely.

1945 00-18
Hey Robert, Just wanted to drop you a line and let you know that the 00-18 arrived safe and sound on Friday. I am out of town but my son was at home and took delivery. I'm not so sure that was a good thing because he has already fallen in love with it..... haha.  Hopefully I can pry it out of his hands long enough to play it a little when I get home on Monday.  Thanks again for everything. It has been a pleasure doing business with you.  Happy Easter.

1949 D-18
Hey Robert, Yes, the D-18 arrived safe and sound and right on time.  It is exactly as you described (but I already knew it would be from your outstanding photography) and I too look forward to returning it to the great guitar that it once was. I will certainly share photographs when it is completed.  Thanks again.

1952 000-18
Hi Robert, Arrived safe and sound. Changed strings. Sounds fantastic. Love it.  Thanks So Much.

1953 0-18
Thank you very much for letting us visit you the other day, and for being so generous with your guitar collection. We are both very impressed.  I'm getting to know the 0-18 and am concentrating on my lost skill at fingerpicking.  In spite of what I said about liking the woody sound of old strings I'd like to see what it sounds like with new strings.  I would also like to try some different gauges.  I love the tone of this guitar as it is, but have a need to know it's full dimension in tone.  Thanks again.

1957 00-18
The guitar arrived in good shape yesterday, and I am very pleased.  I changed the strings "just because" and see why you like old strings on it.  New are fine, but it sounds more mellow in a really nice way with the old.  It's a nice little guitar. 

1957 00-18
I got the guitar and unfortunately I'm going to return it.  I do apologize for any inconvenience.  Again I apologize but I'm just not falling in love with it and It's a large purchase for me so in the end I want to feel comfortable about spending this amount of money.  Also, as much as i like the overall tone the feel was not what i expected and really the only way to decide on that aspect, as we all know, is to hold it and play it.  I'm looking forward to staying in touch on what you might have available in the future.  Thanks again for all of your help.  I can box it up pretty quickly so just let me know what works best for you.  Thanks again.

1962 000-18
Hello Robert,  I truly hope all is well with you. We really enjoyed visiting with you a few weeks ago. I am writing this brief note to tell you that the 000-18 has opened up nicely and sounds great!  So, thanks again. I will be in touch. As discussed, I would love to get together again in the future – a. to let you see and hear how the guitar has responded to regular/daily playing and b.Pictures of the 000-18 and possibly my other cherished guitars? For a fee of course :0)   Take care.

1966 D-35
Guitar arrived in one piece!  I always worry about transport.  The guitar is beautiful and very easy to play -- most impressive. I love the sound -- first one I have played from the 60s but I have played many from the early 70s -- this one sounds better to my ears, warm yet very clear string to string. The dreadnaught is a change for me, a different size -- and very comfy to play).  I was able to slip a mirror inside and it looks very clean to me.  Thanks again, I feel privileged to own the D-35.  I will look to give a call when I am coming back thru on the last week in July.  Just talking about old martins is fun.  Hope you have a good visit with your Dad this coming week.

Martin /Wurlitzer
The guitar arrived today in perfect shape, (great packing job!) and i just wanted to let you know that it was here, safe and sound.  I have spent some time with the guitar and i must say, it has a great voice and is very enjoyable to play... It almost seems to play its self.

Roy Smeck Stage Deluxe
The 37 Smeck came home yesterday.  Dave and I unpacked it after woodshed and the work is really GREAT...  Too soon to say about it's voice yet, but it plays very nice...

Played it Thursday.  It sounds great & the cut down neck is a LOT more comfortable!

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