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(@lethargytartare)
Active Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 14
 

So we're talking about a 57 year old Martin? Uh...that may be why nobody wants to touch it-- it might be a very valuable instrument. So please post pics -- I'd love to see the guitar -- and if you can find any model information (any serial numbers, text, labels, etc.) post that. But in general:

Don't touch it any more. If it IS a vintage Martin, and you're just learning how to work on guitars, you run a risk of destroying a valuable instrument. Off the cuff, what it sounds like it needs is a just a nice full setup. Set the relief, adjust the bridge, intonate, dress the frets, maybe a new nut -- all told, $150 should be an ample budget to get the work done by a pro, and depending on the model, that would be a very good investment -- and if you intend to play it, the result will be better than anything you can get from a pawn shop and work up yourself.

My advice: drive in to Columbus, take it to as many shops as you can, ask for them to tell you what work they'd advise, and to give you an estimate. Then take it home and mull it over -- post back here if you want. But you need a few estimates -- if it IS a valuable instrument, you might get shops that puff their rates figuring you'll be willing to spend it given the value of the guitar.

And a couple of other things: if a shop is going to replace the nut or saddle, make sure you insist on keeping the originals -- they might be of significant value were you to sell the guitar later.

Make sense? Looking forward to pics and more info!!

ltt


   
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 EMT
(@emt)
Trusted Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 41
Topic starter  

the originals are long gone. the bridge and the thing at the base that hold the strings were all added some time ago.
if i look in the soundhole i can see an O-15 on the base of the neck. dunno what that means. now you've got me curious. think i'll pay a visit to martins website. might be some help there.
i wasn't gonna do anything else to her. i just needed the action lowered.
i wanted to rebuild one as much for learning about the instrument as much as hopes of building something playable.

i'd post pictures if i knew how.

i'll get back to here once i find something out.

red meat doesn't kill you, fuzzy green meat does.


   
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(@moonrider)
Noble Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 1305
 

it was under the nut.
dunno why but that's how grandad like his guitar.

mostly i think everyones over charging to avoid working on it. one guy even suggested i just send it back to martin.
it's a 57 year old acoustic so no one around here wants to touch it. with the action lowered i can muddle through with the grooved frets

Wait . . . this is a 1952 MARTIN You're talking about here? Take that guitar and have it appraised! It could be a very valuable instrument.

Playing guitar and never playing for others is like studying medicine and never working in a clinic.

Moondawgs on Reverbnation


   
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 Ande
(@ande)
Prominent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 652
 

No, they're all wrong. No way is a 57 year old Martin worth anything at all.

Tell ya what, though, I'd be willing to take it off your hands for... :evil:

Kidding. Be very careful with that one. If it's a Martin, and it's from the 50s, odds are good it's worth quite a bit. Depending on condition, maybe worth a pile.

I do all my own work on my guitars...but I wouldn't work on that one. Get estimates for anything you want done, and get a decent pro to do it.

Even if you're not thinking of selling it, it's probably worth having it appraised a few places. If for no other reason because it may be worth enough to list it on your insurance.

Best,
Ande


   
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 EMT
(@emt)
Trusted Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 41
Topic starter  

i e-mailed a woman at martin. it's an 015 from 1956. mahogany construction.
dad thought it was from 52.

edit: if you look at martins online catlogue it's on page 25 or 26. the body is taking the entire page. thats what she looks like,,,sorta. she's had some other work done over the years. i guess it's a road series. guess they still make that series

red meat doesn't kill you, fuzzy green meat does.


   
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(@lethargytartare)
Active Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 14
 

So now go get it appraised by a few different shops. If they all say it's damaged beyond repair, the mod away. If they say it's still got decent value, then put it in a corner, get a beater from a pawn shop and begin the learning process -- get good at working on a few before you do anything else to the Martin. And if it's got some value, consider selling it to a collector and buying yourself a project guitar that's better than a beater so you can end up with a good playing guitar!


   
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(@lethargytartare)
Active Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 14
 

Oh, and if you're committed to keeping it (since it has sentimental/familial value), then go back to what I said earlier -- get some shops to quote you on getting it fully set up, frets dressed, and see what else they recommend. It sounds likely that the guitar is worth putting 100-200 bucks of work into, and that will DEFINITELY make it a great player. But get a few places to give you a quote first. Since you're probably holding a guitar worth a grand or more, it's reasonable to ask for quotes from guitar techs. Nut may need replacing (50-60 bucks for a custom bone nut -- OR you can get a prefab graphite/bone/tusq nut for 10 bucks and adjust it yourself), sounds like the bridge might be a mess -- which could be 50-100 bucks of work, fret dressing 40-60 bucks, and after all that they should do the setup work for "free" (normally a shop should charge 30-40 bucks, but after everything else above, all that's left is to adjust the truss). So you could see numbers in the 175-225 range.

Make sense?

You can get free image hosting at imageshack.us, photobucket.com, and other places. Then use the tags at the right of this text input box for linking to your photos. I think everyone would really like to see this guitar!

Cheers!

ltt


   
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 EMT
(@emt)
Trusted Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 41
Topic starter  

I wasn't planning on doing any work on her myself. I was planning on getting one from a pawnshop or out of the classified ads and working with that one.

None of the local shops here will touch her. They either quote outragous prices or tell me flat out they won't do it. So I've contacted Martin guitars. All they really say is without actually seeing the instrument it's difficult to say but they have no doubts she can be returned to her original condition.

so I'm seeing a road trip in my future. :D

Spring, Dad and I on a road trip to the Martin guitar company.
man that'll be cool.

I'll try the image shack thing. I'm not terribly computer savvy I just know enough to annoy people on the interweb with endless questions.

red meat doesn't kill you, fuzzy green meat does.


   
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