Cleaning House

Martin ~ Gibson
and other Used
Acoustic Guitars
and other
Instruments for Sale

  After spending over two years away from home to sit with my dad by the ocean, enjoying local New England seafood together until he reached his 102nd birthday and then passed peacefully, unfortunately, I've been sidetracked by chronic pain, and am now recovering from surgery on my cervical spine.  I certainly hope that the procedure will bring me some relief, but at present I am still not in shape to keep up with an overwhelming number of inquiries and questions about guitars.  I apologize for the inconvenience this has caused.

Free to contact me if you wish, and even pester me again if time is of the essence.  I'll try my best to respond, but I don't want to leave you with unrealistic expectations.  I may not be in shape to respond until I recover.  The healing process has been slow, and it can be painful now just to sit at the computer.  And many of these instruments need work that I just haven't been up to handling yet.

Thanks for your understanding.

- - - - - -

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.

I am not a dealer.  These are nicely used guitars from my personal collection that I have purchased to study, to photograph for my web site, and to play.  While I originally purchase a guitar with the thought of playing and keeping in my collection indefinitely, many were purchased primarily to research and learn from. 
Many of the guitars have served their purpose, I have more guitars than I can possibly play, and I can't get to the bathroom without stepping over guitars, so it makes sense now to thin the herd a bit and pass some of my guitars on to folks who can play them more than I have time for,
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 you so choose. 
So if you 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, I'll get back to you with prices, photos, and the information you need to help with a potential purchase as soon as I can. 

Serious shoppers may inquire about inspecting 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 for a couple of days in the comfort of your home 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, no excuses required.
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.  Some folks are so wrapped up in playing with their new toys that they don't get around to responding for a week or more,
so if I don't hear back after 48 hours, I will assume you're busy, and that it's o.k. to use your check for lunch money or to buy another guitar!

Send me your shipping address and I'll calculate your shipping costs, including insurance, by UPS Ground, FedEx Home Delivery, overnight or second day air, or International Priority Mail. 


I do not include shipping in the cost of the instrument so you will not be subsidizing the cost of someone with higher shipping costs than yours.  I will pass on to you the carrier’s actual listed price for shipping only.  I do not charge extra for packing, or the cost of shipping cartons, bubble wrap, foam peanuts, or other shipping materials. 
I also pass on only the carrier’s actual quoted price for insurance.  I don’t have great hopes for collecting insurance from a carrier.  Realistically, the cause of cracks and finish checking are hard to prove, and it can be difficult to collect for other than missing packages or damage where the carton was obviously crushed by a truck.
I insure with a carrier primarily to ensure the more careful handling given to a “high value” package.  All of my instruments are insured by Heritage, the primary insurer of the leading dealers, museums, and high-end collectors, and do not pass on to you the considerable extra costs of insuring with Heritage to cover damage in transit.

Lately I've recommend choosing a carrier based on the quality of the local driver.  I’ve had drivers from UPS who have served me consistently and thoughtfully for years, leaving notes saying “the package is in the carport, behind the snow shovel". 
I’ve had other drivers who've left computers sitting in the pouring rain and run off without even ringing my doorbell.  So the local driver who serves you well at the time of delivery is often the best determinant of which carrier to chose.  On the other hand, UPS now handles packages valued over $1000 as "high value" items.
When I asked FedEx if they made a distinction for high value items, they responded "we treat all our packages with care", which "Alexa" translates as: "we throw them all onto the conveyor belts".  
My UPS rep gave me a long list of ways the “high value” Ground packages are treated with preference: signed for at every step, never on a conveyor belt, last in/first out of the airplane/truck, etc.  So I am now giving preference to UPS Ground. 
If your local UPS driver is not the best, or if you're away from home during the daytime hours, you may do well to consider having me ship to the local UPS Store for pickup at your convenience.  If you have three spare hours, I'll tell you the story of trying to collect on insurance from the Post Office.

I generally prefer shipping early enough in the week to avoid shipping over a weekend when possible.  The vehicles do not stop moving over a weekend.  Travel time is measured in business days, however, so a weekend will add two days to the "transit time" without additional travel. 
So a weekend may mean a guitar sitting somewhere for as much as two days, likely in a vehicle that's freezing or hot enough to melt glue. 

If the weather is exceptionally poor, I may wish to delay shipment, especially in winter, until the weather improves.  When the package arrives, you should let the package sit for several hours before opening and tuning the guitar to pitch in order to let the instrument acclimate to the indoor climate
to avoid structural damage or finish checking caused when the wood and lacquer expand or contract at different speeds.

I'll be sure to pack securely, which is the first key to safe travel.  I use proper guitar shipping cartons, pack well with bubble wrap and/or foam peanuts, being especially sure the neck is supported near the headstock and heel, and remove the end pin. 
If a guitar does not have a case, I can usually find at least a chipboard case that I can provide to you without extra charge to protect the guitar in shipping.

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

I've gathered what I've learned about CITES 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 direct Paypal transfer from your bank account to mine.  Paypal payments are free of fees if you select "Send to friends and family in the US".

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 1, 2023.

Thanks again for your interest,


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

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Scroll down to see descriptions of the following guitars:

Martin 1944 000-18 - SOLD -

Martin 1945 0-18 - SOLD

Martin 1930 2-17

Martin 1929 00-28 G.P.

Martin 1927 5-17T Tenor

Martin 1922 Wurlitzer  2092 / 0-42

Martin 1920 0-18 - SOLD

Martin 1919 0-45 - SOLD

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

Martin 1917 rare Spruce top 1-18K

Martin 1916 Ditson Dreadnaught Style 1 - SOLD

Martin 1916 Ditson Dreadnaught Style 2

Martin 1916 Southern California Music Co.  0-18K / 1350

Martin 1907 0-30

Martin 1899 0-28

Martin 1898 1-21 Tinted top

Martin 1894 1-26

Martin 1870's 1-28

Martin 1860's 2-27

Martin 1860's Pearl Rosette 1-28 - SOLD

Martin 1860's 2 1/2 - 17 - SOLD

Martin 1860's 1-21

Martin 1850's 2-27

1932 Gibson Brazilian L-2 Tenor - SOLD

1932 Gibson Brazilian L-2 Tenor - SOLD

1932 Gibson Kel Kroydon

Gibson HG-20

Ashborn 2

Ashborn 1 - SOLD

Ashborn 6 - SOLD

Burkard Parlor Guitar

Haynes "Hub" Parlor

No - name 2-24 Parlor Guitar

No-Name Spanish Parlor Guitar - SOLD

Wolfram aluminum Fingerboard Parlor Guitar - SOLD


Fairbanks 1898 Special Electric No. 5

Fairbanks / Vega 1919 Whyte Laydie


Martin 1930's tenor ukulele - SOLD



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


National 1959 Town and Country

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

1956 Rickenbacker Combo 400

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


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 lap steel,  Bakelite with white plates and desirable 1 1/2" wide horseshoe pickup.

1930's Rickenbacher Silver Hawaiian lap steel,  Chrome Plated with desirable 1 1/2" wide horseshoe pickup.

1930's Gibson E-150 Aluminum Body Lap Steel

c. 1946 K&F Lap Steel

National Chicagoan

1946 Early Fender Princeton #A158

1950's Fender Studio Deluxe - SOLD

1950's Fender Forrest White ON HOLD

Fender FS-52


Martin 1926 2-17

Martin 1930 or 1931 0-18T Tenor

Martin 1933 OM-18

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

National New Yorker 7 String Lap Steel

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


Martin 1944 000-18

I was once a Martin snob, and more so for rosewood Martins.  Certainly no other guitar has the lush sound of a vintage Martin.  And no wood can compare to Brazilian Rosewood.  OK, maybe I still am a snob! 
But I've learned with age and experience when I couldn't obtain a desired sound that these are all tools in the toolbox, and sometimes a Gibson gives the sound I'm looking for.  Sometimes mahogany does the trick.  Some folks seem to "need" a '30's Martin with a 1 3/4' neck width.  A triple 0 is no better than a double 0 or single 0. 
These are all just different sounds.

I've become particularly partial to the Wartime mahogany Martins with the combination of scalloped bracing, red spruce top, the somewhat "meatier" but feather weight neck with ebony replacing the steel rod for reinforcement, small maple bridge plate, featherweight tuners due to wartime restrictions on steel, and hide glue construction.

The guitar fits my ideal image of a vintage guitar, all original, with wartime "peen end" Kluson tuners, and appropriate playing wear to show it’s been enjoyed.  The inside is pristine, with an excellent original maple bridge plate.

The string height is 1/16” on the first string and 3/32” on the sixth string at the 12th fret with the original full height bridge and saddle. 

The neck has crazing and capo marks, feels great, and has a perfect neck set.

Serial # 88650

Stamped August 7, 1944
- SOLD -

Martin 1945 0-18

Being such a fan of these 1945 Martins, I have a matching set of 0-18, 00-18, 000-18, and D-18 from 1945. 

I wasn't planning to sell these, but since I'm breaking up the set, I've decided to make this 0-18 available to someone with more time to play it as well.

Now that I have a house full of Martins of all sizes, I've decided that the single 0 is the most under rated.  Far from lacking in bass, the bass is tighter and cuts through the mix. 

I agree with F.H. Martin who thought the single 0 was their best balanced guitar.  This is a magical guitar.

Serial #90997

Stamped 4/3/45

- SOLD -

Martin 1935 0-17

Until now I've been selling guitars only to thin out my collection.   I haven't done this before, but a very nice woman traveled
 here to show me a terrific guitar and ask for advice, and so many people were disappointed to miss out on the last one I sold
that I decided to help make her guitar available.

In absolutely beautiful, all original condition, with only minor nicks and scratches.  Has had a neck set with no other visible work done. 
The only minor issue I see is a low saddle.  I would have preferred setting the neck to a full height saddle, but it plays and sounds
great as is, so I would let it be if it were mine.  The bridge plate is prefect and untouched.  

Original Waverley "clipped end” tuners.

Light fret wear on the first two strings of the first fret only.

The string height is comfortable at 5/64” on the first string and 8/64” on the sixth string.

In new case. 

Shop Order # 938

Stamped on September 27, 1935

Serial Number 61095

- SOLD -

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, since the early ones were vulnerable to have the top crack near the fingerboard extension, 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 due to the light weight and thinness of the mahogany. 
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 may 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.

The beautiful original hexagonal maple bridge plate is 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 quintessential fingerpicking guitar. 
But in truth, while a nice pre-war OM is a thing of beauty, many people who extol their virtues have never actually played one, and a good many examples have a tendency to sound harsh and less than ideal, with little warmth! 
This is a nice 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 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 1930 2-17          

I've decided to make a second 2-17 available to make room for a couple of additional 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 impresses.  The perfect travel guitar!  Great for blues.  Not at all the compromise 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 a nice bridge and saddle height.

3+ 4.5 3 12

Later hard case.

2lb 9.2oz.

Serial number 43730

Stamped 8/28/1930

Martin 1929 00-28G.P.          

This guitar is a rare "Gear Peg" variant of the 00-28.    One of a handful of guitars built by Martin in 1929 to have an original pickguard and belly bridge
in addition to the same geared Grover tuning pegs found on an OM-28.

Serial Number 39121

Stamped 7/16/1929

While Martin was not believed to have produced belly bridges in 1929, many Martins remained unsold during the Depression and were said to have been stored in the factory "in the white", without finish, pickguards or bridges. 
Some of these guitars remained unsold for several years, so a pickguard could have been applied to a 1929 Martin before it left the factory in the 1930’s.

This guitar shows the remnants of the name of former owner "Slim Wooten" on the top of the guitar.

This guitar shows the remnants of the name of former owner "Slim Wooten" on the top of the guitar.

Martin 1927 5-17T          

This late 1920's 5-17 tenor guitar is solid and in decent shape, with three minor top cracks, and no back or side cracks, only a few tiny dents in the sides.  

The neck has had a perfect re-set, with a string height of 1/16" on the first string, and 3/32" on the 4th string.  With scalloped bracing and perfect original bridge plate.

The banjo tuners have been replaced with vintage period non-geared pegs.

Serial number 31496

C. F. Martin / Ditson 1926 2-17

Style 2-17 Martin built for the Ditson Company

Beautiful all original condition.

The string height is excellent at the 12th fret at 4/32" on both the Hi E and low E, with a nice neck set, bridge and saddle height.

Serial #25193

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.
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 except for improved intonation, made by TJ Thompson to replace an earlier oversize  replacement.

Thanks to 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.

"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 the Wurlitzer stamp only, the later version features both Wurlitzer and Martin stamps.

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 Waverleys with an engraved design.

The only compromise to this guitar is the mark left from an earlier oversize bridge, and the touched up finish.  
I'm in the process of cleaning up the top and finish to be considerably less noticeable.  The touch up above was done by one of the most acclaimed luthiers in the business. 
Unfortunately, the detailed finish work of even the most expert luthiers can't compare to the work of those in other fields. 
I've been learning from a museum curator who has a lot more tools in her toolbox, have been making tremendous progress, and expect that this should look very nice when new finish is applied.

The top  has the correct amount of belly behind the bridge.

Laying a straight edge across the frets, the straight edge meets the top of the front edge of the bridge showing a perfect neck angle.

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.

C. F. Martin 1920 0-18

Beautiful original condition style 18 in Martin's favorite size.

The action is 1/8” on the high E and 5/32” on the low E at the 12th fret.  

With original Waverly tuners.   

The finish is all original and very nice.  Minor playwear and fingerboard divots with only one single, almost-invisible 1” long hairline crack on the entire guitar.  

It has had a pair of thin bolts added to the bridge, a common addition when steel strings became available, which could easily be removed.

Shipped to the Sherman Clay Store in San Francisco, California on May 3rd, 1920

Serial number 14768


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

The koa wood for these was supplied by SoCal from the big Island of Hawaii.

Later versions were made with raised strings and frets ground flush with the fingerboard, but the earliest Martin Hawaiians were made with regular frets for regular 
Spanish style playing, and came with a nut extender to raise the strings for Hawaiian style music, so don't need a conversion to play in the conventional "Spanish" style.  

String height 5/32 on the 6th string, 4/32 on the 1st string at the 12th fret.

Serial #14003


C.F. Martin 1919 O-45
An original, pre-war Martin top-of-the-line Style 45 guitar with a rare early "Airplane Spruce" top.

My photographs of this guitar appear on p. 80 of Johnston, Boak & Longworth, "Martin Guitars, a Technical Reference".

In the late teens, Martin was experimenting with what was then known as "Airplane Spruce”, a Sitka Spruce from the Northwest produced for airplanes for WWI. 

By the time World War II ended in November, 1918, production of Western spruce for aircraft by the Spruce Production Division of the Army 
had reached 10,000 sq. ft. per month, and left a newly built infrastructure and one billion board feet of spruce.

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 adorn the ebony fingerboard.  
Abalone "heart" inlaid on the perimeter of the top, sides, and back of the guitar is unusually brilliant and fine.  
T.J., who routinely works of pearl Martins, commented that this was the most intense pearl he had seen.  
The unique backstrip on this example, while not the style most often associated with the Style 45, was typical in this period.

- SOLD -




Martin 1917 Spruce top 1-18K
This unusual rare example is a Size 1 Style 18 guitar with spruce top and koa back and sides, the first to be made with a spruce top since the original samples made for SoCal.

String height 6/32" on both the 1st and 6th strings at the 12th fret.

Very good condition.

Serial number 12959

1916 SoCal "Nunes" 1350

The first example is one of the early SoCals built with fan braces for steel string Hawaiian style playing.

With "Nunes" headstock logo and label, Martin headstock stamp, and SoCal serial number.

Good condition, some folks might want to do a neck set.

String height 6/32" on the 6th string, 5/32" on the 1st string at the 12th fret.

SoCal Serial Number 95.

Martin /1916 Ditson Model 1 Dreadnaught Guitar

With the advent of interest in Hawaiian music and culture in the teens, Martin made their first Hawaiian guitars for the Ditson Stores and the Southern California Music Company.  
Ironically, Martin chose to move from X bracing to fan bracing for these first production guitars made by Martin for steel strings.

The earliest Dreadnaughts were built in three sizes, the "Standard" size 1, the "Concert" size 11, and the "Extra Large" size 111, which became the Dreadnaught of today.  
With three quality levels, these became the 1, 2, 3, 11, 22, 33, and 111.  A 222 and 333 was never built for Ditson.

This early example is a Ditson Style 1, the smallest of the "Dreadnaught" shaped guitars

From the second batch of Ditson "Standard" Style 1 guitars. 

Stamped October 24, 1916

Excellent original condition.

Added bridge plate cap which could easily be removed with fine original bridge plate intact underneath.

Ditson Serial Number 118. 

- SOLD -

Martin /1916 Ditson Model 2 Dreadnaught Standard Guitar

Immaculate early example of a Model 2 Ditson Standard Size Guitar

Serial #144

From the third batch of Ditson "Standard" Style 2 guitars.

Stamped December 4, 1916

Martin 1907 0-30

A very desirable model, the 30 series Martins are my favorite model of the 20th century. 
A carryover from the 1800's, the Style 30 combines a pearl rosette with large snowflake inlays and the beautiful top marquetry and arrowhead back strip seen in earlier days. 
This guitar even has the genuine ivory binding "to the nut" as Martin said in the old days, which runs along the fingerboard to the headstock. 
The genuine ivory was replaced by "Celluloid" just a few years later.

Very good condition with tight top cracks and properly repaired top under bridge to correct pin hole wear.  Includes a new reproduction pyramid bridge.

String height 2/32" on both the 1st and 6th strings at the 12th fret.

- SOLD -

I've cleaned the top and begun to touch up the area of the larger footprint, clean out a couple of the larger dark cracks, and carve a new ebony pyramid bridge.  

The footprint need a few more layers of finish to match the rest of the top, the cracks need to be filled, and the new bridge need pin holes and a saddle.

This guitar has one of my favorite arrowhead backstrips, one of the most tasteful I've seen on any Martin...

Martin 1898 1-21 with "pumpkin" Tinted Top

Excellent condition with possible over-spray on back and sides.

String height 4/32" on both the 1st and 6th strings at the 12th fret.

Martin 1894 1-26

String height 4/32" on the 6th string, 3/32" on the 1st string at the 12th fret.

Installing proper exact reproduction pyramid bridge.

1870's Martin 1-28

All original in fine condition

Choice "Adirondack" Eastern red spruce top with herringbone marquetry and ivory bindings, Brazilian rosewood back and sides, ebony fingerboard and pyramid bridge.  Original hard to find Seidel tuners with ivory buttons.

Very good original condition.

String height 2.5/32" on both the 1st and 6th strings at the 12th fret.

No serial number.

1840's Martin 1-28 with Pearl

An historically important instrument.  It has long been believed that the first Style 28 Martins had a pearl rosette.  This is a rare, difficult to find example of such an instrument.

In nice original condition, with Jerome tuners and 1840's nickel silver nut.

String height 3.5/32" on the 6th string, 2.5/32" on the 1st string at the 12th fret.

- SOLD -

Martin 1860 2-27

Early "pre-corporation" example with spruce back and rosewood veneer.

All original in excellent condition except for extra pearl added to bridge and section of replaced spruce top and marquetry. 

Original "notched in" bridge plate with added smaller rosewood cap which can be easily removed.

Excellent string height of 2/32" on both the 1st and 6th strings at the 12th fret.

No serial number


Martin 1860 1-21

New top finish and period correct reproduction pyramid bridge being added. 

Perfect original "notched-in" bridge plate.

String height 4/32" on both the 1st and 6th strings at the 12th fret.

James Ashborn c. 1856 Model 2 Guitar
William Hall & Son

This is a really wonderful, rare, and historical instrument. It is a fine James Ashborn parlor guitar built for the Willliam Hall & Sons Store in New York City.  Ashborn was evidently a fine machinist and opened his shop in Torrington, Connecticut in the mid-1830s.
He was far ahead of his time with regard to manufacturing and design. (He averaged 54 guitars per month with usually less than ten men working in his shop.) The quality of his instruments is superb.
He designed and manufactured his own tuners, "T" style fret wire -- Martin didn't use "T" wire until the 1930s! -- and employed a unique fan- braced body and neck construction.

This is a standard size Ashborn Style 2, generally seen as the most popular grade. This guitar has a distinctive bridge and tuners that complement the Rosewood veneer over spruce back and beautiful Rosewood clad neck.

With original coffin case, also made by Ashborn in his Connecticut factory.

Two 5” non-structural cracks on back veneer repaired with cleats, five top cracks, good playable condition.

3/32" string height at 12th fret.

1 13/16" neck width at nut.

2 lb. 4.8 oz.

Serial number 5770.

Only $3,500!

James Ashborn c. 1850's Model 6 Guitar
William Hall & Son

Just a few years ago, only two of ornate the-top-of-the-line Connecticut Yankee built Model 6 Ashborns were known to exist, and each one was believed to be unique.  Since then, I have discovered three more, including this one, which is nearly identical to the third one found. 
These Ashborns are carefully documented in Gura's Martin book, and the "Inventing the American Guitar" Book.

Sold "as-is".

Rosewood veneer neck and rosewood veneer over spruce back.  Original distinctive Ashborn built headstock, tuners, bridge, bridge plate, and neck block.  Fan braced.

With original coffin case, also made by Ashborn in his Connecticut factory.

1 13/16" neck width at nut.

2 lb. 5.4 oz.

Serial number 3721

- SOLD -

James Ashborn c. 1850's Model 1 Guitar

Solid mahogany neck and solid back.  Original distinctive Ashborn built headstock, tuners, bridge, bridge plate, and neck block.  Fan braced.

With original coffin case, also made by Ashborn in his Connecticut factory.

New Neck Set  String height 4/32" on both the 1st and 6th strings at the 12th fret.

1 15/16" neck width at nut.

2 lb. 3.8 oz.

No serial number.

No Dealer name.

- SOLD -

Burkard Spanish Style Parlor Guitar

Similar to Martin 2-24.  Needs restoration.  Neck has been removed for neck set.

Beautiful Brazilian rosewood back and sides.

ONLY $875!


1921 Gibson Style L1 Guitar

From 1908 to 1925, the small body, 13 1/2" wide, narrow waist L Style Gibson guitars, the mainstay of the Gibson line, were archtop guitars
with a round hole, tailpiece with pins set in a "tortoise" Celluloid block, raised pickguard, 13 frets clear of the body, and a slanted "The Gibson" logo on the headstock.

 - SOLD -

Gibson 1929 HG-20 Hawaiian Dreadnaught Guitar

The Gibson HG-20 was one of the first three Gibson Hawaiian models, introduced in 1929.

Excellent condition.  Top cracks.  Small section of back veneer needs repair.

Perfect neck set with low string height of 2/32" at the 12th fret.

FON # 302

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.

Schoenberg Guitars is currently selling the identical version of this guitar converted with a pin bridge for $15,575 with the description: Extremely rare and fine Brazilian rosewood Gibson 13 fretter... These came in a variety of configurations, this one originally having a tailpiece and floating bridge.
The "jester" peghead inlay is the iconic identifier of its status as this very special model."  The Schoenberg guitar has slab cut rosewood, while mine has Brazilian that would have made Martin proud in their "Golden Era", and is available at a fraction of the price!

Gibson 1931 L-2 FON 119

- SOLD -

Gibson 1951 Blonde Flame Maple ES-5 Pre-Switchmaster Guitar with Three P-90 Pickups

In the desirable natural blonde finish, with gold plated hardware including gold waffle tulip button tuners.  The guitar is in wonderful condition, and is all original with the exception of work completed under Duke Robillard's direction.

A very special one.  The ES-5, the electric top-of-the-line equivalent to the acoustic L-5 when Gibson archtops were graded 1 to 5, is the guitar made famous by T-Bone Walker who, along with Charlie Christian and Django Reinhardt, largely defined the sound of the electric guitar. 

The early pre-Switchmaster ES-5 is a wonderful guitar, but impractical in its 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 produce a new sound. 
I was extremely fortunate 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.

EXC; Light surface scratches on back, slight finish checking, some polish wear on trapeze tailpiece.  With original hard shell brown Gibson case.

- SOLD -

Gibson 1933 L-2 Rosewood Tenor Guitar

A tenor version of the Rosewood L-2 illustrated above.  Tenor guitars are seeing a resurgence on the West Coast.  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.

- SOLD -

1886 Haynes "Hub" Parlor Guitar

A "Hub" 12 fret guitar built by the noted Haynes Company of Boston.

With fancy original tuners.

Beautiful Brazilian rosewood.

Sold "as-is" but in beautiful condition, with perfect neck set.

String height 2.5/32" on the 6th string, 2/32" on the 1st string at the 12th fret

No serial number.

ONLY $925!


"No-Name" Style 2-24 Parlor Guitar

Similar to a Style 24 Martin with Similar marquetry on top, sides, and back.

Neck off, needs restoration.

Beautiful Brazilian rosewood.

No serial number.

Imported 19th Century "Spanish Style" Parlor Guitar

Built in the early Spanish Style with tie style pyramid bridge,

ONLY $325!

- SOLD -

Wolfram "Triumph" Aluminum Fingerboard Parlor Guitar

Made by Thomas Wolfram in Columbus Ohio, an unusual parlor guitar with an aluminum fingerboard.

Patented in 1893, only 300 made

In all original fine condition.  The bridge is split and needs to be filled and glued.

- SOLD -

1898 Fairbanks Special Electric #5

All original in fine condition

with 26" scale, 10.5" rim, and calfskin head

This 1898 Fairbanks No.5 Special Electric is one of the earliest examples of the fanciful Victorian engraved pearl inlay that became the standard for the highest grade Fairbanks and Vega banjos.
With exquisite carved heel and elegant engraved abalone pearl inlays, including the distinctive Fairbanks Griffin on the back of the headstock.
Includes original hard shell case.


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.

1955 National Town and Country

with six controls and three pickups, one under the bridge...

and Original 1955 Brown Hard Shell Case, similar to the case for a 1955 Les Paul

I was introduced to the National single cut solid body by my friend Bernie Leadon of the Eagles, couldn't believe the incredible sound, and had to find one. 
Fortunately I was eventually able to find two!  Besides looking way cool, this guitar's pickups have the same screaming sound as the National lap steel played by David Lindley with Jackson Browne.

Built by Valco in Chicago, this guitar has a single cutaway maple body with plastic backplate, bolt-on neck, and a bound Rosewood fretboard with parallelogram inlays.
Other features include two single coil pickups plus under bridge pickup, a trapeze tailpiece, adjustable Rosewood bridge, and 3-on-a-plate tuners.

Comes with its original 1955 brown hard shell case, which bears similarity to the case for a 1955 Les Paul.

VG+; some finish checking, wear to the back of the neck, rusted tuner housings

National Newport  82

with "Map shaped body"

Serial#: S20691

With it's fiberglass body, the National Newport, with it's body shaped like the USA, is definitely among the coolest and most innovative guitars in history.

In beautiful near-mint all original condition.

Produced for a mere two-year period, the fiberglass-bodied Newport 82 evolved from the Val-Pro 84, and features a highly-polished Pepper Red fiberglass exterior, a single "standard" pickup, controls on the bass side of the body,
an adjustable Rosewood bridge, an asymmetrical ("Gumby") plastic veneered headstock profile, and vibrato tailpiece.

- SOLD -

National Chicagoan

ONLY $350!


1930's Gibson E-150 Aluminum Body Lap Steel

Serial #231

with the rare first early version of the 

EH-150 Amp

A rare combination, after 80 years this is still one of the best-sounding electric guitar pickups and still one of the best sounding tube amps ever made.

An important piece of history, the first Gibson lap steel, and one of the earliest solid body electric guitars, one of less than 100 made. This instrument comes with its original hard shell case.

Like Rickenbacker, Gibson also made their first lap steel guitars with an aluminum body. These guitars had the same style of pickup made famous by Charlie Christian on the archtop guitars he played with Benny Goodman's band.

The amplifier is a beautiful example of the first extremely rare version of a Gibson EH-150 amplifier, with square leather-reinforced corners, in unbelievable condition.

The guitar has areas of natural corrosion on the aluminum.

Early Gibson EH-150 Amp

Second Variation of First Version

Rickenbacher 1935 Model B Spanish Guitar and Amp

With 1 1/2" Horseshoe Pickup, in immaculate condition.

A rare variation with a Spanish style round bolt on neck replacing the flat neck of the lap steel version, considered to be the first commercial solid body electric guitar.

As originally supplied with early Rickenbacher amplifier.

There is no substitute for the amazing unique sound of a vintage 1930's 1 1/2" horseshoe pickup Bakelite Rickenbacher played through a matched 1930's Rickenbacher amplifier, a '50's Telecaster played through a tweed Fender amp,
or a 1930's "Charlie Christian" pickup Gibson played through a 1930's Gibson amp, as far too few people have experienced. 
Rickenbacher produced only a small number of Bakelite solid body guitars with the conventional round neck.

This 1935 Electro B Spanish is the very rare round neck version– it is not a square-neck lap steel. This significant model by Rickenbacker is considered by many as the first real solid electric guitar.
Noticeable features include the old spelling of the name “Richenbacher” – now commonly seen as “Rickenbacker”, and a string through design and bolt on neck that presaged the Telecaster made by his California neighbor Leo Fender.


Rickenbacher 1930's Model B Bakelite Hawaiian Lap Steel

A Bakelite version of the Model B also with 1 1/2" Horseshoe Pickup, bolt on neck, strings through body, and five white plates.

Many lap steel players, particularly David Lindley, consider the 1930s Rickenbacker Model B Bakelite model the best sounding lap steel ever made. This Bakelite version of the Model B, featuring the pre-war 1 1/2" Horseshoe Pickup, bolt-on neck,
string-thru-body design, and white plates, is nearly identical to Lindley's favorite six-string Rickenbacker.

This instrument is in beautiful original condition with white metal plates, concentric tone and volume controls, original Waverly "Clover" tuners, and painted fret lines in perfect condition.

Rickenbacher 1930's Model B Bakelite Hawaiian Lap Steel

A Bakelite version of the Model B also with 1 1/2" Horseshoe Pickup, bolt on neck, strings through body, and five chrome plates.

In beautiful original condition with natural wear and no damage, this early version, with chromed metal plates, "arrow" opposing side tone and volume controls, output jack facing the player, and original Grover hexagonal tuners, preceded the white plate version.

Notice the Rickenbacher influence on Leo Fender's Telecaster, with the bolt-on neck and string-through solid body.

1930's Rickenbacher Silver Hawaiian

A striking chrome version of the Model B Lap Steel

A chrome version of the Model B with original black and white tone and volume controls, original tuners, also with desirable 1 1/2" pre-war Horseshoe Pickup. Discontinued after World War II.

First produced in 1937, Rickenbacker (nee Richenbacher) made this model with body parts stamped out of sheet metal.
The stamping process was economical and the instrument was often stuffed with crumpled newspaper or tissue paper in order to eliminate unwanted resonances while playing.

Though not a budget model, the Silver Hawaiian has 35 frets and a chrome-plated hollow body. The first of these models had single black volume control, but by the time this guitar was made in 1939, it featured a white tone control as well. No case.

EXC; shrunken tuner buttons (4), one missing tuner button.  New “Vintage” tuner buttons and easy to follow instructions provided, slight rust near pickup.

1957 Rickenbacker Model 1000

One of three short-scale guitars that were introduced in 1957.

The Model 1000 has one pickup and a neck-through body construction.  The production models were three quarter size tulip-shaped guitars with a one piece maple neck, a Brazilian rosewood fretboard with 18 original thin frets, and white dot position markers. 
Rickenbacker amended the shape slightly in the last part of the year to include a new "cutaway" feature.   Original colors included brown, black, gray, and natural. 

All original with minor wear, original silver case.

ONLY $1600!

Rickenbacker 1956 Combo 400
tulip shape body

Rickenbacker 1966 450 12 String
"Cresting Wave" Body

In beautiful all original condition with original Case

Rickenbacher pioneered the manufacture of the 12 string electric guitar, as used by the Beatles and the Byrds. 

The Rickenbacker 450 evolved out of earlier combo models in the mid-'50s. Originally, the 450 used the Tulip body shape like the Rickenbacker 400. Starting in mid-1958, however, the body was changed to a Cresting Wave style like the 600 series. This 12-string version, the 450-12, was produced starting in 1964.

- SOLD -

Kay Swingmaster 

I'm usually a stickler for all original guitars, but when I saw what a fellow in New Jersey had done to bring out the flame in the maple which had formerly been hidden, it was love at first sight.  One of the coolest looking guitars I've seen, at an affordable price that I couldn't pass up.

Beautiful Maple body, Bigby tailpiece, checkerboard binding, and dual "Kleenex box" pickups. Ideal guitar for jazz, blues, or rockabilly music.

VG; replaced Grover tuners, logo plate bent

- SOLD -

"Pre-Fender" K&F Lap Steel

Serial #501

In 1944, Doc Kaufman, who designed the first guitar vibrato and "ViBrola" for Rickenbacker, and Leo Fender, a radio and phonograph repairman, received a patent for a new style of lap steel pickup. In 1945 they set up shop as K&F Manufacturing to produce their new lap steel, but one year later Kaufman decided to leave the fledgling company.
Leo renamed his company Fender Electric Instruments and, as they say, the rest is history. That history started right here with this K&F Lap Steel.

Made in 1945 at Leo’s home, the body is made from maple and the frets are painted directly onto the fingerboard. The headplate is bent at one end to form the nut, the kind of clever manufacturing solution that Fender would use time and again as he reinvented the solid body electric guitar.
This guitar has the Kaufman and Fender pickup, a style where the strings pass through the magnet in a manner that recalls the function of Rickenbacker's horseshoe pickup. K&F guitars are quite rare, and this model exhibits the design for the single-coil pickup that Fender eventually stopped using years later after his namesake brand established itself in the guitar marketplace. 
This guitar is number 501 of about 1000 guitars produced before Leo formed the Fender Musical Instrument Company.  No case.

VG+; fret markings significantly worn

Early Fender Princeton Lap Steel


One of the earliest Fender instruments available, this Princeton Steel dates to the very first period of the Fender Electric Instrument Company, soon after the departure of "Doc" Kaufman and the changeover from the K&F partnership.
These early steels are the genesis of the entire Fender operation, which was a very small struggling local concern in 1947-8 with very limited production making all of these first instruments extremely rare.  This example is in beautiful all original condition.

Princeton serial numbers are distinguished by the prefix “A”.  This example is number 158, an early serial number for a Fender guitar!

The Princeton was the least expensive of a three-model line, but the differences in the instruments were relatively minor. The lack of a tone control and a hard-wired cord are all that separate this model from its slightly more upscale brother the Deluxe.
All of these early steels were made of whatever woods Leo had in stock.

The pickup is the famous Fender "Direct String" unit, which is still considered one of the best- sounding steel pickups ever designed. The aluminum fingerboard carries roman numerals designating the positions and headplate has the inscribed "Fender Electric instruments, Fullerton California" lightning bolt logo.
Original tuners are simple non-descript openbacks made by Waverly. Despite its primitive appearance, this is a well-designed steel with a great sound. No case. 

In beautiful condition.

1950's Fender Studio Deluxe Lap Steel

- SOLD -

The basic Fender six string lap steel with legs.

Serial # 7215

1950's Fender "Forrest White"Lap Steel"

A special version of Fender's Studio Deluxe produced to honor the Fender shop foreman Forrest White.

In beautiful condition.


Fender FS-52 Lap Steel Guitar

This example is in perfect as-new condition, with original case.

The very first Fender guitars were no-frills lap steels, and they were absolutely great. Even today, those first instruments have a pure, singing tone seldom equaled since.

The new FS52 Lap Steel introduced in the 2000s is an authentic nod to those great steels of the past. Features include a two-piece ash body, a Fender Standard Stratocaster pickup in old style housing, and chrome hardware.

New reproduction “As New” with original case.

ONLY $295!

Feedback From the Buyers...  

I've been equally happy selling to serious players like Jeff Tweedy and those buying their first serious guitar.

In the words of the buyers...

(not cherry-picked, or edited for content!)

1966 Rickenbacker 450-12

It arrived safely. And I love it!

Thank you very much. I will take great care of it.

1921 Gibson L-1

Hi Robert,  Just wanted to say this beautiful, old 'grande dame' has found a home! First, I was taken aback on what great condition it is in. 
Can this truly be 95 years old?  I can only hope I look a fraction as good as this beauty when I'm 95.
  Put some new strings on, tuned her up, and have been playing pretty constant for the last 3 days. It has such a great old bluesy tone with a hint of dobro in there. 
I never imagined a 95 year old guitar could sound so magical. 
 Again, thank you for selling me this wonderful L-3.  It will be treasured, well loved, and well played.

1919 Martin 0-18K

Hi Robert,  Well I have had a little time to get to know this little koa gem, and to tell you the truth the sound is so much more than I expected. 
I anticipated the soft mellow tones that I have heard from other koa guitars but this one has so much more going on. 
Clear trebles, no tinniness well blended mids, deep and round bass tones. What has most surprised me is the harmonic depth. 
Mid tones and harmonics that make every note and chord fuller and more complex. And sustain for days. 

It is a pleasure and honor to be the guardian of this piece of history, an important part of the Martin story.

Thanks, I'll be in touch again soon.

1933 Martin 0-17

Hey Robert, Hope you're well.  I picked up the guitar Monday morning and, after spending a few days with it, I love it.  Wonderful sounding and inspiring.  
Everyone who's played it is quite honestly floored by its resonance.  Thank you for connecting me with her.
Have a great day today.
Warm regards.

2006 Martin Ditson 111

Hey Robert; Guitar made it ok, was hard to wait to open the box, felt like a kid at Christmas. It was worth the wait though, I love the guitar!
I'VE NEVER played or sounded better, the tone and the sustain as well as the clarity is excellent.  The action is great and for the wide neck it is really fast. 
Flatpickin, fingerpickin, strumin, it all sounds great and as loud as you want to make it. 
The harmonics are beautiful, I have lost some of my tone perception due to being around and working on jets for 20 years but I can hear this guitar which makes me very happy because I love to sing as well as play. 
I'm sure that I will get many years of enjoyment from this instrument.  Thanks for your patience in dealing with me, I know that you have a lot going on. Thank you Robert

1919 Martin SoCal 1400

Guitar arrived, she's beautiful.  

1926 Martin00-18

Hi Robert, it arrived safely - and it's beautiful!'s in great shape for such an old instrument, so I'm really pleased.

1930 Martin 2-17

Hi Robert,  I just picked up the 2-17 and put some light nickel strings on her...Wow...a very nice voice and a surprising amount of volume from such a petite guitar!  
Thank you for selling her to me.  I play a lot of old blues and depression era music, and the 2-17 really works well for that kind of music.

1926 Gibson L-1

Hi Robert, I received the old warrior and it has arrived safely . I'll keep you posted on its recovery. 
It's seen some heavy playing during its life and it'll be nice to see it back in action ! 

National Dynamic Lap Steel

Hello Robert,  I went to the Post Office and got hold of the National Dynamic which is looking and working fine as you know…
No problem during transfer thanks to your safe packaging.  Very nice lap steel, and so light too!  Thanks too for the spare set of strings! 
Many thanks again for an excellent transaction!

1953 Gibson J-185

Hi Robert,  Thanks for the email.  Yes, cash the checks.  A few comments for now.
1. I opened the case (great fitting case) on Saturday to play with friends. You were not kidding about the old strings.... those strings were pretty old.  I did play it all afternoon in spite of that and it sounded pretty good. 
And it is supremely comfortable in the lap. 
2. Action is great...  Nice tone- more mellow than I expected (good thing) with that mid-range Gibson tone.  Nice defined bass that isn't boomy.  You can feel the notes in your chest even when playing quietly.
3. The refin was pretty well done with what looks more like a varnish/flat than glossy finish.  I see what you meant about the round hole but it is pretty inapparent.  Inside looks like the pictures.
4. I changed to the new strings Sat night.
5.  New strings (my first time using Martin strings) took about a day or so to settle in.  Played them Sunday and last night.  They do sound better and play better. 
I do flatpick more than than strum but I can see this as a great guitar to play and sing with others.
Probably more than you want to know but you described it very accurately and I do think it is a keeper. 
I probably didn't really need another guitar but it's tone and sounds are sufficiently different from my Martin-like dreads or even OMs to play it a great deal.  Particularly out with others which is good thing.
Thanks much for hanging in there with me on this.

Early Martin 2-20

Thank you again for selling me the 2-20 and fulfilling my dream of owning a early Martin. Working on it will be stellar!

...Attached are photos of the repairs I did on the inside of the 2-20. It is coming out fantastic ! 

1966 Martin 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 Martin R-18 Archtop
The R-18 has been a real joy to play. 

1941 Gibson 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.

1947 Gibson J-50
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 Martin 0-15
i LOVE the guitar! it sounds beautiful!
...i really love it, so excited! and thanks for the photos :)

1927 Martin 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 Martin 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 Martin 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 Martin 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 Martin 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 the 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 Martin 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 Martin 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 Martin 000-18
Hi Robert, Arrived safe and sound. Changed strings. Sounds fantastic. Love it.  Thanks So Much.

1953 Martin 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 Martin 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 Martin 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 Martin 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.

1937 Gibson Roy Smeck Stage Deluxe
The 37 Smeck came home yesterday.  Dave (Bromberg) 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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