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Old 11-02-2012, 09:45 PM   #1
mcquinnsr
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Default Things to consider before buying vintage

Most people on this forum are aware of this but some may not be.If you are considering purchasing a pre 1986 Martin you might want to investigate some of the costs of owning one of these.It is not always going to be a money making investment.These older models do not have adjustable truss rods so when the action starts getting high it can be expensive to have the neck reset .This requires removing the neck and reshaping the dovetail joint and regluing the neck.The inclination to just file down the bridge will give some relief but the tone and volume will suffer.The pickgaurds were attached to the tops before the finish was applied and the plastic used back in the day was not very stable and will shrink and pull loose over time and often will split the top.These are the problems I have encountered so far and I am sure there will be others to look forward to.These are normal occurances and not poor craftsmanship or limited to vintage Martins.Luckily I have the resources and access to a good luthier and for me the cost is well worth it.But for someone who really has to scrimp and save to invest your hard earned coin in a vintage treasure only to find out it will require a huge investment in repair to make it or keep it playable is kind of rough.There are some folks that will patch an old guitar and palm it off on an unsuspecting person so as not to loose thier money.Just please be carefull and if in doubt either get someone to check your prospective purchase out or pass.Sorry if I bummed you out ,buyer beware .
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:22 AM   #2
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I found out the hard way. I bought a 78 D-35 a few years ago, and had to have the neck reset. It cost 300.00, but I didn't pay too much for the guitar in the first place, so it came out even in the wash. Its a beautiful guitar, plays great now and sound incredible.

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Old 11-26-2012, 08:57 PM   #3
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Same here.$700.00 for an 83 D-18 and $500.00 to have the neck reset,some frets replaced and some capo bite marks removed from the back of the neck.$1200.00 in a $2000.00+ guitar that sounds awesome is not too bad.
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcquinnsr View Post
Same here.$700.00 for an 83 D-18 and $500.00 to have the neck reset,some frets replaced and some capo bite marks removed from the back of the neck.$1200.00 in a $2000.00+ guitar that sounds awesome is not too bad.
Mcquinnsr, beautiful D-18. I had a 74 D-18 that I sold in, I think, 1980. I miss that guitar all the time. I just noticed all the finger prints on my d35 picture. I need to polish it up and take a new one
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:18 PM   #5
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Mine has been and continues to get played.Whoever had it before me took a lot of the finish off the edge of the soundhole and by the pickgaurd,and I am wearing through by the neck.Hopefully it won't get Willie Nelson bad.
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:38 PM   #6
MattyV751
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Default Neck Reset and new frets for a 76 000-18???

Will this not only improve the playability, but give this guitar a better sound? Very unhappy with the tone and volume...it's mint, but I'm thinking of selling or swapping :-(

Matt
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Old 12-28-2012, 07:32 PM   #7
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It improves the sound quite a bit if it is required.The angle the strings break over the bridge give the strings the leverage to drive the top.And once the string height is in range the intonation is better.Your choice of strings also affect the tone and volume.Heavier strings are louder and different blends of metals give different tones .These are very versatile guitars and it just takes a while to get one dialed in.It is for sure not wasted money as it is easier to sell a guitar that is well maintained.I would find a Martin recomended luthier and have them look at your instrument and tell them your concerns.They should be able to steer you in the right direction.It is quite possible you might be looking for a sound that only comes from another type of wood,body size,shape or construction.I found my luthier by inquiring on the C.F.Martin Facebook page for someone they would recomend near me.
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:35 PM   #8
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Thanks so much for the advice....we shall see.....neck reset this week.....not giving up yet..:-)

MV
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