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John Burr

Some pics of a 1932 Martin 0-18K I just got

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John Burr    0

It's really is a neat guitar but I am not keeping it. It needs a couple of grand worth of serious lutherie work to be fully restored. Long ago it was modified to play as a normal guitar as it cam from Martin set up for Hawaiian Slide stuff. The really messed up the bridge when they did the mod so they could lean the saddle forward enough to intonate closely after putting that ugly shim under the fretboard. Still, it's structurally sound a has some really beautiful wood under that original finish. The case is original and probably more rare than the guitar. It's real beauty but not for me as I cannot afford the repair.

I think someone is getting it off the UMGF though so it will someday be back to it's original glory and be a really pretty guitar. Thought I'd share the pics though and the sale isn't final yet so if you want it let me know. My email is in my profile.

http://s19.photobucket.com/albums/b154/jburr007/1932%20Martin%200-18K%20SN49642/?start=all

Blind Snoopy "I'll stick with HPL for a tonewood" Rhodes

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sdv    0

that's some hot vintage strings.

anyways, I particularly like the sequence of how you've laid out the shots. It almost looks like a fashion edit for the guitar. good photography, and thanks for sharing.

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John Burr    0

It will be a real beauty once it's done, it FEELS so good! I won't be seeing it again in person of course, it is being sold to a guy who has the money and contacts to get it really restored to it's original glory. The Case is a hoot, I mean I really like it. Wish I could fix it up and keep it but to get it really restored is going to be a couple of grand and I only paid $1000 for it and that was really way more than I could afford.

Still, the deal isn't done yet so if anybody wants it let me know.

BSR

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Andy S    9
Nice handle on the case. Is that included in the purchase?

Ya think that's the original handle? Looks pretty old........pretty fancy, too.........:isaynothing:

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John Burr    0

Naw the original handle is gone like some others i have seen but I have a nice leg bone from a cow to put on it eventually. Looks like i may end up keeping it. I won't be doing much of a restoration though, just going to cut a new nut and string it up and play it. I just really like the feel of the guitar and i am hoping that there a sound to match it. I will record something with it this weekend after i cut and fit a new nut and get it strung to pitch...

BSR

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fly135    5

John, my first thought looking at your pictures was to put in enough effort to make it playable and keep it for a while. Good choice. You can always explore your options later, but you don't want to let it go without making it yours at least for a while. Once you get it playing, I'd like to come by and see it.:)

I visited a neighbor of mine that recently found out he had cancer. I told him that I took up playing the guitar this year. He said that he just gave his Dad's guitar to daughter, who lives in Az.. A Gretch that his Dad probably bought in the late 30's or early 40's. I would have loved to sit down and played it once.

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John Burr    0

I have actually just decided to do that at least Fly! I am getting a blank nut tomorrow, I am helping out at my local music Store in the afternoon. I am going to get a nut and fit it myself as best I can and put some strings on it and play it for a while. What the heck, it's not a really expensive guitar even if it is quite old. The finish issues are going to pretty much relegate it to something other than collectible status and the mods are way too tough to undo but I bet it plays fine once I get it going.

I have an offer for it but I am not in the mood to lose money on it so I leaning towards just keeping the thing. Since it isn't really a collectible i could really just sand it down and refinish it if I wanted to go that route but I would probably get kicked off the UMGF (unofficial martin Guitar forum) for doing it. If it sounds decent once I get the nut in and string it up I will probably also get a new bridge put on and maybe get the fingerboard replaced. The current one is flat and has been shimmed up. The reason for this was that these Koa Guitars came setup for playing Hawaiian Slide guitar, the fretboard is very flat like a classical guitar. They were also set up really high for the slide style, ergo, the shim under the fingerboard and the modified bridge to lean the saddle back at a 30 degree slant to get proper intonation while playing "Spanish" or what we call normal style.

If I am not worried about keeping things authentic and pure Martin these mods could be done for something like $500, maybe a little more. This is really not a bad deal in my opinion. Either way, I will give you a shout once I get it playable. My bet is that it is a real cannon as far as volume and the guitar is definitely broken in.

BSR

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John you are so lucky to have got this gem. Is it worth getting in touch with Martin to find out if it is going to be worth the restoration. It has got to have some interesting pedigree. And it has obviously been very played and loved. Thank you for this treat. I'm well rapped to see a fine part of guitar history.

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OldG    3
Ok, but if yer goin green ...... go all the way!

:mrgreen:

...Ric's Rule !

Beautiful, absolutely beautiful! Any idea where I can get that piccie in wallpaper size?

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John Burr    0

Oh yeah, a lime green Rick! Now that's a guitar! I have checked out several options to get this guitar restored but it is apparently not going to be worth the money. The guitar in restored condition will be worth maybe $2000, this is best case, maybe a bit less. The work would be maybe $1600, maybe a lot more, and I have $1000 in the purchase. Doesn't seem like a bargain to me somehow. The finish is in bad shape. Lots of checking and basically the stuff is chipping off when you move it around. The same humidity that makes the wood stay stable here in Florida is not so great on the nitrocellulose finish after 75 years apparently.

The body and neck are actually in great structural shape, the flat fingerboard is also really good. I mean there really isn't much sign that the guitar has been played much at all over the years. My year old Takamine has way more wear on the back of the neck. The crummy setup with the shim under the fretboard and the modified bridge and saddle finish up the value crash. I did buy it but it was a favor for a friend. I would have loaned him the money and probably not chased it down anyway, a friend in need kind of thing...

But, I have a good body, good neck and good fretboard. I really am thinking about doing the un-thinkable, (to diehard Martin Fans), and redo it myself. New bridge from LMI, oversized to cover up the old one being removed, reset the neck after cleaning off the old shim, take off the old finish and put on something from LMI, maybe even a french polish. If not it's a wall hanger.

I got the new nut but it wasn't installed. The guitar tech wouldn't do it as he thought it was too weird a setup and he didn't want the job. Seems they were a bit worried about "ruining" the already ruined old guitar. So it's either going to be do it myself project or a huge investment that I can't really afford. I am really leaning towards the do it myself option. Worst case I destroy it and I am out $1000. Best case, I end up with a playable guitar that has 75 year old wood and vintage Martin sound that looks OK but not original...

I may try to take it to Lyrical Lumber next week and get a hands on evaluation from them but it sure looks like the consensus is that it isn't a viable project, for me at least. There was a fellow interested in it but he has since offered less than what I paid for it so I am not going to go that route either. First thing is to get a nut on it and string it up. If it sounds OK that may be the end of it but if it's not playable after that I am pretty sure that I will take matters into my own hands...

Blind Snoopy "I have no respect..." Rhodes

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I'm sorry to dredge up an old thread, but I'm really curiuous about whatever happened with this guitar. I found this thread while searching for some other info in the archives.

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John Burr    0

Well, actually this is probably decent timing for it. I have found someone who is going to do the work needed to actually make it a playable guitar again. There is no problem with the neck, no neck reset needed. The shim under the fret board was a common way of converting this guitar from the hawaiian slide guitar it came from factory set up for into a Spanish style guitar and the it seems that it was most likely done 70+ done years ago so it is stable as it's going to get. I am getting the bridge repaired or replaced and a new saddle and nut done on it, the tuners are still workable and really not badly worn. It will still have a bunch of cosmetic issues but that fine for me. I am getting it put into playable shape and then plan to listen to it for a while just to see how I like it. I will decide then whether to keep it or not.

Turns out it wasn;t a bad deal after all. The case is worth about $300 as is and the guitar is easily worth $1500 once it's playable with the conversion. If I removed it the real tortoise shell aftermarket pickguard would be worth some bucks too apparently. Amazing what folks will pay for stuff you can't get anymore. These are pretty conservative estimates of what I could get out it after paying some commission to one of the places that does consignment sales of these old guitars. If I was to sell it myself on ebay or UMGF I might be able to get 25% more but I think I would lean towards just consigning it.

It's not for sale right now but if somebody offered me a Martin 000C16-RGTE Aura for it right now in almost new condition it would be gone in a Jacksonville jiffy. The luthier is getting it Monday and it will be gone for 2 or 3 months so I hope to let you guys hear it when I get back.

As to playing it the nut width is 1 7/8" of an inch, pretty wide for a devoted strummer and flatpicker. Not sure if I like the big v shaped neck with the cool volute and slotted head either but we will see. It's such a neat shape and there is some vibe to a 75 year old Martin, it might be a decent thing to keep even if I never do like to play it. The luthier told me he didn't think it ever been played very much at all. In fact he thinks he might have had it in his hands back in the early 70s and that it once belonged to an aging local doctor who go it restrung and had him fix a tuner plate that needed some oversized screws put in. This was at the very beginning of his luthery career and he noticed that the screw were not in there all that straight and they weren't anything that he would do today. Basically pound in a toothpick and put some odd screws in it. He told me if this is the same guitar it basically sat in the case in the doc's office for years at a time and came out once in a long while.

Kind of cool but he doesn't have any records form those days to see if it really is the same guitar. Just some foggy memories. It would fit the guitar's history as I know it though as it came to the previous owner from a young guy that inherited it with a bunch of furniture and some paintings. He wasn;t from around here and was looking to quickly dispose of the stuff and the lady I got it from, my friend's mom, had an antique store. She got the guitar for $50 in 1979 it turns out although i had at least a couple of different stories from her about it before she settled on this one.

Fortunately the humidity in Florida is constant, with no care most guitars this old would have been in much worse condition. There is a lot of checking in the finish and he thinks it might have had a bit of refinish done to it at some point too but the wood is in good shape and he thinks it will sound great. I guess we will wait and see.

Thanks for bringing it up man, I will keep everyone updated once I get it back. I had taken it to a couple of other guys but they really didn;t want to do a halfa$$ed job of it and that is all I am willing to pay for. Hopefully this will be enough and I will have a neat old guitar without having a bunch of money in it. If not I will sell it and get that 000 I really wanted in the first place.

BSR

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John Burr    0

Thanks for the interest. The guitar was playable for a bit. I had a nut made for it and had the bridge repaired, the luthier told me the repair was pretty iffy but he would give it a try. It was playable for a few hours but he was so insistent that the repair was not going to stay stable that I left it to have a new bridge mad or found and the bridge replaced. I have spoken to him and apparently he is a busy Grampa in the Summer too so maybe he will get a "Round Tuit" and finish the repair after school starts up again.

The guitar sounds amazing, even for the tiny amount of time I played it at his shop it was obvious that this is a special guitar. I am not automatically fond of the neck though or the wide nut and saddle width but i might have to get used to it, the sound was to die for.

Officially the guitar is still for sale, if anyone is interested, and if someone offers me $1500 I will have to take it. I promised Jan that I would. It's a beautiful guitar but like I said, it's not really what I want or what I need. Still, I am not pressing the issue right now and if nobody comes to my door with $1500 I am going to just keep it and finish the repairs. I am not going to do a thing with the finish, it's old and checked and beat looking but that has nothing to do with how it plays, it plays beautifully and I think for a guitar that is good enough.

Other than having strings on it the guitar still looks about the same, it won't really change much even when I do get it back but when I finally have it done I will be sure to get some sound bites and share them over here with you guys.

Once the repairs are completed the price will go up only the actual amount of the repairs, again, the agreement I have with Jan. I am pretty sure at some point I am going to have to sell this, I won;t be really sad as it's been a bit of an irritation to have a bunch of bucks in a guitar I haven't really be able to play but hopefully I will have it long enough to get the bridge on it and actually have it to play for a few months before it does go.

BSR

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