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Old 07-10-2007, 05:08 AM
sihackett29 sihackett29 is offline
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Default 1972 Martin D18

I'm looking at one of these at the moment. The description is as follows:

This guitar has a pro fit extra hard bone nut and saddle, water buffalo pins and endpin (original plastic ones included), smooth operating all original tuners and original moulded case also in very good condition. The pickguard is not peeling up like many guitars form this era and the bridge shows no signs of lifting. The neck has been reset and there is a pro repair to a hairline crack under the pickguard (see images) that is very difficult to see and is NOT ongoing. It's marked on the images below next to a dark grain line which is not a crack.. There are no other structural issues, cracks or damage that threaten the integrity of this guitar. No other cracks to the top, sides or back and no damage to the back of the neck. There is a bit of surface buckle rash to the finish and the odd small scratch, small dent and a very small bit of laquer checking as you would expect. The action is 2.5.mm low E, 2.0mm high E at the 12th fret and it plays very nicely indeed

I'm hopefully going to go take a look at the weekend - what should I be looking for? I'd like it to hold its value!!
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Old 07-10-2007, 05:52 AM
djeffcoat djeffcoat is offline
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Default 1972 Martin D18

If it plays well, sounds good to you and you can get it for a reasonable price, I'd say you have a winner.

Good luck,
DJ
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Old 07-10-2007, 05:56 AM
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Check the intonation, some early 70's Martins had the bridges slightly misplaced at the factory, take a capo with you and check the upper neck.

Aside from cracks look for signs of refininshing, fretwear and usable saddle. Good Luck, early 70's Martins can be a crapshoot but the good ones sound wonderful.
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Old 07-10-2007, 07:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sihackett29 View Post
...what should I be looking for? I'd like it to hold its value!!
Hi sihackett...
The tone is what makes or breaks old Martins. It's either got it or it ain't. It is the first thing I'd be looking for.

We have a friend who bought a 1970 D-28 in 1995, that was in mint condition...because it was virtually unplayed. Looked great, and was tighter than a drum, and it took 10 years of constant play for it to open up and start sounding really decent, and then it needed refretted and a neck reset.

The model you listed is from the ''non-adjustable'' neck years, which is likely part of why it has had a neck reset, so check the relief. Also check fret condition. Hopefully when he had the neck reset the frets were examined and perhaps replaced.

I'd ask...it's only a couple three hundred bucks to have a neck refretted, or $25 per fret if the first 5-6 need replaced, but as a fingerstyler who hammers a lot I attest to the ability to wear them out. It is a normal repair (as is a neck reset after many years of use), but may not have been done.

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Old 07-10-2007, 08:13 AM
woodruff woodruff is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sihackett29 View Post
I'm looking at one of these at the moment. The description is as follows:

This guitar has a pro fit extra hard bone nut and saddle, water buffalo pins and endpin (original plastic ones included), smooth operating all original tuners and original moulded case also in very good condition. The pickguard is not peeling up like many guitars form this era and the bridge shows no signs of lifting. The neck has been reset and there is a pro repair to a hairline crack under the pickguard (see images) that is very difficult to see and is NOT ongoing. It's marked on the images below next to a dark grain line which is not a crack.. There are no other structural issues, cracks or damage that threaten the integrity of this guitar. No other cracks to the top, sides or back and no damage to the back of the neck. There is a bit of surface buckle rash to the finish and the odd small scratch, small dent and a very small bit of laquer checking as you would expect. The action is 2.5.mm low E, 2.0mm high E at the 12th fret and it plays very nicely indeed

I'm hopefully going to go take a look at the weekend - what should I be looking for? I'd like it to hold its value!!
sounds like a dream dude. bring money with you. there isa '72 d-18 down at a local guit shop here in tucson that i have had in my thoughts for 2 yrs, but no one will buy it cause it isnt in half as good of shape as what you describe. hopefully for you it's a gem. but get there before someone else does, or i find out where it is and fly out there before you.....

hehehehe
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Old 07-10-2007, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodruff View Post
sounds like a dream dude. bring money with you. there isa '72 d-18 down at a local guit shop here in tucson that i have had in my thoughts for 2 yrs, but no one will buy it cause it isnt in half as good of shape as what you describe. hopefully for you it's a gem. but get there before someone else does, or i find out where it is and fly out there before you.....

hehehehe
Down boy
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Old 07-10-2007, 08:55 AM
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Here is a great article on evaluating older Martins.

http://www.bryankimsey.com/70s_D28/index.htm

Byran has a lot of other information on his site about problems, what it costs to fix them and his theory on setup, action and mods. By the way, Bryan has done the neck resets and setups on both of mine.

If the ad is honest that could be a very nice guitar and sounds about like mine in its current condition. Having the neck reset is a good thing (that is the major problem with old Marties) - double check with a 24 inch straightedge (or the rule of thumb is that with acceptable 12th fret action you should have about 1/8 inch of saddle sticking out.

The pickguard crack is common and should be fixed. Sounds like yours was. Bone nut and saddle go along with a good setup - many people actually like the sound of stock plastic pins in a martie (but they get pretty beat up so you can decide). Fret wear is common - Bryan replaced the first 5 on mine and crowned the reset.

These guitars have non adjustable t/r's but usually have pretty stable necks. Both mine have about 0.010 relief after all these years - worth checking. A biggie is the saddle location - as one poster said some of them are in the wrong location. It can be fixed (fill the slot and reroute it) or if you play in just the first location you'll probably never notice.

Some of these guitars have been "hot rodded" (mine has and it is better for it). Kimsey is a great believer in replacing the bridgeplate, and did some after market scalloping on mine (my wife's comment when it came back was "you are playing louder tonight" - I wasn't). I did not have the popsicle popped - but some folks do.

Before doing the work mine was probably worth about $xxx (but unsaleble because of the neck angle). I've been offered xxxx for it (by a guy who owns a 1939 D-18 who doesn't like to take it out). I've also played it along side a GE and thought it held its own very nicely. fwiw, the work on my D-18 was about 700, on my D12-28 it was a bit over 6.

So, 1970's D-18's get a lot of grief, but there can be some real gems out there. Yours just might be one of them.

Last edited by cotten; 07-10-2007 at 10:59 AM. Reason: AGF Rule 2 in FAQ: no guitar price discussion.
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Old 07-10-2007, 09:39 AM
sihackett29 sihackett29 is offline
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What do you think would be a reasonable price to pay fo rthe guitar in this condition with original case? (Bare in mind I'm in England and everything over here is more expensive than the States!!!)
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Old 07-10-2007, 09:43 AM
woodruff woodruff is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sihackett29 View Post
What do you think would be a reasonable price to pay fo rthe guitar in this condition with original case? (Bare in mind I'm in England and everything over here is more expensive than the States!!!)
sent PM, as there are no price posts in the threads....
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Old 07-10-2007, 10:11 AM
Freeman Freeman is offline
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another PM sent plus a link to the UMGF buy and sell
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Old 07-10-2007, 10:23 AM
woodruff woodruff is offline
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Quote:
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another PM sent plus a link to the UMGF buy and sell

hey freeman, could you send that to me, too?

thanks!
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Old 07-10-2007, 10:45 AM
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The only knock I have ever heard on Martins was that the 70's was not a banner decade for them. A lot of issues--and Q/C slipped. Frankly, I think the emergence of a certain Robert Taylor, and his guitars, shook Martin back into reality: make 'em better, or you're gonna be also-rans.

Anyone I ever spoke with, or "read," suggested you be VERY thorough with a lot of the 70's Martins. Some were really dawgs; others, just peachy fine. So, do the homework, and get a trial period if you can. I can tell you I played 2 70's D-28's that were dead as doornails WITH new strings. I played a D-35, circa 1975, that was great. I think the big thing was consistency then. Now--they're turning out some great future grails.
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Old 07-10-2007, 10:56 AM
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it's easy to find a good 70's Martin. Best thing about them is that they are affordable, cause of the bad press for that period. Almost every D-35 from this period I played was great, and i owned one for 10 yrs myself....I would love to one day own a 70s D-28 or 18....
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Old 07-10-2007, 12:23 PM
Mass. Wine Guy Mass. Wine Guy is offline
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The 1970s period for Martin is well documented for being at the lower end of the company's quality control standards. The intonation on early 70s Martins, especially dreadnaughts, is almost always off because the bridge is about 1/8th of an inch out of proper position. I had Bryan Kimsey do soome work on my 1970 D-28 and it sounds and plays like a different (as in, better) guitar. Please email or PM the asking price on this D-18. I'm curious.
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Old 07-10-2007, 03:50 PM
martind gibsona martind gibsona is offline
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I've got a '71 D-18 that had both of the usual problems -- pickguard crack and the saddle slot in the wrong place -- when I bought it. I got those problems corrected along with a re-fret and about half a dozen hairline cracks repaired. Now everyone who hears it remarks on what a great-sounding guitar it is. A good friend of mine who's got a really discriminating ear told me it's the most balanced D-18 he's ever heard from any year. I knew next to nothing about guitars when I bought it ... believe me, I just lucked into this one. There are some good '70s Ds out there.

Don Smith
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