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Old 09-17-2004, 01:14 PM
waynep waynep is offline
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Default 1974 Martin D-18 Value ???

Hi All,

I ran into a Martin D-18 today in a pawn shop. From the serial number and looking at Martin's web page, it was made in 1974. It sounds good but would sound better with new strings I am sure. The ones on there were old. Wood wise it's in great shape but the finish could use some work. The back of the neck needs to be re-finished. It peeling some. The pick guard is curling up and needs to be replaced or something. The neck appears to be straight, but I need to go look at it again.

Questions:

1) What is something like this worth??

2) What is a ball park figure for getting it refinished by a luthier or possibly sending back to Martin for refurb?

In the spirit of the rules of AGF, please send pricing/value info to wayne.patton@gmail.com.

Thanks!!
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Old 09-17-2004, 01:18 PM
randyfromde randyfromde is offline
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Quote:
Wood wise it's in great shape but the finish could use some work. The back of the neck needs to be re-finished. It peeling some. The pick guard is curling up and needs to be replaced or something.
Other than having the pickguard fixed and perhaps having the finish on the back of the neck smoothed out, why have it refinished? The original finish is probably good and settled in at this point.
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Old 09-17-2004, 01:28 PM
waynep waynep is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randyfromde
Other than having the pickguard fixed and perhaps having the finish on the back of the neck smoothed out, why have it refinished? The original finish is probably good and settled in at this point.
I dont know . . . Maybe you are right. The rest of the guitar doesnt look that bad. Just some rough spots like the neck and a couple on the body. I would have the explore that possibility. I guess I need to go look at it again, maybe take some pictures to show someone who knows more about the finishing aspects.
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Old 09-17-2004, 01:36 PM
nhsmitty nhsmitty is offline
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FWIW..

Check out the interior with an inspection mirror and flashlight. Look for cracked braces, previous repairs and general condition. Might be clean as a whistle in there, might not be, but it's best to know what's going on before you buy. (Take my word for it. It's no fun finding a cracked brace after you get home from the pawn shop. I learned my lesson) If it happens to have stuff going on inside, the pawn shop may not be aware of it..That might give you bargaining power if you can point out obvious problems.

Good luck.. Pawn shop finds are very cool, IMO.. I like to make the rounds at least once a month. Matter of fact, I stopped by one local shop yesterday.. Nothing of interest though.
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Old 09-17-2004, 03:07 PM
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Randal_S Randal_S is offline
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Sadly, 70's Martins aren't considered to be collectible and are often shunned, as the 70's were considered to be a 'dark period' for Martin. That's not to say there aren't great 70's guitars out there, but the problem is that the sellers think that every one is 'vintage' when the reality is that the value of these guitars is pretty low.

Unless this one blows your hair back, you may be better off getting a new 18 with the warranty, no finish issues, and no other skeletons in the closet. As for valuation, I would start at 1/2 of list price and work downward for any issues or upward for killer tone. Of course, the pawn shop probably didn't pay more than a third of what they're asking for it, so that's something to consider when negotiating.
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Old 09-17-2004, 03:09 PM
BR-183Bob BR-183Bob is offline
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Refinishing and big touch-ups can ruin the resale value of a vintage Martin Guitar. Don't do it! If there are chips that affect your playing, by all means do something with them but do not refinish or do big finish repairs unless you have no intention of ever reselling it. A nice refinish can make for a nice looking guitar but it also can rob you of the vintage sound. Many times the guitar needs to go through the whole opening up process all over again.

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Old 09-17-2004, 03:56 PM
waynep waynep is offline
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OK, understand the refinishing thing. Got a hold of a local guy that does work on guitars. He told me the same thing. I posted pictutres and a .txt file with the price they are asking at:

http://www.cox-internet.com/kwpatton/guitar/

I dont think this runs foul of no price discussion policy since I made it available on a web site other than AGF. Mods, if it does then tell me and I'll take care of it.

I think they are asking a bit much for it. Sorry about the pics. An unfamilier camera and in a shop where they were watching me take pictures . . I asked first, they looked at each other but watched me close.
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Last edited by waynep; 09-17-2004 at 05:40 PM. Reason: had to change url . . geocities put limit on transfer amounts . . :(
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Old 09-17-2004, 04:12 PM
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Judging by the low saddle, it appears that this one is a candidate for a neck reset. Figure $300-400 for that, and whatever else for the neck finish.

Quite a premium to pay compared to a newer one, IMO. Unless this thing is some sort of 'Grail', I'd want them to knock about $500 off of their asking price.
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Old 09-17-2004, 07:09 PM
Taylor814 Taylor814 is offline
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About 2 years ago I sold a 73 D-18 in practically mint condition (original owner, recent neck reset and fret job) for $400 less than their asking price, and I was glad to get that. Their price is highway robbery for a D-18 in that condition. For not much more you could get a new one.
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Old 09-17-2004, 07:17 PM
waynep waynep is offline
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Thanks for the input . . . I am going to skip this one. Save my money for something in better shape . . .
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Old 09-20-2004, 01:06 PM
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Wayne, altho you've made up your mind I'll chime it too. Until I decided to keep it, I was going to sell my early 70's D-18 for $850 and it is in much better shape.

If you find another one some things to look for are the saddle height and need for a neck reset (every Martin gets one at some time in their life), the crack in the top next to the pick guard (the pick guard will need removal and replacement with a stick on one), and the possibility of a little "belly pooch" on the lower bout. QC wasn't as good at Martin in the 70's - look the guitar over very carefully.

Unfortunately most pawn shop owners really know the value of the things they sell. The days of finding a dusty pre war herringbone hanging in some little hawk shop are pretty much over. This one was way too much.

If you really want a Martin you might lurk over at the UMGF and check out the buy and sell
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Old 09-20-2004, 02:57 PM
Rockerbob Rockerbob is offline
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From the looks of it, it does, or will soon, need a neck reset.
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Old 09-20-2004, 03:10 PM
GSnyde GSnyde is offline
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My '72 D-18 is the last guitar I'd sell....because it is "worth" about 3 times its market value. Sounds as good as the ones from the 60s, but has an undeserved bad rep.
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Old 09-21-2004, 10:29 AM
axememan axememan is offline
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I have a 1979 d-18 and i figure it at about 1000 bucks right now...more if some one really wants it..it has....mmmm lets say "patina"...lol..but i really love this ole girl...i traded a 2001 taylor 310 that i got from mars going out of biddness sale..so i have 500 in it[gr8 deal that day...wish i would have had tons more money!!!!!!]....my fret board has wear and the sound board has a repaired crack...but it aint like she is going to be worth less anytime soon..plus this thang really has the bass!!!and there are no more pawn shop deals...they always pay low and ask the moon...a local pawnshop has a 410 taylor[96 ithink] and it has bridge pin issues and a few other things..it is hangin up for 850!i do wish i had acces to pawnshop deals[ie a pawnshop owner!!]..this fellow has a presentation series and a 710...you know he dont have much in them....i pity the poor soul who either had to bring them in for pawn..or worse..the poor souls who had them STOLEN.......
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Old 09-21-2004, 12:29 PM
GCWaters GCWaters is offline
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I had a late '70's D-18 that I sold to Gruhn when I bought my 814ce (about 5 years ago)...got $600 for it--pretty clean, with a couple of stand dings...keep in mind their mark-up for re-sale....
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