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  #1  
Old 11-24-2017, 07:49 PM
Shortfinger Shortfinger is offline
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Default Two luthiers, two opinions. My Martin 1972 D18

I'm the original owner, took care of it OK for the first five years I had it, then nipped off part of the tip of my fret hand's index finger, and finding it difficult to play, put it away.

Neglected it until about a year ago when I began playing again and discovered the magic of YouTube lessons.

Damaged from being badly neglected and badly stored, it's playable, but when I play new ones at a store, I know it needs help. So I took it to two luthiers today up in Longmont, CO (music city on the front range) and got two different views.

Both suggest a neck reset. This Martin has no truss rod. The first guy took a careful look, but used no straightedge, and said he would want to remove the top five frets in order to plane a little off the fretboard to lessen the top curl, i.e., there's a little too much neck relief.

Second guy says yeah, neck reset, but no mention of the fretboard curl, says after careful examination with a straightedge and feelers, that it's just a little out.

Both say a new saddle is needed, as the existing is down so low it's scary, this from a fix my kids paid for when they "gifted" the guitar back to me years after they were in college and let all their buddies buddies play it. A couple of the pick gouges are glacial. A crack was fixed also then.

Guy 2, who says no need to work the fretboard, showed me a job he just finished on a Martin 1927 00-18, all mahogany, and it was beautifully playable.

Then there is Bryan Kimsey down in NM, who seems to be the go-to guy for 70s Martins, this from people frequenting this discussion forum. Bryan has not seen my guitar.

What might I do?

I've a backup guitar, a little Fender 12-fret all mahogany to keep me company while the dread is out getting its chiro.

Hey, while I was in these shops today, I played a bunch of nice instruments, and my favorite was a 2015 mint-condition Gibson Hummingbird Pro. The price tag was around $1650.
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  #2  
Old 11-24-2017, 10:10 PM
Steev Steev is offline
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If you are the original owner a neck reset will be covered by your lifetime warranty.
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Old 11-25-2017, 12:02 AM
Frank Ford Frank Ford is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steev View Post
If you are the original owner a neck reset will be covered by your lifetime warranty.

Actually, neck resetting is now specifically excluded, particularly on older instruments.
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Old 11-25-2017, 03:51 AM
Steev Steev is offline
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So they changed the warranty that was already given?
"Lifetime warranty. Warranted for the lifetime of the warranty."
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Old 11-25-2017, 07:26 AM
redir redir is offline
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I think anyone here who works on old guitars would have to see it in person to give you any assement of its condition. You might want to talk to your repair tech about compression fretting too. I personally don't like thinning a fretboard. It's possible in some cases to use heat and compression to straighten out a neck too..
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Old 11-25-2017, 07:32 AM
Truckjohn Truckjohn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steev View Post
So they changed the warranty that was already given?
"Lifetime warranty. Warranted for the lifetime of the warranty."
The warranty covers workmanship and materials.. Neck's needing a reset after 47 years are a normal wear and tear maintenance item.... About 100% of guitars need a neck reset after 30 or so years. It's not due to poor workmanship or materials.

It's different on a 2 year old guitar... That's a warranty problem.
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Old 11-25-2017, 07:33 AM
Todd Yates Todd Yates is offline
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You might ask Guy 2 how he plans to address the relief issue, and what the actual relief measures. IME these square tube necks tend to have excessive relief more often than older T-bar Martins. There are a number of reasons for that, but those are unimportant here.

Back to your guitar, I have no issue with planing a fretboard if required to get rid of unevenness, but I would not recommend planing it as suggested by Guy 1 to change the overall geometry. It changes the overall thickness of the neck and consequently the feel, plus when properly done the fretboard is part of the neck's structure. Thinning the fretboard is counterproductive to that.

Compression fretting, using frets with different tang thicknesses, is one of the commonly accepted methods of correcting relief on older Martins. See if Guy 2 is considering that.
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Old 11-25-2017, 08:37 AM
Shortfinger Shortfinger is offline
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Guy 2 described a hot bend operation as a possible alternative to the neck reset.

Heat the neck to soften the glue binding the fretboard to its mahogany substrate. Then bend to straighten as required, and fixture into position until all is cooled and adhesive re-set.

Is that what we are talking about here?

As for warranty, Martin already told me I am out of luck with them.

Then there's that Gibson Hummingbird Pro. Or the super deal on the mint condition Taylor 414ce rosewood. Both have electrics, which I think I want.
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Old 11-25-2017, 08:59 AM
Shortfinger Shortfinger is offline
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OK now I am up to speed on compression fretting. Good old YouTube.

Basically using oversized fret tangs to wedge the desired degree of flatness into the neck.

The things we do to save these old axes, right? And all because Martin in their insularity refused to put adjustable truss rods in their otherwise beautiful guitars until about 1985.
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Too many ukeleles
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Old 11-25-2017, 09:13 AM
PaulHintz PaulHintz is offline
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My first guitar, bought new, was a 1971 D28. As you all know, that is now called a “vintage” guitar.... I kept that thing 26 years and for the last ten of those Itried everything I could think of to improve the tone and balance....my point to the OP is, if you like the new/different guitars you’re hearing in the stores, don’t let a sentimental attachment blind you, and for sure get repair cost estimates from these luthiers...and compare those to the cost of something you’d actually love to play. I got what I could on trade for that D28, 20years ago, and have never regretted it. Just FWIW.
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Old 11-25-2017, 09:14 AM
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Ed-in-Ohio Ed-in-Ohio is offline
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2015 mint-condition Gibson Hummingbird Pro.
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Old 11-25-2017, 09:30 AM
Todd Yates Todd Yates is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shortfinger View Post
Guy 2 described a hot bend operation as a possible alternative to the neck reset.

Heat the neck to soften the glue binding the fretboard to its mahogany substrate. Then bend to straighten as required, and fixture into position until all is cooled and adhesive re-set.
One, "heat pressing" a neck in this case only means the repairman does not know how to do it correctly. At best it is a temporary solution. The cold creep of modern glue will allow the excess relief to return after a time. I would not let anyone suggesting such touch my guitars, not even to change the strings. I'm very narrow minded in that regard.

Two, a neck reset has nothing at all to do with relief, truss rods, etc. Both affect playability, but are different issues.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Shortfinger View Post
And all because Martin in their insularity refused to put adjustable truss rods in their otherwise beautiful guitars until about 1985.
Many of their most expensive guitars (Authentic Series and some Limited Editions) are still built with non-adjustable truss rods. FWIW, I've recent guitars by other builders, also made with non-adjustable truss rods of one sort or another. Properly executed, this setup is very stable.

The 3/8" square tubes Martin used at the time are not the best examples of proper execution, although they did not know it at the time. Their source of 1/2" T-bar dried up and this was the replacement.
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  #13  
Old 11-25-2017, 10:36 AM
kkrell kkrell is offline
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If it were my guitar, I'd send it to Bryan Kimsey.
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  #14  
Old 11-25-2017, 11:15 AM
Shortfinger Shortfinger is offline
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I think I'll just drive it down to Bryan. Leave zero dark thirty, breakfast in Raton, hop over to his ranch and drop it off.
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1972 Martin D18
Fender PM-2 all-mahogany parlor
Yamaha LS-TA with sunburst finish
Too many ukeleles
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  #15  
Old 11-27-2017, 08:48 AM
redir redir is offline
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Reheating a neck is a perfectly acceptable and common method for such guitars. There are elaborate jigs used to do it. In fact I think I even remember reading it in the original Martin repair manual back int the 90's.
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