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Help - Decisions to make re 1971 D-41

 
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Silverface



Joined: 23 Aug 2006
Posts: 324
Location: Hermosa Beach CA

PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 5:45 am    Post subject: Help - Decisions to make re 1971 D-41 Reply with quote

My D-41 has reached the point of no return - the bridge was mildly shaved a decade ago but there's nothing left - the action is 8/64 at both sides, so it's time for a neck reset.

Dilemma - I'm still (after a year) not working, have sold off all non-essentials, and need to find the best possible deal (and then figure out how to get the funds together.). Part of the issue - I started my own consulting gig but it's slow going, and I WILL NOT use household funds to bail it out.

So it'll probably be a while. But I need to plan for it, so I need to get competitive pricing. This will be the last time I'll likely have any major work done on it, so I'm planning on a little more than the essentials - reset; new bridge; popsicle brace removal; brace scalloping if possible (so I need a REAL Martin guy, not a weekend repairman - if it was JUST the reset I'd probably suck it up and do it myself.

So please - sources, price quotes, rumors, reviews - email if you don't want to post, since I'd also like to know who to avoid!

PLAN B - My other thought is *possibly* trading it as-is for something in a comparable price range; Martin and Noble are my shortlist for what I play (Oh, sure - a Whitebook would be OK, I guess... Wink ). My thought here is that either someone with a CW D-18 would prefer a played-in D-41 with a Stringpull Tort guard (a few small repaired chips and worn tuner plating, plus normal lacquer checking & orig case). Even with the shaved bridge it's a proverbial cannon (making my decision VERY hard).

My thought is some repair guy/girl with a newer CW or other dreadnaught vintage reissue might want to swap, since they could do the work themselves. Or they might have a beater but repaired 50's Martin and a s**tload of sympathy!

Maybe I'm reaching - but I need SOMETHING to play and unfortunately I'm very picky when it comes to acoustic guitars (No Taylor/Guilds/Gibsons/Breedloves/Larivees PLEASE). Oh - Santa Cruz - that's another option. Have to be the right one, I've played some that needed too many years of break-in.
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Brian



Joined: 22 Aug 2006
Posts: 1360
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim...

I'm not sure I would do any of that work without getting the guitar appraised at in it's current condition...and then what would it be worth in it's restored condition (ie neck reset and bridge if needed?). Any of the other structural mods (scalloping, brace removal) would most likely reduce the value of the guitar. In fact any mods at all might make it worth less in resale. Just guessing there...

I would go over on the umgf.com (unofficial Martin guitar forum) and ask opinions over there...

There are some custom builders such as Don Wilson and Wayne Henderson making wonderful dreads these days...
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Dogbear



Joined: 23 Jun 2007
Posts: 275
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim, any competent guitar repairman can do a bridge replacement and a neck set on a Martin. The Martin factory will also do it for you, free I believe, if you are the original owner. If your aim is to sell the guitar, the cost of the repair may exceed the increased money you would receive in the long run.

The bracing on your 71 is standard or rearward braced as compared to prewar forward shifted. Scalloping the bracing on a 40 year old guitar won't get you very much and many a guitar has been ruined by attempting it. One I saw recently was owned by a very, very well known artist.

Replacing the bridge and setting the neck wont affect its value and may increase its salability, scalloping the bracing will seriously affect its value. Also, a 71 D41 most likely was not afflicted with the problems that most 70s era Martins came from the factory with, so if it sounds good, fix it and play it.
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Silverface



Joined: 23 Aug 2006
Posts: 324
Location: Hermosa Beach CA

PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2011 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm aware of those issues - been at this a LONG time, just none of my previous acoustics (except one, since sold) ever needed a reset.

I'm not the original owner so Martin's not touching it for free. I have not heard the best reports about factory resets anyway - there it's a production situation. And "any competent repairman can do" is true - but they can do it badly, and I see more crappy resets than I do good ones.

It has a few slight defects - a chip at the edge of the (newer) tort guard caused by the shrunken original, shaved bridge and a slight dimple in the upper bout on the bass side. Plus extensive lacquer checking. It's not a collector's special, and I'm well aware of the current and potential value. The current value might get me a newer, cheaper model that needs 10-15 years of breaking in. That's not exactly a great idea.

I'm not concerned in the least about resale value - the only way it'd be leaving is if I got a good enough trade offer as-is, which is what I said in the original post. As a part-time repair guy myself I often do swaps for things needing "assistance" to create a "win win" situation. But if I have the work done I'm keeping it.

The scalloping issue is another I'm well aware of, and having played strictly bluegrass from '76 - '86 and then off and on from 95-99 I've seen/heard/played just about every mod and heard every horror story. The *right* type of scalloping on '70's D's is not aggressive but really opens up the sound. Sometimes the guitars lose a little volume but gain a wealth of overtones, and there are only two groups of repair shops that would even do it - the knowledgeable ones who would want to discuss it first to ensure I know the slight risks AND to determine my goals, and 2) the idiots who will do anything for a buck.

So - I am well aware of all issues raised. I'm not asking for reasons why I should NOT do certain work, which is what the replies so far consist of. I don't need Martin or "any" shop.

To sum it up again, I'm looking for the most reasonable, qualified repair person to meet my goals, understanding I might need some time flexibility on the financial end, or a solid trade with someone who has a ready-to-go vintage-style piece and is willing trade to trade for potential in both quality and value and who has the connections or can do the work themselves.
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Matt



Joined: 23 Aug 2006
Posts: 182
Location: St Louis, MO

PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2011 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brian K. seems like the man to speak to on this. I'd shoot him an email.
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Muttcaster



Joined: 03 Sep 2006
Posts: 130
Location: New Mexico

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 2:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Help - Decisions to make re 1971 D-41 Reply with quote

How quickly do you need it back?

If I can have it for 3 months, I'll cut you a pretty good deal that I guarantee you can afford. Time might be less than that, but for the deal I'm proposing, I can't promise. For the me, the single most stressful part of working on a guitar is the time frame. Eliminate that and I'm easy.

Shoot me an e-mail or a PM if you want to talk.
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Silverface



Joined: 23 Aug 2006
Posts: 324
Location: Hermosa Beach CA

PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:09 pm    Post subject: Thanks to Bryan it's being well taken care of! Reply with quote

I talked to Bryan and he graciously worked things out for me; with the work I'd like done and his hectic schedule it'll take some time, but that's nothing since it's pretty much unplayable for me right now. While I recovered from my complete left hand stiffness problem the index finger has only about 75% of the motion it had, so I have to cheat a bit even on a Tele when playing chords - but if BB King can get away without playing full chords so can I, dangit! Razz

The neck reset and bridge replacement are absolutely necessary; other work on it will depend on how Bryan thinks 1) it'll sound, knowing specific details of my playing technique and desired feel & sound), and 2) he can do and not have it go nuclear for 10 years or so. Since it's my desert island acoustic it'll never be sold, so if it hold up 'til I'm 69 or 70 fine; everything after that is a bonus, and after I'm gone it's one of the kids problems! Twisted Evil

What I laid out as far as setup is stretching the envelope (it might include tearing the envelope to shreds!) so it'll be interesting to see what he decides. This is one of those rare cases where I am not concerned with resale value or collectability - it's being though of strictly from a generic construction and setup standpoint, and *anything* that will help it get to some combination of my personal specs goes.
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Drake



Joined: 22 Aug 2006
Posts: 89
Location: California

PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bryan is the man. Several years ago, I sent him my HD-28V to do whatever he wanted to do. I picked it up with an enlarged soundhole, removed popsicle, shaved back braces, plugged and drilled tuner holes, and an ace setup and intonation. Turned an OK guitar into a very nice guitar, louder with more upper harmonic content and considerably better growl. And it's gotten better since then.

You are going to be very pleased, Jim. Cool
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Raybob



Joined: 26 Aug 2008
Posts: 98
Location: Kyburz, CA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I give up, who is Bryan? Is that Muttcaster? I too, have a Martin in need of at least neck reset. I haven't seen it in about 4 years. Once, I left it in the back of my car, hatchback, sun shown on it, black case, windows up, temps in 90s, need I say more? When I got it out, the neck had pushed itself into the body, bending the binding on both side of it. I almost cried at what I had done and quickly put it back in the case.

Since that event, I had a chance to buy a 69 D21 at a super price but it has no pickup. My old D28 had a Fishman under saddle p/u and I sure miss that.
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Muttcaster



Joined: 03 Sep 2006
Posts: 130
Location: New Mexico

PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Raybob wrote:
I give up, who is Bryan? Is that Muttcaster?


Guilty as charged.

Website:

http://www.bryankimsey.com/

Google my name for references.

SF's neck is about to go back on and then we'll be moving right along. I've been sending him some photos and if it's cool with him, I can post the link here so ya'll can all watch the progress.
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Raybob



Joined: 26 Aug 2008
Posts: 98
Location: Kyburz, CA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Muttcaster wrote:
Raybob wrote:
I give up, who is Bryan? Is that Muttcaster?


Guilty as charged.

Website:

http://www.bryankimsey.com/

Google my name for references.

SF's neck is about to go back on and then we'll be moving right along. I've been sending him some photos and if it's cool with him, I can post the link here so ya'll can all watch the progress.
You have an email coming. Cool
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Silverface



Joined: 23 Aug 2006
Posts: 324
Location: Hermosa Beach CA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ol' Mutt can post any of them he wants. I think it's great for people to see what work goes into the process of guitar repair (doing *usually* minor repairs myself and a lot of finishing work I know how folks sometimes get a bit hitchy about prices). Honestly none of it is "easy", all is time consuming and there really isn't a single thing that doesn't take some specialized skills. Bryan...Muttcaster's...work is very highly thought of and the other critical factor is that he asks the right questions.

FAR too many techs take work in - like a neck reset, or even a "setup" - without asking the player about 20 questions - the style(s) they play, string gages preferred, picking style (REALLY critical - power, angle of attack, attack vs the top plane, type/thickness of pick, how hard they HOLD the pick etc). I won't even touch a setup if I don't have that info, as it affects everything from neck relief to action to important-but-often-ignored FIRST fret action...and in Bryan's case affects everything he might or might not suggest be done to the *insides*.

He really knows his stuff and has the right approach. Mine won't be back for some time, yet, I have all the confidence in the world it'll be dialed-in just right *for me* - because we communicated. I'd encourage posting of the pics - if he has the time, because in addition to things like taking pics of guitars he's working on he is the single busiest human being I know! Read his blog - I swear there's two of him and he's just not tellin'! Nobody can do that much!

Jim
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Muttcaster



Joined: 03 Sep 2006
Posts: 130
Location: New Mexico

PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's SF's album for your viewing and dancing pleasure:

http://s253.photobucket.com/albums/hh62/NM_HighPlains/Lutherie/Silverface/

Right now, the neck is off but I'm hoping to get it back on ASAP- maybe today?
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Raybob



Joined: 26 Aug 2008
Posts: 98
Location: Kyburz, CA

PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Muttcaster wrote:
Here's SF's album for your viewing and dancing pleasure:

http://s253.photobucket.com/albums/hh62/NM_HighPlains/Lutherie/Silverface/

Right now, the neck is off but I'm hoping to get it back on ASAP- maybe today?
Lookin' good. Lucky you, Jim. I'll be sending mine as soon as I find a box that big. Wink
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Muttcaster



Joined: 03 Sep 2006
Posts: 130
Location: New Mexico

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The ol' box is coming along right nicely.
[url]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JYs8EKRMxs[/url]
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