Dating vintage martin guitars. Identifying Vintage Guitars, Banjos & Mandolins

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How to Determine the Model & Serial Number of a Martin Guitar

dating vintage martin guitars

Worthy of mention is the Jumbo Deluxe, though it is believed that only 3 were ever made in 1938. The somewhat radical headstock shape was discontinued at Gibson with the Mark Series but appears to have been an influence on the young Paul Reed Smith who later used a similar shape for his electric instruments. Laminated rosewood sides and 3-piece back with a contrasting often highly figured rosewood center strip. In the early years, due to the depression and the following wartime austerity, demand for this expensive instrument was limited and production quantities were small. They had owner applied pick guards and multi-bound backs and tops including red line highlights. There are the obvious cracks, sometimes repaired, and finish wear, as well as being complete with all the tuners, fret bars and bridge. The voice reminds me much more of a good mid-1947 tapered brace D-28 in the volume and presence.

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How to Determine the Model & Serial Number of a Martin Guitar

dating vintage martin guitars

Bridge Height and Neck Angle The early models had shallow neck sets and low bridges that increased in angle around 1908 with taller bridges. Example: Serial Number 439628 was built in 1983 as the last serial number made in 1982 was 439627. Unlike the nebulous web of varying schemes and numbering systems used by companies like Gibson over the decades, Martin has employed a single string of serial numbers for a vast majority of its guitars going all the way back to 1898. This moved the X away from the soundhole a bit. Martin did make Style 1,2 and 3 instruments in koa wood. In 1941 the fretboard became Brazilian rosewood. Originally introduced with rosewood back and sides, the Style 18 since 1917 has Mahogony back and sides, no volute neck, black bridge pins.

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Vintage Guitars Info

dating vintage martin guitars

This particular model has nice Brazilian rosewood. Serial Numbers Used To Date Martin Guitars First locate the Serial number on your Martin® guitar. All measurements are in inches. Free from blemishes, scratches, and user wear. Style 42 discontinued in last 000-42 made in 1943.

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Vintage Martin Dreadnought Guitars for Sale

dating vintage martin guitars

Note this does not mean a model can not exist outside of these years - it certainly can. Adjustable truss rod through peg-head. These appear to be the easiest to find and quite reasonable to buy. Though he preferred Red Spruce, it was no longer available after the mid-40s because all of the large stands had been decimated. Middle: Back of a D-18 war-time Martin. Anyone looking to date what they believe is a guitar of that age should seek expert advice as your guitar may well be quite valuable. The higher percent of nickel, the harder the fret wire.

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The Ones That Got Away: Sigma Guitars by Martin & Co. DR1ST Acoustic

dating vintage martin guitars

The last set of numbers are the ornamention style. There was some amber color expressed on the sides and back of the 1934 versions. But hide glue was still used until the mid-seventies for gluing tops to the rim and in some other situations. Martin and featured solid wood top. Beginning in 1929 the model numbers were marked on the neck block, inside the body. It took Martin a little while to use up all the smaller pieces of older Adirondack red spruce, hence the change to Sitka happend slower on the smaller body models. Martin model numbers are straight forward too.

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Acoustic Guitars

dating vintage martin guitars

The headstock shape was also modified to a deeper taper and shaped to resemble the Martin instruments. There is no difference between the dimensions of ivory and ebony bridges from the same period. New guitars were supplied with user applied pick guards, and extra saddles of different heights that could be easily inserted to adjust the string action to accommodate the swelling of the instrument with seasonal humidity changes. Concert and tenor models were available in all the following styles, with the exception of Style 0, which was produced only as a soprano. They are built pretty solid but of course need to be kept not too hot, not too cold, not too dry, not too wet. Only 27 of these guitars have been documented to date.

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Vintage Guitars Info

dating vintage martin guitars

All other text was printed in black ink, or stamped on in ink by the manufacturer model and serial numbers. The joining of a long-scale 25. And after all, isn't that what it's all about? You should be able to put a medium guitar pick in this space. In mid-1939 the round head was reduced to about 0. I little buzzing on a couple of frets. This is no longer in question.

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Dating Martin Guitars by Serial Number

dating vintage martin guitars

First, they stamped the logo on the back of the peghead from circa 1895. Poor This product shows significant cosmetic and functional wear. I'm a private guitar collector interested in vintage instruments by Gibson, Fender, Martin, Gretsch, Epiphone, National, Dobro, Rickenbacker made from 1920 to 1969. They were well suited for orchestral arrangements as well as individual play and accompaniment. Why did the Martin Company change from the lighter scalloped braces to heavier braces? I didn't notice it at first but still, great sounding guitar.

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Vintage Martin Acoustic Guitars

dating vintage martin guitars

Any Martin should be evaluated with care, and a top that lifts significantly in the bridge area or this is not firm, is a sign that lighter strings should be used. Rosewood back and sides, 3-piece back with marquetry between sections, ebony bridge, bound ebony fingerboard, dot inlays, volute on neck. Dating a guitar is not only a useful and interesting thing to be able to do, in financial and historical terms it is vital. Thus, there is scant information on the brand — mostly anecdotes in far-flung strands of the internet; suppositional at least, unsubstantiated at best. The serial numbers on these instruments were often preceded by the letters S or E; e. Style 28 and higher now have a shorter volute which is mostly ornamental.

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Vintage Guitars Info

dating vintage martin guitars

And special orders for gut or steel complicated things. My late husband bought it new and I have the hard case with it also. Production Year Serial s Production Year Serial s 1947 A100 - A1305 1955 A18665 - A21910 1948 A1306 - A2665 1956 A21911 - A24755 1949 A2666 - A4410 1957 A24756 - A26820 1950 A4411 - A6595 1958 A26821 - A28880 1951 A6596 - A9420 1959 A28881 - A32285 1952 A9421 - A12460 1960 A32286 - A35645 1953 A12461 - A17435 1961 A35646 - A36150 1954 A17436 - A18665 1953 - 1961 Solid Body Electrics Gibson introduced a new pattern when they began producing solid body guitars. These are the stories of the ones that got away. Whereas a high-end guitar gets better with age, I can't say time has treated it as well, but I still have a fond spot for the guitar. Familiarize yourself with Martin's size designations.

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