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Buying a 1971 D35 martin

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Louie Roy 19 Nov 04 - 11:45 PM
Peace 19 Nov 04 - 11:48 PM
Amos 19 Nov 04 - 11:51 PM
Cluin 20 Nov 04 - 12:10 AM
open mike 20 Nov 04 - 01:09 AM
Leadfingers 20 Nov 04 - 06:06 AM
Louie Roy 20 Nov 04 - 11:32 AM
Desert Dancer 20 Nov 04 - 12:09 PM
Ebbie 20 Nov 04 - 12:33 PM
open mike 20 Nov 04 - 03:30 PM
PoppaGator 20 Nov 04 - 04:32 PM
Peace 20 Nov 04 - 04:40 PM
GUEST,auggie 21 Nov 04 - 09:46 AM
GUEST,14fret 21 Nov 04 - 10:53 AM
PoppaGator 21 Nov 04 - 11:34 AM
GUEST,mkebenn@work 21 Nov 04 - 04:49 PM
Peace 21 Nov 04 - 05:15 PM
PoppaGator 21 Nov 04 - 07:55 PM
Peace 21 Nov 04 - 08:06 PM
Once Famous 21 Nov 04 - 08:16 PM
PoppaGator 21 Nov 04 - 08:26 PM
Peace 21 Nov 04 - 10:24 PM
Peace 21 Nov 04 - 10:42 PM
PoppaGator 21 Nov 04 - 11:08 PM
Peace 21 Nov 04 - 11:18 PM
PoppaGator 22 Nov 04 - 01:48 AM
Mark Ross 22 Nov 04 - 10:24 AM
PoppaGator 22 Nov 04 - 10:36 AM
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Subject: BS: Buying a 1971 D35 martin
From: Louie Roy
Date: 19 Nov 04 - 11:45 PM

I have a chance to buy a D35 Martin in good to excellent shape what would be a fair price to offer and I need another guitar like I need a new A Hole.Thanks for your input Louie Roy


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Subject: RE: BS: Buying a 1971 D35 martin
From: Peace
Date: 19 Nov 04 - 11:48 PM

Looked it up on the web, and the lowest price I saw was about two gees. American.


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Subject: RE: BS: Buying a 1971 D35 martin
From: Amos
Date: 19 Nov 04 - 11:51 PM

If you can get it for 2 grand, snatch it up.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Buying a 1971 D35 martin
From: Cluin
Date: 20 Nov 04 - 12:10 AM

Always good to have a spare, LR, whether it be a quality axe or another a-hole. You never know when your old one will need a rest.


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Subject: RE: BS: Buying a 1971 D35 martin
From: open mike
Date: 20 Nov 04 - 01:09 AM

i love my d-35...possibly my best friend...
i hope this works out for you...
never too many friends!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Buying a 1971 D35 martin
From: Leadfingers
Date: 20 Nov 04 - 06:06 AM

As the owner (from new) of a 1970 D35 , I'd say 'IF you have the cash GO FOR IT '


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Subject: RE: BS: Buying a 1971 D35 martin
From: Louie Roy
Date: 20 Nov 04 - 11:32 AM

Thanks to all who gave me good advice I know I can get it for 1400 soI'll probably grab it Thanks again Louie Roy


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Subject: RE: BS: Buying a 1971 D35 martin
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 20 Nov 04 - 12:09 PM

No need to tag a thread like this with "BS"!


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Subject: RE: BS: Buying a 1971 D35 martin
From: Ebbie
Date: 20 Nov 04 - 12:33 PM

I love my 1971 D35; it has a wonderful voice- deep and rich but with good treble balance. It whispers as well as it leads. Mine, however, is a 12 fret slothead.


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Subject: RE: BS: Buying a 1971 D35 martin
From: open mike
Date: 20 Nov 04 - 03:30 PM

ebbie!! you too??
I htought Tom Paley was the only other one..who played a similar model
I wonder how many wer made?
mine is slot head took 12 fret...
from 1968 i think...
d-35-s 35 signifies 3 piece back and s =slot head...
people often say it sounds quite loud...and the bass
is strong....
hey, Louie...if you ever want to get rid of it. i'll give you 1500!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Buying a 1971 D35 martin
From: PoppaGator
Date: 20 Nov 04 - 04:32 PM

$1400, huh? I'd say grab it.

My one and only is a 1969 D-18, standard 14 frets and headstock. I wouldn't part with it, and have no real desire for any other "acquisition." I do enjoy knowing that it's worth about four to six times it's original price of (I think) $395.


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Subject: RE: BS: Buying a 1971 D35 martin
From: Peace
Date: 20 Nov 04 - 04:40 PM

That's the way I feel about my two-piece bak Martin D 28. Got it for about $350 in 1966. Replaced the fretboard twice, but she's a neat guitar still.


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Subject: RE: Buying a 1971 D35 martin
From: GUEST,auggie
Date: 21 Nov 04 - 09:46 AM

Open Mike-
According to Mike Longwell's book on the history of CFM, there were only 101 D-35 slotheads made in 1968.
227 were made in Ebbie's year of '71, and only 674 others between the years 1966 and 1973. Compared to the 22,284 D-35s made in those same years, it would seem you have a pretty rare commodity on (in) your hands.
When I win the lottery jackpot, I'll be looking for one of the D-45SS 12 fret slotheads Steven Stills designed for Martin (somehow though I still don't think I'll sound like him).


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Subject: RE: Buying a 1971 D35 martin
From: GUEST,14fret
Date: 21 Nov 04 - 10:53 AM

There's a site called 'pre-pal'. It lists market prices.
1400 does sound good, go for it and enjoy.


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Subject: RE: Buying a 1971 D35 martin
From: PoppaGator
Date: 21 Nov 04 - 11:34 AM

brucie -- you've needed two fretBOARD replacements, or just new frets?


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Subject: RE: Buying a 1971 D35 martin
From: GUEST,mkebenn@work
Date: 21 Nov 04 - 04:49 PM

I would not sell my '71 for any price, so 1400 seems more than resonable, almost desperate. I've put two sets of frets on mine, but I bought it new and have played her alot. Mike


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Subject: RE: Buying a 1971 D35 martin
From: Peace
Date: 21 Nov 04 - 05:15 PM

Poppa Gator:

Right.

One fretboard replacement and two fret replacements (from 1-12).


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Subject: RE: Buying a 1971 D35 martin
From: PoppaGator
Date: 21 Nov 04 - 07:55 PM

Hmmm -- I *know* haven't been playing enough over the years, and I suppose my guitar service record proves as much.

I'm ready (overdue, actually) for a refret job, but it'll be my first since '73 and only the second time ever. I got it checked out by a local luthier (who was once apprenticed to the guy who worked on my guitar last time), and he pronounced it to be in great shape -- neck nice and straight, fretboard OK.

He says he can refile the frets for a lower price than replacing them, but they're so badly worn down in a couple of places that I can't imagine taking all the other frets down that low to make everything even. Much as I'd prefer to economize, it looks to me that all-new frets would sit up higher and thus provide a longer-lasting solution. Any thoughts?

Besides the fret job (either replacement or refiling), all I really need are a new nut and saddle and a little varnish touch-up.


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Subject: RE: Buying a 1971 D35 martin
From: Peace
Date: 21 Nov 04 - 08:06 PM

If you have the bucks, refret, PG. The filing IS a solution, but it will change both the action and the notes you generate with the strength you have come to apply in finger pressure. The nut and saddle are crucial, too. I haven't got either replaced in a long time, but your luthier will be able to direct you to good materials for them.


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Subject: RE: Buying a 1971 D35 martin
From: Once Famous
Date: 21 Nov 04 - 08:16 PM

My 2003 price guide publish by Vintage Guitar magazine lists a 1971 D35 at $1700 on the high end for one in what would be considered excellent condition.

$1400 is a very fair market price.

Go for it. Martins do not lose their value.


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Subject: RE: Buying a 1971 D35 martin
From: PoppaGator
Date: 21 Nov 04 - 08:26 PM

brucie, you are verifying my suspicions. I can find the dough to cover the difference between refretting and refiling, and will.

I have a couple of non-essential options for which I may or may not want to (or be able to) spend additional money:

1) Action is acceptable, but gets higher and higher from nut to saddle. It has undoubtedly risen over time; I've never taken tension off the strings, and there has to have been some pulling/lifting over the years. Martins the age of mine do not have truss rods, but the luthier can remove the neck, cut off a little wedge, and replace it to make the action better than ever.

2) I might want to install a pickup. The luthier doesn't like Fishmanns[?], prefers LR Baggs or Duncan. He quoted me "about $100," but checking the manufacturer's websites, the hardware alone for most options costs that much, so *maybe* I'm looking at $200, half for parts, half for labor. Or, maybe the luthier buys wholsesale at a decent discount, sells the pickups for low-retail and only adds $20-25 or so for labor. Whatever it costs, there's no need to get it done at the same time as the frets/nut/saddle/neck.

Advice?


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Subject: RE: Buying a 1971 D35 martin
From: Peace
Date: 21 Nov 04 - 10:24 PM

PG: If the neck (arm) is straight and true, I don't know why then the strings are getting higher off the finger board (fret board). That should then be causing you to sound 'out of tune' a bit when you get to the 5-9 fret area. If you capo and play at those frets, then you likely have been retuning a bit after you position the capo. Maybe evenn a bit more than a bit.

I ran into a similar problem (my D 28 is now about forty or forty-one years old) when I played in the E position at the seventh fret. I found there was a slight warp in the neck. To check for that, hold a string down at the 1st fret and the 12th fret. If there is clearance between the frets and the strings when you look at the machine sideways, there's a warp. Check all six strings, one at a time. Also, pick up the guitar and hold it with your left hand at the head and your right hand on the back, just like you were going to put a fiddle under yer chin. Look down the neck towards your left hand. If you have any 'torsion' warping, that will show it to you.

I don't know anything about pickups (other than Fords).


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Subject: RE: Buying a 1971 D35 martin
From: Peace
Date: 21 Nov 04 - 10:42 PM

I just reread this, PG, and I hope I didn't sound 'know it all' or something like that. I don't know how much you know about guitars (as mechanical devices) and so I said what I said. If you already know that stuff, please excuse me and I hope you took no offence.

BM


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Subject: RE: Buying a 1971 D35 martin
From: PoppaGator
Date: 21 Nov 04 - 11:08 PM

I'm not tremendously cognizant about mechanical guitar issues, but this is what I think I see:

The neck is dead straight insfar as it's not at all twisted, but I think the outer end -- the headstock -- *may* have moved a fraction upward over the years, thanks to constant full string tension, so the strings are increasingly further from the frets as you move up the scale (towards the body, or towards the bridge). The increase in action is equal across all six strings.

Also, the luthier I consulted says he get the desired result by reseating the neck at a slightly diferent angle to the body -- which makes perfect geometric sense to me.

Now, maybe this guitar has *always* been set up like this. The action is not impossibly high, by any means, and it's certainly not an issue in first position and environs. However, further up the neck, I think it could stand improvement.

I've certainly played other instruments whose action is more consistent up and down the fretboard, and I figure my vintage Martin ought to be as good as them -- should certainly be *able* to be readjusted into similarly good shape!

About TUNING: I've had my doubts about being in tune all the way up and down the neck, especially back when I was starting to play more regularly a few years ago, after years of relative inactivity. I was especially alarmed that my harmonics seemed to be out of tune when relative tuning by "regular" fretted notes seemed right, and vice versa. However, at least some of that perception must have been due to my own diminished "ear," because now that I'm playing more frequently, I'm finding it easier to tune up correctly (or acceptably well, anyway). I do have to adjust tuning a tiny bit when capoing at fret five or so, or higher, but have always figured that must be "normal."

I had been meaning to post these questions by starting a new thread, but semi-consciously highjacked this one instead. Hope nobody minds.


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Subject: RE: Buying a 1971 D35 martin
From: Peace
Date: 21 Nov 04 - 11:18 PM

Here's something I did years ago and it works to the advantage of your guitar and the neck. Tune a full tone below concert. That is, every string drops a full tone. It taks a heckuva lotta stress off the neck. It means you will capo more often, because likely you have all the positions and keys that suit your voice. The one place it gives me problems is when I tune the bass string down a full tone for stuff I do in D. The bass string can 'rattle' a bit, and if it's struck too hard with thumb nail or pick, it can wave around the note you're hitting. However, it was a tradeoff, and one I'm glad I made. It will also drive other guitarists nut when they see your fingering and find that they are a tone above you. Buy them a beer and they'll catch on.

The tuning after applying a capo is normal, because the pressure on the strings is 'more' than the pressure you'd apply with your forefinger, IMO.

Something else that helps the strings to equalize their tension is to put graphite in the grooves of the nut. Stops the 'catching' that occurs and makes the equalization take place in a second or two as opposed to ten seconds or so. Means ya don't go out of tune in the first stanza of the song.


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Subject: RE: Buying a 1971 D35 martin
From: PoppaGator
Date: 22 Nov 04 - 01:48 AM

I'll take that under advisement. I've lost -- maybe temporarily, maybe not -- the top end of my vocal range in the wake of tonsil cancer and subsequent radiation, so tuning down might not be a bad idea at all.

The increasing height of the action from nut to bridge is still an issue. Using the capo more often and at higher fret positions will pull the action down, of course, but that's a less-than-elegant solution. I suppose my decision on whether or not to order a neck-reset will boil down to economics.

In regard to the graphite: Do you know anyting about the "nut butter" (for the same purpose) discusses in a thread hereabouts several weeks ago? For all I know, it may *be* nothing more or less than graphite...


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Subject: RE: Buying a 1971 D35 martin
From: Mark Ross
Date: 22 Nov 04 - 10:24 AM

Sounds like you need a neck reset, an expensive job, but well worth it. Where are you located? If you ae in the North East, Ivon at Leeds Guitars in Northhampton, Massachussets is the best.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Buying a 1971 D35 martin
From: PoppaGator
Date: 22 Nov 04 - 10:36 AM

Nowhere near Massachusetts, Mark -- I'm in New Orleans.

The luthier I've been consulting with is named Sal(vador) Giardina. He served his apprenticeship with the late Mannfred Trautmann, who worked on my guitar in '73 and who was universally recognized as the best in this area at that time.

Sal says he has a (new) website, but hasn't yet got things worked out so that the search engines can find him. I ran a Google search on his name a couple of weeks ago, and while his own site didn't turn up, I found several reassuring references to him and his work. For one thing, I learned that he custom-built several seven-string electrics for Steve Masakowski (of Astral Project), New Orleans' greatest contemporary jazz player.

This fellow is not the only game in town, and perhaps I should shop around just on general principles, but I've met him, I like him, and I believe in his credentials.


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