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Discussion Starter #1
I have a story with a happy ending (for me) I wanted to share. I inherited a '73 Martin D-28 from my father, and got the urge a while ago to play it. Unfortunately the guitar had dried out and when I opened the case the headstock was cracked and almost completely broke in half.

After searching 'guitar forum canada' I found this site, and a recommendation in another thread for Folkway music in guelph. Being in Kitchener, this was a short drive away and I took it in.

Nice store, lots of expensive stuff. I give the case to a Mark Stutman and he takes a look at it and gives me the bad news. Since he was nice enough to write this all down on his business card I have it here in front of me now.

Neck Reset (said it needed it) $500
Refret (said it needed it) $400
New Bridge (old one cracked for years, cosmetic but gave estimate to replace) $200
New Bridge Plate (he looked inside, said it needed it) $250
Headstock repair $300 to $500 estimate.
Setup and saddle tweak $100 est.
Repair times about 6 months.

Ouch... gotta think about that.

Meanwhile I am in Mississauga with a morning on my hands.. Decide to hit the local guitar shops.. stop in at Guitarworld (www.theguitarworld.com).

Nice little place, try out some stuff, talk to the guy about my Martin being broke. He says they have a repair guy (off golfing that day) and shows me a bunch of before and after photos of his work. I think that while they don't have the martin name on the door like Folkway does, it can't hurt to get a second opinion.

Bring it back next time I am near there. "Smitty' takes a look. Estimate is $100 for the headstock. Neck looks fine but won't know until it gets strings on it, frets are fine, bridge is cosmetic, so I don't ask it, and bridgeplate is fine. I ask him to show me, and he shows me with a flashlight, via a mirror, a perfectly fine bridgeplate.

So either pixies fixed some of my guitar, or Mark Stutman is an ass. How big an ass I won't know until the headstock is fixed.

I give Smitty the go ahead and only 4 days later I have a playable Martin. Neck is great without anything but a cleaning.

That' a big ass.

Gonna take it back in for a checkup in a couple months, but I've been playing it a lot in the last week and no worries.

Now I gotta figure out what to do about Folkway. Obviously I would not recommend the place for repairs, regardless of what is on the door.

Do I go back and ask him to detail what is wrong with that neck and show me the flaws in the bridgeplate?

I'm normally a live and let live kinda guy, but this really irks me. I don't see how the neck/frets and bridgeplate could be a 'miscommunication'. I'm more tempted to just take some photos of it, along with his estimate and send it to the martin people.

Oh well the good news is that Smitty at Guitarworld saved me a ton of cash and appears to do good work. At the same time I also had a new nut put on a friends bass as a birthday gift and he did a good, and reasonably priced, job with that too. Highly recommended.

Cheers,
John.
 

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This seems to have hhhmmmm written all over it. I can see why you might be a little frustrated, and maybe you could approach it with the mindset of giving Folkway an opportunity to earn your respect and regain some trust, rather than to catch them doing something bad. Its a small shift in perception, but maybe it will produce a more positive end result.

I would be really interested in seeing some photos...you wouldn't happen to have some before and after pics, would you?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Uh what exactly could folkway do now to earn any trust? Believe me I waited to get the guitar back before passing judgement on the neck stuff, I don't like the think the worse about people, but the facts are facts.

I don't have any before photos, but I could make afters. What would you like to see?

I'm also curious what you meant by your opening sentence. We're big boys here. Use your words.

John.
 

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Are you aware of the potential value of a 1973 Martin D-28?

It is one thing to repair a guitar so that it is still playable and enjoyable, but the first tech might have been thinking more along the lines of restoring the guitar based on its potential dollar value.

Since you inherited this guitar from your father, it may have more sentimental value and you would not consider selling it. But if you were to sell it, the $100.00 headstock repair may end up costing you.

I'm not knocking the guy that fixed the guitar for you, but the two different attitudes towards the level of repair could account for the variation in price.

If you are happy with the guitar and the repair job that you got, that is really all that matters.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks the for the comments. I've been given a value estimate of $1700 for it, post repair. It still has some cosmetic issues and a cracked bridge. As you say, it's not for sale. The more I played it in the last week the more I'm convinced of that. On top of the sentimental value, it's a fine example of the vintage.

Re: The headstock repair, they glued it, no screws. The cracks all lined up, so you really can't notice unless you're close to it. Any tips on what should I watch out for other than say, opening the case and finding it broke along the same line again?

John.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
davetcan - to be fair, they explained it would cost as much as the value of the guitar. But they also knew the sentimental value.

tarbender - yeah, hindsight and all that.

John.
 
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