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Discussion Starter #1
A musical friend of my mine dropped by tonight with a pair of old Martins in need of TLC. One is a 68 vintage 000-18, the other is a 71 vintage D-35. Both well used. I'll get some pictures of the pair up tomorrow. The 000 needs a pickguard and maybe a nut, the D-35 needs a nut for sure. Both need strings, they are way old.
Guess I know what I'll be doing tomorrow. :D

Lookin forward to it :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
First up, the D-35. The "B" string wouldn't ring at all last night when he dropped it off, touching the first fret. It rings this morning after spending the night at 40% humidity.
D35.jpg

I'm going to change out the nut, clean up, fret polish, and new strings. The old girl is in pretty good shape for it's age. I noticed the bridge has been filed all the way down to overcome "body bulge". It's going to need a neck reset sometime in the future.
 

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Its crazy how humidity or lack of affects guitars. My buddy lent me his small Martin that was perfect at his place. One day at my home and its buzzing all over the first fret !!!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You can see how far down in the nut the first & second strings are.
D35-2.jpg

probably just wore that far I would think, I can't see anyone doing that on purpose. I'm going to re-glue the binding on the high E side at the first fret too.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Does a new pickguard devalue a collector guitar?
Dam good question. As long as it is replaced with the "right" pickguard, I can't see why it would matter on a player grade guitar like these ones. A lot of strange things start happening though when you say the word "collector", so my best answer would be...... I'm not sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Next up, the 000-18
000-18-1.jpg

Some honest wear
000-18-2.jpg

and the pickguard. Note the bridge filed all the way down on this one too. String action is much higher than the D-35
000-18-3.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
One of the problems with the 000 was the high E string was so close to the edge of finger board, it kept falling off the frets. I checked the string spacing and it was way funky. I compared every pre-made nut I had and ended up changing the nut on it too.
000-18-4.jpg

Much better now
000-18-5.jpg

All this and a new pickguard too. Hopefully the replacement pickguard doesn't drop the value of this vintage gem. I left the old bent tuners on it, just because I didn't want to devalue it any further. ;)
000-18-6.jpg


Impressions? The Martin D-35 was nice, but it didn't win me over. On the other hand, the Martin 000-18 is a wonderful little guitar. It's not fancy, it will never win a beauty contest, but it is a really nice playing and nice sounding guitar.
 

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You can change the pickguard but make sure it has vintage adhesive or the guitar won’t be worth five dollars ... lol.

Nice guitars.

I like 35s. I think they went from BRW to IRW in the late 60s but some of the early 70s guitars were still Brazilian.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Nice guitars.

I like 35s. I think they went from BRW to IRW in the late 60s but some of the early 70s guitars were still Brazilian.
Don't get me wrong. I would not kick the D-35 outta bed for eatin crackers either. :cool:
 

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I have a 1960 OOO-18. I really like it. I had a neck reset and a fret job and it made it a perfect guitar.
It was barely playable.
You should really convince the owners to do neck re-sets and re-frets. These old Martins have a magic sound. But...they need to be playable and a neck reset and re-fret is like changing tires on a vintage car.
If you had a 1963 Ferrari, you would for sure change the tires.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I have a 1960 OOO-18. I really like it. I had a neck reset and a fret job and it made it a perfect guitar.
It was barely playable.
You should really convince the owners to do neck re-sets and re-frets. These old Martins have a magic sound. But...they need to be playable and a neck reset and re-fret is like changing tires on a vintage car.
If you had a 1963 Ferrari, you would for sure change the tires.
I put extra-light strings on both of them to try and slow down the process, but it's going to happen some day. I don't know who he's been taking them to for repairs up to this point, but both guitars are pushed to the limit already. We will have that conversation tomorrow when he picks them up. They are certainly worth a reset & re-fret. Almost anything is. I won't say no to an old Harmony either.
 
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