Banjo Hangout Logo
Banjo Hangout Logo

Premier Sponsors

Banjo Lovers Online

Nov 22, 2023 - 3:59:10 PM



14557 posts since 6/5/2011

This link appeared on my Facebook page just now.

Starting with my standard disclaimer, "I know only the slightest bit* beyond diddly-squat about ^^ such things."

But I'm interested in some plausible/realistic/?? figures to fill in the equation:

Cost  [i.e. $5,500] + repairs [by a top-notch luthier] = market value [even a range].

* = but maybe more than my wife... I read the ad to her and asked what she thought the asking price might be; she said, "Well, seeing as it's a Martin ..... $800 ??"   [But, and you can take my word for it, she knows l-o-t-s of other stuff. yes ]

Edited by - Owen on 11/22/2023 16:08:19

Nov 22, 2023 - 4:37:11 PM



71516 posts since 10/5/2013
Online Now

Big price tag because of its age. Needing lots of work, apparently,,, Manitoba lottery winnings will get it fer ya, Owen. (& buy the wife a pearl necklace…)

Nov 22, 2023 - 4:57:45 PM

2339 posts since 2/9/2007

If there is such a thing still extant, I'd expect that the pieces of Brazilian rosewood large enough to make a dreadnought-size guitar would run you nearly as much as they're asking for that Martin.

Nov 22, 2023 - 9:23:52 PM
like this



5005 posts since 2/20/2016

Some real numbers goind down the list of necessary repairs specifically mentioned by Elderly:

Neck reset: $400 to $500
New bridge [it will probably have to be handmade]: $250 to $300
New bridge plate: $250 to $300
New saddle: $50
Loose braces: $35 to $50 for each loose glue joint. Elderly does not say how many.
Top crack[s]: ?? pictures are not clear enough for me to say.

Pickguard: That's another question, because I don't know what's under the current guard. I charge $100 for a hand-cut tortoise celluloid pickguard top-coated with lacquer. That's for the pickguard only, and does not cover removal of such a large pickguard or any necessary top repairs that are exposed after it is removed.

"Etc., etc.": I can't estimate a price on unknowns.

What they don't mention: That fingerboard is rather chewed up. The guitar has had a hard life and almost certainly needs at least some fret work. Is the neck reasonably straight?

Budget as much as $325 if it needs a complete refret + another $75 to $100 for moderate fingerboard planing and filling; -or- $600 if it is more practical to replace the fingerboard; plus $75 for a new nut in either case. If you get lucky and the neck is reasonably straight and you don't mind living with the divots and tool marks in the fingerboard, $20 per fret for a partial re-fret and another $75 to $125 to level and crown the remaining frets.

To take care of everything, you're probably looking at +/- $2000 in repairs, more likely plus than minus.
Right now, a 1960 D-28 in better condition might bring $8000.
That large guard bothers me. I don't know how chewed up the top is under it, nor whether there is any finish left beneath. I cannot predict what the top will look like when the guard is removed.

So my opinion: a potential buyer better hope the guitar sounds d*** good, because the cost of the guitar plus repairs could easily exceed its market value, and if the top turns out to be ugly, it's going to be hard to re-sell. Be aware that the guitar is being sold as-is, that means no returns.

Another 1960 D-28 fixer-upper that probably needs less work:

And for the sake of comparison:   a 1963 in much better shape [except I would have splinted the crack instead of using filler]:

Edited by - rcc56 on 11/22/2023 21:50:09

Nov 22, 2023 - 10:59:32 PM



5005 posts since 2/20/2016

I took another look. Between the finish damage on the top that I can see and the finish damage on the bass side and back, I think Elderly's asking price of $5500 is about what the guitar's market value would be after all the necessary repairs were completed.

Yeah, it's nice Brazilian rosewood, but unless they would let it go for $3500, I'd pass on this one, Owen.

Edited by - rcc56 on 11/22/2023 23:11:36

Nov 23, 2023 - 7:19:53 AM



14557 posts since 6/5/2011

Thanks for that Bob.... it MORE than answers my question.  I didn't intend to put anybody to that ^^ much work... ballpark figures would have been plenty adequate for me. I apologize for being so vague.

Many times I'm astounded (?) by what people pay for "things/stuff."  My interest is primarily from a "background info" perspective; though the thought of whether it could be used as an investment ... by somebody else, not me .... did cross my mind.   [My 2 modestly priced banjos are proving more than enough of a challenge for me .... there are no additional instruments  in my crystal ball.]  

Nov 23, 2023 - 7:56:17 AM
like this

1525 posts since 11/10/2022

I own several Martins ... all sorts of Vintage Martins and Taylors...mostly inherited. I have played a couple thousand guitars on at a fairly high level. The best sounding Martin I have ever played is a 2022 D28 Amberburst, not a prewar. The top 10 sounding guitars Ive played are not Martins. My favorite stage acoustic is an Epiphone, followed by a Songwriter. Yamaha makes 8 thousand dollar stuff too but their 600 dollar stuff is amazing.

I was kicked out of a BG group 3 weeks after they asked me to join because I refused to play my Martins and stuck with a Blueridge 160A....sounded as good as my Martins.

I will also say, make sure your luthier is Martin certified. Make darn sure. Elderly can fix that Guitar btw...and choose not to. Repaired Martins wont fetch any higher than they are asking. 1960 D28s in great shape sell for 8 to 10 grand retail.

Edited by - NotABanjoYoda on 11/23/2023 07:56:42

Nov 23, 2023 - 3:48:07 PM

168 posts since 9/5/2013

That is one fugly oversized pick guard. I'd rather see scratches.

Nov 24, 2023 - 4:58:05 PM
likes this

3006 posts since 4/16/2003

chuck wrote:
"Big price tag because of its age"

IF it didn't need considerable work, and IF it was in original shape (without the added pick guards), it would be worth twice as much.

Owen --
If you've got $5k to spend on a guitar, I suggest you start looking at Bourgeois. Far and away my favorite for sound and playability.

Nov 24, 2023 - 5:33:28 PM

1525 posts since 11/10/2022

Eastman owns Bourgeois. Not all Bourgeois are Eastman yet. But the master Dana isnt going to make your Bourgeois anymore and hasnt for a few years.

Its like buying a Stelling from Saga if Saga somehow aquired the rights.

Id say before you buy a 5k instrument, make sure you can play a 5k instrument!

Nov 25, 2023 - 7:05:55 AM
likes this

3006 posts since 4/16/2003

Yoda wrote:
"Eastman owns Bourgeois. Not all Bourgeois are Eastman yet. But the master Dana isnt going to make your Bourgeois anymore and hasnt for a few years"

I believe there is still a shop making Bourgeois instruments up in Maine -- but the USA made guitars will be much more expensive than those imported by Eastman.

And there are used ones available. I bought my Country Boy Deluxe back in 2007, second-hand (but like new) from a small shop in Texas for around 2.5k. Can't find them for twice that now. Probably the best guitar purchase I've ever made (and I made a lot of them)...

Nov 25, 2023 - 9:01:10 AM

1525 posts since 11/10/2022

Ive tried some Bourgeois guitars over the years. The dozen+- I tried were ok. I dont shop for guitars anymore because I have the perfect matches for what I get paid to play. Those matches came from, just like many, thousands of hours of practice to be good enough to know yourself, followed by hundreds of hours of playing in music shops til you strike your gold sounding guitar. Price point and resell value can be important.  A 15k custom guitar will have a better chance of working for you, but 600 dollar electric or 200 dollar acoustic will get you what you need if you try enough of them.

All of my instruments have gone through a custimization setup process.  Better pickups, nuts, refrets, action adjustments etc.  That is equally important.

What blows and sucks is when the golden guitar you find is outside of your budget, but most stores take payments.


Nov 25, 2023 - 10:55:22 AM



5005 posts since 2/20/2016

Originally posted by Owen

. . .though the thought of whether it could be used as an investment ... by somebody else, not me .... did cross my mind. 

Investment potential:  Very poor.  Fix it up and you still have a Martin with an abused top, neck, and fingerboard--  worth half or less than a nice one from the same year would sell for.

If there is any investment potential, it would be limited to what it might bring several years down the road if the top and fingerboard were expertly replaced to 1939 specs and the back of the neck and the bass side cleaned up.  One would have to get it for considerably less than the asking price to make such a project worthwhile.

Possibly worth it for a young man doing the work himself.  Less so for a 67 year old man who wouldn't want to wait 5 years to realize a profit.

Edited by - rcc56 on 11/25/2023 11:03:25

Nov 27, 2023 - 6:47:42 AM

313 posts since 12/22/2006

It is way overpriced.

You mainly pay for the back and sides that are made from brazilian rosewood that is unobtainable by todays standards.

- You do not know what is under the pickguard. Replacing the pickguard will leave an ugly shadow which is undesirable.
- The bridge seems to have been replaced. You do not know what has been done to it. There´s probably something lurking under the current bridge.
- Cracks and lifting braces probably had an influence concerning the structure of the guitar. If the top has issues than that´s not good.
- The fingerboard divots are not nice. Fixing it costs.

When a shop is selling an instrument "as is" probably means that the effort to fix the issues is not justifiable in relation to the added profit the shop may make by selling the fixed guitar.

If you don´t want to invest about 2k in a guitar that will allways be a players guitar you have a lot more options at that price point.

Nov 27, 2023 - 10:35:49 AM
likes this

Bill Rogers (Moderator)


27748 posts since 6/25/2005
Online Now

For comparison: another ‘60 D-28 from a reputable shop.

I suspect the final costs would be pretty close.

Dec 2, 2023 - 3:46:52 PM

79418 posts since 5/9/2007

Mr. Bourgeois is making guitars in Lewiston,Maine.
Great boxes.

Dec 12, 2023 - 5:30:45 AM

6321 posts since 10/6/2004

Originally posted by Bill Rogers

For comparison: another ‘60 D-28 from a reputable shop.

I suspect the final costs would be pretty close.

Beautiful guitar - the king of the flat pickers for under 10k - not so bad really.

Disclaimer - in no way could i ever afford it though......

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Privacy Consent
Copyright 2024 Banjo Hangout. All Rights Reserved.

Hangout Network Help

View All Topics  |  View Categories