Smakula

Fretted

Instruments

PO Box 882, Elkins, West Virginia 26241

304-636-6710

Phone Hours; 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Eastern Time, Monday through Friday and occasionally on Saturday.

Guitars, contact us...

Page Updated 1-21-2018

Please Visit our Home Page for links to our banjos, fiddles, mandolins, and more.


Guitars

1926 Gibson L-0. In mid April 2017 we sent this guitar to a customer in Minnesota. Unfortunately the transportation company put what looked like a forklift through the box causing a cracked top and broken braces. After a few months of insurance wrangling, including an inquiry to the local transportation company's terminal to find out if I knew how to pack boxes for shipping (the answer was a firm "Yes, he should be teaching all our customers how to pack high value items") we received the guitar back for repair. Our staff guitar specialist Nate Druckenmiller removed the back, repaired the crack and replaced the 2 broken braces, all in a nearly invisible manner. Along with previously accomplished work that included a neck reset, new ebony 24 9/16" scale fingerboard, fresh frets, carbon fiber D-tube neck reinforcement, and a properly intonated ebony bridge it is ready for at least another 91 years of playing. It's a non-sunburst version of the guitar Robert Johnson is generally associated with, and it sounds the part. However this guitar is more playable than it ever has been and it may not sound authentically out of tune anymore, Sold at $3,700 in April 2017, we now offer this guitar at $2,700 with a correct period hard case. Pictures coming soon.

1937 Gibson TG-37; Tenor banjo neck on a standard guitar body? How's that supposed to work? Myself, I play it like a tenor banjo and come up with chord voicings and melodies that don't usually come out of my guitar playing. Some other folks like to tune like the first 4 strings of a 6-string guitar. However you might like it this sweet condition LG-37 will suit you well. The 22-3/4" scale Brazilian rosewood fretboard is mated to a V-shaped neck. The body is 14-3/4" wide with a sunburst finish spruce top and sunburst finish maple back and sides. We replaced the decaying bound tortoise celluloid pickguard with one made in our shop. We also reglued all the loose back braces, so this instrument is 100% ready to go. With our summer busy season now behind us, it was our pleasure to hear Grant Flick tear up on this guitar. Marcy Marxer! It's your turn now! In excelent condition with a newer hard case, this instrument is $1,750. Photos

2006 Gibson Blues King. The 1930's was truly the golden age of vintage guitars. From what turned into the undisputed king of bluegrass guitars, the dreadnought, to smaller full and balanced sounding instruments like Martin's 000 and Gibson's L-0 and L-00. As prices for those original instruments have climbed over the years, their original makers have taken notice and reissued similar instruments with modern features. This 12-year-old Gibson was based on the L-00 series guitars. The top is spruce and back are bubinga and the neck mahogany. The Indian rosewood fretboard has a comfortable 24-9/16" scale with a 1-11/16" nut width. Tone is sweet and clear. An easy guitar to play and if you are gigging, the factory installed active pickup won't let you down. To own this guitar you will not have to go to the crossroads for a sketchy transaction at midnight. You can come by the international headquarters of SFI (near, but not at a crossroad) and exchange $1,500 for this instrument that is in excelent condition and a hard case. Tempted? Check out the pictures to get you on the phone to reserve this one. Photos

2011 Jubal 00. It's 1984 and you've been working for Gibson in Kalamazoo for 21 years and suddenly the plant on Parsons Street is scheduled to be closed. If you are a long time Michigan resident like Aaron Cowles, you start your own music business and start making guitars! This guitar is an homage to the Gibson L-00 guitars manufactured in the 1930's that have become very much in demand over the last 25 years. Mahogany back, sides and neck with a spruce top and rosewood fretboard and bridge. The scale length is 24-1/2"and nut width is 1-11/16". Details from like the body shape, sunburst top finish and interior craftsmanship are remarkably similar to the guitars it tributes. Tone is well balanced and is fun to play. Sadly Mr. Cowels passed away in 2014, so his craftsmanship will no longer grace a new instrument, but we have this and another to satisfy your need for a Michigan made guitar. In excelent condition and is priced at $2,500 with the original TKL case. Photos

2011 Jubal 00. Like the guitar above, this instrument was made by Aaron Cowels in Vicksburg Michigan. Though very similar to the one above, there is one very significant difference; Nut width is a slightly narrower 1-5/8". Tone wise this one is warmer and more bassy. Superior hand made craftsmanship and really fun to play. $2,500 with original TKL hard case. Photos

1949 Epiphone Emperor. While this isn't quite as large as the 1,000 LB black Gibson embossed with Travis Tritt's name that was housed in the now defunct Georgia Music Hall of Fame, this is possibly the largest guitar a person could play "Here's a Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares)" on. Also, unlike my experience with said 1.000-LB guitar, you won't be politely yet firmly asked to leave the premises for attempting to do so. But really, this is an exceptional instrument, as the tone is warmer than the sunbeaten sidewalk on which I made my sheepish departure from the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. Jazz rhythm and lead, Carter Style playing, and the intro to TLC's "No Scrub"(who distressingly never made it into the aforementioned hall of fame despite Atlanta origins) all sound tremendous on this gigantic specimen of an instrument. How gigantic? The lower bout measures in at 18 1/2" inches. The spruce top, figured maple back and sides, and seven piece curly maple and walnut neck look stunning paired with the natural finish that aged beautifully thanks to decades of professional use by a jazz guitarist in Hawaii. Apart from the replaced frets and pickguard, this guitar appears remarkably original from the Frequensator tailpiece to the gold plated E-stamp tuners. With a 25 5/8" scale length, a 1 11/16" nut width, and a surprisingly diminutive yet comfortable D profile neck, this guitar plays easier than you'd expect it to as well. For $5,500, you could enjoy the company of this friendly giant of a guitar, which includes the largest tweed hardshell case you've ever seen. Photos

1995 Taylor 810. Shania Twain, AKA the poet laureate of the 1990s, has a work entitled "That Don't Impress Me Much," which I am confident scholars will hold in highest regard for generations. In the three minutes and forty seven seconds of sonic and literary euphoria that is said song, Ms. Twain notes that she is unimpressed by a suitor's car, Brad Pitt-esque looks, and Rocket Scientist like intelligence because "that won't keep me warm in the middle of the night." What will keep her warm? She doesn't say, so I'm interpreting that to mean the tone of this Taylor guitar would suffice, because it so warm it could make the brutal winters of Ms. Twain's Ontario upbringing feel toasty. The back and sides are Indian rosewood, the top is Sitka spruce, and the neck is mahogany, with a comfy D profile and 1 3/4" nut width, and an ebony fingerboard. There is light playing wear and some finish checking on the neck, but overall this is a clean, great playing modern guitar. Plus you might be able to impress Shania Twain with it, which would be the highest of honors. $1,500 With original hardshell case. Sorry, Sold. Photos

1972 Martin D-28. Like the guy I just saw lose a fight in the Waffle House parking lot, this is a forty-six year old with its share of battle scars. Unlike said gentleman who is undoubtedly now banned from the Lebanon, TN franchise, this guitar sounds balanced, clear, focused, and doesn't smell like a lonesome aromatic cocktail of Wild Irish Rose and pancake syrup. Apart from a neck reset, replaced frets, and a new pick guard, this guitar is all original though certainly well loved, as the last owner actively played it for the past forty years. The neck has a comfortable D profile typical of this era of Martin guitars, a 1 11/16" nut width, and a 25-7/16" scale ebony fretboard. Given the slight divot worn in the top below the pickguard over time, one would be correct in assuming that it sounds and feels pleasantly broken in. It also feels much less sticky than the Waffle House's floor after the entirety of an All-Star breakfast was slung across the dining area in a fit of rage. Includes the original gray/green plastic Martin Case. $2,000 Photos

2004 Crafters of Tennessee TNFTM. Unlike many fourteen-year-olds, this one has some maturity about it. You won't have to ground it for trying to convince the homeless guy that hangs around the Sheetz gas station convenience store to buy it cigarettes. You won't have to console it after a pitiful junior varsity team school basketball game. It won't subject you to mood swings and Ed Sheeran music. Rather, it will subject you to warm tone, powerful G-runs, and great playability. The dreadnought body has a few dings and scratches on its Sitka Spruce top and mahogany back and sides, so you can tell its seen some tunes. The mahogany neck has a comfortable D shaped profile, a 1 11/16" nut width, and ever-classy Grover tuners with butterbean shaped knobs. The ebony fretboard has a 25 5/16" scale length. Crafters of Tennessee had their roots with the Grammer Guitar Company of Nashville, TN. Famed Dobro player Tut Taylor bought much of the Grammer Co. at their bankruptcy auction and went into a musical instrument making business with his son Mark. Crafters of Tennessee faded from the instrument manufacturing scene around 2012.When we first had this guitar about ten years ago, we noticed it had came from the factory with the saddle in the wrong spot. Given that such a condition caused it to play as in tune as your typical seventh grade orchestra, we remedied the problem and it is now a great value for an American made guitar that will respond quite well to whatever you feel so inclined to play on it. Even Ed Sheeran music. Just be forewarned that I'm pretty sure the tablature for "Thinking Out Loud" on 911 tabs.com are kind of wrong. $1,600, with original TKL hardshell case. Photos

1982 Dobro 60D. When this Dobro was made I was in Cleveland running the first Goose Acres music store with my father and an idealistic dream of changing the world with the banjos and dulcimers we were making. Bad news for the Goose; the economics of Reagan era and the fact that musicians were giving up on acoustic instruments and playing synthesizers slowed down those dreams considerably. Fortunately in addition to the hand made instruments we offered we were also selling the best of other acoustic instruments on the market including the Dobro brand. Though I have no idea if this OMI (pre Gibson, thank you very much) actually was sold at the 2019 Cornell road shop, it sure looks like the one we offered. A nice sunburst finish on the laminated maple back and sides. The original spider resonator cone is in great shape. Though I am not really the guy to ask about Dobro tone, since I only made it to "Home On The Range" in the Mel Bey EZ-Play Dobro instruction book, with a new set of D'Addario 1/2 round resonator guitar strings, this one sounds full and meaty to my ear. All in all the guitar is in excelent condition and for $1,000 the original hard case is included. A note on the pictures; Inside there is some graffiti from the factory and from the most recent owner. We thought it would be fun to share that with you. Photos

1950s English Electronics Tonemaster lap steel by Valco. Despite a headstock moniker that sounds more in line with tea and crumpets, here we have something more in common with deep dish pizza, bitter cold winters, and eventual world series winners as this fellow hails from Chicago. Windy City based Valco made a slew of head turning musical instruments, and this is no exception. A body covered in pearloid with sparkly gold markers on the 24 15/16" scale fretboard is cool enough, but the pickup is hotter than a T-Mart Cajon dog (an Elkins delicacy that contains minimal Cajon ingredients, yet is spicy and delicious). The tuners are non-original, but otherwise it's all there, including three screw-in legs. Buy this before my version of "Sleepwalk" is heard by anyone else. Because honestly, it sounds more like "Nightmare" right now. $500 with a gorgeous original brown tolex covered case. Photos

1950s Oahu lap steel. The headstock logo reads "Oahu Publishing Co. Cleveland, O," and has some silhouettes of palm trees. Palm Trees in Cleveland are as viable as Browns would be in the Superbowl, but regardless of the plant life/geography conundrum that exists on the headstock, this is a great looking and sounding instrument that modern makers have based their lap steel designs on. It has a 25 11/16" scale fretboard, a weird pot metal pyramid bridge, and a tone selector on the back. It's an inexpensive way to get your Don Ho cover band rolling. $500 with original hard case. Photos

1993 Larrivee D-19M, Custom. Stunning curly maple. I could stop there, as I have your attention and you are heading to the picture link right now. But since you'll come back for the details, I may as well finish. Founded in 1967, Canadian guitar manufacturer Larrivee has been producing some outstanding, precision crafted guitars in the almost 50 years since. Here are the details on this 24 year old. Mahogany neck with a 25-1/2" scale grained ivoroid bound ebony fretboard. The 6 abalone position markers look like a torch with symmetrical wings. The peghead is decorated with a 3-1/2" long seahorse of engraved mother of pearl. The dreadnought shaped body had a Sitka spruce top with a professionally repaired center seam and the previously mentioned master grade quarter-sawn curly maple. The body is bound in straight maple with black & white purfling to accent. Tone wise the guitar booms. A significantly bigger bass than you expect from a maple instrument. After performing necessary quarter century maintenance of a refret and new bone nut and saddle, it's ready for you to make some fun music. This is not a model that is currently available, so if curly maple speaks to you, snag it now! In excelent condition with the original Larrivee branded hard case the price is $2,500. Photos

1987 Guild GF-60 Blonde. With its naturally finished Sitka spruce top and very curly maple back, sides, and neck, this guitar is as blonde as Brittany Spears' hair in her music video for "Toxic," AKA the apex of her storied career. Sound wise, it's as bright as the sparkly stuff she was wearing in the non-flight attendant outfit part of the video. Oh, you'd like some details without Brittany Spears references tied in? The shallow D profile neck has a 1-11/16" nut width and a 25 9/16" scale length on an ebony fretboard. The lower bout measures in at 16 1/8". An active onboard pickup (likely Fishman) was installed should you need to make your acoustic rendition of "Hit Me Baby One More Time" really loud. and so much for no more Brittany references. $1,500 With original hardshell case. Photos

1976 Guild D-40. Having just binged watched George Strait concert footage from the mid '90s (AKA the golden age of country music) on YouTube, I am inherently familiar with how cool a person looks holding a Guild acoustic. Given that King George seems to get number one chart topping hits more frequently than he actually plays his guitar, getting some strings on this forty year old was a great reminder of how good these guitars can sound. Apart from a repaired pickguard crack, a fresh set of frets (the fact that it needed a fret job removes any possibility George Strait ever owned this one, I'm sorry to say), and some slight finish hazing on the back of the neck, this guitar is in excellent shape and plays just as well. It has a Sitka Spruce top, and mahogany back, sides, and neck. The rosewood fingerboard has a 25 5/8" scale length, and the nut width comes out at 1 3/4." Like most guitars from Westerly, Rhode Island, this one has a D shaped neck profile. The bright tone is perfect for the lead into "Give it Away," which we're practically doing selling it for $950 with original hardshell case. Photos

New The Loar L0-16. This is an imported deep body Gibson L-00 copy with a natural top. It's a great fingerstyle and old-time rhythm guitar that is way more fun and less expensive than having to rebook two tickets on Delta because you forgot what week your gig was. It has a 24 3/4" rosewood fingerboard with a 1 13/16" nut width, vintage style Grover tuners, laminate mahogany back and sides, a solid spruce top with x-bracing, and a SFI setup. It's a lot of guitar for just $450 with hard case. Photos

New Recording King R0-06. A nicely made 000 size guitar at an affordable price. The 14-fret neck has a 24.9" scale length and a comfortable profile. The solid spruce top has scalloped forward X bracing producing a full tone remarkable for it's size and price range. Natural satin finished throughout. With a decent, well padded gigbag and our professional set up, we offer these guitars for $325. Photos

New Recording King RJJ-116-NA. A great looking & sounding 16" Jumbo flat top guitar that is reminiscent of a famous maker's J-185 model. This guitar has a solid Sitka spruce top, laminated mahogany back & sides, mahogany neck with a bound rosewood 24-3/4" scale fretboard. The sound is bright, but not thin by any means. After a quick trial with Larry Sparks licks, cheesy western movie bad guy music, and a less than competent rendition of "Stairway to Heaven," this guitar has proven it can handle a gamut of styles without putting up a fight. Plus it looks pretty darn sharp. This is a discontinued model, so we can offer it at a bargain price of $400 with a new TKL hard case. Photos

 

Six String Guitar Banjos

2015 Gold Tone BT-2000. Gold Tone has made the best sounding new Guitar banjo money can buy. With the 12" rim, this banjo has all the growl and funk you need in a guitar banjo. Not a wimpy, tinny sound you get from the easy to find 11" Asian imports. The list price is $1,229. We offer this lightly used model at $550 and include a good gigbag. Photos

 

Shipping
We ship most of our instruments via UPS. Cost to ship a mandolin is $20 to $40. Cost to ship a guitar or banjo is $25 to $60. The cost of insurance is extra. We will be happy to quote before shipping.

Small goods like banjo heads and other parts cost $7 per order for Priority Mail shipping in the continental US no matter what the order size. The cost of orders headed out of the continental US will be quoted before they are shipped.

Sales Tax
We are legally obligated to charge 6% West Virginia sales tax on anything purchased here at the shop or shipped within the state of West Virginia. We do not charge sales tax on orders sent out of state.

To Order
Call us at 304-636-6710. For payment we accept checks, wire transfers and MasterCard & Visa. If you prefer Paypal, please send us an email requesting a Paypal invoice.

Email;
Occasionally a customer will let us know that the "Contact Us" button will not work on their computer. If you have that problem, please use sfi<at>smakula<dot>com You will have to change the <at> and <dot> to @ and .