PO Box 882, Elkins, West Virginia 26241
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Page Updated 6-23-2017
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1973 Martin D-18. 1973, as you might recall, was rife with stagflation, the death of a former president, whose name rhymes with Flindon B. Johnson, and the Cuyahoga River catching on fire. Apart from the year, this guitar has nothing in common with the aforementioned unfortunate events. See, unlike the Cuyahoga River, this guitar is exceptionally clean. It has nary a scratch or nick. And unlike Spiro Agnew pleading No Contest to tax evasion, this guitar sounds quite good. It has a dry, brighter, woody sound that is more commonly associated with D-18s from the '50s, and it lends itself quite well to Doc Watson/Sam McGee types of fingerpicking as well as soaring flatpicked leads. Thanks to a recent professional reset on the slightly chunky D profile neck, it plays almost effortlessly. The 25 7/16" scale rosewood fingerboard boasts almost undetectable amounts of fretwear. The Sitka spruce top looks almost as perfect as it did the day it left Nazareth, as do the ribbon figured mahogany back and sides. It's a good one, and honestly I might have to edit the Wikipedia page for 1973 American History to include this guitar just so it has something positive on there. $2,200 with modern Martin hardshell case. Photos
2015 C.F. Martin SWOMGT. For us old timers all those extra letters in the model name of this guitar is a little confusing, What happened to a simple D-28 and 000-18? But once you get the translation, it makes sense. This is a Smart Wood OM with a Gloss top. Using sustainable harvested woods, Martin has come up with a good looking and sounding guitar that has nothing in it's construction that is even close to being endangered. Cherry neck, back and sides, Mexican Katalox fretboard and bridge, and a Sitka spruce top. OM specs with a 25-3/8" scale and a scant 1-3/4" nut width. A full spectrum sound with a touch of bright. Purchased new in September of 2015, this close to new condition guitar is 1/2 the current retail price of $2299. For $1,150 we can sell you this guitar in it's original Martin black thermo-plastic hard case. Photos
1934 Gibson L-7. 1934 had the world in the depths of the depression. With more than 20% of the United States work force unemployed, finding work and a steady income was only worse the year before. If you were a professional tenor banjo player with a 1929 Gibson Granada in Cleveland Ohio back then, your chances for employment were also tough. So what do you do? Buy a new Gibson L-7 guitar and get in on the jazz guitar volcano that was erupting. William Woodrow was that guy. This guitar, purchased from his estate, is evidence of a great musician from the hard times in Cleveland 83 years ago. This guitar has a 16" wide body with a classic Gibson sunburst finish on the spruce top. A fleur de lis inlay n the peghead and Nick Lucas style inlay on the fretboard. Best of all, this guitar has a vintage Kauffman Vibrola that can also be seen on the guitar in his professional promotional pictures. In admiring the details of this instrument I note the extensive finish wear on the neck. That tells me this man could play! Of course with as much music as Mr. Woodrow put this guitar through, we did have to do a bit of restoration. That included a neck reset, new reproduction inlays (he wore out the originals) new frets, a new bridge top, new bound pickguard, and reglueing the guitar's back to the sides. All said and done, this guitar has the full, projecting tone you expect from a high-grade vintage archtop. Bring yourself back to 1934, minus the Bonnie & Clyde and John Dillenger ambushes, with this guitar. Price is $4,000 and includes the original hard case and some of Mr. Woodrow's personal ephemera. Photos
A little information about Bill Woodrow & his music career; In the 1930's he was a touring professional musician, starting out on tenor banjo, then buying the L-7 guitar. He toured with singer Dolly Davis. Some of the documents kept with the guitar from the boxes of papers left over from his estate included advertisements listing Dolly & Bill performances. In the 1940's he joined the US Navy to fight in World War II. After his Navy service, he opened Woodrow Diecasting in the Cuyahoga Valley of Cleveland. He passed away on August 7, 2007 at the age of 94. His obituary does not mention his prolific music career of the 1930's.
1935 Gibson L-50; The word of 1935 was Hope. Sure the dust bowl was raging and unemployment still in the double digits, but the deepest of the Great Depression was over. And if the fact Porky Pig making his debut was uplifting to the American public, good things were definitely coming down the pike. And indeed this 82 year old survivor of America's roughest patch is a good thing. For those that want just the facts; 24-7/8" scale Brazilian rosewood fretboard, 16" wide maple body with a sunburst spruce top and flat back. Recent shop work here at SFI included a neck reset, new frets and a reglue of all the back braces. The only replaced parts are 2 new red spruce back braces, the Waverly tuners from the 1960's and a new rosewood bridge. OK, the strings are new and not from the depression. Tonally this has a full range with a punchy, full bass and clear treble. The V-shaped neck is full feeling with healthy first position finish wear. The overall finish condition is very good, and has enough player wear to indicate the instrument was played a bunch before taking up residence in a post war suburban Cleveland, Ohio rec-room. The price is $1,900 and a newer TKL hard case is included. Photos
1949 Gibson L-50. This guitar first came into the shop with a headstock that was inconveniently detached from the rest of the instrument. Given that the break was messier than the Elkins High School football bleachers after a home game (though thankfully with much less spilled Mountain Dew and Nacho Cheese. Go Tigers!), we opted to replace it with an intact neck from a sad, unrepairable (lonesome, if you will) L-50 that wandered into the shop. The resulting newly functional guitar has a 24 3/4-scale length, 16" lower bout, a solid spruce top with F-holes, laminated maple back & sides, and a rosewood fingerboard festooned with those great Gibson trapezoids. The tuners are modern replicas of the disintegrating and stripped out original Klusons on the neck, and given that the front of the headstock was sanded down, we had to replace the decal and re-finish that area. Observing the modest wear on the rest of it, you realize this guitar has certainly had its share of fun. It plays effortlessly, and will serve you well whether you play the many chords of early Jazz or the three chords of Old Time music. Not so much for playing "Welcome to the Jungle" as the Elkins High School Fighting Tigers take the field to destroy whatever lowly opponent foolishly dared to cross their path. GO SPORTS!!! Just $1,650 With a way cool faux alligator Lifton Hard Shell 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
1941 Epiphone Zenith. American Black walnut is not a wood one thinks of when visions of vintage instruments come dancing through your mind. Though a few banjo makers liked black walnut, this model Epiphone might be the only pre-war guitar that used juglans nigra in its construction. The 25-1/4" scale Brazilian rosewood fretboard has new frets. The mahogany neck is smallish, measuring 1-5/8" at the nut with a slim profile. The body at 16-1/2", is a full 1/8" wider than the catalog description. Sunburst top and neck with natural finish back and sides. Best of all, this guitar was played by someone that knew what the heck they were doing. Most of the finish wear on the back of the neck is at the 3rd fret and the fretboard wear is still visible up to the 8th fret. I would have loved to have heard the music played on this instrument. The condition is very good. No abuse or unnecessary modifications. In addition to the frets, we also replaced the nut & the bridge as well as doing the much needed neck reset. This guitar is a great step back to just before World War II. Price is $1,800 and the original hard case with an awesome pirate decal on the top is included. Photos
2004 Crafters of Tennessee TNFTM. Unlike many thirteen-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 middle 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. 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 tabliture for "Thinking Out Loud" on 911 tabs.com are kind of wrong. $1,600, with original TKL hardshell case. Photos
1974 Guild Troubadour F-20. With the original sales receipt being dated December 31, 1974, I suspect some anxious teenager from Northeast Ohio spent all their Christmas gift money at Arrowhead Music in Mentor. The whopping $228.80 plus Lake County, Ohio sales tax could have easily wiped out the $20 bills from grandparents and the savings from their Plain Dealer paper route. Guild F-20 guitars were the smallest steel strings made in Westerly Rhode Island 42 years ago. With a lower bout at 13-1/2" wide, it is the Guild equivalent to a Martin size 0. Neck width is 1-21/32" and the Indian rosewood fretboard has a 25-5/8" scale length. The recent trip through our repair shop for the 42-year maintenance included a bridge reglue, a new bone nut and saddle, and crowning the frets. It now plays silky smooth. Tone is balanced and very pleasant. For $1,400 this excelent condition instrument has the original stiff cardboard case included, or a new Guardian hard case, or both if you want them. We'll also include the original receipt to take you back to 1974, when great guitars were only $240. Photos
1886? Tilton. This guitar may be little, but boy are we BIG fans of it! Ok, a sales pitch like that is even beneath a used car salesman trying to hawk a mid 90's Chevy Tracker with a Tasmanian Devil spare tire cover. This guitar deserves better than a high mileage compact SUV with an interior that has the smells of Marlboro Reds and aerosol new car smell fighting it out. Speaking of smells, this guitar has that rich aroma that only age and Brazilian rosewood, which conveniently the back and sides are made of, can provide and that in itself is pretty deluxe. The body, which has an 11 1/2" lower bout, has a well-worn spruce top that has a spline installed between the B and high E strings. The Brazilian Rosewood Fingerboard has a 24 7/16" scale length, and the mahogany neck has a shallow v shaped profile. The ivoroid tailpiece is intact. Sadly the original Tilton's improvement badge is missing from the soundhole, but we have instaled a reproduction made from laser engraved maple. No less, this is a charming chapter of the history of the guitar, and while it probably costs as much as the aforementioned mid 90's Chevy Tracker, will be way more practical and useful. $1,200, with TKL hardshell case and the original coffin case if you like. Photos
1897 Washburn New Model #123-3/4. This is a small guitar. How small? Though it is slightly more diminutive than the Martin 5-15 Marty Robbins sported in his surprisingly not terrible 1967 film "Hell On Wheels", it is as exciting and inspiring as the cameo appearance of The Stoneman Family and (spoiler alert) the kick-butt final car chase scene. Why if 1897 Washburn endorsers, The Noss Jollity Company, had race cars and played Hills of El Paso, a Washburn 123-3/4 would have been required. Important details; 11" lower bout, 21-1/2" scale, 1-3/4" nut width, Brazilian rosewood back and sides, spruce top & Ebony fretboard & bridge. Amazingly this 120 year old guitar is in great shape. Sure some player wear, and the ghost of some bridge work, but after the SFI rehab of gluing loose braces and some back cracks, a neck reset, refret and bridge reglue, this is one sweet guitar. $1,900 and includes a new Martin 5-18 hard case and the worn out leather end opening case if you want it. 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
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
2000 Alvarez Yari DY-84. For those of you still reeling from the disappointment of not winning the Alvarez Yari DY-84 at the MerleFest raffle in 2000, today is your lucky day. This is that very guitar, as real as the frosted tips on Chris Thile's hair as he performed with Nickel Creek or the hole in Willie Nelson's guitar as he serenaded a cold, wet crowd well into the dusk during that fateful weekend seventeen years ago. You probably don't remember those details though, as your thoughts were over run with plans for shredding Black Mountain Rag on a newly won Alvarez Yari DY-84 back at the campsite. We know you don't need a reminder, but this guitar has Indian Rosewood back and sides, a spruce top (which has some scratching), and a slim D-profile mahogany neck with a 1 3/4" nut width and a 25 1/2" scale length ebony fingerboard. It has a clear plastic pickguard as transparent as a three-dollar bottle of water, and a bridge that resembles Tony Rice's mustache. Get this and be the envy of everyone in Wilkesboro next April. Just $1,200, which really isn't that much more than a Merlefest weekend pass! With Original Hardshell Case and 2000 MerleFest admission ticket! Photos
1964 Old Kraftsman by Kay L9202 Dreadnought. The Spiegel catalog offered many wondrous things in it's 150 plus year history. Of interest to musicians was their Old Kraftsman line of fretted instruments. Made by Kay, this X-braced dreadnought has a 1-5/8" width nut and a 25-3/4" scale Brazilian rosewood fretboard. The natural Sitka spruce top is attached to dark red lacquered mahogany back and sides. The only parts we recognize as being replaced are the new frets, a new bridge (both from our shop) and a newer tortoise color pickguard. This excellent condition instrument is only one year newer than legendary country music artist Rob McNurlin and almost as much fun. Price is $600 and a newer TKL hard case is included. Photos
2013 Recording King RD-06. A nicely made dreadnought guitar at an affordable price. The 14-fret neck has a 25-1/4" 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 gloss finished throughout. With a decent, well padded gigbag and our professional set up, we offer this lightly used guitar for $200. Photos
New The Loar L0-16. This is an imported deep body Gibson L-00 copy available in your choice of black or natural. 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
The Loar LH-300BK with Satin Black Finish. This is the only modern guitar that resembles the choice Gibson L-50 of Elkins, WV's favorite train station attendant and Old TIme Music guitarist Kevin Chesser. Unlike Chesser's guitar, this guitar doesn't look like it was left in a gravel quarry for thirty years and doesn't come with a cooler that has "Chamber of Secrets" written on the lid. We certainly won't stop you from relic'ing it however you might feel so inclined, but it really looks and plays great as it is. This old-time rhythm machine has a solid, carved spruce top, laminate maple, back and sides, a 24 3/4" scale fingerboard with a 1 3/4" nut-width, vintage style Grover tuners and an SFI set up. A lot of fun for just $400. Includes a TKL 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 competant 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 $650 and include a good gigbag. Photos
Guide to Abbreviations and Physical Condition;
New; An instrument that came to us from the manufacturer. It has never been owned by a consumer and has it's full warrantee.
Mint; As the instrument came from the factory. No blemishes at all.
Near mint; Almost as it came from the factory
Excellent condition, a very clean instrument that has a few minor blemishes
Very Good Condition, reasonable wear for its age.
Good Condition; plenty of player wear.
Plus or minus indicates the condition is half a grade better or worse.
HC; Price includes a Hard case, either made of laminated wood or ABS plastic. Hard cases offer the most protection for your instrument. The disadvantage is they are heavy.
OHC; Original Hard Case, the hard case purchased with the instrument when it was new.
SC; Softcase, refers to a chipboard (stiff cardboard) case,
OSC; The chipboard case sold with the instrument when new.
GB; Gigbag, a padded cloth bag. Usually with shoulder straps.
We ship most of our instruments via UPS. Cost to ship a mandolin is $20 to $40. Cost to ship a guitar 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 US no matter what the order size. Out of the USA shipments will be quoted before they are shipped.
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 anything sent out of state.
Please call us at 304-636-6710. As payment we accept checks and MasterCard and Visa. We also accept Paypal
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 .