PO Box 882, Elkins, West Virginia 26241


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

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Page Updated 1-1-2021

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

Smakula Fretted instruments is on its way back to regular business. As you know, we have been shipping instruments and parts throughout the pandemic. We are again accepting banjo, guitar, mandolin and minor fiddle repairs. For the safety of our staff, we can not invite people into the shop, but we now have a heated camper trailer in front of the shop for repair drop off and pickup, as well as a place to test instruments we have for sale.

Thank you for your understanding and patience as we all work through the details of the new normal.

Please stay safe.

Bob Smakula

Just In

1971 Martin D-12-20 12 string guitar. More details soon. $1,600 Photos
1938 Recording King, by Gibson M-3 Arch Top Guitar. Amazing curly mple. Details below. Photos

1937 Gibson L-75 Archtop guitar;
Research into this unusual Gibson archtop provided an interesting, albeit vague, glimpse into its history. According to archtop-dot-com, this model was manufactured from 1932 to 1939, and underwent a plethora of design changes during its brief time on the market. Furthermore, it states that these guitars are essentially non-existent in Gibson catalogs after 1936. Which can lead this blurber to only one conclusion - this guitar, manufactured in 1937, is a ghost. Boo. And what could be spookier than all mahogany neck, back, and sides, a sunburst finish spruce top with round sound hole, and a bound Brazilian rosewood fretboard with dot inlays? I don't know, Beetlejuice? It comes with the positively petrifying (but not petrified) original tuners, pickguard, bridge, and tailpiece, and the top and upper left side have repaired cracks in them. The back was removed here at SFI to reglue all back braces and re-cleat the old top & side repairs. Body is 16" wide, with 24-3/4" string length. Refretted in-house. Has that lovely chunky-funky sound you want from a vintage archtop and it plays beautifully. Yours for $1,800, including a 1960s Lifton dreadnaught hard case with yellow lining. Sorry, Sold. Photos

1938 Recording King, by Gibson M-3 Arch Top Guitar. In 1938, all it took was $3 down via Montgomery Ward's "Buy Now, Pay as You Play" program, and presto, you were the "owner" of a new Recording King guitar. Doesn't it make you want to scream, or more accurately, add to the list of things you plan to scream about when you have the energy? But since I'm not Andy Rooney, I'm not going to list here all the things you can't get for $3 in today's world. At least, I don't think I'm Andy Rooney, though my eyebrows have been looking a little bushy lately No matter - what this guitar has lost to the ravages of inflation it more than makes up for with baked-in character after 80+ years on planet Earth. The steel reinforced neck is comprised of 5 plies; 3 maple, 2 rosewood. It has a 24-3/4" scale bound Brazilian rosewood fretboard, and the "pointed dome" peghead boasts an engraved pearloid Recording King logo, plus a stenciled crown design and stenciled "Model M-3" just above the nut. The top is solid carved spruce with two F-holes. Sides are solid maple, with very curly maple on the treble side and quilted maple on the bass. Back is a single piece of beautiful arched curly maple. It's likely that the back is laminated with a veneer, though it's possible it is a solid wood pressed back. Visible through the bass side F-hole is a stamp that reads "May." Dark brown to orange amber sunburst finish. It's also outfitted with the original Grover tailpiece and tuners, stripy tortoise celluloid pickguard, and Brazilian rosewood bridge. Manufactured by Gibson for Montgomery Ward between 1938 and 1940, it would've run you $22.75, not including the case. In excellent original condition minus expected wear and tear, most notably, some damage to the finish on the neck courtesy of sweat, and a primitive metal capo that came with it that sort of puts us in the mind of a medieval torture device. $1,500 with your choice of case: You can pick the worn-out original cardboard case that came with the guitar, a 1930's vintage hard case with minimal padding, or brand new TKL model 8816 hard case. Photos

1944 Martin 00-17. I don't know, do you really need another guitar right now? Do you really need another simple- yet-striking, test-of-time-withstanding, expertly repaired, sweet sounding, smooth playing, distinctive, vintage guitar? We certainly wouldn't want to call into question the fragile hierarchy by which you govern your existence. What if your horse needs an operation? Or the fuel pump goes out in the PT Cruiser? Oh, but a life organized around contingency is hardly a life, or at least that's what we're willing to say to get you to fork over the cash for this guitar. Truly, though, this is one of two outstanding 00-17s in the shop right now, and we couldn't more excited to help find it a home. Neck, top, back, and sides are mahogany, and the neck is outfitted with an ebony bar reinforcement. Fingerboard is 24-7/8" scale Brazilian rosewood, with grained ivoroid position markers. It's still got the original dark tortoise pickguard, and the top is held together by scalloped spruce top braces and a maple bridge plate. In-house repairs include new frets, a neck reset, and new compensated bone saddle. It's outfitted with modern Waverly tuners with grained ivoroid knobs, but should you feel compelled to tune like you did in 1944, you'll find the original tuners in the accessory compartment. Yours for $4,500, comes in a TKL hard case. Photos

2014 Gibson Les Paul Peace Model Electric Guitar. It's no coincidence the hippie movement was forged in the crucible of the 1960s. Where there is profound struggle & strife, profound idealism is not far behind. For many young Americans, the only way forward was to strip naked, cover themselves in mud, and make, of the shambles of their culture, a new way of life. What does this guitar, manufactured in 2014 by a company that declared bankruptcy in 2018, have to do with this pivotal chapter in American history? Nothing, really, but the tone & volume knobs do have peace signs on them. Part of Gibson's 120th anniversary series, this guitar more or less conforms to the specs of a Les Paul Standard: mahogany body, carved curly maple top, mahogany neck with rosewood fretboard, and 2 humbucking pickups. Originally outfitted with a robo-tune computerized tuning system (in the true spirt of The Summer of Love), a more sensible set of Kluson tuners with keystone knobs have since been installed. Aside from the tone & volume knobs, other Woodstocky features of this instrument include the tailpiece, with the word "peace" sandblasted into it, tie-dye truss rod cover, and the surprisingly attractive "Mellow Out Green" body finish. Yours for $1,400, including a worn but solid hemp cloth covered hard case. Photos

1965 FT-45 Epiphone Cortez by Gibson. Sometimes a cheap imitation is just a cheap imitation - if you are reading this while drinking Dr. Perky and listening to The Monkees, you know exactly what I'm talking about (even if you won't admit it). But, sometimes an imitation is darn near as good as the quote-unquote real thing. This Epiphone, made in the original Gibson factory in Kalamazoo, is nearly identical to the B-25 of the same year, and we are quite taken with it, indeed. It has an x-braced spruce top, mahogany back and sides, mahogany neck with Brazilian rosewood fretboard, and a reproduction Brazilian rosewood bridge. Scale is 24-9/16" and width at the nut is a narrow 1-9/16".It has a professionally repaired top center seam crack, a neck reset, refret, and is outfitted with Gotoh manufactured copy Kluson 3-on-a-plate tuners can't call the new tuners "reproductions" as the gearing is significantly more precise than the 1965 originals. Surprisingly loud with a good n' beefy low-end, this guitar is a bit of an undercover powerhouse. Yours today for $1,200 with modern TKL hard case with an Epiphone slashed C logo. You can even play Last Train to Clarksville on it. In the privacy of your own home please. Photos

1990 Toshihiko Nakade Master 20 Classical guitar. Just like you don't have to be Earl Scruggs to play a Gibson Mastertone banjo, you don't have to be Andres Segovia to play a Toshihiko Nakade guitar. Nakade is one of Japan's foremost hand builders of classical guitars, and we are beyond pleased to have one his more affordable models for sale. With a spruce top, Indian rosewood back and sides, and Mahogany neck, it has the pitch perfect look and feel for those seeking a high quality classical guitar. The ebony fretboard's scale length is 630mm, and it's outfitted with gold plated tuners with pearloid knobs. See photos for more lovely details, including the sound hole rosette, inlaid tie-bar, and simple yet exquisite marquetry on the back. Since I'm sure I have no clue how to play classical guitar, it's hard to attest to what it's supposed to sound like. That said, even a Americana musician like me can strum a couple of chords and hear its richness, depth, precision, and balance, Yours today for $1,500. Includes a lightweight hardshell case. Photos

2006 Santa Cruz HG13. Warning: side effects of purchasing this beautifully appointed custom guitar from one of the finest builders out there may include: 1. Strumming big beefy G-chords when you are supposed to be feeding yourself, getting ready for work, looking at the road, etc. 2. Laughing like an evil king in the presence of lesser guitars (you will lose friends) 3. Losing days of your life playing out an elaborate fantasy in which you are a parallel reality version of yourself named Jumahl (inside of guitar reads "for Jumahl, love Lynda") but, since we actually know Jumahl, we're pretty sure he'd tell you you are fine just the way you are. Anyway, this OO'ish sized guitar features a red cedar top, mahogany back & sides, bound headstock with elm burl overlay, tortoise binding, and attractive rope marquetry around the edges and soundhole. The slotted peghead with Santa Cruz branded tuners gives it just a bit of vintage flare, and the neck is 13 frets to the body, with a 25-3/8" scale ebony fretboard. Tone is warm and deep with just the right amount of snap. Needless to say, the side effects are all worth it, and it's yours for $3,900 with the original Santa Cruz case by TKL. Photos

Recent Waterloo WL-14 XTR. This Austin, Texas built guitar is one sharp, handsome, southern gentleman, a la Tommy Lee Jones, George Clooney, or, more tenuous ly, Truman Capote. We reckon the main difference between this guitar and them is that its body of work remains to be seen; this is where you come in. This Collings tribute to the Gibson L-00s of the 1930s has mahogany sides, as well as a mahogany neck and back. The top is spruce, and the finish is black satin all the way around. The top is also stylishly outfitted with a white pickguard and white binding. The fretboard is Indian rosewood with a 24-7/8" scale, and the tuners are Stewart-Macdonald Golden Era with antique finish. And for the more adventurous among us, this guitar also comes with a professionally installed Baggs internal microphone. In excellent condition with a warm, balanced tone, don't be a Fugitive and turn away from this instrument In Cold Blood - take it home today for $1,900 in a hard case and immediately play all of your favorite licks from O Brother Where Art Thou. Photos

New Recording King ROC-9-MBL. 000 Size Guitar. What else can we say? This is a lot of sound for not a lot of money. And like other Recording King guitars of the same class, the look is stylish and just a tad out of the ordinary. The deep blue finish, with pearloid fretboard, means you will look good holding this bad boy, guaranteed. 25.4" string length. $300 with hard case. Photos


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 $8 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.

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 .