PO Box 882, Elkins, West Virginia 26241


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Page Updated 7-25-2021

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
2018 Martin HD-28-V. Extra nice condition. Details soon. $2,500 Photos
1892 Washburn New Model Style 201 Brazillian Rosewood. More details and pictures below. Sorry, Sold.

1892 Washburn style 201. The 1892 Washburn catalog describes this instrument as (Brazilian) "Rosewood with plain finished edges, handsome colored wood inlayings around the soundhole and inlaid stripe down the back, oval fingerboard with pearl position dots." (And) "any style can be furnished in mahogany if preferred." At $27 retail price (no discounts!) It was a modest priced guitar. In 2021 dollars the cost would be about $800, but for $800 you can not even purchase a raw set of Brazilian rosewood for a guitar's back and sides let alone a fully assembled instrument. Washburn described this guitar as a Concert Size guitar with a 13-1/8" lower bout. (close to Martin size 0). The back and side are Brazilian rosewood. Red spruce top with ladder bracing. 24-5/8" scale ebony fretboard. V-shaped Spanish cedar neck with a slotted headstock and a 1-13/16" nut width. Though the guitar was in basically good condition when it arrived, the craftsmen here at SFI accomplished a neck reset, new frets, gluing & reinforcing hairline cracks in the back & sides, a new maple bridge plate (to replace the worn out spruce) and ebony pyramid bridge. The finish is nearly all original. There is a little touchup around the bridge where an inappropriate bridge replacement had to be undone. We have it strung with GHS Silk and Bronze strings, but no doubt this guitar would respond well with nylon strings too. The instrument plays great and has a warm full tone you expect from a 129 year old guitar. And the 1892 Washburn company would like you to "Remember, The Washburn is fully guaranteed against checking and warping for 1 year and is absolutely correct in scale." Price is $2,500 with your choice of the (presumably) original cardboard case or a new hard case. Sorry, Sold. Photos

2014 Preservation "Terz" Parlor Guitar. Small guitar, big heart. Think of it like the E.T. of stringed instruments, only you hopefully won't have to escape with this guitar into the woods while evading federal agents. Actually, now that I say it, that sounds pretty cool! Let's hope that does happen, OK? And if such an event does transpire, I bet this guitar's creator, Aviva Pilgrim (formerly Steigmeyer), would love to hear about it, so drop her a line. Based in Fayetteville, AR, Preservation Guitar Co. has been producing great sounding, unique parlor guitars since 2013. This particular model, modeled after a 3/4 size Washburn from the early 1900s, is elegant, unfussy, and a ton of fun to play. The neck is 2-piece poplar, with 21-3/4" scale rosewood fretboard, and slotted headstock with rosewood peghead overlay. Top is ladder braced and made of West Virginia red spruce. Bridge is made out of rosewood, and the back and sides are oak. For additional aesthetic joy, the top is bound in grained ivoroid. Tone is lively and crisp with that little bit of grittiness you want from an old-style parlor guitar. It's yours for a $1,000 and we'll even throw in a document stating it won't be spirited away back to its home planet for as long you are the owner. Comes in a high quality Baby Taylor gig bag. 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. On Hold. Photos

2006 Martin D-18 Authentic 1937. The Martin Authentic series - sort of like the Fender "Road-Worn" series minus the subtext that you've played more gigs than you actually have. If that's the vibe you're looking for, no one's going to stop you from rubbing sandpaper on the edges of this guitar. But if anyone from SFI finds out about it, we're going to drive to your house and give you a wedgie, social distancing be damned. Let's talk turkey - this guitar is a faithful reproduction of a 1937 D-18, with Adirondack red spruce top, mahogany back, sides, and neck, and 25.4" scale ebony fretboard. The bridge is ebony as well, and the peghead overlay is Brazilian rosewood. Tuners are a visual reproduction of the original grover G-98s with C.F. Martin logo, aged nickel finish, and significantly better gearing than the originals. Interior bracing is scalloped and moved forward to 1-1/2" from the soundhole. Fretboard is 1-3/4" at the nut. Comes with the original TKL hard case with alligator brown exterior and plush burgundy interior, a reproduction of the original Geib hard case that would've been available in the 30s. It also comes with black and grey Small Dog brand case cover. If you are from planet Earth and have heard of "bluegrass" then you probably don't need to be told what this guitar sounds like, but yes, it's all there, the bass, the depth, the clarity. $4,500 for all the flat top you can handle and we'll even throw in a Smakula click pen, but don't push your luck. 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. Sorry, Sold. Photos

1988 Dobro Hula Blues Single Cone Resonator Guitar. The story of the Dobro guitar could not possibly be more American. It's the early 1900s, and the Dopyera brothers (hence the name: Do-Bro) have emigrated from Slovakia to Los Angeles. Fast forward to the 1920s: down-in-the-mouth guitar players the world over are distraught that their guitars are not as destructively loud as the banjos of the time. In 1927, John Dopyera files the patent for the tri-cone resonator guitar. American hero, or harbinger of sonic doom? You be the judge. This guitar, manufactured by the Dopyera-founded Original Instrument Company in California, has a maple V-shaped neck with 24-1/2" scale flat rosewood fretboard. The slotted headstock features an attractive shield decal that reads "Original Duolean by Dobro". Body is 00 sized maple with F-holes and spun aluminum single cone, chrome cover plate, and chrome tailpiece. Finished in a light green color, with stenciled yellow palm tree on the top and stenciled hula girl with palm tree on the back. The overall effect is quite charming, and a recent neck reset and refret done here at SFI means it sounds and plays great. $1,200 with heavy duty Levy's gig bag. Photos

2011 Dell Arte parlor guitar. There is no shortage of praise out there for Dell Arte guitars, and for good reason. Whenever beautiful handcrafted items such as this arrive in the shop, it's a reminder that the instrument biz is a pleasant biz to be in, as far as bizzes go. It can be easy to forget this truth, when buried beneath a mountain of bubble wrap or disintegrating pearloid, or staring down the barrel of a fire-damaged hammered dulcimer that hasn't been tuned in 133 years. But with this lovely parlor guitar, all of that seems to melt away. Built in San Diego by acclaimed luthier John Kinnard, the list of this guitar's premium appointments stretches on and on into the sunset - European spruce top, strikingly figured Cocobolo back and sides, herringbone trim, and curly maple binding to name a few. It has a 1-3/4" width bone nut and saddle, pyramid bridge, and a mahogany neck with 24" scale ebony fretboard. The slotted headstock is outfitted with Waverly tuners with ebony buttons. Tone is punchy and crisp but well-balanced, which is exactly what you want out of a parlor guitar. Yours for $2,500, includes hard case. Pictures coming when "Wintery Mix" is not a daily occurance. 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. Sorry, Sold. 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. Sorry, Sold 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

1985 Alvarez Yairi DY-74. Maybe it's the spring weather, or maybe it's the lacquer fumes from the SFI repair shop, but 2021 seems to shaping up better than 2020, at least from our current vantage point. We think it's an appropriate time for new beginnings, and this 1985 Alvarez has new beginnings written all over it. A nice homage to that era's Martin D-28, this guitar is a solid, mid-price player's instrument, in great condition. The dreadnaught body has laminated rosewood back and sides, and ebony bridge, and a scalloped brace solid spruce top. The mahogany neck has a 25-3/8" scale ebony fretboard, and "snowflake" inlays. After a little TLC via SFI, namely a refret, it sounds and plays great. Yours for $650, comes in a used but solid condition hard case. Photos

2005 Alvarez Artist AD80SSB. While some dreadnaught guitars do fill us with dread and make us wonder if it's all for naught, we are perfectly content with this 2005 Alvarez offering. It's got a mahogany neck with 25-1/2" scale bound rosewood fretboard, laminated rosewood back and sides, laminated spruce top with mother of pearl border, and sunburst finish. This excellent condition instrument didn't need much of anything done to it, but we did dress the fretboard, so now it plays even better than before. A great option for anyone in need of an affordable, all-purpose strummer. $350, comes in a hardshell case. 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. Sorry, Sold. 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 .