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 9-1-2017
Please Visit our Home Page for links to our banjos, fiddles, mandolins, and more.
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. Sorry, Sold. Photos
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. How ever 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
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
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
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
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 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 $550 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 .