This beautiful consignment 1939 Martin D-45 (73128) comes to the shop after having been proudly owned and played for 50 years by the current owner. This guitar was made in the summer of 1939, right after the change from the older wider standard neck to the 1 11/6″ nut width. It is one of only 14 D-45 guitars made by Martin in 1939. Standard features for that period include: Highest quality Brazilian rosewood back and sides, Very even grain Adirondack spruce top, Abalone purling on every edge of the body and soundhole rosette, Honduras mahogany neck, Bound Brazilian rosewood headstock overlay, Gold Grover G-111 covered back tuners, Abalone hexagon fingerboard inlay, Red turtle-oid pickguard, Ivory colored bridge pins and endpin with abalone dot, Scalloped top brace voicing. The original Lifton case remains in fine condition, though the handle has been replaced.
In 1964, the retiring professional jazz guitar playing owner decided to retire to Colorado Springs and open a teaching studio and to sell a few instruments in his collection. This D-45 went to noted Berkeley repairman and guitar dealer Jon Lundberg for a neck reset, a replacement bridge, and a cosmetic sprucing up. The top was completely refinished with no loss of thickness. The back had two small cleated cracks near the tail on the treble side. A 1/16″ bit of binding just above the center strip was added at the neck joint. The back, sides, and neck received an overspray coat of lacquer to brighten up the appearance. The first abalone hexagon was replaced and the original is in the case pocket. The endpin was replaced with a plastic ivoroid version with no dot. The worn out bridge plate was replaced by Jon Lundberg.
The current owner saw this guitar in process at Lundberg’s shop and purchased it in 1967 from the player who had bought it from Johnny Smith. Most recently, Dennis Berck performed a neck reset and refret, and replaced the 1964 bridgeplate with a properly sized version, which tucks into the X braces. The responsiveness and volume have been greatly improved with these last procedures from Dennis Berck.
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