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  • FlatTops      

    Newest Arrivals

    VV - 0007 1936 Vivitone Acousti Guitar     EXC+   Well, I never thought I'd part with this gem from the "Loar Collection" but here goes. I've seen and owned a number of these but this is not only the nicest but also the only one I've run across with triple WBW binding on both the top and the back. These 'brainchildren' of Lloyd Loar did not prove commercially sucessful but have unique innovations. The back is recessed and has f-holes and contributes to the sound of the guitar. This is also the only specimen that I have known that has the "fairy frets" touted in some of the Vivitone ads. One need only a light touch rather than having to push hard to make a clear note. Granted, it takes a bit of getting used to. The tasteful sunburst on top and back extends also to the sides. Art deco abounds from the head stock to the tailpiece. Original tuning pegs. There are no cracks anywhere (these typically have a heel crack). This is a stunning example of a rare beast. The original hard shell case is in pretty nice shape.
    Price:   $4500.00

    MF - 00044 1944 Martin Herringbone D-28     EXC   Serial # 89361 Thus, scalloped braces. Adirondack Spruce top and that classic "log" Brazilian rosewood back and sides. 1 11/16" Nut Width. Typical center seam repair and no other issues and all original. Ebony neck reinforcement. This is the classic Bluegrass Bone. I've had it for decades but now I play almost exclusively 5 string tenor guitar.   so I can bear to part with this, my birth year 'bone'. There are more pictures of it on the Museum Page . And I have large pictures on request. I'd advise picking it up in person which would include a nice lunch ... Outdoors - properly socially distanced.
    Price:   $58,500.00

    HO - 0004 ca. 1895 Howe-Orme Style 4 Guitar     EXC ++   Howe Orme family instruments are rare. Those of the mandolin family are the most commonly found. The guitars turn up far less often. I've been a big fan of Howe Orme instruments for a long time. They have so many innovations which contribute to a big full sound. This is one of the higher end models of which there are very few. Spruce "cylinder" bound top and brazilian rosewood bound back with 'zipper' center stripe. It appear to have mahogany sides but maybe it's rosewood. The cylinder feature which provides not only structural support but enhanced fidelity can be best viewed from the bottom. Another brilliant innovation is the adjustable neck angle and neck attachment method which provides an elevated fingerboard. Elegant un-adorned headstock and yes, a zero fret in the late 1800's. Original tuning pegs . The label is nicely intact. Serial number 2448. This guitar is in museum quality condition. Newer hard shell case.
    Price:   $6850.00

    KK - 00011 mid 30's Kay Kraft Venetian Gold Leaf guitar     EXC   You can find a lot of beat up models like this but I have not seen one in as fine condition as this example. No cracks and hardly any scratches or blemishes. Sunburst top with the gold leaf in fine shape and the Indian Heads clean and crisp. Straight neck and adjustable action via the large wingnut inside and the sliding adjuster pad at the heel . Sunburst mahogany back and sides. Original tuning pegs. Clean Kay Kraft logo on the headstock. Chipboard case may be original.
    Price:   $1850.00

    MF-00084 1933 Vinaccia flat top guitar from Naples, Italy.     EXC   This guitar records extremely well and plays really easily. Its tone is powerful and distinctive with lots of mid range and no bass clutter. I got it in need of repair and Chris Berkov did a masterful restoration on it. Ancient spruce 14 3/4" wide top with some repaired cracks below the bridge and a beautiful inlaid pickguard . The back appears to be mahogany or something quite similar whereas the sides are a more exotic wood and the binding is some sort of fruitwood. Beautifully done around the endpin . The Stauffer style headstock has the engraved silver tuning peg cover while the back of the peghead is plain and simple. The label is in nice condition. The case is no doubt original and will protect it for shipping.
    Price:   $4500.00    SOLD


    Martin Guitars

    MF - 00082 1944 Martin 000-28     VG   Here is a great sounding, great playing classic wartime Herringbone Martin that suffered a trauma and the consequent repairs benefitting it an attractive price. The tuning pegs have been replaced and there has been an effective headstock crack repair. The top upper and lower bass bouts are crack free as is the upper treble bout. But the lower treble bout looks like it was impacted resulting in six cracks which have been repaired. Here is a large format picture of the top. The cracks don't look good but they are solid. One small section of herringbone binding has been replaced as has the pickguard. The brazilian rosewood back has some nicks and a little buckle rash but is crack free. Likewise the sides are crack free as is the heel. Nice zipper backstripe. All else appears original including end pin, bridge, snowflake inlays in the ebony fingerboard, finish, peghead decal, etc. End block is stamped with Serial # 88229 and it has the scalloped braces. Ebony neck reinforcement. This guitar is a true hoss and has 'the stuff' that you expect from one of the great old herringbone Martins. It's had a recent expert neck set and setup and plays like it should. Newer case.
    Price:   $13,500.00

    MF-00084 1946 Martin D-28     EXC -   Here is a Bone just the way you want to find them ... unmolested ! It has been played and there is some play wear as you can see but no ugly play wear. The guitar looks great. And there are no repairs done or needed. There are no cracks anywhere that go through the wood but let's look very closely at three spots on the top . There is one long gouge and next to it is another that is a surface crack and cannot be seen from the inside. There is one other small surface crack that also does not go through. The Brazilian rosewood back is the desired old straight grain and book matched as are the sides which is evident when looking at the bottom. Original tuning pegs and Martin decal on the headstock. Original pickguard and bridge. All bracing, bridgeplate, kerfing, etc original. Steel neck reinforcement.And it sounds fantastic. A classic bluegrass heringbone dreadnaught. Serial Number 97973 . Newer hard shell case. Price:   $26,500.00

    Mf - 00078 1953 Martin D- 28     EXC -   I own a 1944 D-28 and it replaced a 1934 D-28 that I had because the 44 sounds better when I play songs on it. This 53 sounds just as good ! And the perfectly matched straight grained spruce top looks remarkably similar to the '44 as does the classic straight grain Brazilian rosewood back and sides. This is one of those fabled 'mystery tops' and the 'experts' on the Unofficial Martin Guitar Forum feel that it is red spruce. Original from the end pin to the tuning pegs to the Martin decal on the headstock but with newer bone nut made to original specs. All original finish with just a bit of pro touch up around the most worn areas near the pickguard. A very common modification on these old guitars is a light thin maple cap on the original bridgeplate which is attached with hide glue. A purist might easily remove this but it really does preserve the integrity of the guitar. Some capo dings on the back of the neck but I don't notice them when playing it. (I've been playing it at all my acoustic gigs since I got it) There's a strap pin installed in the heel a little blemish of some sort as if some tape was once near the edge, and a very well done jack hole repair. Love that volute. The serial number is # 134047. Older Gibson Hard Shell Case .
    Price:   $13,950.00    SOLD


    Gibson Guitars

    GF-00031 1939 Gibson L Century     EXC -   Here is a beauty. The "minus" is because of the one pro repaired stable crack in the flame maple back. There's also a repaired hairline on the top going from the bridge down to the bottom. It's got the wide sunburst on the top typical of the later models. Pearl inlays in rosewood insets in the M.O.T. fingerboard. Very unusual non-M.O.T. ebony veneered, pearl inlayed headstock and original tuning pegs. Flame maple sides are crack free. A few scratches around the bottom. Nice comfortable "C" neck profile. Beautiful hard shell case seem more like late 40's early 50's to me but it's sure a nice one. This guitar is set up great and is really fun to play. Plus it's about the best sounding one of these that I've run across.
    Price:   $5850.00


    Other Guitars

    VF - 00012 ca. 1938 Vega Flat Top Guitar     EXC -   Another great sounding late thirties Vega Flat Top in nice original condition. Spruce top is crack free as is the mahogany back. There is one small repaired crack in the upper bout of the bass side. The original finish on the mahogany back and sides has aged with light streaks in it which I've also seen on other old Vega's from this period. Everything appears to be original from the tuning pegs to the end pin with the exception of the one black bridge pin although maybe it's the original one? Vega logo on the headstock and label in fine condition. Lower bout - 13 1/2"     Scale Length = 25"     Nut Width = 1 3/4"     It's had a neck set and plays comfortably and in tune with action at the 12th fret, 6th string of 4/32" and first string of 3/32". Ladder braced. Big sound from this medium size body. Chipboard case.
    Price:   $2750.00    SOLD

    VF - 00011 ca. 1937 Vega Flat Top Guitar     EXC +   It is unusual to find a Vega flat top in this large size ... a shade under 14 3/4" at the lower bout and a maximum body depth of 4 1/2 inches. Combined with the 25" scale length this yields a big strong sound. It is ladder braced and was built for steel strings with a long bridge plate and two tone bars below the plate. The nut width is 1 21/32" (just shy of 1 11/16") typical of the Vegas of the thirties and forties. The serial number is 38969. Someday someone will figure out how Vega serial numbers relate to the date of manufacture and we will thank them profusely. The action measures 8/64" at the 12th fret on the bass string and 6/64ths on the treble string. This instrument is in amazing original un-circulated condition with a recent neck set, straight neck, good frets and low action. Adirondack spruce top shows some long checking lines in the original finish as does the mahogany back and sides. Mahogany neck and ebony bridge and fingerboard. This is a simple relatively unadorned model but the quality of woods and craftsmanship in these old Vegas is right up there with the Martins of the same era. Everything is original here from the end pin to the 'jazz era' raised pickguard to the tuning pegs to the stenciled star logo on the headstock. And the original Geib semi- hard case is quite nice indeed.
    Price:   $3350.00

    AG - 00107 ca. 1939 Le Domino "Big Boy" by Regal     VG +   This Big Boy has a 15 1/4" lower bout and a scale length of 25 1/2 " with a nut width of 1 7/8" and it is a great fingerpicking guitar. Sorta like an archtop, sorta like a flat top. The top appears to be solid spruce and the back looks like birch. It is all original from the tuning pegs to the tailpiece, bridge and pickguard. The script on the headstock is in unusually good shape as is the Regal label. There is a bit of wear to the dominos on the fingerboard but the dominoes just above the tailpiece are in pristine condition. Fancy soundhole rosette. It looks like a 2 piece heel construction or a very perfectly horizontal hairline crack repair. Hard to tell. It sounds really good and plays nicely with a comfortable action. Ratty old oversize chipboard case.
    Price:   $1750.00


    VT - 00023 1935 ViviTone Acousti-Guitar     Exc-   A rare example of the Acousti-Guitar from The Vivi Tone Company founded by Lloyd Loar after leaving Gibson. There's nicks and scratches but it is crack free both top and back both of which act as soundboards in this radical design complete with elevated fingerboard and adjustable bridge. There is a solidly repaired heel crack which poses no threat. The guitar plays just fine and has a unique sound which is perfect for cowboy songs and many other applications. Sounds really great playing Django music. Original (except for one) tuning pegs. Art deco headstock and tailpiece. Serial number 383 and there is an additional label which guarantees an upgrade to the more expensive Acousti-lectric model. It is unusual to find one of these guitars in this nice condition. Gig Bag.
    Price:   $2500.00    SOLD

    Here's a video clip of the Vivitone.

    To contact Players Vintage Instruments, e-mail us at info@vintageinstruments.com
    Or telephone:  415-669-1107   West Coast Time
    Or write to: Box 445, Inverness, Ca. 94937
    Lowell Levinger - Proprietor


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