A sad story about my $3,000 Martin D-18 Guitar

@TheHorse (88389)
Walnut Creek, California
July 11, 2019 4:58pm CST
I bought my Martin D-18 dreadnought guitar about two (maybe three now) years ago. It was to be my "cannon," my largest and loudest guitar, mainly for use at acoustic (no amplification) jam session with friends. I got the guitar for only $2000 at Guitar Center and was amazed by its beauty (mahogany rarely has cross-grain lines as distinct as this one) and sound (it is bold, yet balanced). I was surprised when some of the binding (the dark plastic around the edges of the guitar) "came up," but I did some research, bought the necessary glue, and glued it back down. It looked nearly perfect from more than a foot away (see photo) but there was a minor gap I wanted filled so I wouldn't "obsess" about it. Recently, I took the guitar to a "Martin Licensed Warranty Repair Facility" to have some final touch up done on my repair. The fella who did the work on it "butchered" my guitar. He used a kind of glue I'd never used, and did so without masking the guitar. Said glue pulled up the finish and made light brown splotches on both the back and the side of the guitar that are literally 2" long and 0.5" wide. I refused to take the guitar home and (after speaking with the folks at Martin Guitars) ultimately called the shop, instructing them to send the guitar to Martin Guitars, in Nazareth Pennsylvania, where they will know how to repair his error, use the proper finish to color-match, and return the guitar to me in "like-new" condition. I will be without my Martin D-18 for literally two to four months. Have you ever had someone totally screw up a minor (or major) repair to your guitar, car, house, etc.? Sometimes the "experts" are no better than we are after doing a bit of research. My Larrivee D-03E (the one that was once broken by United Airlines, and later fixed by Larrivee) will be seeing some extra action over the next few months.
18 people like this
15 responses
@JudyEv (164413)
• Bunbury, Australia
12 Jul
That would be so disappointing. We've engaged professionals before than later thought that we could have better ourselves.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (88389)
• Walnut Creek, California
12 Jul
I was surprised. But I reckon life is for learning. Perhaps I'm better than I thought at working on guitars. You can see my work in the picture. Maybe this fella is better on vintage guitars than he is on new guitars.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (164413)
• Bunbury, Australia
12 Jul
@TheHorse I know you've done some great restoration work from time to time. And the guitar is a credit to you.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (88389)
• Walnut Creek, California
12 Jul
@JudyEv Thanks, Judy. I hope Martin does a good job with it. It has some pretty grain.
1 person likes this
@Bensen32 (4882)
• United States
12 Jul
Oh man I could feel the anger building in myself while reading this I can't imagine how you were. Well at least Martin is going to fix it for you. I'm not a guitar player myself but appreciate the look and sound of them.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (88389)
• Walnut Creek, California
12 Jul
I must really be getting old and mellow. I felt (and still feel) more frustration than anger.
2 people like this
@Bensen32 (4882)
• United States
12 Jul
@TheHorse that is understandable, and now the time you have to wait hopefully it comes back perfect.
@NJChicaa (61107)
• United States
12 Jul
I'm sorry this happened to you and your guitar
2 people like this
@TheHorse (88389)
• Walnut Creek, California
12 Jul
Thank you. I'm bummed, but I'm not letting it really get to me.
2 people like this
@sophie09 (8836)
• Indonesia
11 Jul
I have no idea with things guitar. But thats pretty bad :(
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (88389)
• Walnut Creek, California
11 Jul
I expect Martin Guitars to "make me whole." They are one of the great manufacturers of guitars in the US since the 1800s.
2 people like this
@sophie09 (8836)
• Indonesia
11 Jul
@TheHorse well i see now
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (88389)
• Walnut Creek, California
11 Jul
@sophie09 I hope (and assume) they will come through.
1 person likes this
@RubyHawk (34221)
• Atlanta, Georgia
12 Jul
That sounds bad, do you have to pay the guy who ruined the finish? Hope the new one gets it right, No, I can't say anything similar has happened to me.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (88389)
• Walnut Creek, California
12 Jul
It should all be under Warranty. If they "mess with me," I'll be vocal during gigs.
1 person likes this
@RubyHawk (34221)
• Atlanta, Georgia
12 Jul
@TheHorse You do that. You probably wont have any trouble since it's under warranty.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (88389)
• Walnut Creek, California
12 Jul
@RubyHawk Yep. Martin should take care of it.
1 person likes this
@Dena91 (5802)
• United States
12 Jul
I am so sorry that happened to your guitar. Good thing you refused to take it after you saw what they did. I wonder how many people just take the thing worked on because they don't want to deal with the people. Only once did we take a car for a front end alignment, in which the man said he wished he had a mirror so he could kiss himself, because it was the best alignment he ever did. Once Mike and I pulled out we knew it was the the same as it was when we took it in. We called, talked with the manager to let him know we would never be back.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (88389)
• Walnut Creek, California
12 Jul
Did he pay you back? Did you take it elsewhere and get it properly aligned? Did you write a review somewhere so others would know?
1 person likes this
@Dena91 (5802)
• United States
12 Jul
@TheHorse No refunds plainly posted at their business. Yes we took it to another local shop and they aligned it correctly. This was before smart phones, computers were just beginning so we spread by word of mouth, no written reviews.
@FourWalls (20025)
• United States
12 Jul
Did you ask for a “loaner” while yours is in the shop? This is music after all!
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (112610)
• United States
11 Jul
All kinds of people really mess up. We have a stick shift car that is older, that a mechanic messed up the shifter. At this point we cannot find a replacement anywhere.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (88389)
• Walnut Creek, California
11 Jul
I drive a stick as well. Aamco technicians successfully replaced my clutch when it gave out after 200,000 miles. Good luck!
1 person likes this
@MALUSE (51903)
• Germany
11 Jul
Who will pay for this repair? The man who caused the damage?
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (88389)
• Walnut Creek, California
11 Jul
I'm assuming that Martin Guitars will. He did his best and failed.
@CarolDM (32919)
• United States
11 Jul
Good for you for making them get it done right. Nothing like this has happened to me. You have to watch everybody these days. Good luck!
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (88389)
• Walnut Creek, California
11 Jul
Thank you. As I mentioned in previous posts, I enjoyed my trips to Tiburon. I didn't want to darken those posts by mentioning that this was my original reason for going up there.
1 person likes this
@wolfgirl569 (18166)
• Marion, Ohio
12 Jul
Sorry you have had so much trouble. I know you were looking forward to getting it back.
@TheHorse (88389)
• Walnut Creek, California
12 Jul
It didn't occur to me that a "sh*t storm" would occur. I hope Martin Guitars makes it right.
1 person likes this
@wolfgirl569 (18166)
• Marion, Ohio
12 Jul
@TheHorse I hope so.
@xander6464 (14524)
• Wapello, Iowa
16 Jul
I wish Martin would have forced the shop to let you have a comparable guitar for the time it'll take to repair yours but at least it's "only" 2-4 months. This is the second time this week, I've felt compelled to quote the same Frank Zappa song in a comment. Sorry for the repeat but I will use a different verse this time: They can't fix yer brakes You ask 'em, "where's my motor? " "well, it was eaten by snakes" You can stab 'n' shoot 'n' spit But they won't be fixin' it They're lyin' an' lazy They can be drivin' you crazy
@1hopefulman (43016)
• Canada
12 Jul
Yes, I have experienced some major screw ups in my life. On a car I had, the garage put in a wrong piece which burned all the electrical wiring and then they refused to fix it and I had to go to court.
@LadyDuck (230619)
• Switzerland
12 Jul
I am so sorry, but this is the sad reality, sometimes the workers make more damages than good. My husband had a problem years ago with his Mercedes car. He took the car to the garage for a simple and easy annual routine check and when we went back to get the car, it had a dent on the back. My husband is not someone who shuts up and keep quiet, he had the car repaired, but he was furious.
@BarBaraPrz (23528)
• St. Catharines, Ontario
12 Jul
Well, that's not good. And you say UA broke one of your other guitars? What guitar god did you anger?