Thursday, 13 January 2011

Dad's guitar: Martin F-65 semi
Greg writes:
Hi there,

I've been following your blog for a little under a year now and I really love it. Thank you for sharing so many treasures and for providing such great commentary.

I thought you might be interested in a guitar that I came across in my dad's possession over my holiday vacation back home (somehow I didn't realize my dad owned this gem). While it's by no means completely wild, it sure is unusual. It's an electric guitar that Martin made back in the '60s. Kind of unusual considering Martin is known exclusively for their high quality acoustics.

As I understand it, there were only something like 1,800 of them ever made. The model is a F-65. Sadly, I don't know the exact date it was built, but they were only created from 1962 to 1965. Talking with some fellow guitar enthusiasts at a local vintage guitar meetup, they explained that it was a case of Martin just not being able to sell the model due to their strong association with acoustics and not electrics. It's an incredible guitar workmanship-wise. This particular guitar was professional sanded down to a nice, natural wood, which I absolutely love. The pickguard was removed too, giving it something of a John Lennon Casino look. All models I've seen online and read about have a sunburst finish otherwise. The place where the tremolo bar would lock in has been blocked with a wooden dowel though. My dad picked this up back in 1980 from a vintage guitar shop in Kansas City and all of the cosmetics were as they are now. He's had some work done to it and I hope you'll forgive the overused expression, but it's an absolute dream to play. Sounds great too! I hope in his older age, he finds it in his heart to fork it over to me, hah!

Anyway, I thought you might be interested in this oddity. I'm sadly back in Seattle now so I can't really provide too many more details on the guitar without probing my dad for information. Hope you're having a great New Year! Take care.

Hey, thanks for sharing, Greg. We have looked at a couple of Martin's electric models previously, but it's good to hear from someone who has personal experience of one.

Keep 'em coming, folks!

G L Wilson

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!

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