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Rambler

What recourse?

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Hey, guys.   I took my Martin golden era to a  repair guy I had done previous work with to fix the bridge which was coming unglued.  Previous owner had done a quick fix, leaving a grey stain under the bridge.  Repair guy couldt sand out the grey or tint it, so without asking me, he took the gloss off the top and made it a matte finish. On an effin' high end Martin.  he has totally killed the re-sale value. Even if he puts a gloss back on it, its a refin.  

Any advice on recourse?   Guy is an independent contractor,  no money, so Id be suing an empty pocket. Nor do I wish to drag this into court.  But ethically I feel like he owes me the value of the guitar.  

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In some locals, you can file a small claims case in your Justice of the Peace court....but I don't know about New Hampshire.  You can also file a complaint with your Better Business Bureau.  But, to really get anywhere with it, you are just about going to have to lawyer up.  Of course, you can also spread the word among musicians in your area and hurt his future business.  Frankly, I'm not sure that any of that will get you back to the quality guitar that you had before the fool got hold of it.  If life was fair, he'd at least be stoned....or tarred & feathered.

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I dont want to hurt him per se but I do want recompense.  Any merit in the idea of offering him the opportunity to buy it as a way of avoiding court. 

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16 minutes ago, Rambler said:

I dont want to hurt him per se but I do want recompense.  Any merit in the idea of offering him the opportunity to buy it as a way of avoiding court. 

It's worth a try.   And, from now on, it wouldn't hurt to have a witness present when you talk to him.

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It's not the end of the world. Yet. Is the guitar a natural finish, or a Martburst? If natch, then why not get a clear nitro shot over it & buffed to a gloss? 

Hopefully, he did the matte in lacquer.

 

And what do you mean by indie contractor, no money?

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He at least owes you the difference between the value of the guitar now and the value when you dropped it off with him for repairs, assuming there was no ambiguity in the scope of work you asked him to complete. That's why I put everything in writing for the guy who does my work, even though I trust him completely after a decade.

What model GE is the guitar?

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Thanks Nick.  Its a  00018 Golden Era.   Models in very good condition go from 2.2-2.8k.   

There was no ambiguity.  Re-glue to bridge, touch up the stain, dress the frets.  He knew I was prepping it for re-sale. Only dont have that  in writing.  I do have a text chain, asking not to spend much time on the stain if it was a losing battle.   I also asked for pics, no reply.  I dropped by his studio and say the spot, said dont worry about it.  Next think I know, its done and in matte.  

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Did he strip the original finish off the top and start from a clean piece of wood, or did he de-gloss the top (ie, sand it, but not to bare wood) and spray matte over that?

Just trying to figure out exactly what he did, and why.

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From the look of it, I'd say de-gloss and sprayed matte.  He offered to re-spray gloss, but I dont see any advantage in that because its no longer the original finish.  Plus, to do that he has to take off the bridge and pickguard, will prob tie it up for months to come (he's had it since last May).   Not to mention it is my only flattop. 

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He not only killed the resale value he killed the Tone that took years for the original Woods & Finish to develop. I would Sue the MF'r...

Several years ago I sent my 1975 D35 to Martin for some Warranty Work... They did an amazing job. I asked them if they would Refinish the Guitar to look like new. They said, No! Why? Because it would an equal number of years to develop the amazing Sound & Tone that it had...

That Luthier owes you a comparable Guitar or the Money to acquire one....

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Bummer,  I'd try to put a $ value in the difference and ask for that, &/or offer him to buy it off you.   Hoping he owns up to the issue, and a discussion allows you to come to terms.  Not sure on the $ value you're talking -  but if a discussion didn't fix it, the $ value would weigh in on whether i'd go the lawyer route or the 'put it behind me' route.  

Again, bummer.

FYI - there's a couple of us here in the Worcester MA area, if you're in need - we can give you the names of some good / trusted luthier's down here.

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I"m really sorry to learn that this happened to you Rambler. Unbelievable. I can't imagine why anyone who knows guitars would think this would be okay. It has me wondering if the matte respray was carried out to cover up something else that developed as part of a botched job.

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Questions still remain:

-Natural or burst (some of them were Martin sunbursts, yes?)

-Was the bridge removed and reinstalled for the repairs to the bridge that was coming up, and was hyde glue used for the reglue?

-How old is this guitar? 

Yes, it would be nice to remove the bridge for the fresh coat of gloss lacquer, but not absolutely necessary. Increasingly thinned out coats can be sprayed for each coat, to the point that the last coat just melts into the base coat (EDIT- around the bridge), if that matte coat is lacquer. 

Edited by 62burst

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Another possible recourse could be to let your guy cover the cost of having a competent luthier repair the guitar. I don't necessarily see the current finish as destroyed. A good luthier could polish the newly sprayed finish off, without damaging the original underneath. You might even end up with a very thin original finish, which might even help the guitar sound better than it did before.

I hope it works out.

Lars

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Your guy was an idiot, but it's doubtful that he intended to cause you this grief.  For whatever reason, he probably thought he was proceeding with the best option.

If it were me, I of course would not pay his bill, and would then sell the thing for $1800 just to get it out of my sight & be done with it.  Lawyers are going to cost money, and dragging it out is going to cause personal stress - which isn't worth it imho.

Keep all the control in your hands via your own actions, not his.  He won't really be getting away with anything, as there probably was no intent to harm - and you can then essentially make him pay, by spreading the word & costing him future business.

Best of luck in working things out.

 

 

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8 hours ago, Rambler said:

New Hampshire.  Why do you ask? 

OY VHEY I'm in  Central Mass,  where are  in new Hampshire

PM me,, I may know some folks

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5 hours ago, 62burst said:
45 minutes ago, Rambler said:

 

 

 

 

5 hours ago, 62burst said:

 

Technically speaking, it sounds like the top was oversprayed rather than refinished. In an overspray, fresh lacquer is applied but the original finish remains underneath  it. This is a compromise compared to an original finish, but not as disastrous as a complete refinish. My guess is it would knock about 25% off the value of the guitar.

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Sounds familiar.  I had a 42 Authentic D28 new from the store that came completely unglued top from the sides, sides from the back. All the binding was lifting as well.  Bracing was all loose. , Not even 4 months of owning. They sent it to a Martin repair for warranty  ,until I Was told they completely refinished the guitar.   I told them to keep the guitar.  Refund the purchase.  New a 6800.00 guitar  , refined 2000 ish if that 

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Not an overspray--here's what he did.  He sanded the discolored (thumb size ) are to bare wood, then  resprayed with vinyl sealer and nitrocellulose finish.  That was authorized.  Because the colors still didnt match up, he wet sanded (scuffed) the whole top to a satin sheen, then wet sanded to a matte finish.  

 
 

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