Dart D-12 guitar: twelve-fret dreadnought, Honduras rosewood & Sitka spruce

This twelve-fret dreadnought has a BIG voice, with a powerful low end and David’s signature crystal-clear treble notes. Its master-grade old growth Sitka spruce top perfectly complements the rich chocolate-hued Honduras rosewood sides & back. Other features: ebony binding, hand-cut abalone Dart logo, vine inlay, fingerboard diamonds, and soundhole inlay ring, slot head, 3-on-a-plate Waverly tuners.

$9,000 with hard-shell case – price does not include tax or shipping

Specs/materials:

  • 1-¾” nut width
  • 25-⅜” string length
  • 12 frets to the body
  • Slot head
  • Honduras rosewood sides, back, & bridge
  • Master-grade Sitka spruce top
  • Indian ebony fingerboard, binding, and peghead overlay
  • Sitka spruce top & bracing
  • Solid basswood lining
  • Hand-cut abalone peghead vine inlay, Dart logo, and fingerboard diamond markers
  • Mother-of-pearl fingerboard side dots
  • High-gloss nitrocellulose lacquer finish (body & peghead)
  • Matte neck finish
  • Unique epoxy resin pickguard (made in-house)
  • Waverly tuners (3 on a plate)
  • Hand-cut bone nut & saddle

Please contact us if you’re interested in this instrument.

Dart OM guitar – Honduras rosewood & Sitka spruce

This brand-new OM has a full & balanced sound, with fourteen frets to the body for upper fret access. This guitar is as comfortable with articulate fingerpicking as it is banging out big open chords in a group setting. Its top is master-grade old-growth Sitka spruce, and its sides and back are Honduras rosewood. The unique pickguard was made in-house, from epoxy resin and finish dye. Other features: ebony binding, hand-cut soundhole abalone ring/fingerboard diamonds, as well as David’s own hand-cut peghead vine inlay below the classic Dart logo.

$8,000 with hard-shell case – price does not include tax or shipping

Specs/materials:

  • 1-¾” nut width
  • 25” string length
  • 14 frets to the body
  • Honduras rosewood sides & back
  • Master-grade Sitka spruce top
  • Indian ebony fingerboard, bridge, binding, and peghead overlay
  • Sitka spruce top & bracing
  • Solid basswood lining
  • Hand-cut abalone peghead vine inlay, Dart logo, and fingerboard diamond markers
  • Mother-of-pearl fingerboard side dots
  • High-gloss nitrocellulose lacquer finish (body & peghead)
  • Matte neck finish
  • Unique epoxy resin pickguard (made in-house)
  • Waverly tuners (individual)
  • Hand-cut bone nut & saddle

Please contact us if you’re interested in this instrument.

Local Anderson Valley redwood & cherry A-5 mandolin

Here’s the second mandolin from the last batch: another A-5, made with local Anderson Valley redwood & cherry. The redwood is from an old Navarro sheep barn, which was located not far from David’s shop, and the cherry is from an old Philo orchard. Some folks have described its tone as earthy and bell-like.

This unique A-5 is for sale & available to demo at the Dart Instruments showroom in Navarro. Contact David if you’re interested in this instrument or another similar custom one!

“Songbird” – maple & spruce A-5 mandolin

This gorgeous mandolin was custom-built for the talented Sarah Larkin of local favorites The Real Sarahs. It’s a classic A-5, with eastern sugar maple (Massachusetts) sides/back/neck, Sitka spruce top, ebony fingerboard/overlay/pickguard/bridge, and ivoroid binding, as well as a hand-rubbed sunburst & nitrocellulose lacquer finish. The inlay was Sarah’s idea and David’s design & was hand-cut from abalone, mother-of-pearl, and Sterling silver.

Contact David if you’re interested in a custom mandolin like this one!

“The Cardinal” F-5 Mandolin

Wow! This spectacular mandolin is now at home in Georgia. Check out that inlay – abalone/mother-of-pearl cardinal & dogwood flowers on the peghead, fingerboard, and finger-rest. It’s got a Sitka spruce top, curly English sycamore sides & back, ivoroid binding, Waverly tuners, ebony fingerboard/overlay/bridge/finger-rest, as well as a nitrocellulose lacquer over a hand-rubbed sunburst finish.

“Four-leaf clover” curly spalted maple & rosewood baritone ukulele

Back in 1971, David saved some chunks of this curly maple from a friend’s burn pile in Olympia, Washington & had been waiting for the right instrument to cut it up. Turns out it’s perfectly sized for a baritone ukulele! This one was for a friend who lost her Dart baritone uke in a structure fire towards the end of 2019.

In addition to the curly western maple top/back/sides, this instrument has a western maple neck, rosewood fingerboard/binding/bridge/peghead overlay, Waverly tuners, hand-cut abalone four-leaf clover peghead & fingerboard inlay, mother-of-pearl side dots, bone nut & saddle, and a K&K pickup.

A pair of koa six-string tenor ukuleles

A customer in Florida who owns one of David’s koa concert ukuleles recently ordered a fun custom instrument: a six-string tenor ukulele, with double-strung first & third courses (high to low: AA E Cc G, where the double A is tuned in unison and the double C is tuned to an octave).

We built two of these beauties. Both have solid koa top/back/sides & a black acacia neck, Waverly tuners, bone nut & saddle, abalone fingerboard markers, mother-of-pearl side dots, polyurethane matte finish, and fluorocarbon strings. The custom ordered one has an ebony fingerboard/bridge & an abalone daisy peghead inlay, and the second one has rosewood & an old-timey abalone vine peghead inlay.

These instruments have big presence & projection, with a prominent chorus effect from the doubled strings – perfect for a ukulele player looking for a fuller ukulele sound to keep up with a band, or to add another element to their solo playing.

Rare & unique vintage Epiphone repair

Here’s a rare one – an Epiphone Electar guitar, circa 1935-1939. There’s not too much information about these out there, but Fretted Americana Inc. had some detailed information about this model, which was Epiphone’s first electric guitar and notable for its Miessner pickup. There’s easy access to the pickup through a cavity on the back, which was covered by a screwed-on padded plate. Lots of information on the peghead: the plate on the back of the displays several patent numbers, and the four-digit serial number is stamped atop.

This guitar badly needed a neck reset & good setup, but otherwise it’s in great condition & it played well once the strings were back on.

According to Fretted Americana, this guitar is what attracted none other than Les Paul to the Epiphone company & later Gibson. If you’re interested in modern/electric guitar history, the article is linked above, and here’s the url as well, just in case:

<https://www.frettedamericana.com/product/1937-epiphone-electar>

Work in progress: a special F-5 Mandolin

Over the past couple of months, David’s been busy with a custom F-5 mandolin. This one has the works: a Sitka spruce top, stunning curly English sycamore back & sides, ebony fingerboard/peghead overlay and underlay/bridge/finger-rest, and – last but not least – inlaid cardinals and dogwood flowers. It’s almost ready for its sunburst finish, so check back soon for more photos.

There’s another pair of A-5 mandolins in progress, too – get in touch if you’re interested in one.

To see other examples of David’s mandolins, click here.

Custom acacia tenor ukulele

A customer liked our recent run of tenor ukuleles, especially the X-braced acacia one, but he was interested in a few upgrades: a tie block, Waverly tuners, ebony binding, and an iris inlay on the peghead. These northern California black acacia instruments sound fantastic, and it looks a lot like koa; in fact, koa is in the acacia family.

There are three tenor ukuleles at the showroom, looking for a good home for the holidays. Get in touch with David if you’re interested in one!