Ralph Smith was an amazingly talented and little-known luthier from the Wichita, Kansas, area—most active in the late ’60s and early ’70s. At first glance, the world’s largest headstock seems like a joke, but upon closer inspection, Ralph Smith seemed to be on to something. This guitar is incredibly well built, and amazingly stable, considering the amount of tension that the 18 steel strings put on the instrument. The action and playability are consistent with the best 12-strings, and the three-course string pairings chime like an orchestra. The back of the guitar reveals an extreme cutaway for upper fret access that borders on the insane, but Smith pulled it off and it works well, again with impressive stability. Ironically Joe Maphis, the legendary “King of the Strings,” owned at least four Smith guitars. Kansas, of all places, has an impressive history of guitar and amp building, from tuck & roll Kustom amps to the LaBaye 2x4. Now, Ralph Smith and his wonderful 18-strings can be added to this Kansas vortex of cool and unusual guitars. Sadly, Smith died a few years ago, so his story may never be fully known. This is the actual 1st 18-String Smith made & the actual "Prototype" of the few ever produced. Its fabulous book matched Spruce top is gorgeous w/its Rosewood rosette & deep cutaway. Its back & sides appear to be of stunning striped Cedar. Its 18 pearl button Grover tuners are a sight to behold. There weren’t very many Ralph Smith guitars made overall, and fewer than 20 of these beasts (including all 6, 12 & 18 string models). It is absolutely the finest of the few made & in pristine uncracked all original condition & will stay in our Guitar Broker Museum unless someone wants it a little more than us. It is near mint & comes w/a Gretsch Hard Case.
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All items go either UPS or USPS ground service unless customer requests 2nd or 3rd day shipping. Overseas shipments vary in cost worldwide. We prefer UPS for the ease of use for service & claims.
Customers have 48 hours to love their new toys. All shipping expenses on returned items to & from the customer are to be paid for by the customer. All damage claims on a broken item must be handled by the customer along w/our help to get what is best to make it right.