Up for sale, a 1983 Franklin "OM No. 4" Brazilian rosewood dreadnought acoustic guitar in near mint condition and in perfect working order. Founded in 1974 in Franklin, MI, luthier Nick Kukich handcrafts Pre-War Martin-style instruments to this day, and with OMs and Jumbos as his primary fare, Franklin's early Dreadnought models are among their rarest and most prized. This particular dreadnought is one of the very first produced by Franklin, still categorized as an OM "Dreadnot [sic]" on the factory paperwork, and an uncirculated, one-owner example. This guitar comes complete with the receipts from the original owner (dated to 1982), along with Franklin's catalog of the era and business card.
With a level of inlay befitting a Martin D-45, this Franklin was constructed with some of Martin's very last Brazilian rosewood blanks from the late '60s after they made the shift to Indian, further cementing the connection to Martin's preeminent dreadnought models. The Brazilian is paired with an Engelmann spruce top, bound in abalone with an abalone rosette as well, categorized in Franklin's catalog as the No. 4 tier of tonewoods and inlay. Impeccably well-kept since new, the guitar has just been factory serviced by Franklin, benefitting from a fresh neck reset and corresponding carved bone compensated saddle.
Even the lightest strum yields a bold, balanced, extremely rich sound, rumbling with a muscly bass register and a harmonically-rich singing treble range. A textbook example of both “piano-like clarity” as a concept and Brazilian rosewood as a quintessential tonewood, the sound has incredible breadth and depth. Pillowy, smooth, and bell-like when fingerpicked, this Franklin is perfectly even in its response across all strings and in all registers, with an incredible volume ceiling without distortion and an immediate note attack. Strung with fresh 12-53 strings and weighing 4lbs 12oz, this Franklin Dreadnought is dialed in to play its best.
The neck has a deep V profile carve with a non-adjustable rod, measuring .925" deep at the 1st fret and tapering imperceptibly to .935" at the 9th. The original slender fretwire on the ebony fingerboard is practically perfect, and the instrument plays easily up the 25.4" scale. The guitar features a 1 11/16" nut width and corresponding 2 3/8" string spacing at the saddle. On the headstock, the gloss lacquer-finished ebony overlay is inlaid with the understated Franklin "F," and the original Grover Rotomatic tuners are intact, functioning smoothly and reliably.
Visible through the soundhole, the hand signed and dated label is intact, noting the 1983 build date (the included receipts have a 1982 order date). The top features the ebony bridge with tall saddle and small teardrop tortoise pickguard which shows just a touch of light pick scuffing. The bookmatched solid Brazilian rosewood back and sides have an extremely straight and tight grain with mirrored quilt figuring on the lower bout on the back. The spruce top is framed by abalone binding and rosette inlay, and cosmetic wear is limited to a few faint scuffs in the clear coat central to the back, and a couple microscopic nicks on the guitar as a whole. The neck profile is flawless, with a carved rosewood strap button on the treble side of the heel. Absolutely babied for decades, this guitar is a near mint example of one of Franklin’s early dreadnoughts, capturing every facet of a high-end Pre-War build.
The original hardshell case, Franklin catalog, business card, and original receipts are included.
A note on shipping: Shipping in the continental USA will be $250, fully insured and shipped via FedEx Two-Day Air. Overnight shipping available for an additional fee at buyer's request. We happily ship Worldwide.