4/26/2015

1958 Martin 00-17 Flattop Guitar




This guitar is owned by Mr. Bow and it came needing some crack cleating/repair, a new bone saddle, fret level/dress, and setup. It got a bit of cleaning, tuner adjustment, and will (soon) have a K&K pickup installed as well. He brought it in and I immediately said, "Hey, nice 50s 00." He was under the assumption it was a 40s guitar. Well, the serial numbers don't lie on Martins, fortunately!

Everything looks original to the guitar except for some previous bridge shaving done to it and, of course, the oversize and now new bone saddle.


Mahogany 00 Martins are some pretty sublime guitars. They record so, so easily and are perfect for a fingerpicker on the lonesome or a chorder in a band. They've got plenty of clarity and mid-range cut. I wouldn't want to be using one for lead work or back-up that required much bass response, though (think: bluegrass, early country styles, some old-time). For everything else they're a good "all-around" workhorse guitar and sound super for bluesy and folky stuff.

This has a number of hairline cracks on the back and a couple on the top. The lower bout hairline has the hilarious circumstance of having been "cleated" in the past -- though whoever did the cleating job put the cleats 1/2" off the crack! Hence needing to be cleated "again..."


Rosewood headstock veneer, original 50s-style tuners, and bone nut. This is 1 11/16" at the nut and the neck has a medium-sized C/V hybrid shape. It's actually a bit heftier than earlier 40s Martins and I like it a bunch.


The board shows some wear and the neck actually has a tiny backbow that doesn't seem to hurt the setup once it's tuned up to pitch with the 12s that're on it. I like the mini clay dots.


Mahogany and tortoise look good together, too!


The saddle slot was deepened and sort of modded to a modern drop-in style sometime in the past. I made a new bone saddle (compensated) that alleviated the problem of the old saddle -- ie, poor fit -- which was tilting.










There's something so seductive about all that pretty brown wood.


In about a half an hour this endpin will be replaced with an endpin jack for a K&K pickup. I wanted to snap it before I committed that (minor) sin.

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