1958 Martin 0-15 Flattop Guitar

This is a customer's old 1958 0-15 that was in for service. I gave it a fret level/dress, minor bridge/saddle adjustment, cleated and filled some hairline cracks, and did a thorough setup. The last bit was a bit of a pain because this particular guitar didn't want to settle in right away and I had to adjust it a few times before it stayed-put. It now plays beautifully, has a straight neck, and happily totes a regular set of lights which give it some presence and volume.

While this guitar is specified as the semi-satin 15 style, it looks glossier than many slightly-fancier 17-series models from the same era. That's the way of it, isn't it? Like a lot of other late-50s Martins, the neck isn't the smallish, faster-profile (almost modern) V-shaped ones you see from the 40s and early 50s, but more of a heavy-duty mid-size V/C hybrid shape more along the lines of 50s Gibson depth. I'm assuming this was to counteract increasingly-heavy string choices -- and it's worked -- as the neck is issue-free.

Who doesn't like an 0-size mahogany guitar? They've got a charm to them. It's funny but I tend to prefer smaller mahogany-top guitars and bigger spruce-top ones. The tight high and low end is suited to the compressed sound of the smaller bodies, methinks.

Original ebony nut and rosewood headstock veneer, up here. The nut's front face had to be reprofiled and buffed-up as it chipped a bit (it was dried-out, evidently) during setup.

Despite a generous amount of fretwear, these leveled and dressed just fine. I was thankful to have a brand new set of fret-shaping files on hand for this one... oh, new tools are so nice. My old ones were getting pretty bare.

The saddle already had a kind of yucky shave job done to it in the past... which I fixed up. It's now properly compensated as well, though the strings have worn uneven spacing into the bridge as far as string-to-string alignment goes.

It looks like someone had replaced the original tuners (these ones) with cheesier ones at some point... and then hooked these back onto it. I lubed these and replaced a missing ferrule... and... they work.

I really can't seem to find much complaint in 50s mahogany across most US makers. This stuff looks great.

The sides have several older cleat/hairline crack repairs that're tidy.

I added an older endpin from my bins to match the bridge pins.

1 comment:

Matt Niland said...

Thanks Jake, You are a true artist, and I can't wait to play my baby again! This guitar is just so comfy to play and has such a warm tone (Love Mahogany). I'll be happy if I can capo it and stay in tune after your handy work! Glad you got to use some new tools on my guitar. matt