9/16/2016

1983 Martin Custom Shop 00-28 Flattop Guitar





A friend of mine ordered this guitar from Martin's Custom Shop (in 1983 the Custom Shop was in its infancy) to replace (or replicate?) a 1920s 00-28 that'd been stolen from him. In terms of looks, Martin got much of the style correct, though I have to say the build on this is much-bulked-up and heavier than a 20s Martin would be. From my point of view that's a good thing for your average guitarist, though -- the originals wouldn't have stood for the "regular light gauge" 12s that this is wearing and the general abuse of Northern New England winters quite as well.

While it's had a number of old repairs (looks like a neck reset, among others), this needed a good fret level/dress job and a thorough setup. The owner also wanted to get the center-seam cleated before winter as he knows it opens-up quite a bit when "dry season" comes around. All is done and the guitar is now pleasingly full-sounding and easy on the hands.



While the original 1920s 00-28 would've had a Brazilian rosewood headstock veneer, this creamy-colored Indian rosewood sure looks nice.

The nut is synthetic and 1 7/8" in width and the tuners aren't original to the guitar, though they are nice older Waverly units.


The ebony fretboard covers a non-adjustable truss (probably just a steel rod) neck and has a light radius and nice "diamond" inlays.


Herringbone trim runs around the top edge.


I love all the pickwear that this has accumulated around the soundhole. That's the way they should be.


Bone or fossilized ivory pins decorate the ebony pyramid bridge -- yet the saddle is synthetic. You can see where I've adjusted the intonation as the slots pop out in bright cream.



I love the medium-brown/creamy Indian rosewood used on this guitar. I've always liked that color when it comes to rosewood.



The chunkier, C/V hybrid mahogany neck has a nice volute at its rear and a headstock "stamp" that apes the old 1920s builds.










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