9/16/2016

1983 Martin Custom Shop 00-28 Flattop Guitar





Update 2017: This has come in for consignment and I've put-up new pictures and updated the description.

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 heavier than a 20s Martin would be -- despite having nicely-scalloped bracing. 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 small old repairs (including a replacement Martin bridge and a tiny crack repair to the upper-bout-side), this needed a good fret level/dress job and a thorough setup. The owner also wanted to get the center-seam cleated. All is done and the guitar is now pleasingly full-sounding and easy on the hands with action at 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE at the 12th fret.

He's played the guitar a lot and you can see the many hours of love put in by the pickwear near the soundhole. This has turned the guitar into a loud, proud, warm, and sweet-sounding instrument. It can easily hold its own in a session and the roundness of the tone makes it an ideal chord-banger to sing with.



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-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. While there's only about 1/16" of adjustment room left, the saddle does have minor string-ramping behind it to improve back-angle.

Note all the weather-check to the finish.


The rear of the bridge shows a tiny gap with the top on its back edge. I can't even get a paper scrap to go under it and it's firm on the top, so I don't believe there's any worry, there, of it coming up.






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.









The darker area shows an old crack repair to the upper-bout-side. It's tiny.







The original case comes with it and fits great.

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