10/21/2016

1941 Martin 0-17T Tenor Guitar



Martin mahogany-topped guitars from the early 40s seem to all be just really good. This one has that breathy, woody, warm, sweet, defined sound that the best of them seem to have. It's also came in relatively good shape, too, with no cracks and all of its bits intact (save for replacement tuner buttons).

I worked on this for a customer and it got a neck reset, fret level/dress, a very light bridge shave (I'll explain later), pin-hole fill/redrill, and a good setup. The owner strings for FCGD and this sounds great at that pitch -- with a good, full, low-end that many later 0-17Ts wish they had.


The squashed 0-size body is very comfortable in the lap and I wish Martin would make something like this in a 6-string format -- though I suppose then it might have to be called a Martin GS Mini!



Brazilian rosewood is used for the board and bridge. This has a 1 1/4" nut (or close to -- I didn't measure) and a quick, C-shaped profile.




So, after the neck reset I didn't really have to shave the top of the bridge (I'd reset it to match the profile of the unaltered saddle), but many old Martins have a wedge-shaped bridge where the bass side is thicker than the treble which sort-of makes sense except that with a "modern" setup and a flat-profile fretboard on a tenor, you don't really need much of a wedge-shape to the saddle as the action sits about 1/16" at the 12th fret on the bass and treble sides.


Since I had to fill/redrill the pinholes anyway (they were worn and the slots were worn in the wrong places), I leveled the top of the bridge flatter and then finished/buffed it out to give the owner equal clearance on the bass/treble for future action adjustments.







2 comments:

Seonachan said...

I'm impressed that dummy can handle that skinny neck with those pudgy fingers of his.

Jake Wildwood said...

(hee hee)