For a while, now, a couple of my friends were telling me about their extra-cool little Martin that they'd purchased recently. When it came in, I was surprised to find it was the same model (but not the same guitar) that I'd sold for a customer of mine a while back. I was surprised because there simply weren't very many of these made!
They have specs of a guitar that flits between a 5-21 and 5-28, though the top is cedar and the back and sides are solid morado instead of rosewood. The bridge and fretboard are ebony, the binding is (apparently) rosewood with herringbone purfling, and the rosette is decked-out in an attractive strip of abalone. For their size, these "custom" 5s are rather full-sounding and loud and, due to the presence of the rosewood, don't have quite the boxy feeling some size 5 Martins can get stuck with.
This was in for a bridge reglue, setup, and K&K Pure Mini pickup install. I was a little surprised to see the bridge lifting on a 3-year-old Martin, but then again Vermont can be a harsh place for instruments to live.
The tuners, of course, are Waverly units and the nut is bone. This has a 1 5/8" nut and a pretty fast neck which is perfect for the owner's hands, but a hair cramped for my own.
The glued-in bone saddle didn't have compensation on the B string, originally, so I compensated that and also the low E a bit more to the rear to get them in-tune up the neck. It will forever be a mystery to me why Martin neglects to completely compensate their glued-in saddles in this modern world -- other than the frustrating idea that they do so just for aesthetic purposes.
The proper-gauge strings on this short 21" scale for E-E tuning would be mediums (56w-13) at minimum. A lot of people put 12s on these and wonder why they sound spongy -- simply not enough tension, that's why!
Personally, I prefer them tuned-up G-G or even A-A like a capo on the 5th or 7th fret of a "normal" guitar.
Here's the new endpin jack for the K&K under the hood.