5/02/2017

1998 Martin 00-1 Flattop Guitar





While almost a "regular issue" 00-18, this 00-1 isn't quite one. It shares the same body size, solid spruce top, and solid mahogany back, but has a modified (A-frame?) bracing pattern with fewer braces (and thus less nuance), laminate mahogany sides, and a "new-tech" bolted/tenon neck joint as well as a "low profile/small oval" neck shape with a truss rod in it.

How does all that change the tone? Well -- like the D-1 and DM, less (but more stout) bracing means a warmer but less-focused sound -- though this feels fuller because of the extra bottom-end. Mids are scooped-out a bit more and the top-end has less chime. Overall, though, despite it being "different" from a typical 00 sound, I think it's a successful tone on its own as this small-body guitar puts out chord-backing power more akin to an old 12-fret 00 than a modern 14-fret 00.

I worked on this for a customer and I have to say it's held-up well -- I only needed to give the frets a level/dress, cleat up the center seam and a back crack, and adjust the nut and saddle for a proper setup. For a 19-year-old Martin that's seen a ton of play, I can't argue with how it arrived.


My opinion? This is a great guitar for whatever small pile of money these sell for on the used market.


While the sealed mini-tuners aren't classy, they're effective. The nut is a standard 1 11/16" and the board has what feels like a 14" radius.




The bridge is new-style Martin with a drop-in saddle, string-ramping as standard (though I deepened them a bit), and pins set at the same angle as the saddle slot. Traditionalists may scoff at the look but these truly are refinements.





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