6/29/2017

1972 Martin 00-18 Flattop Guitar





This is one clean 00. The finish gleams, it only has a few scratches, and it's all-original save the replacement pickguard. It also must've not spent much time "on standby" out of the case, because the finish hasn't aged very much -- the top is still a creamy-yellow color rather than the yellow-orange these usually appear as they age. This size Martin is also the most-requested by customers of mine, these days, as the 14 3/8" lower bout width gives extra warmth and a little more growl over an 0, but the tight-waisted body is still comfortable in the lap and easy to sit-down with.

Work on this one included a fret level/dress, bridge tweaking, the new pickguard, and a setup. It's strung with 54w-12 strings and while the neck is dead straight tuned to Eb (tension comparable to a set of 11s), at normal pitch the neck deflects just a hair (1/64"-1/32" -- pretty average). Action is on-the-dot with 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE action at the 12th fret. There are no cracks and the instrument is ready to go.



This guy wears original sealed Grover Rotomatic tuners. The nut is 1 11/16" and the neck has a medium, C-shaped profile. The board and headstock veneer are rosewood.




The new pickguard is stick-on and thin. The original pickguard (stashed in the case) was black, but they always curl-up and fall off. I like the look of tortoise better, so that's what I replace them with. I traced the outline of the original guard to make this new one to fit.


The bridge and saddle were shaved a little to begin with, but I adjusted them and cleaned-up the job. There are string ramps behind the saddle to maintain a good back-angle on it and there's about 1/16" of adjustment left to go down, though as it's summer now, it's likely that it will need to be shimmed up as winter approaches, rather than needing to come down at all.

The saddle is original but I've reprofiled it for better compensation.

While '70s Martin dreadnoughts are noted for their rosewood bridge plates being oversized, the rosewood plates on these smaller, short-scale guitars are the same size as the old maple bridge plates that they replaced, and so don't change the response or tone of the guitar that much. These little guys are still pretty dang feisty and punchy and record beautifully.




Here's that one bigger scratch on the top.



Pretty maghogany on the back, huh?













A '70s, molded, Martin-branded hard case comes with it.

No comments: