Museum: Martin Guitars

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1934 Martin 00-17

Serial # 56838. A beautiful sounding, essentially crack-free early 1934 00-17, with perfect action and playability. They don't come much better than this one in just about every way.

Neck reset, new bar frets, new fossil ivory nut and saddle, and replacement tuner buttons - all by Folkway's Mark Stutman in 2012. Original finish throughout, no others repairs or modifications other than a clean B string pickguard crack repair. Neck finish is playworn up to the 5th fret, body finish shows fairly modest wear.

This guitar was built with bar frets, and is within 500 instruments of Martin's change to T frets in mid-1934. As such, the instrument's neck is reinforced with ebony (rather than with a steel T-bar), which helps keep the guitar light in weight and rich in overtones. It has a voice that's much more sophisticated than most 17 series instruments we've played; with a rich darkness that's perfectly highlighted by that classic mahogany tinge in the upper mid-range. Very open.

Unbound mahogany body, scalloped bracing, tiny maple bridge plate. Brazilian rosewood rectangle bridge with glued-in through-cut saddle and original pins spaced at 2-3/8". Attractive tortoise-celluloid pickguard, simple rosette. Mahogany neck with an oval profile that tapers to a soft V by the 5th fret; rosewood fingerboard with ivoroid dot markers, 24.9" scale, 1-3/4" width at the nut. Rosewood headstock overlay with C.F. Martin & Co decal; no stamp on the backside of the headstock. Original tuning machines have a sand-blasted look but do function perfectly.

A gem of a guitar, and among the nicest 00-sized 14 fret bar-fretted Martins we've seen in some time.

With original chipboard case. Original ebony nut and a few tuner buttons in the case pocket, along with some period string packages.

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