Museum: Martin Guitars

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1941 Martin 0-15

Martin’s 0-15 was introduced in 1940 as the company’s least expensive model. It replaced the 0-17 upon its release, but only differed from its predecessor in its fingerboard dot arrangement and the low-sheen finish it was given. The 15 series was only made available in 0 size and, for reasons lost to time, the 00 size remained a 17 series guitar. Also lost to time is the reason for the guitar’s tortoise-celluloid headstock overlay, but we suspect this had to do with the money (and steel) saved by not installing tuner bushings in the guitar’ headstock. Celluloid is harder than wood and offers lower friction to tuner posts. Drilled at ¼”, the headstock celluloid makes for a perfectly functioning tuner bushing.

This 1941 example arrived to us in exceptional condition, with original finish, tuners and bridge. Apart from a reglued top center-seam and a cleanly done neck reset the guitar shows no repairs. Finish is super-clean, braces and bridgeplate are perfect, and there are no cracks. Original frets were dressed here at Folkway, and we’ve installed a new bone saddle as well. Playability is beautiful, with a fingerstyle-set up and action of 4-6 64ths. The guitar has a K&K pure pickup installed with a zero-modification Tapastring Vintage Jack.

All mahogany body with rosewood fingerboard and bridge and ebony nut. 1-11/16” nutwidth, 24.9” scale.

With newer HSC

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