Museum: Martin Guitars

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Martin Custom Shop 1930's 00-18 All Mahogany

Martin Guitar's 17 series was built with all-mahogany bodies from the 1920's through the early 1960's, and was a staple of the company's product line until it was discontinued. We've sold countless Golden Era style 17s through the years, and have always been moved by the way these guitars sound, regardless of body size. This custom shop Martin is our take on their classic 1930's 00-17, but built with Style 18 trimmings for a little extra something in the good-looks department!

In designing this guitar, we had the Martin Custom Shop use the company's popular 00-18V as a starting point, but we substituted a mahogany top for spruce, and requested the lightest scalloped bracing available. The rosette and tortoise-celluloid binding are classic style 18, and look perfect next to the beveled-edge pickguard. The bridge features a through-cut style bone saddle and ebony bridge pins. We've found the Performing Artist neck profile to be very reminiscent of the necks Martin Guitars was carving in the early 1930's, and opted for a full-gloss version of that neck for this instrument. It is carved from a single piece of South American Mahogany, and features an ebony fingerboard and vintage-style angle-bottomed bone nut. The gloss-finished headstock is finished off with Martin's Golden Era logo and a set of oval-button Waverly tuning machines. The guitar plays beautifully and easily, with a comfortably round low-C neck profile, 1-3/4" nutwidth, and 24.9" scale.

The result of our design efforts is a wonderful sounding small-bodied all-mahogany guitar that harkens back to the 00-17's of the 1930's that we love so much here at Folkway. Warm woody tone with fat trebles and smoky overtones, it's a great guitar for fingerstyle or bluesy strumming. The guitar is surprisingly profound for one that's not 70 years old, and we're tickled by how good this Custom Shop Martin sounds.

With original hardshell case.

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