Vintage Instruments: Martin Guitars

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1930 Martin 0-28

This guitar sold quickly after we featured it in an Instagram post recently, but we’d be remiss not to share some more photos on our site. It’s a special guitar, and we’d like to make sure it’s properly enshrined in our archives.

An amazingly rare and special guitar, this 1930 0-28 easily shortlists for Holy Grail status among small-bodied Martin guitars. Martin introduced the belly bridge in April of 1930 and discontinued the 0-28 model at the end of that year, making belly bridge 0-28s very few in number. Pickguards didn’t become commonplace on models other than the OMs until 1932. They were optional in 1930, but there are no records of how many of that year’s 54 0-28s built were fitted with pickguards. Suffice to say that this guitar, with its distinctively 1930’s Golden Era pickguard and belly bridge combo is a rare, rare thing.

Beyond rarity, the guitar’s tone and condition are exemplary. It’s a strongly voiced, present and focussed little guitar with a sizeable bass and punchy rounded trebles and upper-mids. The guitar is clean and clear, bold, balanced, and articulate without being overly bright or thin. It’s lightly built, but not too light, and can handle a controlled pick very well, and it’s of course a perfect choice for fingerstyle.

0-Sized body of Brazilian rosewood and red spruce; scalloped bracing, herringbone trim and zig-zag back strip. No cracks or repairs other than a cleanly executed neck reset and a nicely made reproduction bridge. Original tuners, nut, frets, and pickguard. Original finish throughout, with a pair of capo-dings drop-filled blended in on the back of the neck. Very little playwear on the body, good life left in the original frets, and a moderate amount of saddle height left for future adjustments. The neck has a comfortably rounded V carve, 1-7/8” nut width and 24.9” scale.



With original hardshell case

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