Vintage Instruments: Martin Guitars

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1954 Martin 5-17T

Size 5 is Martin’s smallest-bodied guitar shape, and the 5-17T was their smallest and lest expensive tenor guitar offering though the 1950’s and 60’s. With a body that measures just 11-1/4" wide, the 5-17T is a sweet sounding tenor, with lots of midrange and upper midrange strength and plenty of fundamental clarity. As we do with all of our Tenors, this 5-17T is tuned in fifths to G as an octave mandolin, which brings more body and warmth into the equation. Some players might opt to down-tune to E for even more of the good stuff!

Unbound mahogany body with X bracing and small pickguard. 14 fret neck with 23” scale and 1-3/16” width at the nut. Rosewood fingerboard with ivoroid dot makers and ebony nut. No cracks or repairs other than the first 3 frets replaced by us and a new bone saddle. Set-up in shop to GDAE tuning with 13-44 stringing. Original finish throughout, original tuners, nut, bridge, and pins too.

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