Vintage Instruments: Martin Guitars

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1965 Martin 00-21

A time capsule, in as close to ‘As New’ condition as a guitar can be after half a century. The finish is perfect with just a little bit of crazing, no repairs, damage, cracks, or any significant playwear. Original tuners, nut, saddle and pins. No modifications, excellent string action and set-up, and original hardshell case. Simply put, it’s as fine as they come.

The 00-21 is one of the few Martin guitars that remained a 12 fret model throughout its production run. It remained in the catalogue until the mid 1990’s after more than 100 years of continual production, with the folk boom of the 1960’s being the high point of its run. Style 21 is a hybrid of styles 18 and 28; borrowing the rosewood, backstrip, and rosette of a style 28 guitar, and the dark bindings and rosewood fingerboard and bridge of a style 18. But unlike either 18 or 28, the 00-21 features maple purflings around the top and in the rosette, rather than white plastic.

X braced sitka spruce top with small maple bridge plate, tortoise-celluloid pickguard, belly bridge with drop in saddle, white-dot bridge pins, and string spacing of 2-5/16”. Round-carved neck with 1-7/8” width and 24.9” scale. Gloss lacquer finish, nickel 3 on a plate tuning machines, Corian nut and saddle. Action of 5-6.5 64ths at the 12th fret, with about 1/16” of saddle height above the full-thickness bridge.

The guitar has a throaty mid range with lots of punch and character, clear fundamental presence, rounded trebles, and nice articulation in the bass. It’s a responsive and lively fingerstyle guitar with easy action and a comfortable feel.

With original hardshell case

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