1970 Martin 0-16NY Flattop Guitar

Update 2020: The owner brought this back for resale so I've updated its description and photos and added a video clip.

Unlike the concurrent 14-fret 0-18 model, Martin's 0-16 "New Yorker" of the '60s and '70s was a 12-fret model and lightly-built in a fashion similar to their late '20s and early '30s products. I say similar because it wasn't truly a "reissue" or "the same" in build. Materials were bulked-up and reinforced a bit more, the nut is usually wider, and the bracing a teensy-bit heavier. Still, these are rated from the factory for only the lightest steel (46w-10) or nylon/gut strings -- though most owners ignored that restriction on gauges and savaged these instruments with "regular light" 54w-12 strings.

This one hasn't been savaged like that, though it does have a number of old crack repairs to the sides and a couple on the back. It also has a shaved-down bridge, though it wasn't shave a whole lot. I did some work on this in the past (fret level/dress, setup, etc.) to make it into a nice player and it's returned here playing the same as it left -- ready to go.

The sound out of these is sweet but yet full and they make superb fingerpickers. Because you can't really use heavier gauges on them, they're limited as flatpickers but they do sound good if you lighten-up your attack with a flatpick or use a more flexible pick.

Setup notes: action is bang-on fast at 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE at the 12th fret. The neck is straight, the frets have good life left to them (and I'd previously leveled+dressed them), and it's strung with 46w-10 extra light gauges.

Scale length: 24 7/8"
Nut width: 1 7/8"
String spacing at nut: 1 5/8"
String spacing at bridge: 2 5/16"
Body length: 19"
Lower bout width: 13 1/2"
Waist width: 8 1/8"
Upper bout width: 9 3/4"
Side depth at endpin: 4 1/8"
Top wood: solid spruce
Back/sides wood: solid mahogany
Neck wood: mahogany
Bracing type: x
Fretboard: rosewood
Bridge: rosewood
Neck feel: medium C-shape, ~14" board radius

Condition notes: there are a number of repaired cracks on the sides and they're all good to go but are mildly-obvious. There's a dark overspray/respray to the waist-side on the treble side of the guitar that's a bit odd -- but thankfully that's the knee-side. There are two shorter hairline cracks that are cleated and repaired on the back -- these are near the endblock and the grain is raised a bit at them. The top shows all the normal weather-check and fine-grain finish cracking you'd expect to see on an older guitar. Please check the pics close-up to get an idea of all this. There's a fair amount of light scratching and use-wear throughout, too. The fretboard extension also has a few filled-in old fine hairline dryness cracks in it, but it's good to go.

It comes with: an original hard case in decent shape -- with the cool blue lining.

The saddle and bridge are low but this guitar has not needed adjustment for the last 3 years, so I suspect this is a non-issue as far as a fingerpicker is concerned. A flatpicker may like to have some more height off the top, however.


Rob Gardner said…
Wow, what a pretty little Martin. These little single-O's are such sweet guitars. And this one sounds BIG, punching way above its weight.