1932 Martin C-1 Carved-Top Round-Hole Archtop Guitar

Round-hole Martin C-1s are pretty hard to come by. There are a few out there, but a lot of them got chopped-up and turned into flattops at one point or another. The common refrain from customers is, "...but aren't they supposed to sound bad?" It's amazing how the marketing from the '60s and '70s via people wanting to make more cash cutting-up old archtops to retop them is still infecting the marketplace.

No! It's a Martin. Of course it sounds good. It's an archtop, though, and so if you play it like a flattop, you're not going to get the same mmmmmh out of it like you would if you... play it like it's an archtop. Then hypothetical customer picks it up, gives it some picking, and... grins!

This one's here on consignment and only needed a bit to get it going. It'd seen a bit of fuss in past repair iterations, though, including a replacement circular patch and overspray on the back, some attempted crack repair on the front, and a set of not-so-hot replacement tuners. I got to work on it and post-repairs it's stable, sounds gorgeous and velvety (for an archtop) and with an "open" voice that lends itself to some country-style crosspicking and lead work as well as the usual chomp-chomp, chucka-chucka archtop stuff.

Repairs included: brace reglues, fret level/dress, intonation adjustment and fitting at the bridge, vintage  Martin-style 1950s/60s Grover tuners install, hairline crack repair (cleats, minor fill) on the top, and setup.

Made by: Martin

Model: C-1

Made in: USA

Serial number: 50498

Top wood: solid spruce, carved

Back & sides wood: solid mahogany, flat back

Bracing type: x

Bridge: rosewood, bone or ivory saddle (comp'd B-string)

Fretboard: rosewood

Neck wood: mahogany

Tone: clean, crisp, punchy, thick and velvety mids/lower-mids, good top-end snap

Suitable for: trad jazz, country-blues, fiddle backup, old-time, folk, '20s-'30s popular, etc.

Action height at 12th fret: 3/32” bass 1/16” treble (fast, spot-on)
String gauges: 54w, 40w, 30w, 22w, 16, 12 "custom lights"

Neck feel: medium soft-V

Board radius: ~12"

Truss rod: non-adjustable

Neck relief: straight

Fret style: medium bar frets

Scale length: 25 3/8"

Nut width: 1 3/4"

String spacing at nut: 1 1/2"

String spacing at bridge: 2 3/8"

Body length: 19 1/4"

Body width: 15"

Body depth: 4 1/8"

Weight: 3 lb 12 oz

Condition notes: overspray of finish only on the back, one circular replacement cutout on the back, a cluster of small repaired cracks near the heel on the back, one repaired top crack at the lower-bout-top-bass-side, cleated/repaired center-seam separation under the tailpiece, a bit of grunge on the fretboard from a previous "glue drip" or fret level/dress work (not mine) in the past, replacement tuners, and average usewear and playwear throughout with a cluster of scratches a bit past the treble side of the soundhole. Pickguard is missing. I've also compensated the B-string slot at the bridge and recut the bridge a bit, too. Frets are medium-size and have plenty of life left in them. There's a little fretboard divoting but I didn't notice until I went looking for it.

It comes with: an older hard case.