1941 Martin 00-17 Flattop Guitar

This is a "birth year" guitar for its current owner, though he's not able to handle the bog-standard 1 11/16" nut width anymore (he's going wide), so that's why this beaut is up here. And, yes, it is a beaut. It's got a chocolatey, velvety, mids-full, woody, gorgeous tone -- with all that Martin "sculpt" like you'd expect it to have.

00-17s are not always winners but they almost always are. This one plays a very good game and while I'm not always a Martin nut, I'm a huge fan of their 00-size guitars and an even bigger fan of their older mahogany guitars. These things just have it. They do a lot well and can take a lot of force from a guitarist's right hand before they start feeling too compressed.

I really like the way you get a midsy leap  or darker "clung" sound from notes when you dig-in rather than the more-typical clean/sing-y sound you'd expect from the spruce-topped 00-18 version of this same body. That plainspokenness makes these really fun to use as back-up guitars for a variety of styles.

Anyhow, this one came to the shop almost ready to go. It'd had a neck reset, new frets, replacement tuner buttons, and a new bridge fit in the past. The instrument's crack-free, too, and has original finish throughout but that finish has been oversprayed with a thin coat on the top, neck, and parts of the sides. I don't think the back has been hit, but I may be wrong. It doesn't look like it's had any more finish until you look really closely at it and can see that the old weather-checking and pickwear has been softened-up a little in spots and it's a little too clean. This style of finish gets wear really easily in that Martin way that shows even an errant fingernail swipe.

The fretwork and bridge work was well-done, too, but I did have to level and dress the frets and modify the bridge profile a bit to get it looking and working a little better. Post-repairs, it plays on-the-dot fast, has a straight neck, and sounds like a million bucks. It's a perfect guitar if you split your time between flatpicking, fingerpicking, and metal-fingerpicks-style picking. It's good stuff.

Repairs included: a fret level/dress, reprofiling of the replacement bridge and compensation adjustments to the saddle, minor cleaning, restring, and good setup.

Top wood: solid mahogany

Back & sides wood: solid mahogany

Bracing type: x

Bridge: rosewood

Fretboard: rosewood

Neck wood: mahogany

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

Neck shape: medium soft V/C

Board radius: ~14"

Truss rod: non-adjustable

Neck relief: straight

Fret style: medium

Scale length: 24 7/8"

Nut width: 1 11/16"

Body width: 14 1/2"

Body depth: 4 1/16"

Weight: 3 lbs 5 oz

Condition notes: 5 of the 6 solid celluloid bridge pins are at least "period" and so is the endpin. I replaced the 6th (replacement) bridge pin with a similar-looking pin from my parts-bin so they'd match better. The finish has overspray on the top, neck, and parts of the sides and possibly back. It's over the original finish and does not look out of place as weather-checking is still evident throughout -- you would not know unless you looked carefully. There are the usual mild scratches/scuffs throughout the finish but mostly on the back and edges. The bridge is a replacement and the tuner buttons are replacements. I'm pretty sure the nut is a replacement, too, but I may be wrong -- it looks like a typical Martin nut but I'm used to seeing ebony on these. The saddle is replacement bone.

It comes with: a period/possibly original chip/semi-hard case with arched lid.