C. F. Martin 00-17 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1948)

C. F. Martin  00-17 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1948)
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Item # 10820
Prices subject to change without notice.
C. F. Martin 00-17 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1948), made in Nazareth, PA, serial # 106245, natural lacquer finish, Mahogany body and neck, rosewood fingerboard, black tolex hard shell case.

This is a very nicely preserved Martin 00-17 from mid-1948, coming up on 75th birthday! The 00-17 was the largest of the all-mahogany Martins of the 1940s, the company's budget 6-string offerings. Style 17 guitars were sold at a relatively modest price (list on this 00 was priced at an even $50 in 1948, without a case) but they were still built to the same exacting quality standards of all Martins.

To achieve this economy, the company used mahogany instead of spruce for the top and applied only the most minimal decoration: there is no binding anywhere, only small dot fingerboard inlay and the gold Martin decal adorning the peghead. Typical features for this period include typical postwar openback Kluson tuning pegs with large baseplates and plastic buttons, a 5-ply sound hole ring, a small straight rosewood bridge and tortoise celluloid pickguard.

Older mahogany-top Martin guitars are known for their distinctive ringing tone, with a somewhat "tighter" and more detailed response on each note than the typical spruce top model. They are generally considered particularly excellent fingerpickers, especially suited to blues and ragtime styles. The larger 00 body size gives the sound more depth than the more common smaller 0 size models and this is also a good general "strummer's" guitar. The 00-17 records and amplifies easily and also makes for an excellent singer-songwriter's instrument as well as a great all-around choice in a vintage Martin. This is a very nice just post-war example, a fine player and a real gem sonically.
Overall length is 38 13/16 in. (98.6 cm.), 14 1/4 in. (36.2 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 4 in. (10.2 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 24 3/4 in. (629 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.).

This is a very clean guitar overall for its age, showing just some light general wear from its 74 years on earth but no major damage or repair. The top finish shows just some minimal play wear, with some scuffing but only a few light pick marks and dings near the edges, most notably two scratches at the edge of the upper bout on the bass side. The finish on the back and sides shows bit more wear, with some small dings, scratches, scuff marks and small areas of finish worn away on the unbound back/side edges, almost unavoidable on these. The back of the neck is very clean with only minimal signs of wear and crazing around the fifth fret.

The instrument remains all original except for a new bone saddle. Internally the guitar is untouched, with a clean original small maple bridgeplate and the typical super neat Martin bracework. There are no visible cracks anywhere. The original rosewood bridge has been cut down to a profile that is slightly different than the original Martin specification; the wings look a bit longer than they would have been originally. It retains enough height to ensure good playability. The neck has been recently expertly reset and refretted. As a result this is an excellent player with a lovely sound, fairly bright but never shrill and with a wide dynamic range. It includes a modern HSC. Overall Excellent Condition.