C. F. Martin 0-17 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1947)

C. F. Martin  0-17 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1947)
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Item # 10843
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C. F. Martin 0-17 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1947), made in Nazareth, PA, serial # 102360, natural lacquer finish, mahogany body and neck, rosewood fingerboard, black tolex hard shell case.

This is a nicely preserved, great-playing and sounding Just-postwar 0-17, the next-to-the-bottom-ranked model in Martin's guitar line. It is a small-bodied all-mahogany guitar that still has a surprisingly powerful, ringing sound and sounds great finger or flat-picked. While the tone is different from a spruce-topped guitar, some players find the mahogany top gives a quick, bright response that suits their style even better. This one has a slightly chunkier neck profile than many from this period an feels very comfortable.

The 0-17 model is a study in careful economy, the standard Martin appointments reduced to the minimum. There is no ornament besides a W/B/W sound hole ring and tortoise celluloid pickguard. The tuners are simple openback plastic-button Klusons with the early large-plate bases, the bridge a simple rosewood rectangle. The finish on the 0-17 was polished to a glossy patina; otherwise it is structurally identical to the 0-15, then the least expensive model Martin offered. The 0-17 listed at $40.00 in early 1946-7, still built to the expected Martin standard of quality, and is an extremely fine instrument.
 
Overall length is 38 1/2 in. (97.8 cm.), 13 5/8 in. (34.6 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 4 1/4 in. (10.8 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 nicely original guitar shows some scuffing, dings, and dents to the finish overall but is a fine player with a well-done neckset and the original full-height bridge. A new saddle has been added, and the bridge had been reglued a few years back. There are some scratches into the finish on the back and top, but none of the heavy pickwear common to older Martins. There is one fairly deep ding in the back of the neck behind the first fret, but not a lot of wear beyond with just a few shallow dents further up.

There is a repaired crack at the lower tip of the heel with local overfinish, likely an unintended result of the neckset. There are very tight cleanly sealed grain cracks just behind the bridge on either side and the center seam which has also been resealed. There is also one neatly sealed crack along the side at the upper bout, an inch away from the heel. There are no other cracks, and the finish shows a few minor touchups but not been oversprayed. Internally several braces look to have been reglued, but all bracing and bridgeplate remain original with nothing altered. This early postwar 0-17 plays extremely well and has a more powerful sound than many, with a very solid tone that gets big, not thin, when pushed. Overall Excellent - Condition.