C. F. Martin 00-17 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1950)

C. F. Martin  00-17 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1950)
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Item # 10996
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C. F. Martin 00-17 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1950), made in Nazareth, PA, serial # 114475, natural lacquer finish, Mahogany body and neck, rosewood fingerboard, brown chipboard case.

This is a nicely preserved Martin 00-17 from mid-1950, coming up on 74th birthday! The 00-17 was the largest and most expensive of the all-mahogany Martins of the 1940s, the company's lower budget 6-string offerings. Style 17 guitars were sold at a relatively modest price; list on this 00 was $60 in 1950, raised to $70 by the end of the year (without a case). Despite being economy instruments they were still built to the same exacting quality standards of all Martins. 650 00-17s were shipped in 1950.

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 modest Martin has seen many hours of play over 7+ decades, with some generally not-too serious wear and a handful of typical repairs to show for it. It has retained the original gloss lacquer finish which has dings, dents and scratches scattered around the instrument. There is one spot along the bass side of the lower bout that has been discreetly touched up from a previous impact crack. The sides on both lower bouts have some mostly short grain cracks (probably from getting tossed around over the years in the chipboard case) all of which have been properly glued and cleated.

The top has two cracks, one along the lower bout on the treble side and another along the center seam below the sound hole, which have both been recently glued up and cleated. The back has two cracks that have also been cleated: one along the lower bout of the treble side and another crack located in the middle near the center seam.

The neck has been neatly reset and the frets leveled and polished. The original tuners have new replacement buttons, as well as matching new bridge pins and endpin. The original bridge has been slightly lowered on the treble side, and the original saddle has been slightly adjusted with a recent setup. Internally, the original braces and small maple bridgeplate remain virtually untouched. This Martin plays and sounds excellent and is still housed in the original chipboard case. Very Good + Condition.