C. F. Martin 00-17 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1951)

C. F. Martin  00-17 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1951)
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Item # 11176
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C. F. Martin 00-17 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1951), made in Nazareth, PA, serial # 121672, natural lacquer finish, Mahogany body and neck, rosewood fingerboard, black chipboard case.

This is a fine playing Martin 00-17 from mid-1951, just past its 70th birthday! The 00-17 was the largest of the all-mahogany Martins of the 1950s, 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 $70 in 1951, 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 slightly worn in but super friendly early post-war example, a very fine player still.
 
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 guitar showing some average wear for its 70 years on earth but no major damage or repair. The top finish has a number of random dings and dents but fairly light play wear, mostly pick marks to the lower soundhole rim with wear to the wood off the back edge of the pickguard and in the upper armwear spot. The finish on the back and sides shows more wear, with some dings, scratches, scuff marks and dents and larger areas of finish worn away on the unbound back/side edges, almost unavoidable on these. The back of the neck is worn to the wood in the first position and has a number of shallow dings and dents.

The instrument remains all original except for a new bone saddle. Internally the guitar is clean, with a clean original small maple bridgeplate and the typical super neat Martin bracework. The only cracks are a small bash mark on the side above the endpin (with a small patch added internally) and a short split through the pin block itself, but not through the re-inforcing strip. Both have been neatly sealed and are fairly inconspicuous. The top is crack-free.

The neck has been reset neatly. The original rosewood bridge appears to have once been lowered just a bit; It retains enough height to ensure good playability. The frets appear original with some light wear, and the fingerboard has some minor divoting in the lower positions. This 00 is an excellent player with a low comfortable action and lovely sound, fairly bright but never shrill and with a wide dynamic range. It includes a modern HSC. Overall Excellent - Condition.