C. F. Martin 0-15 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1955)

C. F. Martin  0-15 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1955)
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Item # 8614
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C. F. Martin 0-15 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1955), made in Nazareth, PA, serial # 144674, natural lacquer finish, mahogany back and sides and top; mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard, black hard shell case.

This is a somewhat well-worn but great sounding mid-'50s 0-15, then the lowest-ranked guitar model in Martin's line. The 0-15 is a study in careful economy; the finish was less polished out than the otherwise identical 0-17, but structurally the guitars were the same. The standard Martin appointments are reduced to the minimum. There is no ornament besides a W/B/W sound hole ring, tortoise celluloid pickguard, and gold Martin logo decal. The tuners are large-plate openback plastic-button Waverlys typical of the '50s.

This small-bodied all-mahogany guitar has a surprisingly loud and rich voice, and sounds great finger or flat-picked. While this was the least expensive guitar Martin offered listing for $70.00 in 1955, it is still built to the expected Martin standard of quality and is an extremely fine instrument. A total of 925 of these little mahogany marvels were shipped from Nazareth in 1955, the model's peak production year. This is a good player's example, complete in a period but non-Martin budget hard case.
 
Overall length is 38 1/2 in. (97.8 cm.), 13 1/2 in. (34.3 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 4 1/8 in. (10.5 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 sweet-sounding, fairly well-worn but still nicely original little mahogany Martin from the 1950s. The finish has 60+ years of dings, dents, and scrapes and shows signs of having been exposed to moisture long ago; there is fairly heavy checking overall and some flaking on the back and edges. The top has one fairly long repaired grain crack across the lower treble bout, solidly sealed but not overfinished. The rest of the top is relatively clean and shows none of the heavy strumming wear often found on old Martins. The back of the neck is also relatively clean with only small dings and dents. The frets and fingerboard show only light wear; the G string shaft is bent but still functional.

This is far from the cleanest 0-15 we have had but one of the nicer-sounding and a genuine survivor. "Ragged but Right", in the Riley Puckett tradition. Very Good + Condition.