C. F. Martin 00-16 DBM Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1999)

C. F. Martin  00-16 DBM Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1999)
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Item # 8756
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C. F. Martin 00-16 DBM Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1999), made in Nazareth, PA, serial # 719057, natural finish, mahogany body and neck, rosewood fingerboard, black gig bag case.

This interesting modern Martin was part of the company's Women And Music (WAM) collection, an ongoing project from 1997-2003. The model is designated 00-16 DBM, for "Deep Body-mahogany"; this one was made in 1999 and is an early example -- number 10 of the limited run with the label signed by C. F. Martin IV.

Martin made an entire WAM guitar series for around 5 years with input on the designs from Sheryl Crow, Joni Mitchell, Diane Ponzio, and others. The idea was in part to craft a instruments by and for women, and also raise funds for breast cancer research. A number of versions of the basic design were produced with different woods and option packages.

The 00-16 DBM combines a smaller 00 body size with the 4-5/8" depth of a Dreadnaught, resulting in a compact guitar that is quite comfortable but with a greater depth of sound than most instruments this size. The top is built using a hybrid scalloped "A-Frame" X bracing with 14" tone bars. The neck features a 1-11/16" wide nut and low oval profile for comfort and playability with a 25.4" scale. To add downward tension on the nut, a slotted headstock was combined with a 14-fret neck joint, something that is rarely seen on traditional guitars. The finish is a thin nitrocellulose gloss lacquer. Another unusual feature is an exclusive classical wooden mosaic rosette, which is quite attractive if somehow un-Martin-like aesthetically.

The extra body depth gives this all-mahogany guitar a much deeper, woodier tone than most flat-tops built without a spruce top. It is probably close to what an all-mahogany Nick Lucas Model would sound like -- if anyone ever tried to make one! The unusual design is very well worked out, and this set of features makes for a great-playing and sounding guitar with a distinctive character. It is quite different from most traditional Martins but has an excellent sound and appeal all its own.
 
Overall length is 39 1/4 in. (99.7 cm.), 14 5/16 in. (36.4 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 4 1/2 in. (11.4 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 25 1/4 in. (641 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.).

Overall this is a clean and original guitar. The finish shows some light wear all over, with small dings and dents. The only heavily worn area is the back of the neck, which is down to the wood from the first to tenth frets, indicating it has been well played in. The frets show comparatively little wear and this is a very good-playing and sounding instrument -- the unusual combination of features works very well in this case. Excellent - Condition.