C. F. Martin 0-17 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1934)

C. F. Martin  0-17 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1934)
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Item # 9250
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C. F. Martin 0-17 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1934), made in Nazareth, PA, natural lacquer finish, mahogany body and neck, rosewood fingerboard and bridge, black tolex hard shell case.

This is a truly superb-sounding pre-war Martin 0-17, showing some wear but an extremely fine player with an amazingly powerful sound for a small all-mahogany guitar. This 0-17 was built in early-mid 1934, when the 14-fret version of the model was still a relatively new design. This guitar would be one of the earlier 14-fret examples built as the model had been changed from a 12-fret design just in time for the 1934 catalog. The rosewood fingerboard still features the traditional bar frets along with the original ebony nut.

Eleven hundred of these little mahogany wonders were made this year, the all-time peak year for the 0-17. The Depression was still very much in evidence and inexpensive instruments were of the utmost importance...this one model may well have been Martin's salvation at this crucial point.

While the 0-17 is extremely plain in appearance and stood near the bottom of the Martin guitar line, it is built of high-grade materials to the highest standards. The individual riveted Grover tuners even with plastic buttons were high-grade machines at the time. Listing for $30.00 in 1933-4, this was still a fairly expensive proposition for many Americans at the time. Then as now 0-17 is a fully professional-quality guitar, extremely responsive and with a rich, singing tone.
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 lovely and nicely original guitar shows some wear and scuffing overall but is a very fine player with a well-done neckset and the original full-height bridge. There are numerous moderately heavy scratches into the finish on the back and also two fairly deep wear spots caused by the unprotected brads securing the feet on the back of the original case. The edges show some dings and dents; the top is comparatively clean, but has some pick wear on the upper treble bout below the fingerboard.

There are several cleanly sealed grain cracks to the sides on the bass side near the waist; the treble side has one tiny grain split in a similar spot. There are no cracks to the top or back. The original bridge has been reglued neatly. The original tuners have excellent correct-style repro plastic buttons installed. The original bar frets have been carefully crowned and the fingerboard trued, making this a superb player with a surprisingly powerful sound, a sweet tone that gets big and bright when pushed. Overall Very Good + Condition.