C. F. Martin 0-15 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1957)

C. F. Martin  0-15 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1957)
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Item # 9429
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C. F. Martin 0-15 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1957), made in Nazareth, PA, serial # 155722, natural lacquer finish, mahogany back and sides and top; mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard, black chipboard case.

This is a fairly well-worn but great playing and sounding 1957 0-15, the lowest-ranked guitar model in Martin's postwar line. The 0-15 is a study in careful economy; the finish was specified as less polished out than the earlier 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 the openback plastic-button Waverlys seen on many lower-end 1950s guitars.

This small-bodied all-mahogany guitar has a surprisingly loud and rich voice, and sounds great finger or flat-picked. This was the least expensive guitar Martin offered in 1957 listing for the oddly specific sum of $87.00, it is still built to the expected Nazereth factory standard of quality. A total of 625 of these little mahogany marvels were shipped from Nazareth in 1957; this one has seen a lot of use but still sings with a rich and surprisingly complex voice.
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 Martin shows its years somewhat but remains a very solid player, with a bit of a natural relic look to it. There is considerable finish checking overall, most notably on the top. There is less pick wear there than many old Martins show, mostly just small dings below pickguard and on the lower soundhole rim. The finish shows dings, dents and scrapes overall, with a decent amount of wear to the back edge of the headstock from poor casing habits.

The guitar is fitted with a slightly oversize repro rosewood bridge, made to the same pattern as the original just a bit larger. Other visible repairs include a top crack off the treble side of fingerboard and a top grain split on lower bass bout off back edge, with a similar back crack in an almost mirror position. The back also shows a couple of old repaired cracks by the treble side waist. These are all well sealed and polished over a bit but no extra lacquer was applied, so the finish remains all original.

There is wear down to the wood on the back of the neck, but only small dings and dents so it is quite comfortable to play. A strap button has been added at the side of the heel. There is some light fret and fingerboard wear, the neck has been reset and refretted with wire that is practically indistinguishable from the original. This is a nice playing and sounding guitar, built a bit sturdier than its prewar ancestors and well able to take a half-century + lickin' and keep on tickin'! Very Good + Condition.