C. F. Martin 00-17 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1946)

C. F. Martin  00-17 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1946)
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Item # 9705
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C. F. Martin 00-17 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1946), made in Nazareth, PA, serial # 96898, natural lacquer finish, Mahogany body and neck, rosewood fingerboard, original black alligator chipboard case.

This is a played-in but not abused early post-war Martin 00-17 from 1946, just hitting its 75th birthday! The 00-17 was the largest and most expensive of the all-mahogany Martins of the 1940s, the company's budget guitar offerings of the period. Despite their cosmetic austerity, Style 17 guitars are still built to the same quality standards as Martin always maintained and are fully professional quality instruments.

The 00-17 has a lightly braced all-mahogany body with only minimal decoration: no binding anywhere, a discreet 5-ply sound hole ring, and small dot fingerboard inlay, a small straight rosewood bridge, and tortoise celluloid pickguard. The tuners are still the riveted gear, flat plate Klusons designed to use minimal material during the war. This guitar cost (poetically enough) $46 in 1946 without the case, and an even 600 were shipped out that year.

These mahogany-top Martin guitars have generally aged extremely well, especially considering their budget origins. They offer a distinctive crisp ringing tone and are generally considered excellent fingerpicking instruments, this example with the more lightly braced 1940s top especially so. The larger 00-17 also responds nicely to open strumming and records very well, making for an excellent singer-songwriter's instrument. This one has seen decades of use but sounds great, a very friendly guitar and a classic vintage Martin that won't break the bank.
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 is a perhaps slightly scruffy looking but very solid and great sounding old mahogany Martin 00. The finish has some blushing and a decent amount of checking but little of the heavy strumming wear prevalent on many older Martins; the only really notable pick wear is to the area in front of the pickguard. The finish overall has dings, dents and scrapes but no large areas worn away. For some reason the sides of this guitar show the most finish wear, with some deeper scrapes and dings. The back of the neck is actually relatively clean, worn down in a few spots with some tiny dinks and dents.

There is only one crack on the instrument, a small grain split on the lower back near the treble side edge. This is solidly sealed but visible, with no touch up added. The neck has been reset with the fingerboard trued and refretted with appropriate wire. The original small rosewood bridge is intact and has never been cut down, there is a new bone saddle fitted. The original small maple bridgeplate is intact and the guitar shows no internal alterations. This is a wonderful playing and sounding guitar with a bigger sound than many mahogany 00's, an nice survivor still in its original 1940's chipboard case. Very Good + Condition.