C. F. Martin 0-15 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1954)

C. F. Martin  0-15 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1954)
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Item # 9758
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C. F. Martin 0-15 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1954), made in Nazareth, PA, serial # 137725, natural lacquer finish, mahogany back and sides and top; mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard, black tolex hard shell case.

This is a moderately well-worn but nicely original, great playing and sounding 1954 Martin 0-15. This unassuming looking all-mahogany model was the lowest-ranked guitar model in the Nazareth company's postwar line. Even as the least expensive guitar they offered in 1954 it was still priced at $60.00 (without case) which was more than many flashier guitars from other builders.

While the 0-15 is a study in careful economy it is still built to the expected Martin factory standard of quality. The all-mahogany construction was a budget feature; the spruce top was omitted to lower the cost. The natural lacquer finish was specified as less polished out than the earlier 0-17, but structurally the guitars are the same. Decorative 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 Waverly pegs specific to this period.

This small-bodied all-mahogany guitar has a surprisingly loud and rich voice, and sounds great finger or flat-picked. A total of 825 of these little mahogany marvels were shipped from Nazareth in 1954, which is a decent quantity for Martin at the time but miniscule compared to more modern production. This one has seen some use over the last 6 decades 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 some evidence of its nearly 70 years on the planet but remains a very solid player, with light average wear. There is some finish checking on the body, mostly around the center of the top. There is less pick wear on the face than many old Martins show, just a small area down to the wood in between the pickguard and the bridge next to the high E string and an adjacent wear pattern through the finish on the pickguard. The finish shows dings, dents and scrapes overall, with typical wear to the unbound edges.

The guitar shows no cracks or visible repairs, and the finish remains all original with no notable touch up or overspray. The back of the neck is relatively clean with finish loss in the first position and mostly only small dings and dents so it is quite comfortable to play.

The neck has been neatly reset and the original full-height bridge is still intact. There is some wear to the original frets and the fingerboard but playability remains excellent. This is also a very nice sounding guitar, built just a bit sturdier than its prewar ancestors with a deeper, mellower tone than some we have had. Overall Excellent - Condition.