C. F. Martin 0-28 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1927)

C. F. Martin  0-28 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1927)
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Item # 9817
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C. F. Martin 0-28 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1927), made in Nazareth, PA, serial # 33785, natural finish, Brazilian rosewood back and sides, Adirondack spruce top, Honduras mahogany neck, ebony fingerboard and bridge, rosewood bound top, black tolex hard shell case.

This lovely instrument is a Martin Style 0-28 guitar built in late 1927 in substantially original condition with some general wear and expert repair. Only 124 of this model were shipped that year, and many that survive are no longer in original condition. The pickguard is not original to the guitar, but is factory work fitted at Martin in 1934 when the instrument was returned to the factory for repair work according to a note included. The more recent repairs were done by noted Martin expert Dave Musselwhite, with detailed notes included. In researching the guitar he noted it was one of a batch of 19 0-28s that had the serial numbers stamped on the neck blocks on November 14, 1927.

That year the 0-28 was priced at $75 (plus case), a considerable sum at the time. The model has these specifications: the 13 1/2" wide body is made of close-grained Brazilian rosewood with an Adirondack spruce top braced in a scalloped X pattern. The top is bound with ivoroid and trimmed with the herring pattern wood marquetry that is a longstanding Martin trademark. The back is ivoroid bound and has a chain pattern marquetry backstrip. The bridge is very high-grade dark ebony with ivoroid pins.

The neck is mahogany with an ebony fingerboard, fitted with the original bar frets and inlaid with small slotted diamond position markers. The slotted headstock is faced in rosewood and equipped with engraved Waverly strip tuners with ivoroid buttons. The C.F. Martin stamp is visible on the back of the headstock and inside the body on the backstrip. This model would be built in this form until the advent of 14-fret neck joints, pickguards, and belly bridges in the early 1930s. Instruments of this type and period are relatively scarce in good playable condition in the steel string format.

This small-bodied Martin is not pristine, but remains in better condition than many of this period and an exceptionally fine playing and sounding 12-fret steel-string guitar. Although not near the top of the line the 0-28 was still more expensive than most 1920s guitars, and always built to the lofty standards that only C.F. Martin ever sustained. This guitar is very similar to the instrument seminal country picker Sam McGee played for much of his early career, and is a superb instrument for not only old time country but really any style of play.
 
Overall length is 38 in. (96.5 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 13/16 in. (46 mm.).

The guitar shows some noticeable play wear and well-executed repair work but still remains a superb playing instrument in substantially original condition. There is fairly heavy play wear to the top, especially to the treble side of the upper bout forward of the pickguard, around the pickguard and light wear to the treble side of the soundhole. The top finish is also worn through on the bass side lower bout, where a player's arm would rest. The rest of the finish shows surface wear, with dings, dents and scratches throughout. The back of the neck shows light capo marks and is worn through the finish in the lower positions.

The bridge and saddle are nicely executed reproductions by Dave Musselwhite retaining the correct dimensions and contours of the original. The area around the bridge reveals only the slightest evidence of the work, with one spot of touch up visible behind the bridge. Internally the guitar is original and unaltered including the delicate scalloped braces and very small maple bridgeplate. The bridge plate has a small patch of newer wood in between the B and G Strings to replace a chip that vanished long ago.

The guitar has had a careful neck set, and work to the original bar frets to assure optimum playability. All the work is carefully detailed in a handwritten note from Musselwhite. Unusually for a Martin of this vintage the guitar is completely crack free and, with the exception of the touchup behind the bridge, retains its original finish. This example is in excellent playing order, ready to go including a very good modern hard case. Excellent - Condition.