C. F. Martin 0-17 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1947)

C. F. Martin  0-17 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1947)

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Item # 7936
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C. F. Martin 0-17 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1947), made in Nazareth, PA, serial # 102360, natural lacquer finish, mahogany body and neck, rosewood fingerboard, black tolex hard shell case.

This is a nicely preserved, great-playing and sounding postwar 0-17, the next-to-the-bottom-ranked model in Martin's guitar line. This small-bodied all-mahogany guitar still has a surprisingly powerful, ringing sound and sounds great finger or flat-picked. While the tone is different from a spruce-topped guitar, some players find the mahogany top gives a quick, bright response that suits their style even better.

The 0-17 model is a study in careful economy, the standard Martin appointments being reduced to the minimum. There is no ornament besides a W/B/W sound hole ring and tortoise celluloid pickguard. The tuners are simple openback plastic-button Klusons with the early large-plate bases, the bridge a simple rosewood rectangle. The finish on the 0-17 was polished to a glossy patina; otherwise it is structurally identical to the 0-15, then the least expensive model Martin offered. The 0-17 listed at $40.00 in early 1946-7, still built to the expected Martin standard of quality, and is an extremely fine instrument.
 
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 nicely original guitar shows some scuffing, dings, and dents to the finish overall but is a fine player with a well-done neckset and the original full-height bridge. There are some scratches into the finish on the back and top, but none of the heavy pickwear common to older Martins. There is one fairly deep ding in the back of the neck behind the first fret, but not a lot of wear.

There are very small cleanly sealed grain cracks just behind the bridge on either side and the center seam has also been resealed. There are no other cracks; internally it looks like several braces have been reglued, but all braces and bridgeplate remain original with nothing altered. This early postwar 0-17 plays extremely well and has a more powerful sound than many, with a very solid tone that gets big, not thin, when pushed. Excellent - Condition.