C. F. Martin 00-17 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1943)

C. F. Martin  00-17 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1943)

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Item # 8557
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C. F. Martin 00-17 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1943), made in Nazareth, PA, serial # 84258, natural lacquer finish, Mahogany body and neck, rosewood fingerboard, hard shell case.

This is an extremely well preserved wartime Martin 00-17 from early 1943, a few years on from its 75th birthday! The 00-17 was the largest and most expensive of the all-mahogany Martins of the 1940s, which were Martin's budget offerings of the period. Despite the wartime austerity is still built to the same quality standards as other Martins, with the substitution of an ebony neck re-inforcing bar for the metal one the only major difference.

The 00-17 has a lightly built scallop-braced mahogany top with only minimal decoration: no binding anywhere, a 5-ply soundhole ring and small dot fingerboard inlay. Typical features for this year include the openback wartime Kluson tuning pegs with no bushings, thin gears and plastic buttons, a small straight rosewood bridge and tortoise celluloid pickguard. This guitar cost $40 in 1943 -without the case-and a total of 475 were shipped that year.

These mahogany-top Martin guitars have aged extremely well, especially considering their budget origins. They offer a distinctive ringing tone and are generally considered excellent fingerpicking instruments-this example with the more lightly braced early '40's top especially so. The tighter sounding 00-17 records very well and also makes for an excellent singer-songwriter's instrument, 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 wartime 00-17 is all original and extremely clean overall, with only one really notable wear spot-a small area of pickwear into the wood at the bridge-pickguard junction. The rest of the finish has only some very light checking, small dings and surface handling marks. It has had a recent neck set -with some light overspray on the heel-back of the neck area-and an expert refret; it is a superbly responsive guitar that plays and sounds excellent. Excellent Condition.