The 1921 C.F. Martin 000-28K

This month's feature is the Martin 000-28K. Early 000's are quite rare anyway -- between 1902 and 1921, C.F. Martin made only 33 000-28's -- and this guitar is only one of two made from koa wood (Martin records show this guitar as a 000-28, with no "K" designation). By comparison, there were 34 00-28K's made between 1919 and 1921, and over 600 0-28K's made by 1935 (most of those were made after 1921).

The koa construction was in response to the huge interest in Hawaiian music in the late 'teens and early '20s. Many instruments used in Hawaiian music -- ukuleles, steel-strings played lap style and in slack-key tunings -- were made of koa wood, which is indigenous to Hawaii.

Koa is an excellent wood for building guitars. It is much different than rosewood or mahogany -- a lot of sustain, but also a lot of attack. The distinctive sound of Hawaiian music is due in part to the acoustic qualities of this wood.

The 000-28 is an example of Martin's early 12-fret, slot-head design, which is one of the best of all time. Although the dreadnought is Martin's best-known, these models have outstanding sound and playability.

This guitar is certainly the finest sounding koa guitar we've ever had, and it compares very favorably to similar guitars we have now, including a 1924 000-28 (AB3056) and a 1929 000-45 (AB2810). It is original, including the small, OM-size pickguard, which did not appear on other Martins until 1929.

This instrument is SOLD