1924 Martin 000-45

By any standard, this month's featured instrument is a deluxe model, but when it was built in 1924 it was Martin's biggest, pearliest guitar. Although it is not now Martin's largest, it is certainly one of the company's rarest models -- only 142 were produced from 1906 - 1931.

This instrument is typical of the pre-1934 000 style, with a 12-fret neck and old-style long body. (In 1934, 000's switched to a 14-fret neck and corresponding shorter body, which are much more common.) The 1920s were a watershed decade for guitars in general. As playing styles and musical tastes evolved, guitars became bigger and louder and evolved from gut to steel strings. This 1924 model is somewhat transitional -- braced for light steel strings, but with the old-style pyramid-end bridge. Martin replaced that style in late 1929 with the larger "belly" bridge to accommodate the heavier tension of steel strings.

No matter the year of production, the "45" designation is Martin's top-of-the-line model -- it has the highest quality spruce top, Brazilian rosewood back and sides, mahogany neck, ebony fingerboard and bridge and the top level of ornamentation. Snowflake fingerboard inlay and abalone around the back, sides, top and soundhole are crowned by the elaborate flowerpot/torch peghead inlay.

This guitar is in fine condition cosmetically and structurally, but its materials, construction and appearance are only the surface -- this guitar sounds and plays as great as it looks. A 1-7/8" neck width at the nut makes this guitar ideal for fingerpicking, but the feel of the neck is suited to almost any style. This 000-45 has exquisite tonal clarity and balance, as well as a lot of volume and projection.

This instrument is SOLD