The Martin 00 17
The Martin 00 17 guitar is a wonderful, solid wood construction, all mahogany guitar from the legendary American Guitar Company, C.F. Martin & Co. It's a smaller than full sized guitar, and it's of heirloom quality, just like all solid wood construction Martin guitars are, and it is light weight, and easily managed by both children and adults of either gender. While it's big enough to be loud enough for playing alone or with other guitarists, or to accompany a vocalist; it's small enough that most anyone, male or female, young or old, could play it, and enjoy it for the rest of their lives.
Now, don't ask me how I got a 1940 Martin catalogue but I have one, and it's in my lap right now. I'm about to type the description of my wooden friend, the 00 17 verbatim from the catalogue. Are you ready? Mark, Set, Go!
Selected mahogany body, top, and neck, with rosewood fingerboard and bridge; steel T -bar makes the slim neck very rigid under the oval fingerboard with wide frets and white dots. Hand rubbed and polished lacquer finish, dark mahogany color. Nickel - plated tuning machines, single unit style.
The Mahogany used in Martin instruments comes from tropical America. In three inch lumber for necks and in quarter sawn veneer for bodies it is air dried and carefully matched in colour and grain; that means fine tone and appearance.
The Martin 00 17 Acoustic Steel String Guitar.
Playing the Martin 00 17 that belongs to My Mother.
Prices Then and Now.
Did you guys catch that? In 1940, the 00 17 cost a whopping $35 bucks! Yeah, I know, that much money travelled far back then, ain't inflation a bitch though? For a comparison, the top of the line D 45 Martin cost $200.00 in 1940; and now it starts off at $7,500.00.
Guess what? The Martin 00 17 is a discontinued or extinct species of acoustic guitar. I happen to have some very good DNA for one, and for a small fee, I could let you clone mine!
No seriously, they don't make them anymore, but they are on the market, and available. I'd checked a minute or two ago, and found a 1950's model 00 17 for around $ 3,500. Here's the thing though, not having laid hands on that one, I've no way of knowing how well kept it is. Sometimes though, when you're buying, or thinking of buying a used guitar, the more beat up ones, the ones that have been played thousands and thousands of hours, THOSE guitars are the guitars that will really sound great. If you spend a few grand on a beat up, and ancient Martin, then have to spend the $250.00 that it usually costs to have some frets replaced, and maybe a new nut and saddle; you'll then have a guitar that you could flip for some extra cash, if you ran in the right circles.
Brief Note Concerning Martin Prefixes.
If you are confused by "D's" and "00's" etc; suffice it to say that the "0" is small, the "00" one step larger, and then you are on to "000" size, and then "OM" size, then to "full size," which is what the "D" is typically considered to be. The C.F.Martin guitar company does make a "J" or "Jumbo" sized guitar. More on that later.