This is a vintage 1956 Martin 000-21 flat top acoustic guitar. This particular example, serial number 149690, is in very good original vintage condition and features a highly attractive Brazilian rosewood back and sides. This auditorium size Martin is the largest of all the “0” designated Martin acoustics, and the least fancy model to feature Brazilian rosewood back and sides as an appointment.
This 000-21 features: a spruce top with beautiful grain, book-matched Brazilian rosewood back/sides, mahogany neck, a Brazilian rosewood fingerboard, a double-bound body with tortoise, a Brazilian headstock overlay and bridge, original single-line Kluson Deluxe tuning machines, and original tortoise-shell material pickguard.Â
This Martin 000-21 sounds remarkable! Much louder than most guitars, this example has dried to perfection. It is super light, weighing 4 lbs 2 oz., allowing the guitar to truly breathe. Incredibly well-balanced, the highs shimmer in a way that beautifully compliments the rich mids. Not really boomy, this 000 would be ideal for recording.
Like most well-loved vintage Martin acoustics, this guitar does have several small issues. It plays nicely, looks incredible and sounds absolutely beautiful! After thoroughly inspecting the original finish with a black light, there are several small areas that have been overly polished and treated to reduce the appearance of flaws. Of the 3 areas this was performed (small scratch on top, larger area on side, and on the back of the headstock) a previous owner lightly marked their SSN in between the tuners, having since been lightly sanded and almost removed with light sanding and corresponding polishing to reduce the evidence of the previous ownership. It takes a highly discerning eye to see it, and will not photograph with regular lighting, but will be quite obvious under UV light. Such is the situation with the polished scratch on the top and a much larger area on the side that was overly polished resulting in a disruption of the patina of the original finish, neither of which are visible when not under UV light. (Please scroll down to the absolute bottom for black light pics of the instrument.)
Structurally, this guitar is solid and quite exemplary. The top is perfectly flat with absolutely zero evidence of bellying or fatigue. The bridge is completely attached with no lifting whatsoever. The neck joint is super solid, and all of the bracing is intact and well-adhered, as displayed by the absence of internal brace distortion.
Aside from a very small inevitable pickguard drying crack, there are no cracks in the top. Similarly, there are no cracks in the back or sides. There is, however, a strange puncture wound on the upper treble bout, which did not create a crack due to it being made into the interior lining, which is resultantly slightly puffed to the touch. There was a strap pin removed from the heel cap, which was filled with some sort of ebony wood putty, and a filler was placed into the original strap pin hole to restore it back to the original size from that of one which could accommodate a larger strap pin, as there is no evidence of a pickup having been installed. The original bridge plate is intact and solid, as is the Brazilian rosewood bridge with the corresponding original saddle.
Perhaps the best thing about this Martin is the action. The guitar plays extremely comfortably, all the way up to the 14th fret. The action measures 7/56″ above the 12th fret, as pictured, ans is surprisingly low. It is one of the exceptions to the rule, as it does not suffer from the inevitable Martin neck angle, which eventually requires a neck re-set. But that aside, this guitar plays very nicely, does NOT need a neck re-set, and is ready for immediate use and enjoyment.
The original Kluson tuning machines work perfectly, and hold the guitar in tune. The original frets exhibit minimal wear, and do not need to be dressed or replaced.
As mentioned the guitar includes a high-quality brand new non-original case.