Beguiling 000-45 from 1986 in wonderful condition with some interesting appointments, ordered by Philip York owner of UK Martin Distributor Dreadnought Guitar Co. Ltd with pre-War Martin appointments distinguishing it from the Standard Catalog model.
The guitar is the only 000-45 produced in 1986 with Martin’s own shipping records showing no Standard Series 000-45 shipped in 1986, 1987 and 1988 and only a solitary model shipping out in 1984 and 1985. Historically the first Martin 000-45 appeared in 1906 when it was still a 12 fret model evolving to 14 fret construction by 1933. The Style 45 was discontinued by Martin in 1942 and was only reintroduced in 1968 with the D-45. Production numbers for the 000-45 remained low throughout the seventies and eighties as Martin concentrated on Dreadnought production primarily leaving only 341 000-45 produced between 1906 and 2005.
Featuring a a lovely, incredibly tight-grained Sitka spruce top and straight-grained Indian Rosewood back and sides, master-grade tone woods that were selected for their tonal properties and their appearance. The appointments are befitting of a 45 Series Instrument with a white bound body with solid Abalone pearl inlays to its top, back and sides and continuing around the heel of the neck and then onto the fretboard and headstock all hand cut and inlayed in the same labour intensive and highly skilled manner as the craftsmen and women would have when original Style 45’s were produced. Fingerboard and bridge are both faultlessly selected Ebony. Records from the Martin Archives show the guitar was ordered in September 1986 with some unique features to separate the model form the Standard Series 000-45 seen in the Catalog; the guitar was ordered with solid headstock with the iconic Abalone inlayed pre-war style torch headstock inlay instead of the modern C.F.Martin motif. The fingerboard continues the pre-war theme with the Standard Hexagon inlays substituted for 45 Style Abalone pearl Snowflake inlays. Internally the guitar features Scalloped bracing with a maple bridge plate. The top has been finished with an aged toner - a somewhat subtler shade compared to some more recent offerings.
Free of cracks or repair, the guitar is in great overall condition for what is a guitar rapidly approaching 40 years old. It has had a re-fret and a replacement saddle but the nut is the original. In addition to the aged toner the lacquer has naturally aged giving the guitar a wonderfully honeyed appearance, the Indian Rosewood back and sides are straight grained with just the right amount of figuring. There is a small amount of binding separation at the waist to be considered. The guitar has an adjustable truss rod, the saddle has plenty of height with the action sitting comfortably at 3mm at the 12th fret. Strung with D’Addario EJ-26 strings the the guitar plays very well, there is an ease to the string tension and notes ring cleanly. Sonically the guitar is a fine example, it has all the attributes you could want from the classic Spruce and Rosewood combination with a sweetness and delicateness with plenty of volume and harmonic content. The bass is warm and deep and the treble has a pleasant presence suited to either the finger or the flat pick.
A great opportunity to snag an incredibly rare, range topping Martin with a unique spec increasing its rarity and desirability all in wonderful sounding and playing package. The guitar comes housed safely in a Martin Case