1957 Martin 0-15

By Martin

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Wonderfully preserved example of one of our favourite small bodied, flattop acoustics. One of the best we’ve seen and a fantastic sounding guitar, dating to 1957 this Martin 0-15 is in remarkable condition internally and externally with no cracks, repairs or modifications. The original finish is excellent throughout with very little checking and only the lightest of wear from use.

Introduced in 1935, the Style 15 would become the all-Mahogany guitar we know today in 1940 and would remain in production until 1961 running parallel with the 17 Series. In terms of construction the guitars were identical the only difference being that the 15 Series finish was satin and less polished out than the otherwise identical 17 Series. By 1957 the 0 body size was the smallest standard production instrument Martin offered with an overall length of 38 1/2", a 13 5/8" wide lower bout and a 4 1/4" depth. With its all-Mahogany construction the 0-15 was the most affordable guitar in the Martin Catalog postwar with a retail price of $87.00 in 1957. The 0-15 was a popular model for Martin with peak production in 1955 with 925 produced. Records show Martin produced 625 0-15's in 1957. A masterclass in austere appointments it would feature simple dot inlays to the Rosewood fingerboard and a simple Rosewood bar bridge with minimal ornamentation asides a W/B/W sound hole ring, tortoise celluloid pickguard, and gold Martin logo decal. Tuners are open gear Waverly with plastic buttons.

Surprisingly loud with remarkable headroom given its diminutive size, it's easy to see why these small bodied, 14 fret, chocolate box Martins are so popular. The tone is exceptional with a fullness of sound which belies the guitar’s size with plenty of depth and harmonic content with a quick attack and dry decay to it’s voice. The guitar still retains its original frets and nut and plays well. The neck has never been reset, the saddle is low but the guitar plays well and sounds excellent. Action is 3/32 at the 12th fret. The neck has a supremely comfortable shallow, soft V profile with a depth at the first fret of 22.15. Nut width is the standard 43.02 mm and the scale length 24.9”

We are always on the look out for 30’s, 40’s and 50’s Mahogany Martins, always popular for good reason it is getting harder and harder to find good, well preserved examples.

The guitar comes complete in its period lightweight chipboard case.