This is one of 25 00-21's Martin made in 1922 (serial 17329), expertly restored by our senior luthier, a Martin-authorized warranty repairman. In the restoration, he was pretty faithful to the original specifications, with a couple of deviations which we have outlined below.
This guitar has Brazilian Rosewood back & sides**, a red spruce top, mahogany neck, and ebony bridge & fretboard. Tuners are original. The new nut and saddle are bone.
The fretboard has been replaced, and it is fretted with period-correct bar frets (fretwire came from Martin repair guru TJ Thompson). They are taller and not rounded-over like modern "T" frets, but after careful consideration, we decided to keep this original feature. Some say it makes for a more stable/stiffer neck.
In a deviation from the 1922 spec, when the fretboard was replaced, our luthier installed an ebony bar in the neck to reinforce it so it would be able to handle steel strings, and the neck profile is now perfect. It's currently strung with Martin Custom Light phosphor bronze strings (.011-.052). String height has been set for standard spec, but it could go lower for fingerpicking if needed as the neck angle is very good.
We estimate that there have been at least two previous replacement bridges on this guitar over the years. The last one was oversize and poorly made, so we removed and replaced it. Some small patches of spruce were added to the area under the bridge that had been lost during previous bridge replacements. The current bridge came from Martin several years ago. Most 1920 era 00-21's have pyramid winged bridges (partly because you can no longer get the non-pyramid bridges from Martin), but pyramid bridges were actually not standard on this model until 1923 - so this one is the correct styling with flat wings. In deviation from the original design, it has a saddle slot that is angled to provide good intonation with steel string (vs. gut, which would have been the stock strings). The bridge plate has been replaced with a maple copy of the original.
Most of the finish on the guitar (back, sides, neck and 2/3 of the top) is the original hand rubbed varnish (not nitro-cellulose, which Martin shifted to later in the 20s) except below the soundhole around the area of the bridge. Because of the multiple bridge replacements, a fair amount of finish has been touched up multiple times in the area of the bridge. Our luthier used shellac for touchup, but we can tell that other finish materials were used when previous work was done. We decided against stripping and refinishing the top because we wanted to keep as much original finish as possible (also, because some sanding has to be done when refinishing, we did not want to lose any of the original top). So though the finish looks a bit mottled in this area, all the top wood is still there.
The top is crack-free, but there are three cracks elsewhere, all of which were repaired long ago. Two are on the lower back (on the treble side along the center strip, and on the lower bass bout) and one is on the lower bass side of the neck heel. There is a scrape on the lower bass side, but it's not a crack. In the interest of maintaining original finish, no touch-up of these cracks were done, and they are deemed stable.
A deluxe Martin hardshell case is included, with crushed green velvet interior.
In summary, this guitar has been nicely restored and plays wonderfully. A fantastic choice for the player-collector!
**Due to the inclusion of Brazilian Rosewood, we cannot ship this guitar outside of the United States. Shipping by UPS Ground, fully insured, within the continental US will range between $100-$140 depending on the destination.
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