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ALL!!! small bodied Martin acoustic guitars 0-15 0-17 00-17

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I had a life changer again, which has been consistently happening for me sonically with guitar over the past few years. The first change was switching to small 50s Princeton amps. The second came this week with my purchase of  1955 Martin 00-17 all Mahogany/Rosewood fret board small bodied guitar. Its the best strumming guitar Ive ever played.

I review this specifically to address an issue Ive had my entire playing life- 99.9% of acoustic guitars sound like sh*t to me. From the cheapest POS to brazilian rosewood hand crafted- like crap. My issue has always been the bottom end. Its uneven. Its always uneven. Too much. The highs just cant compete. I hate mud. Acoustics, to me, have an innate muddy issue. The only reason it doesn't matter is the player. A great player can lessen the effect and overcome. Im tired of working so hard and Im NOT a great player.

So Ive been tracking a band whos guitarist plays a Martin 0-15 for tracking. He has numerous guitars but it the 0-15 that comes out first... I had been considering a small body Martin, but had no real experience with one for more than a day. After a few months of this guy tracking, I HAD TO HAVE ONE...

Its the dream tracking guitar. Its small and easy to play. It sings with the 50 year old wood and the small body rolls off the bass/bottom just PERFECTLY. I know this isn't a secret and these models have increased in price drastically over the past 10 years. But its got a perfect natural EQ- all of the roll off of a high pass with NONE of the slope issues.

My point is if you have NOT hunted one down to play for yourself, you are making a mistake.  Mine was 2200 with tax and I am already shopping for another to back it up.  I have never played an acoustic where I felt it gave me what I put in but this little guy does just that. And I took it to studio A (tuned wood room for orchestras) and put a small chair in the middle of the room. My Mentor couldn't believe his ears and neither could I. An orchestrator working that day even stopped and wanted to know what the hell I was playing. It was the sound he heard in his head for a tune he was working on. Hes also one of the best orchestrators (musically not technically) we work with...

Im the guitar tracking tech as well as a house engineer and I think I just firmed up more work and maybe even some more as a session player. Im not a phenomenal player by any means but the guitar sounds that good...

And Im to the point these small bodies beat ALL OTHER MARTINS Ive heard... Including the 20 granders. The sizes that rock are 0 and 00 and Ive been crazy for the 0-15 and the 00-17 specifically. Literally D-28s can kiss my ass!

Note- this is recording, low volume playing. These can definitely cut through the mix but the bottom disappears completely. Some think its also not the best guitar for solo w/vocal- too small on the bottom. I disagree but the point is 100% valid and relative. And of course some styles wont fly with this guitar but not many!

So I literally stopped to take a break (Ive been slammed, what bad economy???) and played it for a bit then decided to write this review. I wanted to let others know they need to go PLAY one. Then RECORD it. Then send me a small thank you email if you weren't privy prior! I knew it was supposed to be that way but I had never gone to see! Literally kills my favorite prior Brazilian Rosewood 6 grand acoustic (not mine, but it was my favorite sonically).

This thread is open to any and all vintage Martin lovers and guitars. Would love to hear opinions on bodies sizes and styles and benefits sonically of prewar martins? I got mine because the prior owner got a prewar he liked better. I cant possibly imagine better...

Would love to focus on guitars youve tracked that dont need any eq or mic to roll off the bottom end. BTW my Mentor thought I was insane, and I assume whiney, when we would track my other Martin. I would bitch and complain and make excuses on why I couldn't get it- but Im a fussy bitch as a player. I know he finally understood once I played this 55 in studio A. He understood completely...

I have 2 1940 0015's

Those are a perfect laying around the house type of guitar

small nice to play  interesting sound  the all mahogany has a thing

for whatever reason I have found songs fall out of those things fairly easily


Is a mid 60's O-16NY too new to talk about, 'cos it is a very sweet guitar....

Nothing is forbidden... Even late bloomers like the 60s! hehehe I left out the 60s simply because I haven't fallen in love with any. I also haven't PLAYED ANY! So, of course ANY guitar you think has that perfect out the box sound- feel free.

Agreed on the song writing fun. Its the small comfortable body and great tone.

But again, this is absolutely the best tracking guitar Ive ever heard for strumming. And I know how ridiculous hating all acoustics bottom end sounds but once you play one of these, whether you agree or not, you understand what Im flipping out over. And Ive been really lucky to see some incredible very well known acoustic players come through- and this little guy beats them all... And Im not the only one who thinks so!

Though mine was owned prior by a luthier so its been maintained and plays ridiculous. He put in a bone nut, refinished it but otherwise its stock. Its also almost flawless and has no repairs or cracks. Perfect neck and action. Like a fender closet classic... Without the stupid fact its actually new...

Funny I really wanted an 0-15 but sonically I prefer the 00-17... A touch sweeter. But I still want an 0-15 for the air...

Bob Olhsson:
My wife's '64 0018 is amazing.


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