Pre-war Martin instruments are often considered the pinnacle of craftsmanship for acoustic guitars, with a tone, feel and level of detail and quality that has arguably been unmatched since. Although generally not as collectable as the steel string models introduced in the mid 1920's, the gut string, smaller body guitars of the turn of the last century offer a unique playing experience and sound, and are an interesting insight in to music and guitar playing at the time.
This 1903 Martin 0-30 is a wonderful example of such an instrument. Hand crafted 117 years ago, this 0-30 is truly a work of art in guitar making terms, and a genuine antique. The 0-30 models were considered a high end instrument in the Martin line up at the time, coming in just below the 42 series models. Martin 0-30's feature an Adirondack Spruce top and Brazilian Rosewood back and sides, with the smallest '0' body shape making these a comfortable parlour style guitar. The 0-30 features a mother of pearl purfling and rosette unique to the model at the time, along with an ivory bound neck and body and the C F Martin & Co logo on the back of the headstock, as was standard at the time.
This guitar is in good condition for an instrument that is over 100 years old, and sports the kind of wear and battle scars you would expect from such an antique guitar. The neck has been re profiled at some point in its life, leaving a profile with a wide nut but shallower feel in the hand. As such, the neck has also been refinished. The bridge also appears to be non original, but is the right shape and size for the pyramid bridges of the period. This guitar is strung with Martin Silk & Steel strings, providing the closest match to the gut strings that would have originally been on the instrument. However, with the work that has been carried out, our luthier is confident that a lighter gauge of steel strings would also work fine. Our residents luthiers at the Vintage Instrument Workshop have given this guitar a thorough service, including repaired top, side and back cracks that have been cleated. As with all other instruments, this guitar includes a 3 year warranty with the Vintage Instrument Workshop.