SN 1997790. Martin Custom Shop limited edition build for Elderly Instruments for the 2016 NAMM show. It’s one of only five or six made to these specs. It brings together traditional Martin workmanship, very high quality but readily available tonewoods and some fun design choices. It feels like a high end guitar yet is affordable.
The top is Italian Alpine Spruce with really nice grain, select abalone trim and excellent vintage repro pickguard. The back is two-piece, book-matched Guatemala Rosewood with multi-color center strip. Top and back are bound with grained ivoroid. The neck is mahogany with a comfortable “modified-V” profile, volute, ivoroid heel cap and bone nut. The fretboard is ebony bound in ivoroid and 45-style position markers with pearl borders only (see photos). The face plate is rosewood and has a borders-only inlay of “CF Martin”. Tuners are gold-plated Grover butterbeans. The back of the headstock is stamped “Elderly Instruments, Est. 1972 Lansing, MI”. The bridge is a vintage repro in ebony with a through bone saddle. Bridge pins are 45-style; white with pearl dots. The overall presentation is traditional but the inlays make it unique and give it a contemporary custom look.
Inside the box are vintage style scalloped X-brace with two scalloped tone bars and “tucked” bridge plate. The tone woods combined with the bracing give it a very rich sound with volume and sustain for days. It’s nicely broken in as it is (does not have that “green” quality many newer guitars have) but you can tell there’s more to give. The action is a perfect 6/64” on the bass side and 5/64” on the treble. The nut is 1-3/4” and string spacing is 2-3/16”. Though it’s set up for fingerstyle, the guitar is loud and dynamic when flat picked.
Elderly works with Martin Custom Shop on a number of special editions. I’ve looked through their web site and I have to say that this model has impeccable attention to detail – from the shape of the bridge to the quality of the abalone inlay. Plus it is super clean – just a few swirls on the pickguard. It comes with the original Geib-style case with the “Cabernet” interior.
Top: Italian Alpine Spruce
Band & Sides: Guatemalan Rosewood
Bridge & Fretboard: Ebony
Appointments: 45-style, border only
Nut width: 1-3/4”
String spacing: 2-3/16”
Body width: 14-1/4”
Scale length: 24.75”
Payment is by personal check or money order. Payment in full, including shipping and insurance, is required before shipment. Personal checks must clear your bank. Please specify preferred shipping method when you order the instrument and we will calculate the exact price for you.
We represent the instruments as accurately as we can. All instruments are shipped on 48-hour approval. If there is damage as a result of the shipping, please contact us immediately and we will deal with the insurance company. If the instrument is damaged in transit from you to me, then you are responsible for dealing with the damage and insurance. For refunds, all instruments must be returned in the same condition as we shipped them in.
All instruments are shipped on 48-hour approval. If there is damage as a result of the shipping, please contact us immediately and we will deal with the insurance company. If the instrument is damaged in transit from you to me, then you are responsible for dealing with the damage and insurance. For refunds, all instruments must be returned in the same condition as we shipped them in.