This is a 1965 Martin 00-21NY with some of the most striking Brazilian Rosewood back & sides you’ll see in this vintage. The guitar has the warm tone you’d expect, but with great projection and volume for a Martin parlor-size guitar. Made only 5 years, between 1961 and 1965, Martin built a total of 906 of these 00-21NY models, with 275 made during the peak year of 1964. Until this time, the standard 00-21 (with fretboard dots and a pickguard) had been the only 12-fret, slotted headstock model to bridge the gap between the original 19th-century Martin guitar and its highly evolved namesake. By today’s standards the NY models weren’t much like the old Martins with the New York stamp, but with slotted headstocks, no fretboard dots, and no pickguard many early customers assumed they were exclusively nylon-string guitars. However, the Martin ads clearly stated they were for steel or nylon strings, usually shipped them with silk and steel strings, and obviously the old-style small straight bridges had end pins.
Aside from style, the Martin 00-21NY has three important features that fingerstyle players particularly enjoy: the wider 1.78” nut width, the shorter 24.9” scale allowed by the 12 frets, and the small, rectangular rosewood bridge plate which lets the top resonate more freely. Naturally, the 00 body dimensions are somewhat smaller than those of dreadnoughts: it has an unmarked 12/19-fret Brazilian Rosewood fingerboard (but it has small white dots in 7 positions on the bass edge), an over-all length of 38 5/8”, a 9 7/8” upper bout, a waist of 8 ½”, a lower bout width of 14 5/16”, a depth of 4 1/8”, a body length of 18 7/8”, and a string spread at the Brazilian Rosewood bridge of 2 5/16”. The modified neck profile is a fast and comfortable low oval, which is good because you won’t want to put it down for hours. The double bound body features cool tortoise plastic binding, the slotted headstock features the Brazilian Rosewood headstock overlay displaying the smaller “C F Martin & Co, Est. 1833” decal, and the usual factory 3-on-a-plate tuners have been upgraded to something like Golden Age tuners (the nut also may have been replaced). The guitar has the original Brazilian Rosewood bridge that has never been sanded down, but the plastic bridge pins and end pin have been upgraded to Ebony. The guitar originally had an end pin jack, but a wood dowel has since then been installed and then drilled out to receive a new Ebony end pin.
Cosmetically, it’s also in excellent shape, considering that its serial number (205003) indicates it was made in 1965, the last year of the New York model. There are only a few small dings in its finish, and while there is a repaired grain line crack on the back of the guitar about 14” long, it was repaired properly with 3 cleats on the inside of the guitar and the repair is not visible on the exterior of the back. There are no cracks on the sides and they still have their silk lining strips intact. It appears that some of the back braces were loose at some point and were re-glued due to a bit of glue staining beside small areas of the braces. The headstock has been professionally and almost invisibly repaired and will be sound for the rest of the guitar’s lifetime. There’s a great neck angle, and the 12/19-fret mahogany neck itself is dead straight as is typical of this vintage, with steel T-bar reinforcement instead of a truss rod under the Brazilian Rosewood fingerboard. The frets may have been redone at some point, because they are in excellent shape with virtually no wear.
However, in addition to these upgrades and repairs, this guitar probably at the same time had its top professionally or factory modified: the rosette is not the standard factory style 21 rosette, the guitar was apparently refinished to some degree, (the finish is a bit uneven in appearance around the neck heel and on the insides of the slots at the headstock), and there is a bit of crazing on the top and on the face of the headstock. The luthier who modified the X-braced top used standard 00-21 scalloped 5/16” wide top bracing rather than the standard tapered 1/4” New Yorker bracing; because of this scalloping to compensate for the heavier braces, the guitar still sounds like a 00-21NY should. And because of the heavier bracing, like the standard 00-21 this modified NY guitar can accommodate even medium gauge steel strings, rather than the Silk & Steel originally recommended for the NY by the factory; it’s currently strung with Martin Authentic Phosphor Bronze Light gauge strings, which sound super.
The top also has a slightly bigger maple bridge plate underneath the top than what the original New Yorkers had. Whoever had the guitar modified evidently requested that the luthier make the top stronger so they could use heavier gauge strings than the silk and steel strings recommended by Martin when they released these guitars in 1961. With the scalloped bracing, the top is still as responsive as originally. The guitar’s action is excellent, professionally set up at 3/32” on the bass side at the 12th fret and 2/32” on the treble side.
Despite the excellent fit for the 00 body, the included Martin thermoplastic case is not original, since Martin introduced molded thermoplastic cases in 1971 (these cases were often referred to as "steal me" cases, as the prominently displayed Martin logo advertised the contents as being a valuable guitar). This particular case is the first version of the thermoplastic case, with the (once) Wedgewood blue exterior and royal blue interior, usually--like this one—with Excelsior latches. In fifty years it has earned a few dings around the edges protecting this guitar, and some discoloration of the finish. However, the hardware all works perfectly, the interior is in good shape, and it is an ideal complement to this superb guitar.
Buyer pays a flat rate of $55.00 for insurance and shipping to the lower 48 states; shipping costs elsewhere will be negotiated as necessary. Payment by Paypal is preferred; cashier’s checks are acceptable, but checks must clear before the guitar will be shipped.
I believe that I have described this instrument fully and accurately. Please check out the pictures and ask any questions before offering to purchase it, as its return will not be accepted unless it can be shown that it was egregiously misrepresented in this listing.
Thank you for your interest in this fine vintage Martin guitar.
Payments by Paypal, cashier’s checks, money orders, or personal checks are acceptable, but all payments must clear my bank before the guitar will be shipped. I will CONSIDER reasonable offers, even including installment payments and trade-ins, but generally since I already attempt to price my guitars very competitively, unusual deals must be unusually sweet.
From henceforth [that's how retired English teachers talk], insurance and shipping to the lower 48 states is $55 due to constantly rising shipping costs unless a specific listing says otherwise; shipping costs elsewhere will be negotiated as necessary. I have sold guitars to Russia, Japan, Australia, and over 50 other countries, as well as almost every state in the USA. Since some of my guitars travel thousands of miles, I take care to use lots of packing materials, protect the neck inside the case, and of course de-tune the strings.
I make every effort to describe and illustrate each guitar and case with scrupulous accuracy. However, many of my instruments are well-played vintage items which are many years old, and I am not a luthier. One should assume that any guitar will require some set-up to satisfy your personal requirements, and that not every flaw or ding will be seen/recognized/described in the listing. Thus the return of an instrument will not be accepted unless it can be shown that it was egregiously misrepresented in this listing. Please read the listing carefully, check out the pictures, and ask any questions you might have before offering to buy.