In the early 2000's C.F. Martin for a while manufactured the Martin D-17, a guitar that combined the building specifications of the Martin D-15 and the Martin D-16. First and most obviously, the Martin D-17 is an all mahogany guitar, just as were the "17 series" instruments of old, and as the current "15" series instruments now. The use of a mahogany sound board or top on this instrument creates a very different tonality from the more common spruce soundboards that not just Martin, but nearly every steel string dreadnought manufacturer uses for the majority of their instruments. Mahogany top guitars produce a darker tonality than do guitars with either spruce or cedar tops. Spruce and cedar are conifer woods, mahogany is a hardwood, and so the mahogany soundboard will not vibrate quite as freely as either spruce or cedar tops, resulting in a sound with more punch, according to “hog” fans.
The Martin D-17 was a unique higher end version of the less expensive D-15 and D-16 series, with quality solid mahogany top, back and sides; a one piece mortise/tenon neck joint, solid mahogany neck, style 17 rosette, hybrid scalloped bracing, style 18 purfling, tortoise color binding, modified low oval neck shape, a gloss finish top—thus “GT”—and satin finish back and sides. Clearly, the D-17GT is not just a D-15 with a gloss top, as the specs above indicate. The hybrid scalloped bracing is not something found on the D-15 at all, neither is the mortise/tenon neck joint, and of course the style "17" rosette and the gold-colored Martin tuners are cosmetic differences from the less expensive D-15. This is the picture of a quality guitar--topped off, of course, with the raised gold foil C. F. Martin name on the headstock which says it all.
The playability and sound verify the quality promised by the name. The body dimensions are similar to those of most dreadnoughts: it has a 14/20-fret fingerboard, a 25.4” scale, a fingerboard width of 1 11/16” at the nut and 2 1/8” at the 12th fret, and what looks like a bone compensated saddle. The Martin mortise/tenon neck joint and scalloped spruce hybrid X-bracing of the top combine with the great strength of mahogany to allow for thinner, more responsive tonewoods, making for the rich, bright sound characteristic of the D-17. The modified low-profile neck is fast and comfortable, which is good because you won’t want to put it down for hours.
The playing condition is excellent, as you would expect of a Martin: straight neck, no cracks, little fret wear, solid bridge, tight tuners, and so on. The action is fast and comfortable at a hair less than 3/32” at the 12th fret low E, and the sound is terrific—and it will only become better as it ages. Cosmetically, the finish is generally in excellent shape, but there are a few bruises throughout, as one would expect on a 15-year-old guitar. To top it off, there is a very good passive under-saddle pickup, accessed through the end pin jack, for those gigs in Yankee Stadium.
The hard shell Martin case is original to this guitar, complete with the Martin name plate on the front. The hardware all works perfectly, and the plush green interior is in fine shape, as seen in the pictures. As one would expect of a Martin case, it is an ideal complement to this excellent 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 buy 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 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.