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Thread: NGD: A foray into Acoustic-ville

  1. #1

    NGD: A foray into Acoustic-ville

    I'd never bought a "project" guitar before this one, but it gave me no choice but to pull the trigger. I hadn't been on the lookout for a Martin in particular either, just a small mahogany or koa guitar with a sweet & punchy sound. I like small acoustics…dreads and jumbos don't do much for me. Typically too much bottom. (YMMV of course.) My local guitar emporium has a new Guild M20 too, which I tried and liked very much. But this one, even with its issues, is on its own plane of aliveness.

    Anyway it's a 1942 Martin 0-15, the plainest and least expensive guitar Martin made during the so-called "golden age." Also one of 506 0-15s made that year. Cool tortoiseshell headstock faceplate. It needs a back crack repaired, a neck reset & (likely) refret and a replacement pickguard. And a proper setup, of course. The original 'guard, while still attached to the guitar, has shrunk & cracked into pieces. The nut and tuners were replaced some time back. The original ebony nut is in the (non-original & very nice) case. The new nut is bone. The action is fine for slide but too high for comfortable fretting. The sound is loud & glorious: bright high end, rich mids, firm bass. I expect it'll be quieter, for awhile anyway, after the neck reset. But so long as the tonal balance doesn't shift I'll be a happy guy.

    So it's in the shop right now. Can't wait to get my hands on it post-restoration!



    -Dave-
    Last edited by Quantum Strummer; 09-18-2016 at 08:48 PM.
    1962 F-20 Troubadour
    1970 M-75 Bluesbird
    1971 S-100 "Black Cherry"
    1973 S-100 "Nature Boy"
    1990 Nightbird Custom
    2013 NS M-75 Aristocrat
    2016 NS S-200 Thunderbird

    c. 1971 Foxey Lady

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Love the mojo!
    Neal

    '53 "X-150" Redburst
    '54 X-200-S SB
    '71 F-20 NT ("Tonya")
    '71 D-25 BR
    '73 D-35 NT
    '81 D-212 SB

    Others: '34 Martin 0-18K, '34 Martin 0-17, '74 Dobro Round-Neck Resonator (wood), '87 Dobro Square-Neck Resonator (wood), '04 Huss & Dalton TD-R, '07 Rockbridge Adi/Mahogany dreadnought, '14 Huss & Dalton DS Crossroads, Tele Partscaster.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator chazmo's Avatar
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    Hmm, doesn't really look like it needs a restoration, but good luck, Dave.
    Quote Originally Posted by Neal
    I am going to hang onto this little F-20 and play it as a reminder that life is sometimes rough, but it doesn't necessarily mean that the damage you accrue along the way defines who you are.
    Quote Originally Posted by marcellis
    Growing old is a bitch.
    Guild 12-strings:
    1978 G-312NT (Westerly) - "Franzz",
    1994 JF-30-12Bld (Westerly),
    2006 F-512 (Tacoma),
    2010 F-212XL STD (New Hartford) - "Connie"
    2014 Orpheum 12 OOO SHRW (New Hartford)

    Non-Guild 12s:
    1970 Martin D-12-20
    1980 Ibanez AW-75 (Series I)
    1984 Taylor 655

  4. #4
    Senior Member davismanLV's Avatar
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    Didn't you want a guitar to do some neck work on? That'd be a good candidate! Or am I thinking about someone else... I get confused after happy hour... LOL!!
    Tom in Vegas

    Use the good china. Life itself is the special occasion.

    Guild D65s, 1994
    Guild DV72, 1994
    Taylor GC8, 2011
    Breedlove Oregon Concert Rogue 4/12/2016
    Washburn EA-20 "Festival Series", 1995

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by chazmo View Post
    Hmm, doesn't really look like it needs a restoration, but good luck, Dave.
    If you had your hands on it… :) The action is pretty wicked beyond the first few frets. A good thing is that the bridge hasn't been messed with to compensate—no shaved down saddle—so nothing needs to be done to it. And the photo doesn't show what a mess the pickguard is in. All the pieces are adhering to the body, but there are lotsa pieces. The back crack isn't too bad but it is open and might as well be fixed. Overall it's a little dynamo of a guitar, so I figure I'm not only putting it right for myself but keeping it healthy for future owners.

    -Dave-
    1962 F-20 Troubadour
    1970 M-75 Bluesbird
    1971 S-100 "Black Cherry"
    1973 S-100 "Nature Boy"
    1990 Nightbird Custom
    2013 NS M-75 Aristocrat
    2016 NS S-200 Thunderbird

    c. 1971 Foxey Lady

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by davismanLV View Post
    Didn't you want a guitar to do some neck work on? That'd be a good candidate! Or am I thinking about someone else... I get confused after happy hour... LOL!!
    Tom, that musta been someone else. I'm handy with nut files & such but I leave major neck issues to the experts.

    My happy hour tonight involved a bottle of Corner Creek bourbon, recommended by my friend Mary Ellen. Pretty good stuff!

    -Dave-
    1962 F-20 Troubadour
    1970 M-75 Bluesbird
    1971 S-100 "Black Cherry"
    1973 S-100 "Nature Boy"
    1990 Nightbird Custom
    2013 NS M-75 Aristocrat
    2016 NS S-200 Thunderbird

    c. 1971 Foxey Lady

  7. #7
    I finally got the Martin 0-15 back from the shop this morning. (I had 'em put it on the backburner for awhile due to being out of town for most of the past five weeks.) I'm out & about this afternoon so I haven't had a chance to play it yet. But it's all fixed up. Neck reset, back crack repaired, pickguard replaced. It turned out not to need a refret, just a good dressing. I did have 'em put in a new saddle too.

    A few pics to come.

    -Dave-
    1962 F-20 Troubadour
    1970 M-75 Bluesbird
    1971 S-100 "Black Cherry"
    1973 S-100 "Nature Boy"
    1990 Nightbird Custom
    2013 NS M-75 Aristocrat
    2016 NS S-200 Thunderbird

    c. 1971 Foxey Lady

  8. #8
    iPhone pics from last night, after a long playing session. Sounds fantastic! Rich, warm & clear at the same time. Fingerpicked it's responsive to a subtle touch while flatpicked it handles strong strumming with ease. The neck reset has done nothing to diminish tone or volume, and it now plays super easy. Intonation is now very good too. It's set up for PB lights, currently D'Addarios. IMO it couldn't have turned out better.

    Pics:











    -Dave-
    Last edited by Quantum Strummer; 12-08-2016 at 07:57 PM.
    1962 F-20 Troubadour
    1970 M-75 Bluesbird
    1971 S-100 "Black Cherry"
    1973 S-100 "Nature Boy"
    1990 Nightbird Custom
    2013 NS M-75 Aristocrat
    2016 NS S-200 Thunderbird

    c. 1971 Foxey Lady

  9. #9
    Senior Member davismanLV's Avatar
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    Posts
    9,203
    HOLY CRAP, Dave!! You've got a $hit ton of break angle on that thing!! Should be driving the hell out of the sound board. Glad you've resurrected this beautiful old Martin!! The only thing I don't care for is the bright white strap button..... I think a nice brushed or antique nickel finish would've been better but, that's just a personal taste thing. Congrats on resurrecting this beautiful guitar!!!
    Tom in Vegas

    Use the good china. Life itself is the special occasion.

    Guild D65s, 1994
    Guild DV72, 1994
    Taylor GC8, 2011
    Breedlove Oregon Concert Rogue 4/12/2016
    Washburn EA-20 "Festival Series", 1995

  10. #10
    fantastic! got a sound clip?
    i wonder the tonal difference between an old F20 and this martin...
    Wood

    1971 D25 Br--ol' Flattop
    https://soundcloud.com/woody-adams/sets/not-metal

    "i think that you are the only one i know of that considers the 1973-1974 mahogany top/arch back D-25 a "holy grail" guitar"--mav

    "always confront the load facing it directly"--nuuska

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