Martin 0-15 Custom

Martin 0-15 Custom

I finally own a Martin guitar. There has never been any doubt in my mind that Martin sets the standard in high quality guitars. So now I have joined the club.

The story starts a little over year ago when I began my search for a smaller body guitar. I played an 00-15M at the Troubadour which renewed my love for all mahogany guitars. That guitar didn't quite fit the bill though. By then I was pretty much set on a parlor size 12 fret to the body guitar. That led me to the Teton STP-103NT which despite it's ridiculous name, is about as nice a $300 Chinese made guitar as you can get. Shortly after this is was lucky enough to get a really good deal on a Larrivee OO-03, which has mahogany back and sides, but with a spruce top.

So then this Martin 0-15 Custom shows up on Reverb. Martin hasn't had an 0-15 in their production lineup since 1961. When they were introduced in 1040 they sold for $25! The 15 series is Martin's most affordable lineup. Woody Guthrie called the 0-15 the "people's guitar". Not only is mahogany cheaper than rosewood and spruce, but these guitars are unadorned. No binding on the body or neck or fancy inlays. Of course those things don't add to the sound and the construction of the 15 series meets the same high standards as their higher priced guitars. So here is the one out of the custom shop with exactly the specs I wanted. 12 frets to the body, a shorter 24.9" scale, and a slotted headstock. It also has the sound hole closer to the waist which is supposed to be a feature of 12 fret to the body guitars, but which my other small body guitars don't have.

This guitar was part of a series commisioned from the Martin custon shop by LA Guitar Sales in 2011. I got this reply to my inquiry from Ted:

We did order a bunch of them at that time and have kept ordering them ever since. In 2011 they were 100% Honduran Mahogany, AKA "genuine" Mahogany, I have one myself from that batch. ... You have a great little guitar there so congrats on the acquisition.


Here is the full spec.

All solid  woods
Genuine Mahogany top
Genuine Mahogany back and sides
1-piece Mahogany neck
Bolivian Rosewood fretboard and bridge
"0" body size (13 1/2" lower bout) -- 12-Fret
24.9" scale
1 3/4" nut width
Mod low oval neck        
Bone nut and saddle
Satin finish
Faux tortoiseshell pickguard
Grover tuning machines
Slotted headstock

Martin 0-15
Martin 0-15
Martin 0-15 headstock
Woody Guthrie