Among the unmissable creations put out there by the venerable manufacturer from Nazareth, few guitars have been so adored and copied as the 000-28.
The 000 shape with fourteen off-body frets, with its very pronounced size and unsettling curves, has become the standard alternative for guitarists who choose not to go with the Dreadnought. Its smaller size makes it a much more comfortable guitar for players who are not as big as a cowboy, and its texture is less loaded in the bass notes for a more balanced sound. Since it was first created in 1933, it has constantly inspired other brands and established the yardstick for the all-purpose guitar, from Paul Simon’s fingerpicking to Eric Clapton’s blues.
The pre-war models are obviously the most prized examples, but this superb Martin comes from the transition period immediately after the war. At that time, Martin was still using pre-war construction methods and wood stocks, but no longer decorated their guitars with the famous herringbone streak, opting instead from a more understated cream binding. There’s no doubt about the raw material, such a figurative body with such bewitching designs can only be Brazilian rosewood. The symmetry of the back is particularly graceful and helps us understand the obsession that collectors have with this rare wood.
Apart from being refretted—which simply proves that this 000-28 has been played a lot (quite high on the body judging by the mark worn into the wood above the pick guard)—it still has all its original parts and stands out as a very fine example of the timeless quality of instruments built by Martin.