C.F. Martin Guitar Sizes



These are various sizes in which the Style 28 was produced.


 

1-28, 0-28, 00-28, 000-28, OM-28, D-28



These are the sizes of guitars common in Martin's first decades.




Stauffer Martin, Hudson Street Martin, Size 3, Size 2 1/2, Size 2, and Size 1.






Identifying Martin Guitar Sizes by Body Width

12 Fret

Dreadnaught  -  15 5/8"

000  -  15"

00  -  14 1/8"

0  -  13 1/2

1  -  12 3/4"

2  -  12"

2 1/2  -  11 5/8"

3  -  1 1/4"

3 1/2  -  10 11/16"

5  -  11 1/4"



14 Fret

Dreadnaught  -  15 5/8"

000  -  15"

00  -  14 5/16"

0  -  13 1/2

5  -  11 1/4"



The sizes of the 14 fret Style 18




Martin 0-18. 00-18, 000-18, and D-18, all from 1945.



The sizes of the 12 fret Style 18




Martin 12 Fret 000-18. 00-18, 0-18.


Martin only began to produce the 000 in the 20th century, and only a handful were produced before the 1920's.  The entire 12 fret production run only reached a total of 1,038 000-18 and 329 000-28 before ending in 1931, shortly after the OM was introduced, so while the 12 fret 00 has lived on through the years in the form of the 00-21, few people have even seen a pre-war 000 12 fret to see how relatively huge these guitars are, while most folks think of anything less than a Dreadnaught as a "small body guitar".

                             
                                1902 to 1919            1920 to 1931

000-17                    1
000-18                    14                              1024
000 - tenor                                                2
000 - plectrum                                          49
00-21                      18                              6
000 harp                 4
000-28                    27                             302                                      
000-42                   2                                12
000-44                   3                               
000-45                   16                              126
000 - 7 string         1                                2
total # 000's           86                              1523        
             



Comparing 12 and 14 Fret Martin Guitars


As we can see in this comparison with the 14 fret 000-28, the longer bodies make the 12 fret Martins surprisingly large guitars compared to the 14 fret Martins with the same size designations. 

 

 

The 12 Fret 1928 000-28 and early 1930 OM-28





Sizes of Early 12 Fret Martin Guitars




Early Martins, from a Martin Stauffer and Hudson Street Martin to various assorted parlor size guitars, roughly equivalent to but from before the standardization of the size 2, 2 1/2 and 3, to a size 1 with alternative X bracing, with an early 14 fret Orchestra Model on the far left for comparison.  In context, the size 1 is a surprisingly large guitar, as with the 000 above, making up for in length a good part of what it lacks in width compared to a modern 14 fret guitar.

Production of the size 1 in styles 21 and above ended in 1921, and the style 18 in 1926, with the 1-17 and plectrums holding on until 1932.  The entire 20th century production of all size 1 Martins only reached 3,506, 1,569 of which were the inexpensive Style 17 and plectrums, which were less likely to be cared for or survive.  So while the size 0 has remained in production to this day, relatively few people have seen a size 1 Martin.  The size 1 is in actuality a relatively large guitar by traditional standards, and only a small bit smaller than a size 0, however it's obscurity has led people to think of the size 1 as "one of those tiny little early Martin parlor guitars".




These are the special sizes in which Martin produced guitars for the Oliver Ditson Company.




Size 1, size 11, and size 111




SCALE LENGTH OF EARLY MARTINS


The following is a sampling of scale lengths of early Martins illustrated on this web site.

The first number is the scale length.  The number on the right is the string spacing at the bridge.

As you can see, the earliest scale lengths were quite long, followed by a period of short 24" lengths.

The later guitars seem to be somewhat standardized at 24 1/2" for the small body guitars, and 24 7/8" for size 1.


(all pre-1867 Martins unless otherwise noted)


EARLIEST FANCY MARTINS

25 1/4"    Original Stauffer - moustache bridge.  2 5/16"

24 7/8"    Hudson Street - replacement ivory pin bridge.  2 5/16"

24 1/2"    Early fancy Spanish size 3 -  ivory tie bridge.  2 7/16"

24"        Ivory fingerboard Stauffer headstock - replacement ebony pin bridge.  (I've wondered if the original was ivory pin or tie).  New bridge plate.  2 1/4"


MARTIN & COUPA

24"        Early Spanish Martin & Coupa -  ebony tie bridge with ivory inset   2 9/32"

24"        Koa Martin & Coupa - shield shape bridge, pins in arc.   2 5/16


LIGHT DIAMOND BACKSTRIPS/ Spanish foot

24 3/4"    Hybrid X 1-28  2 3/8"


LIGHT DIAMOND BACKSTRIPS/ split neck blocks, old marquetry end

24 7/16"    2-23  2 1/4"

24 1/2"    2-24  2 5/16"

24 1/2"    2-24  2 5/16"

24 1/2"    2-20  2 5/16


DARK DIAMOND BACKSTRIPS

24 7/16"    2-23  2 5/16" (solid block)

24 1/2"    2- 21  2 5/16" (split block)


EARLY MARTINS WITH OTHER MARQUETRY BACKSTRIPS

24 1/2"    2-20  with herringbone backstrip, old marquetry end  2 5/16

24 7/8"    1-21 with zig zag marquetry rosette  2 5/16"

24 7/8"    Early 1-28 with pearl rosette  2 7/16"

24 1/2"    Early 2-27  2 5/16"


NO BACKSTRIP

24 7/8"    1-26  with zig zag marquetry border 2 3/8" 


POST 1867 MARTINS

24 1/2"    post '67  2-27  2 5/16"

24 7/8"    1890's 2-42  2 5/16"


 
earlymartin.com


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