CF Martin Guitars Built by the Man Himself

Wanted to share a couple of photos I took at the awesome Metropolitan Museum exhibition of early CF Martin models from the 19th century, most of which built by CF Martin himself. It’s amazing to witness a huge piece of history that lead to acoustic guitars as we know them now. For each of them you can read when it was built, which materials and techniques were used, what kind of bracing, and in some cases even who they were built for. As you go from 1830s forward, you can clearly see how Martin’s style matured and evolved from both Austrian and Spanish styles.

Some of the materials used are so unusual and some even illegal now. There’s a guitar which neck is almost completely made out of ivory. The other features a neck that’s carved out of ebony-ivory chessboard that is so out of this world. In lots of cases the bridges were also made out of ivory.

As far I could see, only one guitar was dated from the 20th century – a 1939 pre-war 000-18 that Clapton played on Layla unplugged. Awesome piece of (relatively) modern history. All of the guitars are pretty small for today’s standards, the biggest being about the size of smaller parlor guitar. The 000-18 looks like a giant next to them.

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    The idea behind this site is to share my experience with Do It Yourself approach to guitars, amplifiers and pedals. Whether you want to save a couple of bucks by performing a mod or upgrade yourself instead of paying a tech, or want to build your own piece of gear from scratch, I'm sure you will find something interesting here. Also, this is the home of DIY Layout Creator, a free piece of software for drawing circuit layouts and schematics, written with DIY enthusiasts in mind.