Vintage Magic! Comparing Pre-1950 All-Mahogany Martins • Acoustic Tuesday 293

After almost 100 years, this Martin sounds better than ever, but how does it compare to other Martins?

Today’s show is something truly special, especially for those of you who love vintage guitars just as much as I do. We’ll be exploring the world of all-mahogany, pre-1950 Martin Guitars, from the craftsmanship and the sound to why these guitars are valued by guitar geeks.

We’re kicking things off with a 1946 Martin 00-17, a mid-sized guitar that packs a punch. The all-mahogany build gives it a warm, mellow tone and its larger body size projects that tone beautifully. If you’re all about that mid-range magic, this one is for you.

Next up, we’re taking a leap back in time with a 1935 Martin 0-17. This beauty features a smaller body size that contributes to a distinct, focused tone. Despite its compact size, this all-mahogany Martin has a voice that’s full of character—it’s perfect for those fingerpicking blues.

Finally, we’re going even further back to 1926 with the Martin 2-17. The smallest of the bunch, it surprises with its rich and warm sound. This one is proof that size doesn’t always equate to sound. Its smaller stature gives it a unique tonal profile that’s just simply enchanting, dry, woody, and responsive.

Throughout the episode, we’ll do side-by-side comparisons of these amazing instruments to truly dive deep into the effect of body size on a guitar’s tone. Not to mention, these all-mahogany Martins are more accessible in terms of price – making them fantastic options for guitarists who want that vintage charm without breaking the bank compared to other guitars from these years.

Submit your guitarsenal at the link below!

Featured in this episode…
– David and the Devil  
– Bella White Music  
– Rhett Shull  

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  1. My choice, favorite sound, would be the 1935 0-17. Mahogany has a nice rich sound delivery. As a tone wood it really performs without going deep in debt. I would really like to know what tuning was used on each piece or each instrument. And I double really want you to share some of these great fingerpicking tunes with the family. Out of the 6 or 8 you played I really liked the first one right off and any one of them would be a great addition to a skill course. I found a show on RFD-TV called “My Bluegrass Story” that featured Rob Ickes right after you mentioned him on your show, season 1 episode 14 , well worth investigating!!! Five star show. Hope you’re planning something really spectacular to celebrate show 300.

  2. WOW, I’m late but WOW , what wonderful guitars, the sound and warmth and the woody sound of those Mahogany guitar has left me stunned. My next guitar will be an all Mahogany and a MARTIN for sure. QUESTION, Tony what is your favorite neck profile?

  3. hello Tony! I would love to know the title of the tunes you are playing on these demonstrations so I can find them and learn them. Thank you. JJ

  4. In love with Bella White ever since I saw her open for Molly Tuttle at Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley, CA. Great songs and beautifully distinctive voice. Go see her if she ever shows up near you.
    BTW, she’s from Alberta, Canada.

  5. I love the look of the 2-17 and the sound of the 017. Really and truly, I LOVE mahogany guitars! And, Tony, I really like your rendition of “Ridge Road Gravel” – are we gonna hear that on an album?

  6. Hey Tone, you forgot to mention how you snaked the ’35 0-17 outta my jumpin’ fingers. That’s okay, I got the other Engstom O-18k. That makes us 1-1 : )
    Great show! Thanks.