Martin may not be the first company that comes to mind when you think of classical guitar builders. Nevertheless, most Martin guitars made prior to 1928 were made for gut strings, even though they don't closely resemble the Spanish tradition of Classical guitars. In 1936, Martin launched the G-series as an attempt to offer a classical option. But while their wide fingerboard, slothead, and 12-fret neck might look convincing, most G-series guitars were X-braced, so they didn't exactly scratch the classical itch.
In 1962, Martin launched the C-series as its first earnest attempt to build guitars that could keep up with classical players more familiar with Spanish-made instruments. The 00-28C rolled out a few years later in 1966, and it featured classical-appropriate fan bracing, a wide bridge with rounded ends, 12-frets clear of the body, and longer 26.44" scale. While the Martin brand has largely relied on the X-bracing innovation since the 1840s, the 00-28C captures the response, dynamics, and volume of handmade instruments built in the Spanish tradition. Nevertheless, its Brazilian Rosewood back and sides and matching Style-28 appointments are decidedly Martin. These guitars were also built with every bit of the commitment to quality and integrity we expect from Martin.
This 1967 Martin 00-28C has been nicely preserved, and its Brazilian Rosewood back and sides are absolutely stunning. Because there is no pickguard, there is some playwear on that top, but that's pretty much the only cosmetic wear. Relative to steel string guitars, which endure so much stress from all of the tension, these old nylon string guitars just don't suffer from the same issues over the years. Because of that, there's not much to say in the way of repairs. There is a small ~2.5"-long crack on the treble side that has been neatly repaired. The neck angle may be original, and it's still in a great spot. The playability of this guitar is exceptional, so it's possible that the neck has been reset. But if it was, the luthier responsible for the work did an impressive job of covering their tracks.
As for tone, this '67 00-28C is well balanced with quick response (thanks to its minimal bracing). Its bass content is impressive for a small-body, and it projects clearly with shimmering trebles and nice complexity. Some folks buy these guitars for their Brazilian Rosewood—they definitely make great-sounding 12-frets when converted over to steel strings. But to alter something so nice would be such a shame! Not only is this one nicely preserved, but its tone is so sweet and steeped in subtlety. A classical guitar of this caliber would make a great addition to any collection. Simply put, there are a lot of songs in this old Martin box!
Original case included.