While the slope-shouldered 00 body looks like something straight out of the Depression era, Martin actually didn't introduce this "Long Grand Concert" shape until 2013. Unlike traditional square shoulder designs, the rounded shoulders diffuse much of the movement to the top's wider lower bout. That improves the bass response, which helps this comfortable small body produce a warmer, more balanced overall sound. It also subtly increases the dynamic range and makes the response, quick and snappy—a perfect fit for the blues.
Part of Martin's recently-revamped 17-Series, the 00L-17 and acoustic-electric 00LK-17E were unfortunately discontinued in 2019, and that's a shame because this hugely-popular design filled a void in the Martin line. The slope-shoulder body—paired with a Sitka top and Mahogany back and sides—produces a warm, dry sound that you don't get from a many small-body guitars. Plus, it was offered in two gorgeous satin finishes at a great price point for a Nazareth-made guitar.
Ever since Martin unveiled these thin finishes, we've wondered what the Whiskey Sunset sunburst would look like after somebody really put the guitar through the paces. This 2016 00L-17E has been played (but not abused), and the resulting mojo is absolutely gorgeous. A little honest playwear adds an air of authenticity that makes the guitar feel like an old friend.
- Body Size: 14-Fret Slope-Shoulder 00 ("Long Grand Concert")
- Top: Sitka Spruce
- Back & Sides: Mahogany
- Bracing: Scalloped X-Braces, 1/4"
- Neck Joint: Simple Dovetail
- Neck Profile: Modified Low Oval w/ High Performance Taper
- Nut: Bone, 1-3/4"
- Saddle: Compensated Bone, 2-5/32" spacing
- Fingerboard & Bridge: Rosewood
- Scale Length: 24.9"
- Electronics: Fishman Matrix VT Enhance
When this 00L-17E arrived to us, the top binding had separated slightly on both sides of the waist. The binding has been re-glued properly, and other than that, this guitar has had no repairs or issues. It is a great player that shows some good honest playwear, which makes it feel like a well-loved treasure from the '30s.