We're revisiting and updating a recent Connoisseur article today and putting the spotlight on a selection of vintage 000s over at Carter Vintage!
When it comes to highly coveted vintage guitars, the dreadnought is the king. I may not be much of a flatpicker, but even I won’t dispute that a well-preserved D-28 is basically the Platonic ideal of what a guitar should and can be. It even has a nickname: “Old Bone”. If you love flatpicking, you know to search out those 1930s dreadnoughts. But for those of us who prefer mid-sized guitars and are looking for a fundamentally different playing experience in terms of response and tone, the vintage market doesn’t seem to offer up as clear an “ideal” instrument. In the diverse world of solo vocal accompaniment, songwriting, and fingerstyle, there just isn’t a set of unofficially codified standards the way there is for dreadnought-playing flatpickers. (You could even argue that the best fingerstyle guitars, the ones that were purpose-designed, for the most part aren’t old enough to be considered vintage yet.)
When it comes to vintage Martins, though, there’s still a world of guitars to explore, and fortunately for us, their price points are typically much lower than the dreads. We’ve had an interesting selection of 000s in the shop in recent months, ranging from 1940-1962, giving me the opportunity not only to play them and hear the differences, but to learn more about Martin’s changes in those decades. Let’s jump in and discuss the world of 000s and OMs.