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  1. #1

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    ....a 1999 Martin model 000-1 small auditorium size acoustic guitar! Just the right size for my physical stature and small hands.


    My heartfelt thanks must go out to Vintage Instruments of South Philadelphia for their generous offer of allowing a 4-month lay-away period. That is rare today.


    Bless small businesses---especially those as big-hearted as this one. They are still the backbone of this nation.

    Am I over the moon? Guess...


    (pics to follow)

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2
    One question, guys:

    The guitar came strung with 12s (with an extra courtesy set). I'm a lifelong user of 13s---they're perfect for my touch and attack. I'm of a mind to change but---and it's a big but: the very knowledgeable woman at Vintage Instruments recommends against 13s for this size guitar, b/c of neck pressure and the risk of warping or bowing.

    Add to this a past nightmare experience w/my first Martin a few years back. Equally well-meaning and knowledgeable salespeople urged me to 1) always keep the instrument humidified; and 2) keep it in the hard shell case. In true schmuck-like fashion I humidified it for maybe the first week, and always took it out in a gig bag---padded, but nonetheless a gig bag. The result: Between me gently dropping it in case, the cold winter weather I exposed it to in and out of that gig bag the guitar cracked in 3 places and a hole near the bottom developed. I had it repaired, but was so heartbroken I cried. Inconsolable, and pissed at my carelessness. (I also thought at the time that Martin's cutting corners lately on quality of materials may have also been partly to blame---but I was so upset I was beyond rationality). I ended up selling it to a friend for 1/2 of what I paid.

    That tale of woe has wised me up: I intend to listen to knowledgeable people who have my interests at heart. The guitar will be humidified and cased in the hard case, except when I take it outside in the warmer weather and use of the gig bag will be safer than in winter.

    So again I put to Martin owners and people here with instrument maintenance expertise the question:

    Can using heavy gauge strings on this small auditorium size Martin 000-1 pull and even slightly damage its neck? No way do I want to act as stupidly as I did with that lamented 1st Martin.

    I thank you in advance for your advice and concern,

    Joel Fass

  4. #3

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    Lovely guitars. Perfect size and materials for a balanced attack.

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Soloway
    Lovely guitars. Perfect size and materials for a balanced attack.
    Mr. Soloway: may I tap your expertise to answer the question posed above?

  6. #5

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    nice!!! small body and longer scale...they gave you sage advice...martin recommends light strings (which are 12's for them)

    from martin-

    smaller models such as the OOO and the OO get light gauge strings

    the guitar is 20 years old...stick with recommended...bronze 12's have some tension...not like playin electric strings

    congrats!!


    cheers

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    nice!!! small body and longer scale...they gave you sage advice...martin recommends light strings (which are 12's for them)

    from martin-

    smaller models such as the OOO and the OO get light gauge strings

    the guitar is 20 years old...stick with recommended...bronze 12's have some tension...not like playin electric strings

    congrats!!


    cheers
    Bronze, eh? I just checked, and the 2 courtesy sets are indeed Martin phosphor bronze 12s. I'll have to adjust---though I'm sad, at least right now, to give up that big resonant sound I love (and am known for). An acoustic is a different animal, I know. You get a sound you like on electric from a variety of factors, not just the strings.

    Guess it's time to approach a different horizon. Thanks for the congrats and heads-up...

  8. #7

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    well with the small body and long scale, you gotta be careful...plus your getting a 20 year old guitar that you really don't know the history of...better to stay on the side of caution..at least in the beginning...and as martin recommends!! (they build 'em...they know what they can withstand!)

    phosphor bronze is 70's tech...before that they used 80/20 bronze...which was a bit brighter and more "bell" like...true vintage...depends what kind of tone you are going after...there's also martin retro monels for a gentler tone...many many string options these days!!

    john d'angelico's preferred strings were 80/20 on hex core...still readily available these days


    cheers

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    well with the small body and long scale, you gotta be careful...plus your getting a 20 year old guitar that you really don't know the history of...better to stay on the side of caution..at least in the beginning...and as martin recommends!! (they build 'em...they know what they can withstand!)

    phosphor bronze is 70's tech...before that they used 80/20 bronze...which was a bit brighter and more "bell" like...true vintage...depends what kind of tone you are going after...there's also martin retro monels for a gentler tone...many many string options these days!!

    john d'angelico's preferred strings were 80/20 on hex core...still readily available these days


    cheers
    Thanks, man---really. Good info. I'll adjust my touch, especially on the high E, and make it work...

  10. #9
    Preoccupied as I was w/the lighter strings, I only just now noticed that the action is also very low for me. Letting a good repairman raise it will doubtless increase the sound production.

    Duh...

  11. #10

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    if it's just the plain high e & b strings that concern you, you could probably get away with going a gauge higher on those...and leaving the 12 gauge set wound strings as they are!!...cobble a set together

    all plain strings are basically the same...acoustic or electric string sets!...you could sub any 13 for the 12

    cheers

    ps- i would go with the reg 12 set first!..but just something to keep in mind for down the line

  12. #11

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    On flatops I always suggest going with the lightest gage you can get away with. A flatop does not need something bigger than a .12 to drive the top (or it should not) and even .11 to 52. would be nice.

    Of course you realized that without a photo it did not happen. I am not a flattop person but a ooo Martin is one of the finest. They respond well to almost any touch and are just plain nice guitars.

    photo photo photo

  13. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by deacon Mark
    ....and even .11 to 52. would be nice. photo photo photo
    Thanks, really. 11s are simply too radical a departure for my sound and touch, though. Gonna stay with the 12s, maybe get ones a bit softer and rounder in sound---and have the action raised...

  14. #13

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    It might be stamped on the guitar in the soundhole as to the max recommended gauge.
    To my knowledge, in Martin lingo, medium gauge is 13's.
    I would personally not buy a Martin that I could not put 13's on.
    I would expect it would be fine.

  15. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by wengr
    It might be stamped on the guitar in the soundhole as to the max recommended gauge.
    To my knowledge, in Martin lingo, medium gauge is 13's.
    I would personally not buy a Martin that I could not put 13's on.
    I would expect it would be fine.
    I checked. It's stamped on the inner wood brace to use medium (13s) or lighter, so...

  16. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    i'd suggest you don't get a 000 or 00


    a small body and long scale puts lots of pressure on neck joint and bridge area

    cheers
    Too late now, pardner.

    Down and dirty---LOL...

  17. #16

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    no i meant the poster ^ wengr who wouldnt get a martin if he cldnt use 13's!!!


    OOO or OO's are great!!! well done!!! only martins i'd buy!.. just be judicious with it


    cheers

    ps- the deacon ^ is on the right track...these small body guitars don't need super heavy strings...they need to be able to resonate...not get choked out...of course there are design factors...12 fret vs 14 fret ...mahog vs spruce...etc etc...but in general...

  18. #17
    Thank you all!

    Time to come down from the day's excitement and chill with a stupid film on DVD. Got an early day tomorrow.

    Thanks again..

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by joelf
    Mr. Soloway: may I tap your expertise to answer the question posed above?
    Sorry Joel but my expertise is definitely not in these types of guitars. There are lots of people here who will give you more reliable information on this one.

  20. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Soloway
    Sorry Joel but my expertise is definitely not in these types of guitars. There are lots of people here who will give you more reliable information on this one.
    Thank you, though. I know of your reputation and respect what you have to say---and in this case your candor...

  21. #20

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    Kind of unrelated, but I bought my wife an Alvarez Masterworks MDS1 baby dreadnaught, similar to the Taylor baby. Solid top and back, fabulous sound. Anyway, it's a small 12.5" bout, 23" scale. I put 13s on it, and it still has a nice soft touch for her because of the scale, but a big round booming sound.

  22. #21

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    Nice guitar, Joel. Congrats. I love 00 and 000 size Martins.

    John.

  23. #22

  24. #23

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    I'd contact Martin for an authoritative answer to your string gauge question:

    Martin Guitar Customer Service | C.F. Martin & Co.

  25. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan0996
    I'd contact Martin for an authoritative answer to your string gauge question:

    Martin Guitar Customer Service | C.F. Martin & Co.
    Thanks. I trust the owner of Vintage Instruments to straighten me out. He's not a luthier, but a serious Martin dealer and respected repairman. If we have to contact Martin when I bring it in for a set-up we will. Right now it's not nearly where it will be. The action is ridiculously low, the sound isn't where it will be, and the top 2 strings play like paper.

    I'm in love anyway...

  26. #25

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    I'd put no more than 12's on it at least to start. You can probably get away w/13's on a dread pretty easily, though I'd probably still start out w/12's and get it properly set up, you might find they work best w/the action you prefer.

    Interesting that it's stamped on the back brace 13's or lighter, last I checked I think the website is kind of contradictory, in one section it says all 000 and 00 sizes get light strings, another says all of their 6 string steel guitars are tested to use mediums, but keep an eye for possible bulging if going that high

  27. #26

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    I
    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon

    Interesting that it's stamped on the back brace 13's or lighter, last I checked I think the website is kind of contradictory, in one section it says all 000 and 00 sizes get light strings, another says all of their 6 string steel guitars are tested to use mediums, but keep an eye for possible bulging if going that high
    don't see that as contradictory wm...saying they are tested to withstand 13's but give warning check for problems...but they recommend 12's without caveats!!!

    much like tire pressure gives max possible figures! (before they explode) and recommended driving/riding!!!


    sort of like a yellow light!! hah

    cheers

  28. #27
    All I know is I hate the way this guitar currently sounds and plays with the close action and light strings. I like some resistance and a big, full sound. It's got potential and I'll wind up loving it I'm sure---but after a set up and some experimenting/tweaking. The other thing is that the strings it came with are so old. It's like hitting paper. I haven't even had time to change them. But the neck size is perfect for my hands, the instrument is physically in fantastic shape--not a blemish on it---and I'll get the other stuff together. Another great thing: a 1999 is gonna have aged wood. I don't think these smaller models are meant to be that loud anyway. Only so much sound can resonate and come back out with a small body---simple physics, I think. That's why I passed on the small (dark brown) mahogany model the 1st time I bought a Martin. It sounded beautiful, but small.

    I'll figure this out and make beautiful music on this guitar. I already have a gig that it's perfect for coming up in April: a solo concert date in an intimate space. And it'll be miced. ('Miced'? Sounds like that old Groucho joke: Margaret Dumont: 'Mice don't make music!' Groucho: 'No? What about the old Mice-tro?').

    I'm here through Thursday...

    Keep hope alive!
    Last edited by joelf; 02-05-2020 at 05:36 AM.

  29. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    Kind of unrelated, but I bought my wife an Alvarez Masterworks MDS1 baby dreadnaught, similar to the Taylor baby. Solid top and back, fabulous sound. Anyway, it's a small 12.5" bout, 23" scale. I put 13s on it, and it still has a nice soft touch for her because of the scale, but a big round booming sound.
    OK, so can I borrow your wife?

    (I kid!)

  30. #29

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    Play it hard and make it look like this:
    Attached Images Attached Images 1999 Martin 000-1-martin-ooo18-bb-jpg 

  31. #30
    This guy seems to be getting lots of sound out of it (albeit brighter than I like for myself). Can't tell the gauge strings, but it is set up well for his kind of playing. I'd be over the moon if I could get mine like his:


  32. #31
    A damn good description, just for the hell of it:

    Martin 000 vs OM, what's the diff? | One Man's Guitar

  33. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone
    Play it hard and make it look like this:
    Willie Nelson's guitar makes this look mint...

    Repairing Willie Nelson's guitar "Trigger" - Alltop Viral

  34. #33
    Scene (after the set up):

    Awakenings Quote - UberQuotes

  35. #34
    Just got off the phone w/a Martin rep, who said putting the 13s on with my set up should be fine---just watch the bridge for any pulling. YAAAYY!!

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by joelf
    A damn good description, just for the hell of it:

    Martin 000 vs OM, what's the diff? | One Man's Guitar
    Uh I read that and am even more confused than before...

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by joelf
    All I know is I hate the way this guitar currently sounds and plays with the close action and light strings. I like some resistance and a big, full sound. It's got potential and I'll wind up loving it I'm sure---but after a set up and some experimenting/tweaking. The other thing is that the strings it came with are so old. It's like hitting paper. I haven't even had time to change them. But the neck size is perfect for my hands, the instrument is physically in fantastic shape--not a blemish on it---and I'll get the other stuff together. Another great thing: a 1999 is gonna have aged wood. I don't think these smaller models are meant to be that loud anyway. Only so much sound can resonate and come back out with a small body---simple physics, I think. That's why I passed on the small (dark brown) mahogany model the 1st time I bought a Martin. It sounded beautiful, but small.

    I'll figure this out and make beautiful music on this guitar. I already have a gig that it's perfect for coming up in April: a solo concert date in an intimate space. And it'll be miced. ('Miced'? Sounds like that old Groucho joke: Margaret Dumont: 'Mice don't make music!' Groucho: 'No? What about the old Mice-tro?').

    I'm here through Thursday...

    Keep hope alive!
    Joel, those Series 1 Martin's are great guitars. A buddy of mine picked up a D-1 several years ago, and it's a great player. Congrats on the score.

    While you're getting it set up, you might want to check into replacing the saddle. I think, though I'm not sure, that they originally came with a Tusq saddle (Musician's Friend has the specs for the OM-1 archived. I'm pretty sure they are similar to your 000-1). Replacing it with bone might just be the ticket.

  38. #37

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    I have had quite a few small body guitars and still do. I think it is common knowledge that a small body can take 13's or "mediums" as they call them in the acoustic world. A vintage parlor guitar with a small footprint bridge may be a different story.

    As noted above sometime mediums are not the right fit for the guitar as they can put too much pressure on the top and sort of kill the sound.

    A like the half-way approach and string mine all mine with this set EJ24.

  39. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by doctor jeff
    uh i read that and am even more confused than before...
    roflmao!!

  40. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by bonnerj
    Joel, those Series 1 Martin's are great guitars. A buddy of mine picked up a D-1 several years ago, and it's a great player. Congrats on the score.

    While you're getting it set up, you might want to check into replacing the saddle. I think, though I'm not sure, that they originally came with a Tusq saddle (Musician's Friend has the specs for the OM-1 archived. I'm pretty sure they are similar to your 000-1). Replacing it with bone might just be the ticket.
    Thanks. I'll ask about this, but ultimately defer to the advice of the shop owner-repairman, Fred, when the set up happens next week...

  41. #40
    So I've been playing it a little each night---and I can tell I'm gonna have a ball gigging and recording with it.

    I've been shedding my tunes for a gig at Fat Cat next Friday, even though I'm using my archtop Godin 5th Ave. Kingpin for that. Just getting acquainted, and what better excuse?

    The actual maiden voyage, unless something comes in sooner, will be on a solo concert in April at an intimate space: the Suzuki Piano School here in Philly. I plan to play with only the house mic for amplification.

    Good times ahead!

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by joelf
    Thanks. I'll ask about this, but ultimately defer to the advice of the shop owner-repairman, Fred, when the set up happens next week...
    Fred's the shop owner, not a luthier.
    BUT, you'll not find anyone that knows more about guitars anywhere (or violins for that matter, he's the head of that dept @ Christie's as well)

  43. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon
    Fred's the shop owner, not a luthier.
    BUT, you'll not find anyone that knows more about guitars anywhere (or violins for that matter, he's the head of that dept @ Christie's as well)
    There you go...

  44. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon
    ...not a luthier.
    He doesn't build, but he repairs. I'm sure he can do my set up in his sleep...

  45. #44
    I am loving playing this guitar more each time---even with the low action and light strings. I've already adjusted my touch and attack, as a pianist might for a strange or new piano.

    Just worked out on Lionel Ritchie's Hello, and the Joel Fass sound is alive and well on a 1999 Martin 000-1! Anyone's would be---it's so easy on a superior instrument.

    Full report to come after Wednesday's set up---and I hope I'm not driving yiz nutso w/all this posting. I'm not always this happy is all (;

  46. #45
    My new love is in the shop for the set up. I trust Fred implicitly, and he's on the same page w/everyone who warned against the 13s. We reached the compromise broached earlier here: to leave the 12s (a Retro set for a darker sound) as the main event, save for the B and E. He's raising the saddle to my needs, and replacing it w/bone. That'll make a world of difference in sound projection and quality.

    Should be a wonderful transformation. I have gigs where I can't wait to use this for. Full report when I get my love back in a day or two...

  47. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by joelf
    he's on the same page w/everyone who warned against the 13s. .
    Not buying it about the 13's...anyway here is a set you might really like for that guitar

    https://www.martinguitar.com/1833-sh...ce/c-24/p-1423

  48. #47
    OK---but if I argue with Fred he may punish me the way they did back in Hebrew school when they caught me reading From Russia With Love underneath my Aleph Bass lesson.

    I'll leave the details to your imagination...

  49. #48
    Oh, and to the person that posted back in the Bronze Age of this thread about installing a bone saddle: yep, coming right up per my man Fred...

  50. #49
    NO CHARGE FOR THE SET UP!!

    How cool is THAT?!!

    Back in my lovin' arms Monday--with full report...

  51. #50
    Well, my baby's home and set up! Fred raised the saddle, changed it to bone, put on 12s, and gave me a courtesy set of Martin Monel Retro 'medium lights' (56-13), so I can put on the high B and E---17 and 13---like I've been wanting to.

    There has been a large improvement in playability, not so much in sound projection/quality. I've come to realize that there's only so much volume and body one can get with these smaller body guitars. I will adjust and tweak.

    The 1st unofficial performance was today, before my fellow members of a training group (another subject for another day). We enjoyed it. I'm gonna play this guitar! At my steady Englewood Hospital gig, where we have to play quietly anyway; and at a solo concert date in April at the intimate space of the Suzuki Piano School here in Philly. 3-watt Blackstar amp for Englewood; house mic at Suzuki.

    Vintage Instruments: you are the best!! No charge for the set up or strings (a minimum $60+strings expenditure everywhere else). If you need a fine acoustic guitar (as well as other assorted instruments) and are within striking distance of Philadelphia they are for you!