1983 Martin Custom Shop 12 String
An extremely special, totally unique and truly spectacular 12-string guitar built over thirty-five years ago for Dick Boak, Martin’s own specialist in everything related to their best of everything for over forty years, and who who transformed the Martin Company into the vibrant world-renowned outfit it is today. Dick retired from Martin last year and while there, he took care of all of Martin’s artist relations and over the decades helped all their endorsers design their special signature models (more than a hundred of them). Dick also, in his role as official Martin historian, designed, organized, set up, and more importantly filled Martin’s now famous museum at their factory with materials from their archives, special instruments they had made over the years that they have since acquired back, and more. This particular guitar was made for Dick’s personal use, entirely of his own extremely talented design. It is of 000, or OM, size, with cutaway body style and oval soundhole and with premium rosewood back and sides, and of course absolutely the very best materials throughout. The scale length is an appropriate 24.9”. The top is trimmed in traditional herringbone, and there is heart-of-abalone shell rosette inlay around the soundhole. The fingerboard inlay is a one-of-a-kind design, by Dick, a “Vine of Harmonics". It was made to his specifications by David Nichols, the inlay master who did all of Martin’s best work for many years. Its pattern is as intricate in meaning as it is in design, with fingerboard harmonics denoted by nexus points in the vines, and on and on. A complete explanation of it, written by Dick, is available by email on request, way too detailed to include here. Suffice it to say that it is, in current parlance, a complete and total knockout.
And now for the heart of all this, what the guitar can do and indeed does, in ever-expanding multiples. Its tones are bright and complex, yet wonderfully warm at the same time. It's got tons of volume across the entire range, is just the most amazing 12-string guitar I’ve ever played, in every conceivable way. The action is silky to the end, and you’ll never tire of playing this instrument. It is, to the best of my knowledge, the only 000/OM cutaway 12-string guitar that Martin has ever made, and we’ll never see another like it. There is an internal pickup, installed at the factory. Included are the original receipt from Martin to Dick with “employee” on it; a hand-written note from Dick to the builders requesting action specifics; and a serial numbered copy of its Martin “Receiving Report” paperwork for special inclusion in the Martin display at the Summer NAMM show of 1993. It just doesn’t get any better than this. $6995 w/ohsc