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View Full Version : Vintage Martin 0-17 and 0-15 vs. Vintage Guild M20


soma89
04-17-2011, 10:12 AM
Has anyone compared these two small body mahogany's?

bohemian
04-17-2011, 10:43 AM
Not owned but played the 0-15 and 17, owned a 1939 00-17

I prefer my 1959 Guild M-20

soma89
04-17-2011, 11:11 AM
Not owned but played the 0-15 and 17, owned a 1939 00-17

I prefer my 1959 Guild M-20

Interesting, what was different about the tone/playability?

bohemian
04-17-2011, 06:36 PM
The Guild is between an 0 and 00. Much lighter built.
Very responsive and clear. A joy to play.

bobdcat
04-18-2011, 12:08 PM
One big difference is the narrow and low-profile nature of the M20 neck. These guitars were marketed as "student" models so they are optimized for small hands. Officially, they are listed as 1 11/16" at the nut, but you'll find that they are narrower than that in practice. This is a plus for some and a negative for others (like me).

I have a 1951 Martin 00-17 that feels much more comfortable for me. Too bad because I really loved the M20 I used to own. But it was very tiring and painful to play it for very long. This has to do with the arthritis I have in my fretting hand. Your experience may be quite different.

The original Hoboken M20s are the best. The Waverly, RI ones are good, too. The recent re-issues are a very different guitar - much more heavily built.

soma89
04-20-2011, 07:36 PM
One big difference is the narrow and low-profile nature of the M20 neck. These guitars were marketed as "student" models so they are optimized for small hands. Officially, they are listed as 1 11/16" at the nut, but you'll find that they are narrower than that in practice. This is a plus for some and a negative for others (like me).

I have a 1951 Martin 00-17 that feels much more comfortable for me. Too bad because I really loved the M20 I used to own. But it was very tiring and painful to play it for very long. This has to do with the arthritis I have in my fretting hand. Your experience may be quite different.

The original Hoboken M20s are the best. The Waverly, RI ones are good, too. The recent re-issues are a very different guitar - much more heavily built.

I'm still stuck between the Martin 0 or 00 mahoganys and the Guild M20 but nothing beats a small body mahogany for me. Does anyone know of any other vintage guitars that fit these charactaristics?

gitnoob
04-20-2011, 07:43 PM
I'm still stuck between the Martin 0 or 00 mahoganys and the Guild M20 but nothing beats a small body mahogany for me. Does anyone know of any other vintage guitars that fit these charactaristics?

Vintage specifically? They made a bunch of mahogany-top parlors in the 1920's and 1930's.

http://i55.tinypic.com/kcdjpk.jpg

Gibson probably made some mahogany-top LG2's (and a ton of ladder-braced LG0's).

Have you already tried a modern 00-15? Hard to beat. Even compared to a vintage Martin.

bohemian
04-20-2011, 08:14 PM
The nut on my 1959 "ghost" label is 1 5/8ths plus a little...

I put 11's on it, tune it down a whole step and capo at the 2nd fret.

This gets me to pitch and makes the nut 1 3/4...

Try the 00-15M

8daypsalmist
04-21-2011, 11:03 AM
The nut on my 1959 "ghost" label is 1 5/8ths plus a little...

I put 11's on it, tune it down a whole step and capo at the 2nd fret.

This gets me to pitch and makes the nut 1 3/4...

Try the 00-15M

Bohemian, are we brotha's from different motha's?

I do the same thing, but with a different variation. Also with a Ghost Label '59 M20 (lightning striking twice, LOL), I string with 12-53's, tune down to DADGAD, and capo at second fret. Gets me the 1 & 3/4 nut width AND a 12-fretter! Bonus: DADGAD in the mo-betta singing key (for me) of E. If playing in regular tuning, I also string with 11's - a beautiful match for the M20.

Peace,

James

bohemian
04-21-2011, 05:25 PM
#1155

44 of a batch of 73

I'll try some .012s

What's your serial number ?

soma89
04-23-2011, 12:21 AM
Random question..what has a bigger body..the m20 or the 0-17?

sfden1
04-23-2011, 01:13 AM
Vintage specifically? They made a bunch of mahogany-top parlors in the 1920's and 1930's.

http://i55.tinypic.com/kcdjpk.jpg

Gibson probably made some mahogany-top LG2's (and a ton of ladder-braced LG0's)..

There are no mahogany top LG-2's.

sfden1
04-23-2011, 01:19 AM
Bohemian, are we brotha's from different motha's?

I do the same thing, but with a different variation. Also with a Ghost Label '59 M20 (lightning striking twice, LOL), I string with 12-53's, tune down to DADGAD, and capo at second fret. Gets me the 1 & 3/4 nut width AND a 12-fretter! Bonus: DADGAD in the mo-betta singing key (for me) of E. If playing in regular tuning, I also string with 11's - a beautiful match for the M20.

Peace,

James

Ah, now why didn't I think of that. My Hoboken M-20 is a neat guitar, but the width at the neck takes some getting used to. Thanks guys for the suggestion here.

Dennis

bohemian
04-23-2011, 09:31 AM
soma89



Martin 0... Total length 37 3/4 length 19 1/8 width 13 1/2 depth 4 1/16

00 12 fret ... Total length 37 3/4 length 19 5/8 width 14 1/8 depth 4 1/16

00 14 fret ... Total length 38 5/8 length 18 7/8 width 14 3/16 depth 4 1/8

M20 14 fret... Total length 38 3/4 length 18 1/8 width 13 11/16 depth 4 1/8

sfden1
04-24-2011, 12:47 AM
There are no mahogany top LG-2's.

I stand corrected. Gitnoob was kind enough to send me this link: http://theunofficialmartinguitarforum.yuku.com/topic/1824/1942-all-mahogany-all-amber-LG-2 that shows that indeed Gibson did make some LG-2's with mahogany tops. Never say never when it comes to Gibson.

Thanks for the correction Gitnoob. Every day you learn something new is a good day. :up:

Petespix
04-24-2011, 06:28 AM
The Guild is between an 0 and 00. Much lighter built.
Very responsive and clear. A joy to play.

Hard to imagine a much lighter built guitar than the 0-15's which are very light.
I have never played a post 1948 0-15 which is when the bracing was no longer tapered. I have a 40 and 41 however that are a couple of the best sounding guitars I've ever played.

Peter

bohemian
04-24-2011, 03:02 PM
1959 Guild M20... #1155

3 pounds 7 ozs.

ljguitar
04-24-2011, 03:07 PM
Hard to imagine a much lighter built guitar than the 0-15's which are very light.
Hi Peter…
Not every guitar which is light is lightly built.

I like well voiced and responsive gutiars even if they are heavy (think ebony back/sides).

That said, as a listener, I've never heard a Guild hold it's own against any of the 15 or 17 series Martins. We had a couple old (as in early 1940s models) 15 models. One was an 0 and other a 00, and they are marvelously developed instruments, which sound fabulous.

Comparatively the Guilds sound like they have their noses plugged to my ears.

bohemian
04-24-2011, 03:29 PM
Having owned a very fine 1939 00-17 Martin and one of the first 000-15 Martins with a very high grade of mahogany and very dark hard rosewood fingerboard and bridge (before they degraded them) this M-20 does fine.

I played two 000-15M models last week.. very nice,, but the grade of mahogany was quite low and the fingerboard and bridge were the gray/purple washed out plantation stuff. Neither were of the quality of my 00-17 or of the Guild.

The Guild does not sound like the Martins and Martins don't sound like the Guild. I prefer the Guild. But no doubt down the road there will be a
Martin 15 or 17 series that I will like.

Considering the scarcity of the M-20, for most, a comparison would be tough.
I know of a dozen or more 15 series in the hands of players and another half dozen currently in dealer inventory. I know of two original M-20's locally, mine and another 1961 used by a pro player who has it fitted with a pickup.

Another distinctive feature of the M-20 is the cool pickguard,and full gloss lacquer.

I really like the Martins.. 15's and 17's... the Guild just seems to have a little more individual character. Add to that genuine brazilian rosewood fingerboard and bridge.

I am a fan of all mahogany guitars and applaud Martin for keeping them going.
I would have preferred that the new GUILD GAD M-20 was closer to the original.. but still a good value at around $600. Between the two, it would be hard not to buy the Martin 15 m series.

soma89
07-15-2011, 11:35 AM
Anyone know how exactly the guild m20's developed over the years during the 50's and 60's? Any main differences?

naolslager
07-15-2011, 12:34 PM
Cort L450C NS

Not a Martin. Not a Guild. Not made in the USA. Not Vintage. BUT...

- about the size of a 00
- Solid mahogany (possibly sapelle) top and back
- laminated mahogany (possibly sapelle) sides
- Inlaid soundhole rosette (not a decal)
- rosewood fretboard and bridge
- one-piece mahogany neck
- dovetail (glued) neck joint
- split diamond fretboard markers (not the short set you find on the 15Ms)
- inlaid logo, etc. on the headstock (not a decal)
- TWO strap pegs
- Grover open-back tuners
- lightly built
- sounds similar to the Martin 00-15M
- 1/5 the cost of the Martin 00-15M
- available at Musician's Heaven
- The perfect case is the "Silver Creek Vintage Classical Archtop" at Musician's Friend
- specs here: http://www.cortguitars.com/_webapp_3846741/L450C
- Photographs here: https://picasaweb.google.com/david.johnson1.0/CortL450CNSGuitar

I highly recommend this guitar.

For the record I wanted a Martin 15M or Guild M20. I even considered the Guild GAD-M20 but much prefer the satin finish.

I encourage anyone interested in a mahogany-top guitar to check this instrument out. The price is right.

For another (imported) option try the Alvarez RF-300 model it replaced, the RF-20SM. Solid top only and less features than the Cort although I suspect they are all built in the same building.

naolslager
07-16-2011, 10:03 AM
Playing my Cort today.Not a Martin, Not a Guild, Not USA, Not vintage. but worth considering if you want to try a brown guitar without breaking the bank.