1936 Martin 2-20 Mandolin

(Serial No. 16138) Excellent plus condition, sunburst lacquer finish. Martin is best known for their flat top guitar and rightfully so. However, thye have made other instruments over the years, one of which is this beautiful 2-20 style mandolin. Prices of Martin mandolins are much less than their Gibson counterparts, yet they exhibit the same high build quality as Martin guitars. Most Martin mandolins are flat-top style, which are great folk instruments but lack the volume and cutting power required for bluegrass. Martin carved top mandolins are considerably rarer with only 106 of this model made between 1936 and 1941, and as a consequence they have remained obscure even if they match Gibson for build quality.

That is not to say that they sound like their Gibson counterparts, as they do not. The tone is somewhat different. They have tremendous cutting power, but the bass is not as strong as the Gibsons. The construction of the 2-20 is completely different from Gibsons, with the top and back are graduated like a violin, and the top has a ramp carved into the center where it rises to meet the fingerboard. Has an Adirondack spruce top with F holes, highly figured maple back and sides, ebony fretboard and bridge, and a maple neck. All hardware and finish is original save for the pickguard. The 12th fret neck joint, combined with the narrowness of the body near the joint, makes upper-fret accessibility easier than most Gibsons I have played. Here is a short video clip of this instrument played by luthier Richie Dotson of Acoustic Box LLC in Chesterfield, VA who made the replica pickguard and set up the mandolin. Comes with the original hard shell case.

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