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20th Century Guitar
Rara Avis -- 1940 Martin F-5

April 1998
by Bianca Soros



Link to 20th Century Guitar Magazine

ne of the most rare archtops made prior to WW II is the blonde Martin F-5. Due to wartime shortages, only two blondes were produced and the model was never cataloged. It has a full-bodied, projecting sound, in part due to the arched back built under tension. Martin is one of the few manufacturers that followed the example of the Larson Brothers who designed archtops and backs built under tension. The carved top allows for a responsive sound and was used for creating Country-Western, Bluegrass and Jazz. Martin used spectacular flamed maple on the back, sides and neck of their archtops for tone and beauty. This extremely rare guitar exudes simplicity of style and sophistication for the modern musician. Blonde F-5's were Martin's ultimate archtop achievement and were designed to compete with other top models of this period. End

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