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1996 Martin MTV-1 Dreadnought MTV Unplugged Limited Edition, Mahogany & Rosewood w/ Case


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Up for sale, a 1996 Martin MTV-1 limited edition dreadnought in excellent, 100% original condition and in perfect working order. A tie-in between Martin and the exceedingly popular MTV Unplugged series, only 696 of these rare Martins were produced. Chief among its unique features is a tonewood pairing of mahogany and Indian rosewood, with the treble side of the body made of mahogany and the bass side made of Indian rosewood. With an "MTV" abalone headstock inlay and “Unplugged” text extending down the ebony fingerboard, this Martin stands apart both aesthetically and tonally.

Featuring a scalloped X-braced spruce top, this guitar is lively and responsive, with a decidedly balanced tonal profile, marrying the articulation and round bass response of rosewood with the smooth growl and fundamental warmth of mahogany. The ebony fingerboard ensures an immediacy and glassy note attack, and the instrument retains clarity when fingerpicked. The highs are sonorous and singing, the lows are broad and sweet, with just a touch of growl in the midrange and notable projection when hit hard with a flatpick. This Martin weighs just 4lbs 4oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 12-52 phosphor bronze strings, comfortable action, and accurate intonation.

The mahogany neck has a very soft slender V-shaped profile carve at the nut, rounding out to a more traditional C carve in the higher registers, measuring .815” deep at the 1st fret and .900” at the 9th. The slab ebony fretboard features unique “Unplugged” abalone position markers and retains the stock slender fretwire. The frets are in great shape, with well-rounded crowns, only showing a touch of wear beneath the plain strings on frets 1-5. This Martin plays cleanly up the 25.4” scale with a straight neck and a responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod. The original nut measures 1 11/16” in width. The headstock sports a rosewood veneer, with abalone "MTV" inlay and traditional Martin script. There is a small chip on the bass-side corner of the headstock, and the original Martin-embossed Schaller tuners have carved ebony buttons, turning smoothly and holding accurate pitch.

On the body, the ebony bridge sits flush with the spruce top on all edges, reseated in the instrument’s lifetime, with plenty of saddle height for future adjustment. The soundhole is framed by an abalone rosette and tortoise pickguard, and the body is accented top and back by tortoise binding, with an additional herringbone backstrip bisecting the mahogany and rosewood. The “Unplugged” serialized label is visible through the soundhole, signed by C.F. Martin IV, and the model and traditional Martin serialization is present on the heel block.

There are three repaired cracks on the treble-side rim at the waist, all professionally addressed and flush with the surrounding mahogany. Cosmetic wear on the gloss finish includes a handful of small dings along the binding on the lower bout perimeter and on the lower bout on top, and some finish scratches across the back. The satin finish on the neck profile is clean and smooth.

A hardshell case is included.