Around the same time that the 14 Golden Era OM-45s were starting to come
to market, an additional 4 OM-45 Deluxe guitars were commissioned. These
four instruments are far less well known than the Golden Era Limiteds,=,
as they were ordered by a single individual, the owner of a single, well
known guitar store. They took about two years to complete, and when they
were ready, three of them moved quietly into the homes of some well-heeled
players, two of whom are well-known in their own right (I can't confirm
this directly but it's my understanding that one of the four was purchased
by a Mr. Juber, and another by a Mr. Dylan.). It is also my understanding
that one of the reasons they took so long to complete was because these
four OM-45s were built with even greater attention to detail than the 14
Golden Era models - the goal was to make as perfect a reproduction as possible
of Mr. Slye's original OM-45 Deluxe.
This OM-45 Deluxe is number three of that very limited four-instrument run. Originally, it was held back by the owner of the aforementioned guitar store, as it was his intention to keep it. However, someone managed to talk him out of it within the first year. That someone is my client, the original owner (or the first person to "own" it after the ordering dealer. It is my pleasure to offer this very special and very rare Martin on consignment here at Imagine Guitars.
The OM-45 Deluxe of course has the OM/"Orchestra Model" body famous for exceptional sound combined with a manageable and very comfortable body size/shape. The tone of this instrument is superb - wonderfully balanced, strong in the fundamental but also with richly detailed harmonics. This guitar has hardly been touched - it has resided in the current owner's private collection, and has under an hour of playing time on it. The owner says that the character has changed for the better with five years of aging, and postulates (correctly, in my opinion) that wonderful things are going to happen once this guitar actually gets played on a regular basis.
This guitar has some of the most luscious Brazilian you'll see, with incredible figure. The guitar store owner jumped on this particular one of the four partly because of the Brazilian figuring, and partly because of the tone. While I am sure all four were spectacular, this is the one he felt was the most exemplary of the group. The craftsmanship on these instruments is top-notch, as you'd expect. They are a beautiful instrument to look at and play, from the gorgeous inlay work on the fretboard, peghead, pickguard and bridge, to the reproduction mosaic inlay strip on the back, to the Abalone purfling (which is just about everywhere it possibly can be, and yet never looks overdone.) The Banjo tuners are a very cool touch - they have never been used on any other Martin guitar, part of the effort to maintain the uniqueness of this model. They are certainly novel at first if you have not used anything like this, but you get used to it really quickly - tuning is actually very fast and easy once you get the touch, although things definitely move more quickly with the higher gear ratio. These tuners are historically accurate and have the same pearloid finish used on the tuners of the original 14 instruments.
The original 14 Martin OM-45 Deluxe models are among the rarest guitars
in the world, and their value is reflective of that rarity. Between the
four limiteds of this run and the 18 Golden Era instruments made in 1998,
that's a total of only 32 guitars produced in 74 years! With Martin’s
current 10,000+ dollar Brazilian surcharge, you couldn't walk out of a dealer
with a new one of these for less than $25,000, if you could even get one
built - Martin is obviously seeking to keep this model very special and
very rare. This instrument listed at $28,000 in 2000 before Martin put the
brakes on the use of Brazilian Rosewood for production instruments.
Includes original hardshell case, case key, Warranty paperwork, and hang tag, as well as a Martin custom shop pamphlet.