The C F Martin 000-15S is part of the ’15’ series, using mahogany for the top, back, sides and neck and a 000-size body. The ‘S’ in the name indicates a slotted peghead on a 12-fret neck. The slotted peghead allows greater downbearing at the nut, and a bit more clarity, definition and sustain to open string notes.
The C. F. Martin 000-15S Steel String Guitar body size looks back to Martin’s early history, first appearing in 1906 as the 000-18. Previously, the 0 and 00 sizes drew from Georg Stauffer and traditional designs. As far back as the 1820s, C F Martin worked with Stauffer in Vienna, Austria as shop foreman. In 1833 he moved to New York, finally settling in the more familiarly Germanic area of Nazareth, Pennsylvania. The early guitars built there strongly resemble the ‘0’ body size.
These body designs produce a well balanced, even tone with good representation across the frequency range. As the body size increases, the potential for output volume does too – the 000 is the loudest of the group. The use of mahogany for the top provides a warm, rich tone, not quite as bright or sparkly as spruce can provide.