New Stephen Stills Signature Edition<br>Pays Tribute To Timeless Martin 000 12-fret Design
Source: Sounding Board Newsletter Vol 18 - Jan. 2005
000-45S Stephen Stills
Stephen Stills loves Martin guitars. He plays them. He writes songs on them. He writes about them (in the introduction of "Martin Guitars, an Illustrated Celebration of America's Premier Guitarmaker"). He collects them. But most of all, he appreciates them. As he so eloquently observes regarding his own Martins, "they are all among the finest examples of the luthier's art form in existence."
In 1998, Stephen Stills worked closely with Martin to create the D-45SS Signature Edition, a guitar inspired by the original Martin D-45 produced between 1933 and 1942, of which he owns two. His passion for the project and attention to detail resulted in perhaps the most beautiful and most sought-after artist edition guitar so far. Only 91 D-45SS Signature Edition guitars were built, and today the demand for those beauties far exceeds the supply.
After the success of the D-45SS, Stills went back to work making music. In truth, he probably should be considered a force of nature: after nearly 40 years, two Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions with Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills & Nash (both in 1997), dozens of albums and hundreds of concerts, this musical legend is busier than ever. In 2004 alone, he toured with Crosby, Stills & Nash, received the UNICEF Children's Champion Award, put the finishing touches on a new solo album scheduled for release early in 2005, participated in interviews for a three-DVD Crosby, Stills & Nash video package and helped prepare his long-awaited "Best Of" solo anthology.
To top it off, Stephen's wife Kristen gave birth to Oliver Ragland Stills in October of 2004.
The 000-45S Stephen Stills Signature Edition captures most of the design details of the original 12-fret 000-45, including the use of rare select Adirondack spruce for the soundboard. The 1/4" Adirondack spruce top braces are forward-shifted and carefully scal-loped for optimal tone.
Carved from genuine mahogany, the neck like-wise matches the original: 1-13/16" at the nut, modified V shape, square slotted headstock with the historic "C. F. Martin & Co." pressure stamp on the back, elongated diamond volute and old style pointed heel. The 25.4" long scale provides power to complement the design's rich, balanced tone. Back and sides are crafted from select quality East Indian rosewood for rich and resonant bass response.
Select abalone pearl is utilized throughout in the Style 45 body inlays: around the perimeter of the top, fingerboard extension, back, sides, end piece, neck joint and rosette. In each case, the inlay is accented with mitered black/white wood fiber lines. Vintage depth grained ivoroid binding protects the top, back and sides, and this same handsome material also serves as the end piece and heel cap. A Golden Era® Style 45 multi-colored mosaic backstrip bisects the back.
On the neck, both the polished East Indian rosewood headplate and the black African ebony fingerboard are bound in grained ivoroid and inset with mitered black/white wood fiber inlays. The headplate showcases "C. F. Martin" in Golden Era® Style 45 block letters of abalone pearl, and Waverly Irving Sloane side mounted tuners with open gears, engraved mounting plates and ivoroid buttons. Style 45 abalone "snowflake" position marker inlays grace the fingerboard from the 1st to the 15th frets, with Stephen Stills distinctive signature inlaid in mother of pearl between the 17th and 20th frets.
In the tradition of the original 000-45, the Stephen Stills Signature Edition sports a black African ebony pyramid bridge. The non-compensated saddle, nut, bridge and end pins all are fashioned from fossilized ivory, with the latter two topped with black pearl dot inlays. Like the originals, this guitar is not equipped with a pickguard. Adding to its traditional appearance is the medium straw hue of vintage toner on the top and the rich brown of dark mahogany stain on the neck. Both the body and neck are flawlessly finished in polished gloss lacquer.
The new Stephen Stills Signature Edition comes with a Geib style Vintage Series hardshell case.
A left-handed version may be ordered without additional cost. A range of sound reinforcement options can be included in the instrument for an additional charge.
Only 91 000-45S Stephen Stills Signature Edition guitars will be built, a number that matches the total production of D-45SS guitars. Each 000-45 Stephen Stills Signature edition bears an interior label personally signed by Stephen Stills and Martin Chairman C.F. Martin IV and numbered in sequence with the edition total. A second adjacent label shows the original cover from the solo album STEPHEN STILLS, which bears the image of Stephen's vintage 000-45S as well as the image of a giraffe, Stills' good luck object for many years.
Authorized C.F. Martin dealers will take orders for the 000-45 Stephen Stills Signature Edition beginning immediately and continuing until the edition is fully subscribed. After all the orders are received, the names of participating dealers will be available on this website.