Steve Miller’s 000C Pegasus Cutaway
Source: Sounding Board Newsletter Vol 18 - Jan. 2005
000C Steve Miller
Steve Miller has been a busy man in the four years since Martin introduced his beautiful and very popular 00-37KSM and 00-37K2SM Signature Edition guitars. In 2002 came release of "King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents the Steve Miller Band," a double CD set that captures the band and its leader at their 1970s best. In 2003, "Young Hearts: Complete Greatest Hits," a remastered (with lots of personal input) "best of" album spanning his entire career, arrived in record stores. Also in 2003, he wrote the foreword to "Martin Guitar Masterpieces," Dick Boak's handsome book on Martin artist editions, limited editions and custom guitars. After extended concert tours in 2000 and 2003, the band resumed touring in 2004, headlining the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, The Beal Street Blues Festival, and the Aspen Jazz Festival, in addition to doing multiple benefits and shed concerts.
Along the way, for good measure, he collaborated with Martin on the design of an impressive new Martin guitar: the 000C Steve Miller Pegasus Signature Edition. Pegasus, the winged horse of Greek mythology, is Miller's personal logo and appears on many of his albums and custom instruments.
A Martin devotee with more than 40 years on the rock and blues music scene (as detailed in Volume 9 July 2000 "Sounding Board," available on the Martin web site), Steve Miller appreciates superb sounding, easy playing, understated guitars. Like his previous Signature Editions, the 000C "Pegasus" derives its beauty and tone from spectacular tonewoods, elegant appointments and subtle (and not so subtle) design elements. The 000C Steve Miller Pegasus Signature Edition clearly is a guitar built for comfort. This true 000 features the short 24.9" scale, which lowers string tension and shortens the distance between frets. The rounded Venetian cut-away provides easy access to the entire fingerboard. The OM width fingerboard (1-3/4" at the nut) and low oval neck enhance fretting ease. A chrome strap button and factory-installed non-invasive Fishman Ellipse Blend System electronics contribute to stage or studio-readiness right out of the case. Superb solid tonewoods throughout result in impressive tone. The top of Engelmann spruce, prized for quick response and rich timbre, features Martin's Hybrid scalloped bracing. The back and sides are crafted from solid quilted mahogany with lightly quilted figuring, while the neck is straight-grained genuine mahogany.
Enhancing the beauty of the woods are graceful inlays. A colorful abalone pearl rosette surrounds the soundhole, while fine-pattern herringbone purfling encircles the top. The backstrip features the multi-colored Style 45 mosaic, in this case bordered with fine black fiber lines. Both back and sides are bound with grained ivoroid and accented with black/white/black line inlays. Both the heelcap and end piece showcase matching grained ivoroid, the latter framed with black/white/black line inlays.
The black African ebony fingerboard and headplate are bound with grained ivoroid and inset with black/white fine line inlays. The polished headplate showcases the exquisite "alternative" torch inlay, first used and abandoned in 1902, only to reappear nearly 100 years later on selected Martin Limited and Signature Editions (including Steve's first limited edition models). In keeping with Miller's preference, the fingerboard highlights the wood itself, unsullied by position markers or a signature.
To match the headplate and fingerboard, the belly bridge and bridge pins are all crafted from black ebony, the latter two topped with pearl dots. Also matching is the polished and beveled black pickguard. The nut is genuine bone, while the compensated drop-in through saddle is crafted from Tusq, a synthetic material that imparts crisp, clear tone. The 000C Steve Miller Pegasus Signature Edition is finished with polished gloss lacquer on the body and neck. Vintage toner on the top gives the instrument a touch of "old Martin" patina. Delivered in a special Geib style hardshell case with black interior and black hard-ware, each 000C Steve Miller Pegasus Signature Edition bears an interior label personally signed by Steve Miller, Martin Artist Relations Manager Dick Boak, and Martin Chairman C. F. Martin IV. Each label will be consecutively numbered with the edition total. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each 000C Steve Miller Pegasus model will support The Snake River Alliance, an Idaho-based community organization working through research, education, and community advocacy for peace and justice, the end of nuclear weapons production activities, and responsible solutions to nuclear waste and contamination. Authorized Martin dealers will take orders for the 000C Steve Miller Pegasus Signature Edition for a limited time. Following completion of the ordering period, the edition total and names of participating dealers will be posted on this site.