National Music Museum Logo   National Music Museum  
Home  Collections
Virtual Tour
Calendar Gift Shop FAQ Site Index Maker Index


NMM 10886.  Guitar by C. F. Martin & Co., Nazareth, Pennsylvania, 2001.
Shawn Colvin M3SC Grand Auditorium Signature Edition. 
Prototype 3 of 3.
Gift of Shawn Colvin, Austin, Texas, 2005.

NMM 10886.  Guitar by C. F. Martin & Co., Nazareth, Pennsylvania, 2001.

Over the last twenty years, C. F. Martin & Co. has increasingly explored custom guitars as well as limited and artists' editions as a means of expressing the creative heritage of the company and its skilled craftsmen and craftswomen. The artists' editions in particular have provided the means for interaction between Martin and top musicians who wish to be involved in the process of building their ideal guitar. Since 1986, when Christian Frederick Martin IV became leader of the company, the limited edition program has expanded and flourished.

The creation of the M3SC began in 1997 when Shawn Colvin met with Dick Boak, Martin's head of artist relations. Colvin's principal guitar was a 1970s D-28, but they were interested in pursuing a model that was somewhat smaller and more ergonomic. In 2001, a distinctive model was conceived, with three-piece back of mahogany and rosewood, abalone rosette, and imitation tortoise-shell bindings. The model was available to the public for a limited time in 2002. NMM 10886 is one of two prototypes sent to Colvin in 2001. It was used extensively by her until she donated it to the National Music Museum in September, 2005. She is now using Prototype 1 of 3.

Shawn Colvin was born and raised in Vermillion, where her mother ran The Looking Glass, just down the street from the NMM. She is known primarily as a folk singer/songwriteróSunny Came Home won Grammy awards for Song of the Year and Record of the Year in 1998óbut she also formed the Shawn Colvin Band, a hard-rock outfit, and sang with the Dixie Diesels, a Western swing band.

Shawn Colvin

Inscriptions:  Laser etched on neck block:  [cursive lettering curved downward at each end] C. F. Martin & Co. / Est. 1833 / Sha[wn Colvin] [remaining lettering, if any, hidden by pickup battery mount] / M3SC / 832154 / U.S.PATENT NO. 5,461,958

Printed in purple ink on trapezoidal paper label: [cursive lettering curved downward at each end] C. F. Martin & Co.® / Shawn Colvin / M-3SC / Signature Edition / [facsimile Shawn Colvin signature in blue ink underlined in black ink] / Shawn Colvin [in black ink] / [facsimile C. F. Martin IV signature in blue ink underlined in black ink] / C. F. Martin IV [in black ink] / Prototype # 3 of 3 / The Martin Guitar Company / Nazareth, Pennsylvania USA

Branded on bass back graft: [lettering curved downward at each end] C.F.MARTIN & Co / — · — / NAZARETH, PA. / MADE IN U.S.A.

Brass lettering on head: [lettering curved downward at each end] CFMartin&Co. [sic] / EST. 1833

Stamped on each machine head mechanism cover: [cursive lettering curved downward at each end] CFMartin [sic]

Label in guitar

Front, Back, and Side Views

Front of Colvin guitar Bass side of Colvin guitar Treble side of Colvin guitar Back of Colvin guitar

Body:  Soundboard:  two-piece Engelmann spruce, medium, wavy grain broadening toward the flanks. Back: two-piece mahogany with one wedge-shaped rosewood section at center, wider on the lower end. Ribs:  two-piece mahogany. Head:  mahogany veneered with mahogany and rosewood on front face, the rosewood forming a wedge with wider part near nut, the mahogany and rosewood divided by black-light-black hardwood purfling strips. Neck:  mahogany; integral with head.

Front of Colvin guitar Back of Colvin guitar


Fretboard, Soundhole, and Pick Guard


Pick Guard

Trim:  Heel cap:  imitation-tortoise-shell celluloid. Fingerboard:  ebony; rounded edge on lower end; 20 nickel-silver frets; single white plastic side dots behind 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 15th, and 17th frets; double white plastic dots behind 12th fret. Bridge:  ebony with curved lower edge; angled, white Micarta saddle; ebony bridge pins with abalone eyes. Tuners:  six chrome-plated, steel. worm-gear machine tuners; ebony heads with abalone eyes. Endpin:  chrome-plated steel jack plug. Pick guard:  imitation tortoise-shell plastic (printed with tortoise-shell pattern rather than marbleized). Varnish:  clear, with matte finish on back of head.

Front and Back of Peghead

Front of Martin guitar peghead Back of Martin guitar peghead

Neck Heel, Bridge, and Lower End

Neck Heel

Lower end of guitar

Inlay:  Binding:  imitation-tortoise-shell celluloid; thin five-ply (black-white-black-white-black) celluloid purfling strip trim on top; thin two-ply (white-black) purfling strip trim on back and ribs. Rosette:  wide band of abalone surrounded on each side by three-ply strips of black-whiteblack celluloid purfling, set in from edge. Back stripes:  back stripes between mahogany and rosewood sections comprised of five-ply alternating strips of light and black hardwood, the black strips on the outsides. End graft:  imitation-tortoise-shell celluloid end graft strip (slightly wider toward top than bottom) surrounded by thin white and black celluloid purfling on each side (2 strips each).

Shawn Colvin and her parents pose by her Martin guitar

Shawn Colvin and her parents sing 'This Land is Your Land' during banquet

Shawn Colvin sings with her parents during banquet

Shawn Colvin poses by her Martin guitar

Click on thumbnail images above to see larger images.

Shawn Colvin, accompanied by her parents, Barbara and Bob Colvin, played the Martin Prototype 3/3 guitar in an impromptu sing-along during a banquet following the dedication of the Great American Guitars exhibition on October 14, 2005.

Interior:  Linings:  kerfed mahogany. Neck block:  mahogany. End block:  maple plywood; chamfered corners on all sides. Top bracing:  spruce X-brace, the joint of main cross brace reinforced with white cotton flannel; scalloped transverse braces in lower bouts; small finger brace of low height in lower bout; maple bridge plate; trapezoidal maple plywood pickup battery mount adjacent to neck block. Back braces:  four spruce back braces. Back graft:  two spruce back grafts, one each along joints of mahogany and rosewood. Electronics:  white plastic pickup battery mount screwed to neck block and top reinforcement; red and black wires through gray plastic mounts glued to bass rib, passing to plug/endpin in end block.

Measurements:  Total guitar length:  1010 mm (39-3/4″)
Back length:  512 mm (20-5/32″)
Upper bout width:  296 mm (11-21/32″)
Waist width:  249 mm (9-13/16″)
Lower bout width:  408 mm (16-1/16″)
Rib height (including edging) at heel:  83 mm (3-1/4″)
Rib height, at waist:  95 mm (3-3/4″)
Rib height, at end block:  103 mm (4-1/16″)
Head length:  164 mm (6-7/16″)
Head width, top:  73 mm (2-7/8″)
Head width, bottom:  57 mm (2-1/4″)
Neck length (nut to ribs):  357 mm (14-1/16″)
Neck width, nut:  43 mm (1-11/16″)
Neck width, heel:  55 mm (2-5/32″)
Soundhole diameter:  102 mm (4″)
Vibrating string length (nut to bridge edge):  high E:  646 mm (25-7/16″); low E:  649 mm (25-9/16″)

Accessories: Original molded black plastic case with imitation-leather-texture, [cursive lettering curved downward at each end] C. F. Martin & Co. in depressed lettering on lid, green plush lining, chrome-plated steel hardware, and black plastic handle, decorated with white line drawing of six heads in silhouette.

Return to Martin Guitar and Mandolin Checklist

National Music Museum
The University of South Dakota
414 East Clark Street
Vermillion, SD 57069

©National Music Museum, 2005-2014
Most recent update: March 24, 2014

The University of South Dakota
Return to Top of Page