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View Full Version : Diff. btwn. Martin 2-20 & 2-30?



mrmando
Oct-16-2009, 1:22pm
Anyone know which specs differ between the Martin 2-20 and 2-30 mandos? Quick look at photos shows the 2-30 has a short treble fretboard extension and the 2-20 doesn't; are there any other consistent differences?

allenhopkins
Oct-16-2009, 3:12pm
Looking at descriptions in Mike Longworth's book, Martin Guitars; A History, the main differences seem to be:
2-20 has a bound top only, 2-30 has a triple-bound top, bound back, and bound pickguard;
2-30 specifies "curly maple" for back and sides;
from the pictures on p. 90 of Longworth's book, the 2-30 appears to have thicker headstock binding;
as you pointed out, the 2-30 has an extended fretboard, while the 2-20's ends "flat" around the 22nd fret.

Otherwise pretty much the same. According to Longworth, the 2-20 sold new in the late '30's for $85, the 2-30 was $135. I would guess that choice of wood and ornamentation were the main differences.

mrmando
Oct-16-2009, 3:20pm
I found a photo of a 2-20 with a tortoiseshell (presumably celluloid) headstock overlay; can't tell whether the 2-30 also had it. Conversely, am looking at a photo of a 2-30 with engraved TPC, but can't tell if that came standard on the 2-20 as well.

Anywho, thanks, that's helpful.

Jim Garber
Oct-16-2009, 4:28pm
I don't have any ref bks at hand but I believe that that tortoise overlay was used only at times during that period. I have seen a style 17 guitar with it and without it. Might depend on the particular year.

delsbrother
Oct-16-2009, 9:44pm
According to the new edition Johnston/Boak reference book, the 2-30 had bound everything, including headstock, fingerboard, and pickguard. It also had diamond and square fingerboard inlay, instead of the 2-20's dots.

The book also pictures a 1936 2-20 with a wide (almost mandola-sized) body, solid peghead, and unbound, extended fingerboard - all things the 2-20 wasn't supposed to have.

According to the production records there were also batches of 2-20s made from '49-57. Do you know what the serial number is of yours, Martin?

mrmando
Oct-18-2009, 2:50am
I hasn't gots one, yet, although that may be changing soon. I did note the diamond inlays on the 2-30. I'll keep you posted.

Do either of the books mention total production numbers on those models? I see a Web page claiming that only 106 of the 2-20s were made; is that correct? How about 2-30s?

My friend Edd has an incredible-sounding 2-15; I always keep an eye out for those, but a 2-20 or 2-30 would be even nicer to have.

allenhopkins
Oct-19-2009, 12:49pm
Again according to Longworth's book:

Year... 2-20... 2-30
1936... 22 ... 12
1937... 12 ... 0
1938... 12... 1
1939... 12... 21
1940... 24... 12
1941... 24... 12
1942... 0... 6

Plus one lone 2-30 made in 1961.

So you have 106 2-20's and 65 2-30's. Longworth only goes through 1973, but I doubt any have been made since, other than special orders.

Darryl Wolfe
Oct-19-2009, 1:30pm
Randy Wood has a 2-20 that is bound everywhere but the peghead

manjitsu
Oct-19-2009, 4:12pm
Ridiculously fortunate person that I am, I've got one of each - a 1938 2-20 and a 1940 2-30. The only differences between my two are that the 2-30 has a bound peghead and pickguard (the 2-20 doesn't) and the 2-30 has a maple neck while the 2-20 has mahogany. The 2-30 also has the slotted diamond fretboard marker inlays while the 2-20 has plain, round markers. Aside from the slightly higher grade wood on the 2-30, those are 'bout the only differences I'm aware of.

Chris

mrmando
Oct-19-2009, 4:47pm
So does this mean that your 2-20 has a fretboard extension, or that your 2-30 doesn't have one?

delsbrother
Oct-19-2009, 5:42pm
The new Johnston/Boak book lists small batches of 2-20s being made from '49-57, but doesn't list detailed specs. Can you imagine someone in Nazareth carving archtop mandos in the '50s? For whom? The Bluegrass crowd? Buy the D28/2-20 special package?

mrmando
Oct-19-2009, 5:52pm
The new Johnston/Boak book lists small batches of 2-20s being made from '49-57, but doesn't list detailed specs. Can you imagine someone in Nazareth carving archtop mandos in the '50s? For whom? The Bluegrass crowd? Buy the D28/2-20 special package?

Before there were Elvis impersonators, there were Blue Sky Boys impersonators. They had to have the right gear...

Did Ira Louvin ever play a Martin?

manjitsu
Oct-19-2009, 6:26pm
So does this mean that your 2-20 has a fretboard extension, or that your 2-30 doesn't have one?

Oops ... my mistake. That's a difference, too. The 2-30 has the extension, the 2-20 has none, as per the books.

-Chris