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2002 Custom Shop 5-String Bass

2002 Custom Shop 5-String Bass


When it comes to acoustic bass guitars, those of the 5-string variety have historically been few and far between.  Among these, a 5-string Martin is a pretty rare bird indeed. A Martin Custom Shop 5-String Cutaway with Style 41 appointments and an abalone Tree of Life fingerboard inlay is, quite frankly, a unicorn!  Whether or not this instrument is one-of-a-kind, we cannot say, but we can say that we’ve never seen another like it in all of our collective years in this business!  As one would expect from a Martin, this bass presents a firm and earthy note foundation with a strong overall projection.  By virtue of its smaller jumbo size, which is a little more compact than some super jumbo bodies often employed in acoustic bass design, there is a brighter and more focused edge to the note.  This is particularly helpful with regard to the presence of the low B string on this bass, as this string can otherwise readily become muddy or weak on acoustic basses in general, which struggle to project a note at such a low register.  Fortunately, this Custom Shop BC5-40 also comes equipped with an undersaddle pickup, so it can readily be used live or with a small amp in an acoustic jam, should the player require just a little boost.  Needless to say, this bass is tremendous instrument and an exceptionally rare find for any serious bass enthusiast.



By all indications, this bass spent a great deal of time being safely stored in its case.  In part, this is evident in that the guitar has very little evidence of play wear—the most glaring points of wear are: a ding on the bass side upper bout, a little marring to the finish above the bridge between the strings, and a shallow dent on the top at lower bass side.  However, this bass has some blemished sections of finish that are indicative of long-term encapsulation and prolonged contact with a strap.  With regard to the former, there are some sections of dark tan discoloration to the top finish and in what is otherwise white binding that surrounds the fingerboard tongue—this is most evident in the binding around the neck joint at the cutaway.  Meanwhile, we note some very subtle finish pimples  on the bass side of the back, running parallel to the center seam.  Again, this pimpling is likely attributed to interaction with a strap, but fortunately it is quite minor. EXCELLENT Condition.

  • Jumbo Acoustic Bass Body
  • Venetian Cutaway
  • Solid 7-8 Grade Spruce Top
  • Scalloped 5/16” Acoustic Bass Top Bracing
  • Solid Indian Rosewood Back and Sides
  • White Boltaron Binding
  • Style 41 Top Pearl Purfling
  • Style 45 Select Pearl Rosette
  • Style 28 Checkered Backstrip
  • Polished Clear Lacquer Body Finish with Dark Filler
  • Mahogany 5-String Bass Neck
  • Striped Ebony Fingerboard
  • Tree of Life Fingerboard Inlay
  • Indian Rosewood Headstock Veneer
  • 5-String Bass Neck Carve
  • Chemcraft Sheen Neck Finish with Dark Mahogany Stain and Dark Filler
  • Striped Ebony Belly Bridge
  • Chrome Bass Tuners
  • Black Pickguard
  • White Corian Nut
  • White Micarta Saddle
  • 1 ¾” Nut Width
  • 2 13/16” String Spacing at the Bridge
  • 15” Scale Length
  • Martin Thinline Pickup Installed
  • Original 300-Series Flat Top Hard Case
Model CS BC5-40
Serial Number(s) 862932