C. F. Martin 0-18T Flat Top Tenor Guitar (1958)

C. F. Martin  0-18T Flat Top Tenor Guitar  (1958)
This item has been sold.
Item # 10517
Prices subject to change without notice.
C. F. Martin 0-18T Model Flat Top Tenor Guitar (1958), made in Nazareth, PA, serial # 163094, natural lacquer finish, mahogany back, sides and neck, spruce top, rosewood fingerboard, period alligator chipboard case.

The Martin 0-18T is one of the finest and most popular tenor guitars ever made, a lovely and well-balanced design. This is a well-used but great playing example from the watershed year of the "folk" era when the 1960's boom in acoustic instruments really took off. The Kingston Trio hit BIG in 1958-9, and the 0-18T was along for the ride in the hands of group member Nick Reynolds. In 1959 125 were shipped, up from 50 in 1958, of which this is one. Many folk groups who emulated the Trio's sound wanted one of these in their arsenal and the model had a boost in popularity for a few years.

The 0-18T shows typical Martin features including a spruce top, mahogany back, sides and neck, rosewood belly bridge and fingerboard, teardrop celluloid pickguard and 14 fret 23" scale neck. The Brazilian rosewood-faced headstock has a small "C. F. Martin" decal logo and open back Grover Sta-Tite tuners. The spruce top on this guitar has some attractive graining.

Designed in the late 1920s for tenor banjoists getting pushed out of work by the preference for the guitar, tenor guitars like this 0-18T have a range of possibilities to this day still not fully explored. Long before the Kingston Trio exposure in the 1930's Rabon Delmore used small tenor Martin models including the 0-18T to play deftly picked leads on the Delmore Brothers' records, and many others have explored them since. The Martin tenor has enjoyed several upswings in popularity over the years; this is a well-used example with plenty of sound left to offer the 21st century.
Overall length is 35 1/2 in. (90.2 cm.), 13 1/2 in. (34.3 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 4 1/8 in. (10.5 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 23 in. (584 mm.). Width of nut is 1 1/4 in. (32 mm.).

This little Martin tenor has had some hard knocks in its life, but like Orphan Annie has come through stronger than ever. There is a noticeable repair to a large bash on the lower treble bout, affecting both the top and side. Everything was patched back together very solidly but the scars still show; there was no large scale overspray added so the repair is quite visible. There is one sealed grain split on the back and a couple of small ones on the sides.

The top finish has ambered deeply with checking and some fairly heavy wear on both sides of the fingerboard extension, into the wood in spots from heavy strumming. The rest of the finish has dings, dents and scrapes overall. The pickguard is a correct later replacement and the original bridge has been cut down; the good news is that despite (or maybe because of) some heavy use and wear this is a great sounding and super easy playing tenor. This one is a bit of a shaggy dog at the pound; scruffy yes but with a lot of love still to give. ARF ARF! Very Good Condition.