C. F. Martin 0-18 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1949)

C. F. Martin  0-18 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1949)

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Item # 8734
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C. F. Martin 0-18 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1949), made in Nazareth, PA, serial # 111802, natural lacquer finish, mahogany back, sides and neck, spruce top, rosewood fingerboard, black tolex hard shell case.

This is an obviously well-loved and heavily played Martin 0-18 from 1949, the model's peak year up to that point with 575 shipped out of Nazareth. This was no "closet classic", but has seen what looks to have been a very active life. The mahogany body with an X-braced spruce top carries the traditional features including tortoise celluloid binding on the edges, tortoise celluloid pickguard, long-saddle Brazilian rosewood bridge, and a deeply ambered nitrocellulose lacquer finish. The headstock corners are the rounded style typical of the period, with the peghead face adorned with a "C.F. Martin" gold decal on the face and fitted with individual Kluson openback tuners typical of the early postwar era.

These small body Martin 0s are lovely-sounding instruments, excellent for fingerpicking or straight rhythm and strumming styles. This one has plenty of volume (more than many expect in a smaller guitar) and a well-balanced tone, deeper than some of this model we have had. Despite its "shabby chic" exterior this is a superb-playing and sounding guitar, showing many obvious signs of decades of heavy use but still a wonderful player's instrument.
 
Overall length is 38 3/4 in. (98.4 cm.), 13 9/16 in. (34.4 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 4 1/4 in. (10.8 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 24 3/4 in. (629 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.).

This is a VERY well-worn guitar, a veteran of thousands of hours of playing over the last 70 years. It has the scars to show for it, and also the sound that the best played-in guitars often develop. It still remains remarkably original, and the repair work that has been done is solid and unobtrusive.

The finish overall shows a lot of wear, and is deeply ambered on the top. There are several large pickwear areas on the top, worn into the wood and darkened from years of play. The back of the neck is down to the wood over much of its surface, with old dings and dents rounded down by years of subsequent playing. There are several old repaired top cracks, solidly sealed but not touched up. The back and sides have a few cracks and dinged areas, all repaired solidly.

The neck has been reset and refretted neatly some time back, and playability is excellent. The bridge is still original, reglued (probably more than once) and lowered just slightly from the front edge. There is a small patch over the center of the original maple bridgeplate. The original tuners are intact; they show a decent amount of corrosion to the plating but still are quite functional. While we love a clean old Martin, this humble 0-18 is a real veteran warhorse and its glory lies in a long if unknown history. Obviously enjoyed by generations of players, this one still has lots of music in it for the next century. Very Good + Condition.