C. F. Martin 000-18 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1967)

C. F. Martin  000-18 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1967)
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Item # 9145
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C. F. Martin 000-18 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1967), made in Nazareth, PA, serial # 219802, natural lacquer finish, mahogany back, sides and neck, spruce top, brown hard shell case.

This is a great sounding 000-18 from the end of the "guitar boom" era, with a feel still more like the older Martins than the more heavily built '70's instruments to come. The top still has old-style tortoise celluloid pickguard, but edges bound with the newly-introduced black outer layer. Other typical features include a short-saddle rosewood bridge, Grover Sta-Tite tuners with hexagonal bushings and a typical '60's rounded-edge peghead.

To many players and Martin fans, the 000-18 has always been one of the company's most propitious and beloved combinations of wood, wire, and inspiration. The mahogany back and sides coupled with a spruce top makes for a transparent but warm and responsive guitar; the 15" wide narrow-waisted 000-size body contributes both depth and clarity to the sound.

By '60s standards the 000-18 was a fairly expensive guitar listing at $270.00 (plus case) by early 1967. This represented a substantial investment to many players as the increasingly popular D-18 could be had for only $25 more. This example was built in the first quarter that year, one of 625 shipped the up-to-then peak production year for the model. Still, the D-18 sold over 2600 units that same year, making the 000 something of a rarity by comparison. With 50+ years of ageing this is an excellent fingerpicker's instrument but also has plenty of punch and clarity as a straight rhythm machine as well.
Overall length is 39 7/8 in. (101.3 cm.), 15 3/16 in. (38.6 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 24 3/4 in. (629 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.).
This mahogany 000 remains nicely original and an excellent player, with a recent neckset and clean period-correct refret. The finish is nicely aged, finely checked and deeply ambered but does not show excessive wear. There are some pick marks to the top, centered in the area just in front of the pickguard. The heaviest wear is to the top edge of the soundhole rim, which has been worn down into the wood. There are no alterations and just some relatively minor repairs.

The finish on the back and sides shows some heavier checking but not much wear, and the back of the neck is very clean. There is one repaired grain crack to the back from the bottom edge just below the center seam, other than that the guitar is crack free. There is a small patch re-inforcing the bottom edge of the soundhole where it is most heavily worn. The original small maple bridgeplate is intact, and the original bridge has been reglued but was never cut down. Well past its 50th birthday this guitar feels and sounds even "older" than it actually is, with a nice dry but still mellow ring reminiscent of 1950's mahogany 000's. A sweet guitar and extremely friendly playing Martin. It is housed in a later brown HSC. Overall Excellent Condition.