C. F. Martin 00-18 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1962)

C. F. Martin  00-18 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1962)
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Item # 9191
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C. F. Martin 00-18 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1962), made in Nazareth, PA, serial # 184256, natural lacquer finish, mahogany body and neck, spruce top, Brazilian rosewood fingerboard and bridge, original black hard shell case.

This very nice 1962 00-18 is a typical "Folk Era" grand concert model, built a couple of years before Martin's move to a new larger factory in 1964 led to a host of production changes. It retains the classic older style features including the "long saddle" rosewood bridge, tortoise celluloid outer binding and pickguard, and originally Grover G-98 Sta-Tite tuners. It is more lightly constructed than later '60s examples and has a very lively sound.

474 00-18s were shipped in 1962, priced at all of $155, plus case. At the time the large Dreadnought guitars were becoming ever more popular, and soon enough eclipsed these smaller-bodied flat tops in sales. These days the smaller Martins are once again more appreciated, and have experienced a renaissance among players of many styles. This mahogany 00 is one of Martin's most versatile designs, equally at home fingerpicking ragtime and blues, as a strummer's songwriting and recording mainstay, leading a band onstage with a pickup added or just as a perfect couch guitar.
Overall length is 39 3/8 in. (100 cm.), 14 3/8 in. (36.5 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 lovely little Martin shows some wear and repair but plays perfectly and sounds fabulous. The top has small isolated areas of pickwear through the finish above and below the fingerboard, and some worn-away spots on the lower soundhole rim. The rest of the top has comparatively little wear with just some random dings and dents. The top lacquer has ambered nicely shows fairly light checking, the back and sides have survived with hardly any. Overall the finish has some dings, dents, scrapes but no large areas of wear.

There are some older repairs, this guitar likely was left poorly humidified for a while at some time in the past. The top has several tightly repaired spruce grain crack behind the bridge running to the lower rim. There are small typical grain pulls at each edge of the pickguard and a longer grain split from the forward edge of the pickguard to the front edge of the upper treble bout. All these are sealed tightly with no overspray or touch up added to the finish. The back and sides are crack free.

There is an old clean neck re-set and the original frets show a bit of wear in the first positions just under the B string, but not enough to impede play. The tuners are modern Waverly branded exact replacements for the original Grover Sta-Tite pegs, mounted with no extra drilling. There is a strap button added to the treble side of the heel and the mark from one that used to be mounted on the bass side of the heel. The original rosewood bridge is still intact, it looks to have been lowered slightly on the front edge long ago. There is plenty of saddle and the action is nice and friendly, this guitar plays very well with a strong crisp yet warm tone, surprisingly powerful for an instrument this size. It includes a cool original HSC, which was an expensive option back in 1962 as most of these were sold cased in chipboard! Excellent - Condition.