C. F. Martin 00-18 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1956)

C. F. Martin  00-18 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1956)
Just Arrived!
$5,850.00 + shipping
Buy Now
Item # 9721
Prices subject to change without notice.
C. F. Martin 00-18 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1956), made in Nazareth, PA, serial # 148419, natural lacquer finish, mahogany back, sides and neck, spruce top; mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard, black tolex hard shell case.

The 1950s 00-18 is not one of Martin's rarer creations, but to many players and Martin fans constitutes one of the company's most beloved combinations of wood, wire, and inspiration. This is not a flashy guitar; the trim is discreet with tortoise celluloid on the body edges and a simple multiply sound hole ring. In classic Martin style, the elegant understatement speaks for itself.

The 14 1/4" light mahogany body makes for a very responsive guitar, with a nice mix of depth and clarity to the sound. This example was built early in 1956, one of a total of 651 000-18s shipped that year. It has typical period features with tortoise celluloid binding and pickguard, a rosewood belly bridge, and an ambered top finish over some nicely grained spruce. The tuners are the postwar open back single-unit Waverlys, more familiarly used by Gretsch and Danelectro, among others.

While not a particularly expensive guitar by Martin standards, listing at $115.00 (plus case) the 00-18 still represented a substantial investment to many players. Despite its smaller size and lack of flash, the 00-18 remains a fully professional instrument popular with pickers of many styles, and one of Martin's most versatile and timeless classics.
Overall length is 39 1/4 in. (99.7 cm.), 14 1/4 in. (36.2 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 4 in. (10.2 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 24 3/4 in. (629 mm.). Width of nut is 1 5/8 in. (41 mm.).

This is a very well-preserved example overall; it has had a cleanly done neckset and the bridge neatly replaced but appears otherwise unaltered. The finish shows minor checking and light general wear overall; just small scratches, scuffs, and dings mostly. There is only a little of the common pick wear, just some discreet scratches into the finish but not down to the wood, mostly in front of the pickguard. The back and sides have minor scuffs and dings; the lower side has a few deeper dings. The back of the neck is very clean.

There is a typical pickguard crack repaired running back to the bridge from the top edge of the guard; this is caused by shrinking of the celluloid. It is sealed up neatly but visible on close inspection. There are no other cracks on the instrument. The bridge is a modern replacement with a later style short saddle but the original small maple bridgeplate is intact and unaltered. The original frets and fingerboard show only some very light play wear making for an excellent player. This is a very lightly built guitar compared to later examples, with abright ringing sound still with considerable depth. It would make an excellent recording, writing, or performance instrument and is ready to gig, in a solid if somewhat externally worn hard shell case. Overall Excellent Condition.