C. F. Martin 0-18 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1964)

C. F. Martin  0-18 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1964)
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Item # 9891
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C. F. Martin 0-18 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1964), made in Nazareth, PA, serial # 193917, natural lacquer finish, mahogany back, sides and neck, spruce top, rosewood fingerboard, original black hard shell case.

This is a lovely and beautifully preserved Martin 0-18 from the beginning of 1964, the year the guitar boom went stratospheric. Starting in 1958 the Kingston Trio helped make Martin guitar the height of fashion, but after the Beatles hit guitar sales climbed to unprecedented heights. This 0-18 dates to very early that year, and was probably on the finishing racks as the Ed Sullivan show went out February 9, 1964! A total of 550 of these small body, spruce to guitars were shipped that year, each costing $154.50 without the case -- a fairly significant sum at the time!

The concert sized, 14-fret mahogany body carries many traditional Martin features including tortoise celluloid binding on the body edges, tortoise celluloid pickguard, long-saddle Brazilian rosewood bridge, and a nicely ambered nitrocellulose lacquer finish. This guitar, like all before mid-1964, is still the product of the old original red brick Martin factory. It was actually made not long before the move to the modern facility down the road was completed in July 1964. By that time this 0-18 was probably already in someone's hands, or at least on a dealer's shop wall!

The headstock corners are the rounded style typical of the period, with the peghead face adorned with the "CF Martin" gold decal on the face and individual Grover Sta-Tite G98 openback tuners with hexagonal bushings. The neck is slimmer than some earlier models, with a soft "V" profile without a noticeable spine. These are lovely-sounding instruments; this one has plenty of volume (a lot more than many expect in a smaller guitar) and an even ringing tone. This is a superb-playing and sounding guitar, far better preserved than most from this period and a joy to play.
 
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.).

Overall an excellent and original guitar with just some typical maintenance work and only very light wear. There are no cracks to the instrument and only minor signs of use from the past 55+ years. The top finish has minimal wear with only a few small dings and scrapes. The rest of the lacquer shows small dings, scuffs and dents but no major loss.

The neck cleanly reset, a new bone saddle fabricated for the original full-height bridge and the original frets, which have plenty of life left, have a fresh grind and polish so playability is excellent. The headstock has only a couple of spots of edge wear and the original tuners are bright and shiny. The interior is clean and free of repair, with an original unblemished small maple bridge plate. This is a truly excellent vintage small-body Martin, one of the last from the original factory; fine-sounding and playing, a product of the 1960's that will be making music well into the 21st century and beyond. Excellent + Condition.