Retrofret Stock # 8117. C. F. Martin 000-18 Model Acoustic Guitar (1952), made in Nazareth, PA, serial # 125319, natural lacquer finish, mahogany back, sides and neck, spruce top; rosewood fingerboard, black hard shell case. On the whole the auditorium-sized 000-18 is not one of Martin's rarer or more storied creations, but to many players and Martin fans it constitutes one of the company's most beloved combinations of wood, wire, and inspiration. The 000-sized mahogany body coupled with an X-braced braced spruce top makes for a very responsive guitar; the larger but narrow-waisted 14-fret form contributes both depth and clarity to the sound. This 000-18 was built in mid-1952, one of a total of 550 examples of the model shipped that year. It incorporates typical period features, with a long-saddle rosewood bridge, tortoise celluloid pickguard, and some of the last of the just-post-war open back Kluson tuners, eventually replaced with the familiar closed-back Kluson Deluxe design. While not a particularly expensive guitar by 1950s standards, listing at $105.00 (plus case) the 000-18 still represented a substantial investment for many players. This is not a flashy guitar; compared to its more decorative rosewood sister the 000-28, the trim is discreet with thin tortoise celluloid on the body edges and a simple multiple sound hole ring. In classic Martin style, the elegant understatement speaks for itself. Despite its humble appearance the 000-18 was always absolutely suitable as a fully professional instrument. The 000-18 was then and is now an extremely versatile guitar which can be used to play effectively in virtually any style of music.Overall length is 38 3/4 in. (98.4 cm.), 15 1/8 in. (38.4 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 guitar is very well-played but remains an excellent example, just emerged from a recent neck set and refret and ready for the decades to come. It remains otherwise all original except for a correct-style repro pickguard. There is some average finish wear overall, but the only large area of loss to the lacquer is on the back of the neck. The top has a lot of small dings and dents (a few through the finish into the wood), but the only major pickwear is to the bottom lip of the sound hole. There are several repaired spruce grain top cracks, two behind the treble half of the bridge down to the rim with a fairly deep "case lid" ding tangential to it. There is another old repaired grain split in the typical spot above the top edge of the pickguard, and one more off the 'guard's front edge. The guitar's finish overall has a smoky patina and exudes the classic "old Martin" vibe, while the sound is bright and fairly dry, with a lot of pop to the upper mids but an overriding sweetness. Very Good + Condition.
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