Museum: Martin Guitars

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1952 Martin 000-18

Serial # 127277. A beautifully-kept early 1950's 000-18, single-family owned until very recently. The guitar is in wonderful condition, and is crack free other than a minor pickguard crack that was repaired by us. Original finish is particularly well-preserved and shows very little in the way of play-wear. The headstock's edges are crisp, the back of the neck is largely unworn, and there are surprisingly few dings, dents, and scratches to be found on the body. The guitar was stored in its original case - complete with canvas shroud - for years until finding its way to Folkway for a neck reset three years back.

New frets, aged bone nut and saddle by us; original nut and saddle furnished with the guitar. Original Kluson octagonal tuning machines (in amazing condition), original unmodified bridge that's never been reglued, all brace glue-joints are factory original and tight, original endpin and bridgepins. Post-war 000-18's don't really get much finer than this example -- both in condition and playability.

But this guitar is so much more than just a 'looker'. It's one you'll want to play. Its voice is mature, open, dry, and woody. Treble stings are very present, round, and full-bodied; mid-range is well-developed, and bass is open and rich. It's a great one for most any fingerpicker, but those with a harder right-hand attack will really enjoy the mid-range and upper-mids this guitar has to offer. Most post-war 000-18's we've played over the years don't offer the response and excellent headroom of this guitar.

Sitka spruce top with mahogany back and sides, standard post-war style 18 appointments -- tortoise-celluloid bindings and pickguard, long-saddle rosewood bridge, rosewood fingerboard with pearl dot markers, black pins. Deepish-feeling very rounded V shaped neck with nut-width of 1-11/16". String spread at the bridge is 2-1/8". Action currently set at 5-7 64ths with ideal neck relief.

With original case and liner

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