Museum: Martin Guitars

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1932 Martin 0-18 Shade-Top

Serial # 50739. An incredibly lightweight early 14 fret 0-18, with original 'shaded-top' sunburst finish. Simply breathtaking tone, with hugeness that belie the guitar's small size. Wonderful overtones all over the fingerboard, strong, meaty and clear trebles, and surprisingly big basses.

Built at a time of great transition at Martin, the guitar features a mix of then new and old features. The belly bridge, pickguard, and 14 fret body were all very recent design changes in 1932; as was the early all-gold headstock logo. The guitar's gossamer-light build with tiny braces and bridgeplate is reminiscent of the guitars built a decade earlier, and the tuner placement on the guitar's paddle headstock is suggestive of the friction-peg guitars built years earlier. Notice how little space there is at the top of the headstock for the logo!

Crack-free top, a couple of small sides cracks, and original finish to the top and 95% of the sides. Neck reset, reglued original bridge, full-height bar frets, excellent action and feel. There are repairs at the bottom of the guitar's back, and the finish has been redone to the entire back and a small section of side that was injured in the same accident. The color is an excellent match, but the finish is new in appearance. One reglued back brace, no other repairs or modifications to the guitar's bracing.

24.9" scale, 1-3/4" nut with, soft V neck profile, ebony fingerboard with sea snail dot inlay. Original tuners, nut, bridge and endpins. A glorious guitar, and one of the best sounding 0-size guitars in our collective memory.

With newer hardshell case

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