Museum: Other Acoustic Guitars

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2001 Merrill C-18

Serial # 00044. With its highly quilted South American mahogany and master-grade Adirondack spruce, graceful pre-war stylings and Tor-tis pickguard, this Merrill C-18 is almost as stunning to admire as it is to play. Merrill has made a reputation building modern recreations of 1930's Martins, and spends a lot of time massaging the details into his instruments. A look with a mirror through the soundhole shows his attention to detail is more than skin deep -- the braces and bridgeplate are lapped by the X brace, carved exactingly, and dimensioned very much like the 1930's D-18 the instrument is styled after.

Style 18 trimmings throughout, the guitar features tortoise celluloid bindings and end-wedge, ebony fingerboard and bridge, pale abalone position markers, rosewood headstock overlay, gold script decal logo, and Waverly tuning machines. Forward positioned X brace, long bridge saddle, ebony pins, and thin nitro lacquer finish.

The neck has a unique carve, marrying a modern slim shape in the first position to a beefier, chunky, v-hulled vintage carve farther up. Bridge pin spacing is a spacious 2-5/16", and the nut measures 1-3/4". The guitar plays comfortably, and has just enjoyed a set up in our shop.

In very fine condition, the guitar shows light wear and tear. There are two cleanly repaired small side cracks (one on each side of the waist), and no other repairs or issues. The original pickguard was replaced with the Greven Tor-tis guard that's currently fitted to the guitar, leaving a slight discrepancy visible between the footprints of the two.

An excellent sounding mahogany dreadnought, with fullness, clarity, complexity, and huge volume. A top-notch flatpicker.

With hardshell case

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