Vintage Instruments: Martin Guitars

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1926 Martin 000-18

A particularly special guitar, this 1926 Martin 000-18 is a beautifully preserved example of Martin’s then-biggest mahogany instrument. A single-family guitar purchased from the grandson of the original owner, we first encountered this 000-18 when it was through our repairshop for neck-resetting a couple of years back. It’s in remarkably fine condition today, and significantly healthier than most of the other 12 fret 000-18s we’ve encountered in years.

With its large 12 fret body, light build, and long OM scale of about 25.3” this 000-18 is something of a force in the tone department. It’s clear and bold, even-keeled and pure, and has an incredibly dry and clean fundamental presence. It’s great with a pick, and pretty much heavenly with fingers. In short, it’s an amazing mahogany guitar.

Neck reset and new bar frets in 2014 by Folkway’s Mark Stutman. Mark repaired two minor cracks on the lower treble section of the top at that time and exchanged the unsalvageable original bridge plate with a forgery-grade replacement. The original pyramid bridge is full height, and the balance of the guitar is completely original, including all finish, tuners, and pins. The guitar’s top shape is perfect, its original finish is in remarkable condition minus some light damage around the bridge from a long-ago reglue, and the new bar frets play and feel heavenly. No back or side cracks to speak of, and the guitar’s finish shows only light wear.

Steel-string braced with scalloped X bracing, Red spruce top and mahogany back and sides. 15” wide 000 body with typical style 18 appointments. Wooden rosette, rosewood bindings, ebony fingerboard and bridge.Replacement bone nut and saddle. 20’s V neck carve, 25.3” scale, 1-7/8” nut width, 2-3/8” string spread at the bridge. The action is set at 5 to 6 64ths at the 12th fret with a full 3/32 of saddle at the E strings. The guitar has been strung with a custom set of 12-52 Monels for the last few years, and works really well with this gauging. Regular lights (12-54) would be perfectly suited as well.

The guitar comes with a new Mainstage fight case (mainstagecases.com) custom made for this 12 fret 000.

Shipping into the USA?

Sending this guitar to a US address is easy to do, and there are no import fees, taxes, or duties to pay when it arrives. We take care of everything involved in shipping -- all you have to do unpackage the instrument when it arrives and play!

Questions? Email us anytime, or call us toll-free at 1-855-772-0424.


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