C. F. Martin 0-18 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1922)

C. F. Martin  0-18 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1922)

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Item # 7905
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C. F. Martin 0-18 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1922), made in Nazareth, PA, serial # 17319, natural finish, Adirondack spruce top, Honduras mahogany sides and neck, ebony fingerboard and bridge, rosewood bound top, molded plastic hard shell case.

A nice example of an early 1920s 0-sized Martin, something we don't see that much anymore. By 1922 the $36.00 (original price!) 0-18 had recently settled into its specifications as a mahogany-bodied, spruce top guitar and would be built in this form until the advent of 14-fret neck joints, pickguards, and belly bridges in the early 1930s.

This small-bodied guitar may have been near the bottom of the Martin line, but was still a more expensive instrument than most 1920s guitars, and built to the lofty standards that only C.F. Martin ever sustained.

The top and back are bound with rosewood and the bridge and fingerboard are very high-grade dark ebony. The inlay is simple descending-sized pearl dots and the tuners are unplated with celluloid buttons. While technically built for gut strings, this 0-18 has been strung with silk-and-steel for some years.

The sound is more powerful than one might expect and surprising depth. It makes a great fingerstyle instrument, and also works very well with a flatpick, from stringband music to early jazz and beyond. Simply a neat little early 1920s guitar.
 
Overall length is 38 in. (96.5 cm.), 13 1/2 in. (34.3 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.).

This guitar shows only fairly light wear but has had one major alteration, although it's a fairly subtle one: it was refretted with tang frets long ago in place of the original bar frets. The rest of the instrument has some old repair work but overall remains in more original (and less worn) condition than many. There is not a lot of the typical pick wear; just some scuffing and scratching into the finish below the strings.

The neck has been reset and the bridge reglued, probably more than once with visible marks around the edges. The top of the bridge has been taken down and the saddle recontoured, but amazingly the wooden bridge pins appear original. The very small maple bridgeplate is intact as well. The original Waverly tuners still work well.

There is an old repaired crack on the treble side waist, and a small pushed-in spot near the turn on the upper bass bout. Both are solidly but visibly repaired with some topical overfinish. The rest of the finish is original with only some typical light checking. This is NOT a steel string guitar; the bracing is very light but it performs well with silk-and-steel strings with a lovely mellow sound. Includes a modern molded plastic HSC. Excellent - Condition.