C. F. Martin 00-18 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1950)

C. F. Martin  00-18 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1950)

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Item # 8454
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C. F. Martin 00-18 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1950), made in Nazareth, PA, serial # 115243, natural lacquer finish, mahogany back, sides and neck, spruce top; mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard, black hard shell case.

The 1940's and '50's 00-18 is not one of Martin's rarer creations, but to many players and Martin fans constitutes one of the company's most beloved combinations of wood, wire and inspiration. This is not a flashy guitar; the trim is discreet with tortoise celluloid on the body edges and a simple multiply soundhole ring. In classic Martin style, the elegant understatement speaks for itself.

The 14 1/4" light mahogany body makes for a very responsive guitar, with a nice mix of depth and clarity to the sound. This example was built in mid-1950, one of a total of 525 000-18s shipped that initial year of the Korean War. This 00 has typical period features with tortoise celluloid binding and pickguard and a nicely ambered top finish. The tuners are the postwar open back individual Klusons with large baseplate, replaced a few years later with the ubiquitous sealed Kluson Deluxe.

While not a particularly expensive guitar by 1950 standards, listing at $80.00 (plus case) the 00-18 still represented a substantial investment to many players in the early postwar period. Despite its smaller size and lack of flash the 00-18 remains a fully professional instrument popular with pickers of many styles.
 
Overall length is 39 1/4 in. (99.7 cm.), 14 1/4 in. (36.2 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 4 in. (10.2 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 24 3/4 in. (629 mm.). This is a very nice playing example overall; it has recently had a neckset and a refret in the correct style. The finish shows some checking and general wear overall; scratches scuffs and dings mostly. The most notable is pick wear into but mostly not through the finish on the top, with some down to the wood on the soundhole edge above the pickguard. There are a few scratches that look like possible cracks but do not go through the wood.

The original bridge has been lowered slightly and fitted with a new bone saddle, and the original bridgeplate is intact and unaltered. This is a very lightly built guitar, an excellent player with a lively sound. It would make an excellent recording, writing or performance instrument and is ready to gig, with a recent HSC. Excellent Condition.