Wednesday, December 19, 2018
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C. F. Martin 0-18 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1961)
C. F. Martin 0-18 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1961), made in Nazareth, PA, serial # 177072, natural lacquer finish, mahogany back, sides and neck, spruce top, rosewood fingerboard, black tolex hard shell case.
This is a lovely little Martin 0-18 from the beginning of the 1960s, the high water mark of the "Folk era" when the Kingston Trio made the Martin guitar the height of fashion. The mahogany body carries many traditional Martin features including tortoise celluloid binding on the body edges, tortoise celluloid pickguard, long-saddle Brazilian rosewood bridge, and a nicely ambered nitrocellulose lacquer finish. This guitar, like all made prior to 1964, is the product of the "old" red brick Martin factory, before the move to the modern facility down the road that year.
The headstock corners are the rounded style typical of the period, with the peghead face adorned with the "CF Martin" gold decal on the face and individual Grover Sta-Tite G98 openback tuners with hexagonal bushings. There is a functional pickup installation and an endpin jack, making it ready to gig. These are lovely-sounding instruments; this one has plenty of volume (more than many expect in a smaller guitar) and an even ringing tone. This is a superb-playing and sounding guitar, far better preserved than most from this period and ready for the next 60 years.
Overall length is 38 3/4 in. (98.4 cm.), 13 9/16 in. (34.4 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 4 1/4 in. (10.8 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 24 3/4 in. (629 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.).
Overall a nice original guitar with some typical repairs and light wear. The top finish has small dings and scrapes with the only heavy wear being in the sound hole rim area. The rest of the finish has only small dings and dents. The guitar has been expertly refretted and the neck cleanly reset, and playability is excellent.
The rosewood bridge is original and has not been shaved down. The pickguard is a well-done replacement; there is a small patch internally underneath the back end of it next to the X-brace where the shrinking original probably pulled the spruce up a bit. A 3-point bridgeplate pickup is installed and functional. An excellent gigging vintage Martin; fine-sounding in either purely acoustic or electric stage mode and equipped with a modern Martin HSC Excellent + Condition.
Item # 8452
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