3/24/2018

1956 Martin 00-18 Flattop Guitar




If you know me personally, you also probably know that my favorite Martins are 00s of the 15, 17, and 18 persuasion from the '50s. This might be because I'm mostly a big Gibson fan and I really, really appreciate the oomphy, saucy, wide-open mids and power of this type of Martin in this period of time. To my ears, these things just cut and bounce. They sound like a Martin in that refined, elegantly-defined-note-way, but their voice isn't quite as scooped (what I call prettified) as later or earlier ones.

In any case, this one was sent-in via a customer who recently bought a '72 00-18 from the shop. His plan is to gift it to his brother. Heck! What a gift! This box is full of thunder. It also didn't need much work -- I reglued the bridge, leveled/dressed the frets, patched a small jack-hole in the side, adjusted the saddle and filled/redrilled the pinholes, and gave it a good setup.

Specs are: 24.9" scale length, 14 3/8" lower bout width, 10 7/8" upper bout width, 4 3/16" depth at the endblock, 1 11/16" nut width with 1 7/16" string spacing at the nut and 2 1/8" at the bridge. The neck is a mild-medium soft-V that feels quick and modern-ish. The neck is straight, the frets have good life in them, and it has on-the-dot 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE action at the 12th fret, strung with 54w-12 lights.

I wish I'd taken a picture of the case, but I already boxed the guitar. It has an original hard, arched case.


While the first pic captures a streak of water-droplet in front of the guitar, you can see the whole beauty of that aged, amber, honey-looking top in this one. The guitar is all-original, too, save its new ebony bridge pins and a replacement plastic endpin.





The old, celluloid pickguards look great on these.



While the saddle is low in its slot, the action is perfect and I ramped the strings a little behind the saddle to give better back-angle.








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