5/13/2018

1968 Martin 000-18 Flattop Guitar




The original finish on this old chord-chucker has aged and yellowed so much that it almost looks like a "shaded-top" Martin of the '30s. It looks pretty dang dark when you see it inside -- almost the same color as a pumpkin-top Gibson mandolin from the teens. It has a good, balanced, round, punchy sound to back-up the looks-department, too.

Work included a fret level/dress, replacement pickguard, cleaning, repair to one of the tuners, and a good setup. It plays great, has a straight neck, no cracks, and is all-original except for the pickguard, new ebony bridge pins, and the fact that the bridge is a bit shaved-down.

Specs are: 25" scale, 1 11/16" nut width, 1 7/16" string spacing at the nut, 2 1/8" spacing at the bridge, 15 1/8" lower bout width, 11 5/8" upper bout, and 4 1/4" side depth at the endblock. Action is 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE at the 12th fret while strung with 54w, 42w, 32w, 24w, 16, 12 strings. There's a good 1/16" of extra saddle to come down, but with the low action most folks will probably want to shim up if they play aggressively. The neck has a mild-to-medium C-shaped profile with a ~14" radius to the fretboard. Woods are: solid spruce top, solid mahogany back, sides, and neck, and rosewood fretboard and bridge.



This came in with a replacement, thick, cheesy-looking black pickguard. I swapped that out to this tortoise one and I'm glad I did -- that looks a heck of a lot classier.








I forgot to mention that I filled and redrilled the pinholes -- something that helps a ton to keep the ball-ends seated nicely on the bridge plate.





The low-E tuner has a shaft that's a bit bent, but it works just fine. One of these units had its casing coming-off but I managed to repair it and so kept the headstock's pegs all-original.


The finish on the guitar is also entirely original, though there are worn-in areas from use where it's a little cloudier than in other spots. It'd be hard to tell at a glance.








It comes with what appears to be its original hard case, too!

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