1958 Martin 0-18 Flattop Guitar

A consignor of mine sent this beautiful box in for sale. As you can hear in the video clip, it sounds tremendous for such a little fella. My favorite years for Martins are the early-to-mid-'50s and this one, on the tail end of that era, sounds just as good as the early ones to my ears. It's got a lot of pep and punch with wider-sounding bass than you might expect for its size.

It arrived with some fussy issues to solve, but was generally unmolested. Now that it's all spruced-up, it plays like a champ and is ready to go for the foreseeable future. What's admirable about good 0-18s is that they sound great flatpicked (just listen to the G-runs in the video) as well as fingerpicked. They're not as bottom-heavy as something like a concurrent D-28 or J-45, but they do have plenty of guts to get the job done for a flatpicker. Someone playing lead/fill lines will like how it rides over other guitars in a jam or band environment, too.

Repairs included: a neck reset, fret level/dress, replacement bridge install, new bone saddle, new ebony bridge pins and endpin, reglue of a section of the pickguard, cleat to a crack on the treble-side of the pickguard, cleaning, and setup.

Setup notes: it plays bang-on with 3/32" bass and 1/16" treble at the 12th fret. The neck is straight and it's strung with 54w-12 gauges in phosphor bronze.

Scale length: 24 7/8"
Nut width: 1 11/16"
String spacing at nut: 1 7/16"
String spacing at bridge: 2 1/8"
Body length: 18 1/8"
Lower bout width: 13 1/2"
Waist width: 8 1/8"
Upper bout width: 10"
Side depth at endpin: 4 1/4"
Top wood: solid spruce
Back/sides wood: solid mahogany
Neck wood: mahogany
Bracing type: x
Fretboard: rosewood
Bridge: rosewood, bone saddle comp'd
Neck feel: medium C shape, ~14" board radius

Condition notes: the neck reset proved difficult because of some old shimmed-up repairs to the joint, so there's a bit of finish blem right at the joint itself. It's not obvious at all, though, unless you're looking. The fretboard extension also dips down over the body a bit, though I expect you (like I) don't play above the 15th fret, anyway, so it's a non-issue as far as playability goes. The bridge, pins, and saddle are replacements but the rest of the hardware is original. There are two sealed/repaired hairline cracks (smaller) on either side of the pickguard on the top. There's also an old, longer (~6") repaired hairline crack as well as an old, shorter (~1.5") repaired crack to the treble side of the instrument (pictured). The finish shows the usual weather-check throughout for its age but is in generally pretty decent shape. There are scuffs and scratches throughout but they're not big, save for some rubbing/scratching to the back of the neck that can be felt but does not hurt playability. There's some old finish blem/disturbance below the bridge "wings" where someone had reglued a non-original bridge in the wrong place in the past. Bridge plate looks good and is original.

It comes with: its presumably-original chip case.

The action looks high in this picture, but it measures low and fast at the 12th fret -- 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE fret top to string bottom.


Michael Mulkern said…
Should I choose the 0-18, the custom keto diet or the "secret signal" that triggers a man's impulse to love? I can't make up my mind.
Ben Jackson said…
Is nothing sacred any more???!!!
Warren said…
A steady diet of vintage Martins is the way to go boys!!!
Jake Wildwood said…
This blog post made 1000% better by removing the ad comments that precipitated Mr. Mulkern's words... jokes are even funnier OOC.