1971 Martin 000-18 Flattop Guitar

This beast is a local customer's instrument. It's his "first Martin" so I'm extra-glad it turned-out to be a nice one for him. It's totally beat, however -- it's got a longish crack on the front, lots of scuffs and scratches, and the finish has aged/tobacco-browned to a mahogany color. The fretboard shows evidence of a ridiculous amount of play, too.

When it came in, I'd noted that it needed the usual stuff -- a neck reset, fret level/dress, saddle relocation/slot widening, a new pickguard, and setup work. What I didn't realize (until I stuck a mirror in the soundhole to check the bracing for the owner) is that there was a mouse nest full of insulation and an alarming amount of turds covering the entire lower bout up to the bridge inside.


Anyhow, after repairs, it plays a treat and sounds excellent. One thing I like about the old '60s and '70s Martin smaller-body guitars is that they didn't go through the same drastic bracing changes as the big boys. It means that a '71 like this has the ability to sound pretty much just as good as a '50s 000-18 given the same amount of playtime.

Repairs included: neck reset, crack cleats/repair to the top, fret level/dress, new bone saddle/saddle slot mod, cleaning, new pickguard, setup.

Top wood: solid spruce

Back & sides wood: solid mahogany

Bracing type: x

Bridge: rosewood

Fretboard: rosewood

Neck wood: mahogany

Action height at 12th fret:
3/32” bass 1/16” treble (fast, spot-on)
String gauges: 54w-12 lights

Neck shape: medium soft V

Board radius: ~14"

Truss rod: non-adjustable steel bar

Neck relief: straight

Fret style: medium

Scale length: 24 7/8"

Nut width: 1 11/16"

Body width: 15"

Body depth: 4 1/8"

Weight: 4 lbs 0 oz

Condition notes: clearly... it's beat and shows tons of pickwear, scuffs, scratches, discoloration, and whatnot. It's all-original, though, except for the pins, saddle, and pickguard. There's a repaired top crack running to the treble side of the pickguard. There's a repaired chewed-up-soundhole section, too, from where mice had nibbled on it.


Rob Gardner said…
Wow, the color on the top of that Martin is so dark I thought it was mahogany at first glance. Must have had a robust life of cigar smoking railroad men in small basement rooms, playing poker deep into the night. Or else maybe an old finish and a lot of years...