7/22/2011

c.1930 Martin 0-18 Guitar


I did repair work on this guitar and now it's on consignment here at the store. It's a fantastic instrument, as most all Martins from this period are, and is all-original except for its new ebony/bone-saddled bridge and ebony pins.

It's stamped 0-18 on the neckblock and the serial places it at 1930.


As many of you know, the 18 designation means a mahogany body/neck and spruce top. This one has that very light, scalloped x-bracing just as one wants from these fellas, and that means excellent volume and a sweet, full tone -- perfect for fingerstyle, fingerpicking, and country-ish or old-timey strumming.


Ebony nut, ebony board with 3 (diminishing in size) MOP dots on the face and white/cream side-dots on the edge. The headstock has the typical nice rosewood veneer. Tuners are original Waverly types with ivoroid buttons and, after replacing two shaft screws and oiling them, they work perfectly.


Original bar frets. I had to do a very light dressing on these as someone had (in the past) really ground down the treble side of these frets towards the neck join area. This leaves them a little low up there, but perfectly functional.

The neck had already been reset at one point in the past, with a clear cut at the 12th fret for the old-style (read: 50s/60s/70s) neck set.


I cut down this new belly bridge to fit the instrument and glued it down to replace the cracked (and very deformed) original bridge. Someone must have had some seriously heavy strings on this guitar for a while because the top behind the bridge was quite bellied and deformed before I got to work.

I had the top under compression for about a month before installing this new bridge just to get the top flat enough (and not bellied enough) to properly install this flat-bottomed bridge.

The guitar now has some belly behind the bridge, but no more than other old Martins that I've worked on. In addition, the new bridge keeps the top stable under tension. I set the action before applying string tension and it remained exactly the same after tuning up -- so darn straight!


Nice amount of pickwear next to the soundhole...! Note the cool rosewood binding and multi-line purfling, as well as the old-style 3-ring rosette.

Oh, and also, strings are 48w to 10 DR Sunbeams. These have tension that's in the same range as silk & steels (actually a little less I think) and sound fantastic as they have that round core, long-sustain, direct and very "fundamental" tone.


Martin stamp on the backstrip reinforcement. I haven't taken a photo of the serials at the block to keep this from being used as a scam on eBay or the like.


Here's an old crack repair -- stable and functional but not as nice-looking as it could have been. Still, plenty workmanlike.


Another short repaired crack.


Note that the finish has usewear throughout but is all original.


The bone saddle is not compensated as I found the compensated one I had in here before actually threw off the B string just a hair.




Nice, good quality mahogany on the back/sides/neck. Note that the neck is reinforced with an ebony rod and has a soft v-shape to it.


Good ol' Waverly tuners.









Original end pin is nice to have, too!


And here's what is presumably an original hard shell case (with blue interior) though it has certainly seen a LOT of use! Still kicking, though.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jake

I'm putting in a request for another country blues video on the porch only with the Martin this time. Whaddaya think?

Ben

Antebellum Instruments said...

Sure!