3/04/2015

1952 Martin 000-18 Flattop Guitar




Update: it was such a beautiful sunny day out today (May, 2015) that I decided to shoot some new pictures for this guitar.

This is a consignor's nice old Martin. It came in yesterday, got a fret level/dress and minor setup and cleaning this afternoon, and now she's ready to head on out again. It's in superb shape with no cracks and aside from some very minor scratching, pickwear and use-wear to the treble side/back area (probably from going in and out of a case), it's very clean. There's your usual finish weatherchecking but I was totally surprised to pull this out of its case and find it looking like a 15-year-old guitar.

If you're unfamiliar with Martin 000s... they're basically the ideal guitar for "folkies" with a heavier hand as they record well and maintain clarity played in a variety of styles ranging from full-on strumming to fingerpicked intimacy. The body shape also "hugs" your knee nicely compared to a dreadnought shape, even though you've got the extra warmth and carrying power of a 15" lower bout.



Nice original bone nut and rosewood headstock veneer. The board and bridge are rosewood, too, and of the Brazilian variety. Sorry for the bit of dust on the headstock!


A 1 11/16" nut width caps out a radiused board with pearl dots. The back of the neck has a medium C/V hybrid shape. It's quicker than your average 50s guitar but bigger than your average modern Martin.


The pickguard is original but miraculously clean.


The bridge is original, too. I filled and then re-drilled the pin holes to clean them up from age-related wear. The bridge height is full but the saddle is low in its slot (this is how it arrived). Still, action is nice and quick with 3/32" bass and 1/16" treble at the 12th fret. I could easily cut a new saddle that fills the slot (on the house) and then stow the original in the case if the new owner of this guitar desires.


The edge binding is that cool 50s tortoise that glows in the sun. Note also that this is the only angle I was able to photograph these very light scratches which pass for pickwear on this guitar. It was really hard to snag them.



Quality mahogany is, of course, used for the back and sides.


I lubed the original Kluson tuners and they work quite well.









This minor scuffing/wear along the treble back edge of the lower bout is probably from slipping this into a case of some sort.


The plastic has started to age-in near the endpin. This new ebony pin is the only replacement part (except perhaps the plastic bridge pins).


The serial places this at 1952.



A good, arched-top, vintage TKL/Canadian case is included. Please excuse the contrast with the other pics -- I forgot to bring the case out in photo shoot #2 as well.

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