5/18/2015

1951 Martin 0-18 Flattop Guitar




This is a customer's instrument in for consignment -- and what killer tone it has! It's obviously been loved and played-in well over the years, but for all of that it came to me in pretty good shape. My work was only to cleat a small 3" hairline crack on the lower bout, level and dress the frets, reshape the saddle, and set it up. It's now playing perfectly and strung with a set of 12s.

My experience with old Martins is that if you want added clarity and top-end snap and projection, look for a clean one. If you want thicker mids and a congealed low-end, look for one that's been played-in like crazy (for example, this one). To me, a guitar like this is a "Gibson player's Martin" as it has the shorter 24.9" scale, medium C/V neck shape, and those deliciously chocolate-sounding mids. It records so, so easily.



Don't oyu love the wear patterns? Pick-wear all around the guard, light arm-discoloration on the bass lower bout, and general use-wear scritchy-scratchy.


The rosewood headstock veneer looks great... as does the original bone nut.



This guitar has its original glued-in saddle. I had to very, very lightly shave around the saddle area of the bridge as I didn't want to pull the saddle out to reshape it and compensate it for proper action. I also cleaned up the already worn-in "string ramps" and added new ebony pins all-around (there were junky plastic ones on it).



There are a few of these strange "washboard" lines in the top upper bout. They're not cracks... just indentations.



This is the only top crack -- a 3" one and tight -- that I've cleated up. No worries.



The mahogany back is crack-free but does show lots of playwear!

When this came in there were a number of tiny little white paint specs here and there. I've managed to remove most of them but a few are still around as I didn't want to have to muck up the finish a whole bunch trying to nab them. They're impossible to see in the photos.


So... the story goes that these tuners were added by the original owner a few years after purchase. That makes sense -- they're the right type for the time -- and maybe the owner liked Grovers better than Klusons.

They're certainly slightly sturdier tuners than those original large-plate Klusons and these would cost a bunch bought separately from the guitar -- $150-200 for a set!





Both sides at the waist/lower bout swell area have a few small hairline cracks. They're all tight and glue-impregnated and I have no fears for them as Martin (thankfully) adds all that cloth reinforcement lining to their sides and they're not budging because of it. The worst lot is this stretch of 1, 2, and 3" ones on the bass side.




...and here are a few 1" and 2" hairlines on the treble side. Also good to go.


I added an ebony endpin to fill the empty endpin hole.


A nice Boulder gigbag comes along for the ride.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice guitar! Are you selling this and if so, what would you value it at?

Anonymous said...

Any one here?

Jake Wildwood said...

Already sold, sorry.

Bret Reinelt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jake Wildwood said...

Of course you would! But then again, I'm not in the business of appraisals.

Anonymous said...

He didn't even come close to asking for an appraisal. What's with you?

Jake Wildwood said...

I get phone calls all day long for people pinging about the value of their instruments. It gets tiring.

Jake Wildwood said...

I didn't mean any offense with my response: the net is neutral with moods. There are so many factors going into what an instrument's value is that I simply can't tell someone over the phone or the net what something is worth. It's just not possible to be accurate.