3/05/2017

1959 Martin 0-18 Flattop Guitar





I've had the chance to play a lot of 50s/60s 0-18s as they come through for repair (this one is a customer's), but this one stands-out like mad from the crowd. It has an excellent lower-mids response and sounds more like a 000-size or 00-size Martin of good standing than it does an 0-size. Usually these have a lot of sparkle and drive but not much in the low-register. This competes pretty favorably with that 1939 HG-00 of recent memory -- something I didn't expect at all.

As stated, this was in for repair and has been here a long time -- a year and a couple months -- awaiting service. I'm not kidding when I say I'm backed-up! Details on the main repair (a bridge reglue/damaged plate area) can be seen at this other post, but aside from that I also gave it a fret level/dress and set it up. The guitar has no cracks -- which is astonishing in itself -- and it's in good health. Someone had shaved the saddle down a bit before I worked on it but it was shaved to just the right height for 1/16" DGBE and 3/32" EA action when strung-up. The high E is just a hair low, but I think that will sort itself out as soon as temperature and humidity rises. So -- my only setup-side work was to adjust the nut and then compensated the saddle for better intonation.






The guitar is all-original except for these ebony pins from my parts-bin and a new ebony endpin. There is, of course, a new bridge plate cap under this, however.






Minor use-wear is seen throughout, but the guitar is, cosmetically, in excellent shape for its age.


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