Up for sale, a 1926 Martin 000-18 in excellent condition. This exquisite 12 fret Pre-War Martin has received all the maintenance due a guitar pushing a century old, with a professional neck reset, tall carved bone saddle, partial refret with vintage-spec bar fretwire, and any cracks cleated and addressed as needed.
With dimensions more akin to an OM, this 000-18 is a long scale instrument, and as a result the extra tension on the top ensures the guitar projects beautifully. Featherweight at 3lbs and lightly braced for steel strings, the guitar delivers percussive, woody cut and an extremely open, relaxed, and broad tonal character indicative of the tonewood combination of an Adirondack spruce top with scalloped X bracing and mahogany back and sides. Trebles are brilliant and crisp, and the bass response is very balanced and smooth, with a sweet growl when you dig in hard with a flatpick, while also being more laid-back than later (and larger) Martins. The ebony fingerboard ensures a glassy articulation, and this guitar is perfectly suited to fingerpicking with its generous 1 13/16" nut width. The guitar has been professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with 11-52 bronze strings and easy-playing action.
The mahogany neck has a slender and prominent V profile carve, measuring .775" deep at the 1st fret and .955" at the 9th. The ebony fingerboard has been professionally refretted with vintage-spec bar frets from frets 1-11, and the original bar frets were retained further up the neck. The frets are flawless, and the guitar plays easily in every register with a 25.4" scale length. The original ebony nut is intact, measuring 1 13/16" in width, and the headstock features its original Brazilian rosewood veneer, with the Martin logo stamped on the reverse side. The original open-gear strip tuners are intact on the slotted headstock, retaining their original buttons and functioning smoothly.
On the body, the original ebony bridge sits flush with the top, fitted with a tall carved bone saddle that ensures optimal bass response and room for decades of future adjustment. The guitar features a properly sized modern small maple bridge plate, and the top sits very flat with limited natural deflection on the lower bout. The top and soundhole are framed by multi-ply binding, with additional mahogany binding framing the top. The serial is cleanly stamped on the heel block.
The guitar retains its original finish, with prominent strum wear on the treble-side of the strum path, yet quite restrained overall given the age of the instrument. There is one repaired crack on the treble side of the spruce top between the soundhole and bridge, and two cracks to the treble side of the center seam behind the bridge. One fairly short back crack extends adjacent to the heel on the treble side upper bout, and there is an impact repair on the treble-side lower bout in the mahogany. All repairs have been done at a high level of proficiency, glued and cleated as needed to ensure optimal resonance and structural integrity. The finish on the back bass-side waist is more matte in appearance form contact with the body, and there are various scuffs and nicks on the body as a whole consistent with careful use.
A modern black tolex hardshell case is included.