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1940 Martin 000-18 Vintage Pre-War Acoustic Guitar Adirondack Spruce & Mahogany w/ Case


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Up for sale, a 1940 Martin 000-18 in exceptional condition. A Pre-War Martin which has received all the attention a vintage acoustic of this vintage warrants, proper servicing executed by Portland Fretworks included a professional neck reset, full refret with vintage-size wire, a new carved bone saddle, and fabrication of a vintage spec ebony bridge and tortoise pickguard. Marrying an Adirondack spruce top and Honduran mahogany back and sides, the sound is everything you'd expect from an Auditorium-size Martin.

This guitar offers incredible projection and tonal breadth, and each string resonates with equal presence and Martin’s signature piano-like clarity. The bass register is defined and round with a high volume ceiling and exquisite bloom and sustain, while the midrange frequencies are sweet and woody, offering just enough smooth growl when you dig in hard with a flatpick. There’s a clear, ringing quality to the treble strings, and individual notes have plenty of sparkle and roundness. The guitar also has a certain dryness and balanced quality as you travel up the neck, ideal for fingerpicking. This Pre-War Martin weighs 3lbs 12oz, professionally setup and strung with fresh 12-53 strings.

The mahogany neck has a medium depth soft V profile carve at the nut with a bit more substance as you travel up the fretboard, measuring .845" deep at the 1st fret and .995" at the 9th. The ebony fingerboard has just been professionally refretted, and as such the frets show zero wear with perfectly rounded crowns. The guitar plays effortlessly up the 24.9" scale, the neck is extremely straight, and the nut measures 1 11/16" in width.  The face of the headstock retains the original Martin script logo and the original open-gear strip tuners turn smoothly and hold pitch well, exhibiting some light wear through the nickel plating on the buttons.

On the body, all of the original braces are intact and solid, and a new ebony bridge has been carved, closely matching the shape of the original and fitted with a carved and compensated bone saddle. There is just a sliver of touchup from a different bridge footprint on the forward edge and treble side wing of the current bridge. The saddle has good height and the neck set is ideal, with action currently sitting at 5/64ths on the treble side, and 7/64ths on the bass side, measured at the 12th fret.

The original nitro lacquer is intact on top, with one area of touchup at the bass-side waist and light nitro lacquer overspray. The aged toner on the Adirondack spruce top is accented by a modern pickguard, custom made by Portland Fretworks and an excellent representation of the coloration and swirl of a ‘40s Martin guard. The back, sides and majority of the neck profile have been refinished by Portland Fretworks in a semi-gloss nitro, perfectly in keeping with the presentation of a Martin of this era without too much sheen. There are a few minor and very cleanly addressed side cracks (no top or back cracks), and the back and sides are otherwise nigh flawless, with just a few minor marks beneath the overspray on top.

A 1970s molded Martin hardshell case is included.