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1954 Martin 000-18 Vintage Auditorium Body Acoustic Guitar w/ Case


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Up for sale, a 1954 Martin 000-18, freshly serviced and ready for stage and studio use. A guitar that's clearly seen consistent use over the decades, this vintage Auditorium body Martin makes the most of its solid tonewood construction with an X-braced Sitka spruce top and mahogany back and sides. This Martin benefits from a fresh professional neck reset, full refret, and a carved bone nut and saddle.

This 000 is capable of commanding a room, and while its rough and ready appearance certainly lends itself to vigorous strumming, it responds equally well to subtleties in playing dynamics and has a sweet, mellow fingerpicked voice too. The instrument delivers a bold, woody bark and exquisite percussive cut with loads of projection. The top has the relaxed quality of a Martin worked-in over decades of significant play, with an overarching tonal breadth that no modern tonewood aging technique can replicate. The low end is burly, expressive and textured, while the trebles are sparkling and a bit punchy, but not overwhelmingly so. This vintage Martin weighs 3lbs 12oz, strung with 12-54 bronze strings and dialed in with easy-playing action and accurate intonation.

The neck has a soft V-shaped profile carve which is notably slender and effortless at the nut, with a gradual increase in overall substance further up the fingerboard, measuring .815" deep at the 1st fret and .980" at the 9th. The dark, tight-grained Brazilian rosewood fingerboard features a full refret with flawless, vintage-spec fretwire, and there is some finger wear into the rosewood on frets 1-3. The guitar plays cleanly up the 24.9" scale with a straight neck, and the nut has an uncommon 1.650" width. The headstock face features a Brazilian rosewood veneer and original Martin logo, and the stock nickel-plated Waverly tuning machines turn smoothly and hold pitch well. A couple of the tuner arms are slightly bent, not affecting functionality.

On the body, the original Brazilian rosewood bridge sits flush with the top and features a new carved bone through saddle with ample height. The neck has also been professionally reset, meeting the body at an ideal angle and ensuring decades of future viability. The original deep red tortoise pickguard is intact and has been relaxed and cleanly reglued so as to not put undue tension on the spruce, with heavy strum wear beyond the edges of the guard. The model and serial are cleanly stamped on the heel block, visible through the soundhole.

The guitar exhibits prominent buckle wear and additional marks of honest use across the back and rims. There is a spot of impact on the bass-side lower bout binding edge on top, with a few tightly spaced and cleanly addressed splits. A secondary spot of impact is present at the treble-side rim at the waist, also cleanly repaired with targeted touch-up in this area. Additionally, there are a few repaired splits on the lower bout of the back, and an extra doweled strap button hole on the upper bout, also with targeted touch-up. The neck exhibits palm wear through much of the gloss on the profile length.

A modern black tolex TKL hardshell case is included.