C. F. Martin / 000-18 / 1939 / Natural / Guitar For Sale
FON: 72209. This 1939 000-18 was made early enough to predate the switch to the narrower neck – generally believed to be SN 72740 – but is of the batch (or family) of guitars that have the 1-23/32” nut known as the “transitional nut”. The string spacing at the bridge is 2-5/16ths” the same as the prewar spacing.
I have three guitars with this nut width and string spacing and they are among my favorites. The feel of the neck is almost identical to the 1 ¾” nut and the string spacing at the bridge preserves their reputation as great finger style guitars. Overall, this is an excellent example of a late Golden Era prewar Martin with a handsome vintage patina.
The 000-18s have always been player’s guitars with the austere but tasteful black and white rosette, black and white trim, faux tortoise binding, dark ebony bridge and fingerboard, and simple dot fret markers. The Adirondack spruce top and mahogany back and sides, in the 15” orchestra body, produce an open, woody tone that is always in control. This one is no exception. It has the great balance, the note separation, and lovely chordal blooming. When played aggressively it displays some cahones and turns quite powerful without the big rumble. Probably the unique characteristic of this one is sustain; it just seems to hold the mids longer than the others I’ve had.
This is a one owner instrument and the condition shows some consistent playwear from over the years, most of it around the fretboard. It had a case bite that turn into a crack in the lower bout which is now tightly cleated and a crack on either side of the fingerboard tongue that moved back into place perfectly. The back has a consistent and persistent pattern of buckle wear.
The only work performed on the guitar prior to me getting it was a shaving of the bridge at least once. In addition to a neck reset and complete refret, it needed a repro bridge. The bridge plate, my luthier felt, was worn beyond repair and needed to be replaced, which he did with an exact repro, appropriately positioned, with an old piece of maple. It’s beautiful work. Otherwise, the guitar is original and has been returned to its original playing specs.
It comes with a new Martin Geib case with the cabernet interior. As always, thanks for reading this far and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email or call.
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