Original Early 1934 Martin 000-18 (OM-18) Shaded Top

  • 2100.00 £
  • Published date: May 7, 2024
    • West Bexington, Dorset, United Kingdom

Original Early 1934 Martin 000-18 (OM-18) Shaded Top

⭕ This is an early 1934 Martin 000-18, serial number 556XX, in very good condition. Not only is it an early rare example of a shaded (sunburst) top finish (optional at the time), but this guitar features a 25.4 scale neck, which essentially makes it like an OM-18 (000s are normally 24 ¾-inch). Being this is one of the earliest 14-fret neck 000-18s built at the change-over of Martins pre-war OM construction, it is particularly desirable among musicians and collectors for the longer-scale OM construction, which are highly prized for their exceptional tone and quick response of the sounding board. The fingerboard width is just under 1 ¾-inches at the stringnut.

The early 1934 specifications of this guitar include Adirondack spruce top with forward-shifted scalloped braces, mahogany neck, back, and sides, ebony fingerboard with early style bar frets, and original tortoiseshell grain pickguard. The tuners were replaced long ago with gold Grovers, the neck has been re-set, the top cracks glued, but are still visible, and the bridge saddle and stringnut have been replaced. There is no over-spraying, no refinishing, or touch-ups that we see. The guitar blacklights fine... the original finish just shows lots of normal playing wear.

All of the above repairs date back prior to 2006, we were told. More specifically, the top center-seam crack was professionally cleated, a bridgeplate mate overlay added over the original bridgeplate (seen in the inspection mirror), and a popsicle-style brace added under the fingerboard to reinforce the neck block (also seen in a close-up).

There are 3 small insignificant screw holes mounted on the bottom rim above the endpin strap button, where probably a trapeze-style tailpiece was once mounted. Weve seen this modification before on old vintage flat-tops, when they will need a neck re-set, and the bridge saddle has been cut so low that the old-timers would mount a tailpiece to hold the string balls, in lieu of the bridge pins. There is also currently one puncture, about ¼-inch, on the bottom side rim (as seen in the close-up) that hasnt been fixed, and we were told it probably happened when the guitar sat in the lap of someone playing who had sharp keys in their pocket. There are no other cracks in the sides or back or headstock repairs, or any other issues that we know about that havent been mentioned. The neck is straight, and this guitar plays great and sounds good, with plenty of bridge-saddle height if one wanted to lower it.

Phone number ✆ 01305 853538
West Bexington, Dorset

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