The Martin 000-18

Written by Leonard Wyeth

March 1, 2017

One of our favorite Martin guitars is the 000-18. The 000-18 was a less sought after model during the 1960’s, at a time when large guitars like the Martin D-18, Martin D-28 and Gibson J-45 were more popular.

The 000-18 was perceived to be a lesser Martin. Yet in the hands of Davy Graham, Alexis Korner, Martin Carthy, and Richard Thompson, the 000-18 defined the sonic DNA of celtic and contemporary English folk music.

Davy Graham

Davy Graham

Alexis Korner

Alexis Korner

Martin Carthy

Martin Carthy

On the other side of the Atlantic, contemporaries such as Ry Cooder were redefining blues with the 000-18.

Ry Cooder

Ry Cooder

We were delighted a couple of years ago when Martin decided to redesign the 000-18. Taking their cues from the 1930’s, Martin gave the 000-18 a 1 ¾” nut, ebony fingerboard and bridge and “tortus” body bindings and pickguard. The vintage style “Waverly” inspired tuners used on the 000-18 take weight off the headstock and create excellent body to neck balance to this already very light weight guitar.

The 000-18 is sonically open, yet balanced with a dry, haunting woody tone. These characteristics are sought after in vintage Martin 000-18’s, which sell for 10x the price of a new 000-18.

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