Splash is my newest guitar acquisition. I have bought and sold quite a few guitars to get to my few keepers. One of those that i regret selling along the way was a 1955 Martin 00-18. I really like the 00 size and the fundamental sound of that spruce/mahogany model. I did have trouble adjusting to the relatively narrow string spacing, and that was how i rationalized selling it. However, i kept thinking about it and began to wonder about getting a more recent version of that model Martin. (I have to admit that the Martin mystique was part of the attraction.)
Anyway, while browsing for Martin 00-18 and 000-18 guitars on the internet, i came across a 2011 000-18 Golden Era 1937 for an incredibly low price. I had read praises for this particular Martin model, which replicates some of the features of prewar 000-18s, such as thinner braces and an Adirondack spruce top. It also has a more modern 1 3/4″ nut (and thus slightly wider string spacing). Although i would have preferred a natural top to the sunburst, and no electronic pickup, those two features generally add a couple of hundred dollars to the used price.
The guitar was for sale for about $600 under the typical price for such a model. It did have some bad finish damage around the endpin, but otherwise was in immaculate condition. Knowing that i could get the finish repaired, i quickly ordered it. It sounded great, so i took it to Ken Jones (a luthier whose shop is just west of Asheville) for the repair — less than $200.
I’m very happy with it. It’s tone is excellent, and enough different from that of Olivia and Taz as to be worth keeping. And it is a Martin, after all 😉