Martin| 00-18K | 1923 | SN:18838
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This is an example of a prewar Martin 00- 18K guitar with an all Koa body construction. It is much rarer than it’s smaller single O cousin and less than a hundred are estimated to have been built. This model shares the same aesthetic specifications as the 018K but it’s larger size makes it more attractive to most players (and collectors!).
The prior owner, GuitarDesires LLC, has this to say about the guitar “here we have a an incredible 1923 Martin 00-18K solid Koa guitar in very good condition and just sounds great! All mahogany neck slotted head instrument is one of the nicer sounding guitars we’ve had here at GuitarDesires. Warm, woody, loud, throaty, resonant, and wonderful to play, this instrument must surely be why these old Koa dudes are so prized.
And very very rare instruments to even reach the market as only about 60 were ever made and this is only 1 of the 16 made in 1923. This instrument has had a very thin professional refinish and really looks great and blacklights perfectly over the whole darn thing. And thin enough to let the koa really sing. Non-original ebony bridge and I believe this instrument has been fitted with a new bone saddle and nut as well as had a pro refret (using standard T fretwire).
It appears that the neck has been off this one and looks like the fretboard was planed down to about half it’s original thickness at some point as well. Also the possibility of a heel repair though it does look very clean. And though the guitar plays really nicely, there is a moderate bow when sighting down the bass side of the neck. Best guess is that this instrument could use a new fretboard to get the neck back to perfect.
Nonetheless, the action is about 3/32 at the 12th fret and there’s no buzz or funk to be heard. There are also several small top cracks that have had old glue repairs and stable as well as a small back crack that has been cleated. All the bracing and bridge plate are original and it looks like the pickguard brace and opposing upper bout brace could use some glue and clamp though there is no obvious rattle or buzz. And though a purist might want to tear into this thing repair wise, it really is in pretty darn good playing condition right now. And in clean condition too as can be seen from the pictures.”
Pictures kind courtesy of GuitarDesires LLC see more here and check out their ebay auctions too!
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