1955 Martin OOO-18 Sitka and Mahogany ID-5903
1955 Martin OOO-18 Sitka and Mahogany
It is said that at times during the 50's and 60's, Martin had a 3 year backlog in instrument orders! Nothing else sounded like a Martin and nothing else would do. It was THE prestigious guitar to own. This backlog would lead Martin to build their new factory in Nazareth in 1964 where they continue to build today. The Martin Style 18 designation was first introduced in 1857 with Rosewood back and sides. However, have used mahogany since 1911. The Martin OOO-18 was originally introduced as a 12 fret model with Maple back and sides! The guitar went into regular production in 1911 as a 12 fret Mahogany guitar. It was then reintroduced in 1934 as the 14 fret model we all know and love. The fact that the OOO is still currently in production by Martin speaks to it's amazing versatility as a guitar.
Like all post war Style 18 Martins, this 1955 OOO-18 was built with a Sitka Spruce top with Mahogany Back and Sides. Sitka Spruce isn't as stiff as Adirondack and has a lower stiffness-to-weight ratio. A positive side-effect of this more flexible soundboard is that it doesn't take near as much strength to produce tone. A player with a lighter attack or even fingerstyle players will find Sitka Spruce much more suited to their playing style. When paired with mahogany, you get a guitar that is extremely well balanced with a dry, woody tone. Mahogany is also known for being generally easy to record, as they are much more balanced in front of a microphone before you even reach for the eq. This guitar plays like a dream, is comfortable, and sounds like an old friend! Warm, and woody, dry, with nice crisp trebles.
This is a players guitar with associated wear and tear that you would expect from guitar that is from the 50's and played heavily! However, the neck has been reset and 15 frets have been replaced by Marty Lanham. He helmed the repair shop at the famous Gruhn's Guitars for years. Marty now builds under the "Nashville Guitar Company" brand. Marty also re-glued the original pickguard and bridge and a fitted a new bridge saddle for the instrument. We did our best to capture the various scratches and dings in the pictures below. The Original Hardshell case is included!
- Shipping Weight: 68
- Serial: 142659
- Top Wood: Sitka Spruce
- Back Wood: Mahogany
- Nut Width: 1 11/16"
- Scale: 24.9"
- Year: 1955
- Bracing: Non-Scalloped Bracing
- Neck Wood: Mahogany
- Fretboard: Brazilian Rosewood
- Bridge: Brazilian Rosewood
- Tuners: Nickel Plated Open Back
- Body Binding: Nitrocellulose Tortoiseshell Grain Plastic
- Pickguard: Nitrocellulose Tortoiseshell Grain Plastic
- Headstock Shape: Martin Peghead
- Headstock Overlay: Brazilian Rosewood