1932 Martin OM-18 – Shadetop – pre-War

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C.F. Martin
OM-18 - Shadetop
1932 ( pre-war )
Newer Hardshell Case

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SKU: 1932-martin-om-18-shadetop-pre-war Category:

1932 Martin OM-18 – Shadetop – pre-War

We present an original 1932 C.F. Martin OM-18 in Shadetop from the Golden Era. Made in Nazareth, Pennsylvania.

This pre-War OM model is extremely special because it is considered the best sounding and best playing non-dreadnought Martin guitar for that era. The long scale length is 25 1/4 in. (641 mm.) gives more bass and increased response. They were only made for a few years, during the most important transitional period into the steel string acoustic guitar era. This guitar is one of the true delights of Martin history: An early OM-18  with it’s “Shade top” option.

This pre-War Martin from 1932 guitar still has the first silk screened gold “C.F.Martin” headstock logo. The original top finish has a very blended finish shading to a rich transparent brown on the outside. It features natural mahogany back and sides with a gorgeous spruce top. Mahogany neck with ebony fingerboard. The guitar has the original ebony bridge, ebony nut, bridge plate, pickguard and its original Grover large square plate tuners.

Overall, this flat-top C.F. Martin is in exceptional condition for its age. It has nicks, dings and other typical cosmetic play wear around the body and the neck. Well loved and played over the decades.

Repair that has been done by the most respected and accomplished Martin luthier; TJ Thompson.

  • Saddle: TJ Thompson replacement saddle during neck reset.
  • Frets: TJ Thompson Plek refret with vintage correct bar fret material.
  • Bridge pins: modern replica pins.
  • Side crack repairs.

Comes with a newer hardshell case. Latches and handle are in perfect working order.

History about shaded top.

The C.F. Martin company finished most of their guitars in a clear natural finish, but some of them received the coveted shaded top (or sunburst) finish. Martin did far fewer sunburst guitars than Gibson back in the Golden Era of acoustic guitars but they were equally as beautiful. They’re also far more coveted by collectors than their natural finished counterparts and therefore more susceptible to wild price fluctuations and hidden surprises. This was made standard on its new archtop instruments in 1931 and on flat tops as a catalog option. In practice it was rarely ordered, and these “shaded” Martin flat tops (the company never used “sunburst”) have become a much sought after rarity in the decades since


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