The Guitar Hub
Martin 1960 Acoustic - "The Baby Martin"
The 1960 Martin 5-18 Acoustic Guitar
This guitar was purchased by my parents, for my older sister in 1960. I had some difficulty determining the vintage of this guitar, but obtained the serial # 179781. Source for authentication was http://www.martinguitar.com/history/dating.html confirms the year of manufacture as 1960.
I recall the guitar was supplied with wire-wound, nylon core strings. I believe the internal bracing was designed for a lighter string tension. This guitar may have been re-fitted with steel strings in the ensuing years, but knowing Martin's reputation, this may not be an issue of concern.
The finish is in good shape, a few nicks here and there, but overall a very well preserved instrument. The voicing is sweet, with a bright attack and mellow resonant tone. These guitars are still made in the LX1 and other new-styled models.
The smaller neck radius of this guitar makes it ideal for the beginner, as it is easy to reach all of the strings when fretting, and the action is low enough so that excessive pressure is not required to make the strings ring when pickd or strummed.
I would love to record using this guitar, but it lives four-hundred miles away... My next visit will include installing the Fishman soundhole pickup, and recording a few clips. When I have completed this, I will post the clips on my Podcast site: http://nachase.podbean.com There are some clips there of another guitar, the 1951 Martin Model 000-18.
This guitar is really a wonderful design, easy to play and hold for small children, but a real guitar for serious musicians as well. This guitar will remain in our family forever and will never be sold, even though the current value is approximately $2,500.00.
Marty Robbins is attributed to have used this model through much of his career. The photo below shows Marty in a live performance with the guitar.
Marty Robbins - 'Playing the Baby Martin'
Photo Courtesy of: http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-3/122891/xMarty%20Robbins.jpg
Thank you for reading my review of the Martin model 5-18 guitar. Check out the link below for a terrific guitar instruction program.
Please do leave a comment and let me know what you liked about this post? Respectfully, Nicholas