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The Guitar Hub

Updated on July 22, 2011

Martin 1960 Acoustic - "The Baby Martin"

1960 Martin Model 5-18
1960 Martin Model 5-18

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 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: 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'

Marty Robbins Playing the 1960 Vintage Baby Martin
Marty Robbins Playing the 1960 Vintage Baby Martin

Photo Courtesy of:

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


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    • coffeealera profile image

      coffeealera 5 years ago

      Voted up and useful because I've been interested in learning how to play for a while now but never got around to it. You have inspired me.

      Andy, from

    • profile image

      Acoustic Guitar Reviews 7 years ago

      Oh man, would love to listen to a music clip as I couldn't find one on your PodBean Podcast. Nevertheless, I like your style! Cheers

    • profile image

      Entry Level Electric Guitars 7 years ago

      I like it, that would make a sweet backpack guitar although it's worth to much to take camping or to the beach.

    • Pedja-Simovic-Gui profile image

      Pedja-Simovic-Gui 9 years ago from Serbia, Nis

      I like your hub very informative! I wish I could afford Martin guitar , they sound great.

      I just created my hub today so check it out if you get the chance!


    • Athlyn Green profile image

      Athlyn Green 9 years ago from West Kootenays

      Hi, I too, have a vintage guitar, a Hagstrom Isabella--the one with the filigree wood piece around the sound hole. I know what you mean about these treasures. They are a joy to play.

      I enjoyed your informative Hub and can tell that you have a love for the instrument.

      --Hope to see more from you in future!