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2003 Martin OM-18 Golden Era 1930 left-handed conversion, in excellent condition.

Here is a modern take on an absolutely emblematic and founding model in the history of Martin guitars: with its rosewood counterpart designated as OM-28 (OM for Orchestra Model), the OM-18 represents a great first for the “modern” American steel-string guitar: the combination of a 14-fret neck with a 000 shape set a new paradigm, determining the construction of the majority of flat-top models that came in its wake.

This revolutionary design, which appeared at a time when 12-fret necks were still the norm, was introduced at the end of 1929 on the OM-28 guitars, a more luxurious rosewood model. The more popular mahogany-bodied OM-18 was launched in early 1930 and proved an immediate success, despite the economic crisis of the time. Ironically, the Orchestra Model, as its name suggests, had been designed for plectrum playing in dance band orchestras, but big band guitarists unequivocally preferred the archtop models which at the same time were experiencing their own golden age. Fortunately, OM models found favor with cowboy music bands – with smaller line-ups made up of singers, violinists and guitarists, the new OM models fell right into place and these singing cowboys ensured their introduction to the general public, particularly through their appearances in Western cinema. The design was so well received that after 1933 almost all Martin guitars would adopt this format: the OM-18 designation was dropped by 1934, the 14-fret model assuming the name 000-18, and after a slight shortening of the scale length it would become a true pillar of Martin guitars that has continued on through the decades to this very day.

The instrument presented is a faithful reproduction of the model originally introduced in 1930. Adirondack spruce top, mahogany back and sides, Brazilian rosewood top, back and side binding, scalloped X-bracing, 14-fret neck, solid headstock fitted with banjo tuners and the maker’s mark on the back. This guitar has been professionally converted for left-handed use – the ebony bridge was made by TJ Thompson as a copy of a 1930’s Martin bridge with a compensated bone nut, a new pickguard made in material close to the original. The tuners have been replaced by a set of Rickard tuners offering a more precise ratio of 10:1. All original parts are kept in the instrument’s case. Complete setup done in our workshop, in perfect playing condition.

Sold in its original Martin hardshell case.

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