1933 Martin R-18 repair

January 4th, 2021

Nightshift guitar repair going on here with a 1933 Martin R-18 on the bench – the little sibling of Martin’s C-1 archtop.

Unlike the carved C-1, the R-18 has a pressed top that is just a bit thicker than a normal flattop top and features a beefed up X flattop style X bracing, complete with a little maple bridgeplate.
It is interesting to compare this model with Gibson’s flattop guitars that featured trapeze tailpieces and archtop-style bridges at around the same time.

Both Martin and Gibson were trying out bold new ideas in the early days of steel string guitar-making in the late 20’s and early 30’s.

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