Based on a 1933 OM-18 on loan from Fred Oster of Vintage Instruments, the Martin OM18 Authentic 1933 Acoustic Guitar with Case is constructed with a mahogany back and sides and an Adirondack spruce top using an authentic circa 1933 bracing pattern. Featuring period-correct "OM-18" Authentic-style appointments, right down to the Authentic 1933 neck barrel and heel. The Martin OM18 Authentic 1933 Acoustic Guitar is here to remind you why you fell in love with us in the first place, the new Authentics are constructed the old way - with hide glue, throughout, and historically-accurate detailing confirmed by using a CAT scan machine located at the Smithsonian Institute.
Historically, the Martin Orchestra Models were the first 14-fret acoustic guitars, giving birth to what the industry now considers the modern acoustic guitar. The new neck was slimmer (1-3/4 in.) and faster too, giving players both greater upper fret access and as well as more ease in playing. Introduced in late 1929 as the “000-28 Orchestra Model” it was a soon changed to the OM-28. From the outset, the new guitar was highly successful, and in 1930 a mahogany version, the OM-18, was introduced. According to early Martin literature, the guitar was designed specifically for “plectrum playing in orchestra work” but among fingerpickers and strummers the OM-18 is a extremely versatile stage and recording guitar – loud, bright, evenly balanced, and elegantly simple with its dark mahogany body, black binding, vintage shaded Adirondack top, and faux tortoise pickguard. The long scale (25.4 in.) string length stretches the strings tighter at pitch creating an optimum projection and touch for fingerstyle technique, but the surprising aspect of the Orchestra Models is that they respond equally well to rhythm and chord work without the distortion that can be associated with 12-fret models.
The OM or “Orchestra Model” was inspired and created at the request of Perry Bechtel, an Atlanta bandleader, banjo player, and guitarist. Although Bechtel understood and appreciated the Martin tone, he needed one with more access to upper frets like his plectrum banjo – a must among orchestra rhythm guitarists. Perry drove to Nazareth in 1929 to discuss his ideas for a Martin guitar that would allow greater access up the neck and have excellent projection and volume as well. At the time, the 000 (or Auditorium size) was Martin’s largest model, with a 1-13/16 in. wide neck that joined the body at the twelfth fret. To accommodate Perry’s request, Martin squared off the upper shoulders of the 000 body and adjusted the soundhole and bridge to allow for a neck that joined at the fourteenth fret.