Introduced in 1898, the Martin 5-18 was often considered a "junior" guitar. With 12 frets clear of the body and only a 21.4" scale, its easy to understand why this 11-1/4"-wide guitar seemed intended for smaller players. But in the '50s and '60s amid the rise of Country and Folk music, players such as Marty Robbins and Dolly Parton used these interesting guitars extensively on stage. Originally intended to be tuned a minor third above a regular guitar, the Terz guitar also produces unique and inspiring tone when tuned E to E. With such a small, accessible size, it's an ideal go-to guitar—just as manageable in the living room as it is on the road.
This 1958 Martin 5-18 has seen some wear and tear over the last 60-some odd years, but it's in perfect playing condition. As soon as you pick it up, it's hard not to love. At some point, its pickguard was removed and the top was re-finished. It has also had a neck reset and a refret, and its nut and saddle are not original. There are some repaired back cracks and the back was partially refinished along the location of some structural repairs. Interestingly, it is missing the "C.F. Martin" decal on the headstock, but the logo's rash looks beautiful on its Brazilian Rosewood peghead overlay. It's a curious detail that only adds to the guitar's mojo.
With its comfortable size and boxy, parlor-guitar tone, this 1958 Martin 5-18 is the type of guitar you'll want to play every day. Nicely-fitting soft-shell case included.