The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

NO LONGER AVAILABLE!!! Martin OM-18GE 1930 Golden Era Natural, 2003


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The Martin OM-18GE 1930, replicating the specifications for the new-for-1930 Orchestra Model, was built from 2003 to 2009. The Orchestra Model was originally designed for Percy Bechtel, a prominent banjoist and band leader in the 1920s, to aid transition from banjo to guitar.

Construction of the Martin OM-18GE 1930 model closely follows the original spec, with an Adirondack Spruce top, Tropical Mahogany for the sides, back, body blocks and neck. Ebony is used for the fingerboard, bridge and nut, with Brazilian Rosewood for the headstock overlay, body binding and end trim. The bone saddle is a cut-through type. For hardware, a set of Waverly banjo-style tuners match the original 1930 equipment.

There is a subtle but meaningful difference in construction practice involving the faux-tortoise pickguard – it is glued to the finish, not directly to the top. This prevents a common top crack, caused by the top and pickguard expanding and contracting at different rates.

Adirondack Spruce was the most commonly used top wood until World War 2, when demand for war materiel – particularly airframes – took most of the available Adirondack stocks to the point of over-harvesting. By the end of the war other variants, especially Sitka came into prominence; in the last ten years Adirondack forests have re-grown enough to be suitable for instrument woods. Adirondack has slightly more stiffness than Sitka, and stands up under heavy playing a bit better.

This Martin OM-18GE 1930 dates to 2003, the first year of production for this series and is in good clean original condition, with light fret wear and a few small scuffs. It is lively and responsive, with the well-balanced tone that the OM is well known for.

This guitar is sold with its original Geib-style hard shell case.

Martin OM-18GE 1930 Specifications:


  • MODEL: OM-18GE (1930)
  • CONSTRUCTION: Mahogany Blocks/Dovetail Neck Joint
  • BODY SIZE: 000-14 Fret
  • TOP: Solid Adirondack Spruce
  • ROSETTE: Old Style 18
  • TOP BRACING PATTERN: Standard ”X” Scalloped (Golden Era Style)
  • TOP BRACES: Solid Adirondack Spruce 1/4”
  • BACK MATERIAL: Solid Genuine Mahogany
  • BACK PURFLING: Solid Brazilian Rosewood Strip
  • SIDE MATERIAL: Solid Genuine Mahogany
  • ENDPIECE: Solid Brazilian Rosewood
  • BINDING: Brazilian Rosewood
  • TOP INLAY STYLE: Black/Maple/Black Fiber
  • SIDE INLAY: none
  • BACK INLAY: none
  • NECK MATERIAL: Select Hardwood
  • NECK SHAPE: 30s Style V
  • NUT MATERIAL: Solid Black Ebony
  • HEADSTOCK: Solid/1930s Style Taper
  • HEADPLATE: Solid Brazilian Rosewood
  • HEELCAP: Solid Black Ebony
  • SCALE LENGTH: 25.4”
  • # OF FRETS CLEAR: 14
  • # OF FRETS TOTAL: 20
  • WIDTH AT 12TH FRET: 1-3/4”
  • WIDTH AT 12TH FRET: 2-1/4”
  • FINGERBOARD INLAYS: Abalone Dots at 5th, 7th, 9th Frets
  • FINISH BACK & SIDES: Polished Gloss
  • FINISH TOP: Polished Gloss w/ Aging Toner
  • FINISH NECK: Satin
  • BRIDGE MATERIAL: Solid Black Ebony
  • BRIDGE STYLE: PYRAMID w/ Long Saddle
  • SADDLE: 16” Radius/Fossilized Ivory
  • TUNING MACHINES: Waverly Nickel Banjo Tuners w/Ivoroid Buttons, replaced with Rickard cycloidal gear 10:1 tuners this year.
  • RECOMMENDED STRINGS: Studio Performance Light Phosphor Bronze
  • BRIDGE & END PINS: Solid Black Ebony
  • CASE: 533E Geib style


Price: $4,500.00 CAD
  • Model: OM-18GE
  • Year: 2003
  • Finish Antique Natural
  • Class: Used
  • Serial Number: 956304, Built during 2003 in Nazareth, PA
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Very Good
  • Date Posted: 16/11/2021

  • This instrument has been sold
  • Consignment Item

  • Including original Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 3.96lbs 1.8kg
  • Scale Length: 25.4in 645mm
  • Nut Width: 1.764in 44.81mm
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