The Baby Martin Model 5-18 – Year 1960

1960 Martin Model 5-18

1960 Martin Model 5-18

This guitar was purchased by my parents, for my older sister in 1960. I had some difficulty determining the vintage of this guitar, but obtained the serial # 179781.

Source: confirms the year of manufacture as 1960.

I recall the guitar was supplied with wire-wound, nylon core strings. I believe the internal bracing was designed for a lighter string tension. This guitar may have been re-fitted with steel strings in the ensuing years, but knowing Martin’s reputation, this may not be an issue of concern.

The finish is in good shape, a few nicks here and there, but overall a very well preserved instrument. The voicing is sweet, with a bright attack and mellow resonant tone. These guitars are still made in the LX1 and other new-styled models.

I believe Marty Robbins is attributed to have used this model through much of his career. Here is a photo of Marty with the guitar.

Marty Robbins with the Martin Model 5-18 1960's vintage

Marty Robbins with the Martin Model 5-18 1960's vintage

Photo Courtesy of:

I would love to record using this guitar, but it lives four-hundred miles away… My next visit will include installing the Fishman pickup, and recording a few clips. When I have completed this, I will post the clips on my Podcast site:

This guitar is really a wonderful design, easy to play and hold for small children, but a real guitar for serious musicians as well. This guitar will remain in our family forever and will never be sold, even though the current value is approximately $2,500.00.

Thank you for reading my review of the Martin model 5-18 guitar. Please do leave a comment and let me know what you liked about this post? Respectfully, Nicholas

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