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  • acoustic guitars

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Dates of manufacture: 

1898 to 1989

The Martin 5-18, first listed in the 1898 Martin catalog, was the smallest of Martin's regular guitars. The 5-18 was just 11.25 inches at the widest part of the body and had a scale-length of only 21.4 inches - but these were big sounding little guitars. The size 5 instruments were often thought of as Junior instruments for children - but they originated from 19th century European Terz guitars. These Terz guitars were designed to be tuned three semitones higher than standard pitch - although the 5-18 can be tuned to standard pitch it sounds better when tuned higher. Early ones had slotted headstocks - later ones didn't. This model was discontinued by Martin in 1989, but they introduced a Marty Robbins signature 5-18 in 2006.

Specifications (17)


Binding5-stripe body-binding
Number of strings6 strings
Scale length21.375 inches scale-length


Body back materialmahogany body back, rosewood body back
Body sides materialmahogany body sides, rosewood body sides
Body top materialspruce body top
Body width11.25 inches body width
Pickguard materialtortoiseshell pickguard


Body fretNeck joins body at 12th fret
Neck materialmahogany neck
Neck width1.69 inches wide at nut
Number of frets18 fret
Peghead (headstock)slotted (open) headstock
Tuner layoutthree-each-side


Bridgerectangular bridge


Fingerboard materialebony fingerboard, rosewood fingerboard
Fingerboard position markersdot fingerboard position markers

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