Martin 000-18E Retro

6-string Acoustic-electric Guitar with Sitka Spruce Top, Mahogany Back and Sides, Hardwood Neck, Ebony Fingerboard, and Fishman Electronics - Natural
5/5 4 Write review Item ID: 00018ERetro
Martin 000-18E Retro image 1
Martin 000-18E Retro image 1
Sweetwater Savings: $740.00 MSRP: $3,599.00
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Special-ordered from Martin. Please contact us for availablity and estimated delivery date. Special orders cannot be canceled or returned.
Note: While most of the items we sell ship for free, this item does not qualify for free shipping due to special circumstances.

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Martin 000-18E Retro
Special Order

Vintage style and modern playability merge to create the Martin Retro series. Within the Retro series, you'll find a who's who of Martins past, with new incarnations of the legendary HD-28, D-35, D-45, D-18, 000-18, and OM-28. Each proves to be historically accurate aesthetically, but tweaked to meet today's gigging guitarist's needs.

Everything Old Is New Again!

A quick, casual glance at any member of the Retro series, and you'd think you were looking at an extremely well-preserved vintage Martin, not unlike some of the guitars that fill the Martin Guitar Museum: the tops are finished with aged toner, the appointments echo the classic stylings of 1930s- and 1940s-era Martins, and the body styles are among the most revered in all the guitar world. Even on the inside, these Martins exude vintage, boasting forward-shifted scalloped braces just like they used to.

But Martin wasn't content to simply reissue these legendary instruments, equipping the Retro series with Fishman F1 Aura for incredibly authentic onstage amplification and a reshaped neck to give players a fluid, comfortable playing experience.

Martin 000-18E Retro

The 000-18E Retro acoustic-electric guitar brings back one of Martin's most acclaimed 14-fret models. An incredible re-creation of Martin's classic Auditorium model, this beautiful instrument gives you the bold clarity of a real solid mahogany back and sides plus the exquisite tonal balance of a sitka spruce top. Just take a close look at the mahogany back and sides on the 000-18E Retro and you'll know that instruments like this don't come along every day. A black ebony fingerboard and matching bridge complete the picture.

There's no question that Martin's Auditorium model has been one of the most influential acoustic guitar styles in modern music history. From its bold herringbone inlays to its hand-selected bone nut and saddle, the 000-18E Retro does more than merely capture the spirit of the original, it revives all of the small details that make this instrument a work of art. When you pick up a Martin 000-18E Retro, it's like stepping back into guitar history.

Simply put, the seemingly magical combination of mahogany and spruce are highly sought after, bringing together two wood that seem to be perfect together. This 000-18E Retro acoustic-electric guitar sounds just like you imagine an acoustic guitar should, with plenty of balanced tones and strong midrange response. Sound like the guitar you've always wanted?

Vintage Tones, Unplugged

The sound of an acoustic guitar is the sum of a number of factors, each significant in their own way. The wood used for the top, back, and sides all impact the tone, as does the neck wood and fingerboard. Martin chose to faithfully mimic the tonewoods used on the original models, though they did opt for more ecologically sound choices than the vintage guitars came from.

The physics of acoustic guitars tell us that the style and positioning of the internal braces play a large part in the overall sound. To make sure these Retro Series guitars sound just like their vintage brethren, Martin resorted to the same standard "X" scalloped bracing used in their vintage counterparts. By scalloping the bracing, the top is allowed to vibrate more freely, providing a warmer bass response. By using standard scalloped bracing, the 000-18E is likely to produce slightly less volume than a forward-braced guitar with scalloped bracing, but the overall tone will be more balanced.

Rounding out the vintage vibe is the lack of a cutaway, despite these guitars all being equipped with Fishman pickup systems for awesome onstage sound. Purists will love the look, and the neck is so comfortable, you won't miss the cutaway at all — but more on the neck in a minute.

Vintage Tones, Plugged

That's a rundown of the "retro" side of the Retro Series, so lets take a look at what Martin tweaked to meet the demands of today's player. The first time you pick up a Retro Series, you'll notice the neck. It's slimmer, more comfortable, and built for incredible playability. Martin equipped these beauties with the Modified Low Oval profile with a Performing Artist neck taper, giving you a comfy feel that is equally suited for rhythm playing or higher-fret runs. Whether you're onstage or in your living room, you'll love the way you can effortlessly cruise up and down the neck. Acoustic players will find it familiar, but electric players will be right at home on it, as well.

But the neck isn't the only thing drawing from modern inspirations. The Fishman F1 Aura system is both unobtrusive and incredible. The F1 Aura Plus gives you the option of using the undersaddle pickup, a variety of modeled acoustic sounds, or a blend of both, on top of onboard EQ, feedback suppression, and compression.

Modeled, you say? It's not what you think! These models aren't conjured in a lab, they're sonic recreations of real vintage Martin guitars from the hallowed halls of the Martin Guitar Museum. A vintage version of each model was meticulously miked up using only the finest studio gear, and then reproduced inside the F1 Aura Plus system.

The Aura system defaults to "Easy Mode," which gives you the choice of three image presets and a built-in tuner (the tuner can also be used when the guitar isn't plugged in, super handy for strumming around the house!). When you enter performance mode, you have access to six more images, along with the aforementioned EQ, feedback suppression, and compression. This may seem like a lot of extras for a purist, but we put these through their paces here at Sweetwater, and believe us, they meet our excruciatingly high standards.

Martin-standard Dovetail Neck Joint

Like the originals, the Retro Series guitars come standard with the classic dovetail neck joint. Lightweight and sturdy, the dovetail joint is the go-to construction methodology for Martin guitars, as the area of direct wood-to-wood contact is increased. The thinking is that the increased contact provides better tonal transfer between the neck and body. Martin has done it like this forever, and there's no reason to fix what's not broke.

The mechanics of the standard dovetail neck joint dictate that merely fitting the neck to the body and stringing up the guitar should provide more than enough strength to hold the neck to the body. But to make sure every Retro Series Martin (or any other Martin for that matter) is built to last a lifetime, the neck joints are throroughly glued for maximum structural integrity.

What Does "Special Order" Mean?

A special-order product is one that we don't normally keep in stock. We order it from the manufacturer as soon as you order from us. We have great relationships with all the manufacturers we carry, so we can get your special order to you as fast as or faster than anyone else. Remember that special orders are non-returnable and non-cancelable, so make sure the item is right for you. A Sweetwater Sales Engineer can help you decide — call (800) 222-4700 for assistance!

Additional Media

Acoustic Guitar Buying Guide

Tech Specs

String Type Steel
Number of Strings 6
Body Shape 000-14 Fret
Body Style No Cutaway
Left-/Right-handed Right-handed
Color Natural
Finish Polished Gloss
Top Wood Solid Sitka Spruce
Back & Sides Wood Solid Genuine Mahogany
Body Bracing X Scalloped
Binding Tortoise Brown
Neck Wood Select Hardwood
Neck Shape Modified Low Oval Profile with Performing Artist Taper
Fingerboard Material Solid Black Ebony
Number of Frets 20
Scale Length 24.9"
Tuning Machines Grover Nickel V97-18NA Sta Tite
Bridge Material Solid Black Ebony
Nut/Saddle Material Bone nut/TUSQ saddle
Nut Width 1.75"
Body Length 19.375"
Body Width 15"
Body Depth 4.125"
Overall Length 39.8125"
Electronics Fishman F1 Aura Plus Retro
Strings Martin SP Lifespan Phosphor Bronze Light Gauge
Case Included Hardshell
Manufacturer Part Number 1000018ERETRO

Customer Reviews

Based on 4 reviews
Write your review

Why Didn't I Do This Sooner

As not being one who writes reviews I felt compelled to say a little about this fine Martin. But first let me thank Sweetwater and Joe James for the GREAT service, price and fast delivery. I already own 2 Martins, HD28V and a D18GE and they are mighty fine instruments but this 000-18e Retro will tug on your heart strings. Excellent tone, good bass, even string balance and ample volume. This is a joy to play with the short scale and action that's the best I've had on a Martin. This is all unplugged. Plugged in it's a whole new game. I jam every Thur. and this new 000-18e was a hit, everyone loved it. I am 61 and have played since 7th grade owning many, many guitars. I now have Fender's, a Guild F512, Gibson's, Martins and Collin's along with some mandos and ukes. Didn't start GAS til I was around 50. If you get a chance to play one of these do it and you'll see for yourself. This is one gem you will keep forever so if your thinking about this just do it. Life is to short. Never Stop The Music!

Martin 000-18 E Retro

Exceptional sound from 000-18 E Retro with out even being plugged in to your amp, but once connected to your amp the Fishman Aura + magnify the experience 10 fold !!! I could not be happier :)

Beautiful Instrument

Just lucked into a 2015 D-18e retro from a private seller locally. The seller received it as a gift and didn't want it. This is an amazing guitar. Flat picking isn't the strength of this guitar when unplugged. I've got some great dreds that do an outstanding job at that. Finger picking is where is where this guitar really sings unplugged. But when you plug it in to a good acoustic amp, this guitar does everything well and sounds amazing. It's really motivational and an amazing experience to play a guitar of this caliber and quality. And it's so easy to play. The only drawback is the cost, but fortunately for me I scored a used one locally, a blue moon. The paperwork I received with the guitar showed that it originally came from Sweetwater. The thing that blows my mind when I look at this instrument is the price you pay nowadays to get an iconic guitar of this quality. But if you play it and cherish it, and it aids your creativity, it's definitely worth it.
Music background: 40 Years Playing Guitar

Wow - Should have bought this sooner

I have been playing guitar for over 40 years and this is the first Martin I have ever bought. My father use to play one and I remember how much he loved it. I am blown away with this guitar. The ease of playing right out of the box was fantastic. Thanks to Mike Arango of Sweetwater for the help and having the guitar checked before it left the store. The quality of this guitar is amazing, no blemishes, marks or problems. It is like the instrument was made in heaven, perfect. I took it to a jam fest where there were several other bands playing, and everyone wanted to use it. Of course I refused and held it close to me the rest of the day. Thank you Martin and Sweetwater for this amazing guitar.
Music background: Semi Pro Musician
See also: Acoustic-Electric Guitars, Martin, Martin Acoustic / Electric Guitars