Excellent Martin 00-18SH Steve Howe Signature from 1999. Limited to 250 instruments with each individual guitar receiving a hand signed label by Howe and C.F. Martin IV. Born out of a collaboration between Howe, Dick Boak and Martin Guitars and inspired by the first Martin owned by the former Yes and Asia guitarist, a 1953 00-18.
Always a popular model thanks to its surprisingly loud, clear and projecting tone all in a compact and comfortable size the 00-18 had slipped out of the catalog by the early 90’s. Although based on an early 50’s 00-18 it was decided to take a spot of artistic licence with the Signature run and introduce a few well thought out changes to historical spec. Featuring a Mahogany body with an Englemann Spruce top, a Mahogany neck with Ebony fingerboard with Steve's signature delicately inlayed at the 18th fret and traditional belly below Ebony bridge with long bone saddle. Appointments are suitably vintage inspired with original style rosette and inlays from 1953. Internally the guitar benefits from Martins Standard Scalloped X-brace pattern. The guitar is finished with an Ambered gloss lacquer finish to the sound box and satin finish to the neck.
The guitar is in great condition and feels and plays like a balanced, well settled near 25 year old guitar. The action sits at a hair over 2mm on the bass side and 2mm on the treble at the 12th fret. The saddle is a well made replacement. The neck profile is a comfortable low profile neck that has previously been oversprayed with gloss lacquer to match the body, the work has been done well and could easily go unnoticed.
The 14 fret 00 body shape certainly offers something that the smaller Parlour guitars and larger guitars are missing. Compact and direct with a dry crispness. This little Martin has quickly become a bit of a shop go-to guitar.
Comes complete with its original Martin Case with original saddle included.