Source: Sounding Board Newsletter Vol 6 - January 1999
00-18SH (Steve Howe)
Renowned YES and ASIA guitarist Steve Howe first noticed a Martin guitar when his attention was drawn to a leather-enshrouded Dreadnought on the cover of an Elvis Presley album. Howe soon noticed many other musicians he admired (Lonnie Donegan and Paul Simon among them) playing Martins and, as soon as he was able to afford one, Howe purchased his first Martin, a 1953 00-18 model with a tortoise colored pickguard. This guitar, long cherished by Steve, has been used in live performances and in the recording of many legendary YES acoustic tracks. Since that time, Howe has become an avid collector of acoustic guitars, and he has even published his own book, "The Steve Howe Guitar Collection." Among his arsenal of Martin instruments are additional 00-18 models, a SOM-45, a number of ukuleles, a Style C mandolin and a rare 0-28 dating back to the post Civil War era.
In appreciation of Steve Howe's loyalty to Martin instruments and his significant contribution to the advancement of guitar music, C. F. Martin & Co. is proud to announce the 00-18SH Steve Howe Signature Edition.
Designed with features drawn from Steve Howe's 00-18, and embellished with characteristics selected from standard, vintage and Golden Era guitars, the 00-18SH edition will be limited to a maximum of 250 instruments.
The soundboard of the 00-18SH is carefully crafted of Engelmann Spruce, common to many Martin instruments built in 1953. The top bracing is 1/4" width and delicately hand scalloped to achieve optimum tone. The back, sides and neck are of solid genuine mahogany.
The rosette is inlaid in the old style with thin black inner and outer rings. The body is trimmed with tortoise colored bindings and inlaid with traditional Style 18 black/white/black/white/black. A tortoise colored pickguard, beveled and polished to achieve an under-the-finish appearance, adorns the soundboard.
An unbound genuine ebony fingerboard is inlaid with vintage style 18 abalone position dots. Steve Howe's signature is delicately inlaid between the 18th and 20th frets. The bridge, also sculpted from genuine ebony, is fitted with a vintage long or "through" saddle of genuine bone. The headstock is squared and tapered in the old style with a genuine bone nut. Nickel-plated replicas of the original Kluson "oil-hole" tuners complete the authenticity of the neck.
The soundboard is tinted with golden "vintage toner," and the lacquered body is polished to a high gloss. The interior label will be individually numbered in sequence and personally signed by Steve Howe and Martin CEO C. F. Martin IV.
A charitable contribution of $66.38 (on export sales) or $73.75 (on US sales) for each 00-18SH sold will be donated to the Save the Children Federation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to making lasting, positive change in the lives of disadvantaged children in the United States and throughout the world.
Martin dealers will begin to take orders for the 00-18SH Signature Edition immediately, though, due to heavy demand for Martin instruments, this edition will not begin to appear in stores until the summer of 1999.