After producing a large bodied instrument under the Ditson brand, in 1931 the Martin Company began producing dreadnought guitars that carried the Martin name. The D–1, like the earlier Ditsons, was a mahogany body instrument, destined to become the D–18. With the D–2, Martin introduced what may still be the most popular style of steel string guitar, the rosewood body dreadnought. All of Martin’s early dreadnoughts had the 12–fret neck of the Ditson design. It wasn’t until 1934 that D–28s and D–18s officially were offered with the 14–fret neck that most consider the industry standard today.
How else did Martin’s early dreadnoughts differ from today’s version? The early D–18 was similar in appearance to its modern counterpart, with one exception: Ebony was the standard material for bridges and fretboards, rather than the rosewood used now. Like all style 28 guitars preceding it, the early D–28 had a strip of marquetry with a distinctive “herringbone” pattern running around the top. This decoration led to the current designation, “herringbone D–28” which one hears reverently discussed among Martin fanciers. In addition, bisecting the back was a “zipper” decoration strip of purfling, which is different in appearance than that found on modern D–28s.
The HD-16R Adirondack shares a lot of the features of a pre-war D-28 dreadnought with its herringbone top marquetry, V-neck profile, tortoiseshell pickguard, grained ivoroid body binding, Adirondack spruce top … and that signature Martin dreadnought strong sonic presence!
* 1 3/4″ wide nut
* ebony fingerboard
* modified V neck profile
* dart neck volute
* 25.4″ scale length
* mortise and tenon neck joint
* solid Adirondack spruce top
* hybrid X scalloped 5/16″ strutting
* herringbone top marquetry
* solid Indian rosewood back and sides
* zipper back center strip
* grained ivoroid body binding
* gloss finish with aging toner
* hardshell case
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