The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

Martin D-18 Dreadnought Natural, 1957

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Here we have a lovely Martin D-18 Dreadnought in the stock Natural finish, dated to January of 1957 and used as intended!

This Martin D-18 was built in Nazareth, Pennsylvania and dates to January 1957. it is in good playable condition, with a fresh re-fret, bridge plate repair and setup performed at The Twelfth Fret Repair Shop. The Kluson tuners are original, and there are no electronics. This guitar plays quite well and sounds like a vintage D-18, with plenty of high-end sparkle, power and projection.

A vintage Gretsch hard shell case is included.

Martin introduced the D-body or ‘Dreadnought’ on some guitars built for the Ditson Company during the periods from 1917 to 1919 and again 1923 to 1930. The term ‘Dreadnought’ was used to recognise the 1906 HMS ‘Dreadnought’, the largest battleship of WW1.

However, the ‘D’ series guitars that we know today, overwhelmingly the D-18 (mahogany body) and D-28 (Rosewood body) did not appear as Martin branded models until 1931. The much fancier but structurally similar, upmarket D-45 launched in 1934 and the D-35 with its 3-piece Rosewood back in 1965, allowing use of smaller Rosewood sections.

Tops are Spruce, and to the first years of WW2, Adirondack (Red) Spruce was used; however, war production demanded and depleted all available stocks of this wood and Sitka Spruce replaced it. Decades later, forestry stocks have recovered enough to see Adirondack in use again, but mostly on higher priced models. Adirondack has a slight edge over Sitka when a guitar is played heavily, as might happen in a Bluegrass or Country rhythm playing, where there might also be another loud instrument such as a banjo.

At time of construction, this Martin D-18 featured the Sitka Spruce top and bracing, Honduran Mahogany for the sides, back, body blocks and neck, and Brazilian Rosewood for the bridge, unblound fingerboard, and head plate. The pickguard is glued directly to the top and unusually, this example does not have the characteristic top crack caused by unequal shrinkage rates between the two parts. Martin changed this practice in 1984.


 

Price: $8,999.99 CAD
  • Model: D-18
  • Year: 1957
  • Finish Natural
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: 153691, dated to January 1957 in Nazareth, PA
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 20/09/2022

  • Consignment Item

  • Including Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 4.004lbs 1.82kg
  • Scale Length: 645mm 25.4in
  • Nut Width: 42.37mm 1.668in
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