The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

❌SOLD❌ Martin D-21 Dreadnought Brazilian Rosewood, 1958


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Built from 1955 to 1969, the Martin D-21 was a bridge between the Mahogany D-18 and the Rosewood D-28 models, with Brazilian Rosewood for the back and sides but without extra binding or decoration. Martin stopped building the D-21 about the same time their stocks of Brazilian Rosewood were exhausted, and demand for the model was not enough to justify shifting it to Indian Rosewood.

Here we’re looking at a Martin D-21 built during 1958 at the Martin plant in Nazareth, Pennsylvania. It has a Sitka Spruce top used on all Martin and most American guitars after 1946. Wartime demand for Adirondack Spruce, used particularly in airframes, so depleted the stock of large trees that Sitka or to a lesser extent European Spruce was substituted for instruments. Adirondack Spruce has only started re-appearing in the last few years.

Like a D-28 of the time, the sides and back of the Martin D-21 are Brazilian Rosewood. However, like a D-18, it used Brazilian Rosewood for the fingerboard and bridge while a D-28 would use Ebony for those parts, and add binding to the fingerboard.

This Martin D-21 example has been serviced over the years, and has had the neck reset most steel string guitars of a certain age will require. It’s also had four crack repairs on the back and one on the side; the side crack possibly occurred during the neck reset. It does not, however, have the typical top crack that resulted from gluing the pickguard directly to the top. Over time, the top and pickguard would shrink and expand at different rates, resulting in a typical crack. Now, Martin glues the pickguard to the finish, avoiding the problem. Fret wear is moderate, particularly in the low positions. The nitrocellulose lacquer finish has the patina and checking of a late 1950’s model. The Kluson Deluxe tuners are original equipment, and on the back of the head, there’s a ‘Made In USA’ stamp, indicating that the guitar was exported, in this case to Canada, for its original sale.

The Martin D-21 is not a common guitar, but mostly for economic reasons. It has been re-issued from time to time in small numbers, but most of the examples will be vintage models. Tonally, it’s similar to the D-18, but the Brazilian Rosewood warms up the tone a bit. This guitar plays well, and sounds great with lots of high end sparkle; it’s not as deep sounding as the 1948 Gibson J-45 reviewed earlier today.

A non-original hard shell case is included.

Price: $7,650.00 CAD
  • Model: D-21
  • Year: 1958
  • Finish Gloss
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: 162170
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 10/02/2020

  • This instrument has been sold
  • Consignment Item

  • Required CITES documentation
  • Including Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 4.53lbs 2.06kg
  • Scale Length: 25.4in 645.16mm
  • Nut Width: 1.67in 42.5mm
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