The Martin SPD-16 dreadnought acoustic guitar is part of the “16” series of Martin guitars which combine modern guitar specifications with the famous Martin quality and sound. The “SP” stands for some Special Edition features on a few of the D-16s which are normally found only on Martin’s highest priced models. These features include a AAA Spruce top with aging finish toner, full body gloss finish, full tortoise body binding and pick guard, gold hardware, D-45 abalone pearl rosette and abalone snowflake/slotted diamond/cat’s eyes fingerboard and bridge inlays, and D-45 style back stripe inlay. This SPD-16 is one gorgeous guitar!
The SPD-16T was introduced in 1996—with the “T” standing for new technology added after the 16 Series guitars were first made in 1986; by the year 2000 when this guitar was made, the “T” was dropped. These “technology” features were the Hybrid X-bracing pattern and the mortise and tenon neck joint. Specifically, the earlier 16 series were dove tail jointed; when Martin changed the joint and bracing they assigned the “Technology” designation. Featuring these innovations, solid woods throughout, and the cosmetics from some of the models costing over $5000, the SPD-16 is a superb American-made acoustic guitar approaching the value of the iconic D-28 and beyond.
The playability and sound verify the quality promised by the name. The body dimensions are similar to those of most dreadnoughts: it has a 14/20-fret fingerboard, a 25.4” scale, and a fingerboard width of 1 11/16” at the nut and 2 1/8” at the 12th fret. The Martin mortise/tenon neck joint and scalloped spruce hybrid X-bracing of the top combine with the great strength of mahogany to allow for thinner, more responsive tonewoods, making for the rich, bright sound characteristic of the D-16. The modified low-profile neck is fast and comfortable, which is good because you won’t want to put it down for hours.
As one enthusiastic reviewer on Harmony Central says,
“It has a killer sound, I actually prefer playing it for bluegrass over my D-28! Easy fingerings, comfy neck, great sound. What more can you say? I have been playing for over 30 years, and this has to be one of my favorite guitars ever. A killer bluegrass guitar, with that old 40's mahogany sound. Lots of volume and sustain.”
The playing condition is excellent, as you would expect of a Martin: straight neck, some fret wear but no buzz, solid bridge, tight tuners, and so on. The action is comfortably low—3/32” at the 12th fret, the sound is terrific—and it will only become better as these high quality solid woods age. There is also a passive pick-up accessed through an end pin jack for gigs at Yankee Stadium or some such—or if you play with a particularly unrestrained banjo player.
Cosmetically, it’s also in good shape, but there are professionally repaired cracks on either side of the fret board extension and the top seam has been re-glued and cleated (visible in the pictures of the top). In addition, there are the usual scratches, dings, bruises, and some pick wear below the pick guard as expected in a 19-year-old guitar, but I guarantee that the overall appearance, sound, and playability are not affected.
The standard Martin 345 case has been upgraded to a “Superior” arched-top case, complete with keys—which is good, because lotsa guys will want to play this Martin, with or without your permission. While it has earned a few dings around the edges protecting this guitar, the hardware is all bright and shiny and works perfectly, and the plush green interior is in fine shape, as seen in the pictures. It is an ideal complement to this excellent guitar.
Buyer pays a flat rate of $55.00 for insurance and shipping to the lower 48 states; shipping costs elsewhere will be negotiated as necessary. Payment by Paypal is preferred; cashier’s checks are acceptable, but checks must clear before the guitar will be shipped.
I believe that I have described this instrument fully and accurately. Please check out the pictures and ask any questions before offerin to purchase it, as its return will not be accepted unless it can be shown that it was somehow misrepresented in this listing.
Thank you for your interest in this terrific Martin guitar.
Payments by Paypal, cashier’s checks, money orders, or personal checks are acceptable, but all payments must clear my bank before the guitar will be shipped. I will CONSIDER reasonable offers, even including installment payments and trade-ins, but generally since I already attempt to price my guitars very competitively, unusual deals must be unusually sweet.
From henceforth [that's how retired English teachers talk], insurance and shipping to the lower 48 states is $55 due to constantly rising shipping costs unless a specific listing says otherwise; shipping costs elsewhere will be negotiated as necessary. I have sold guitars to Russia, Japan, Australia, and over 50 other countries, as well as almost every state in the USA. Since some of my guitars travel thousands of miles, I take care to use lots of packing materials, protect the neck inside the case, and of course de-tune the strings.
I make every effort to describe and illustrate each guitar and case with scrupulous accuracy. However, many of my instruments are well-played vintage items which are many years old, and I am not a luthier. One should assume that any guitar will require some set-up to satisfy your personal requirements, and that not every flaw or ding will be seen/recognized/described in the listing. Thus the return of an instrument will not be accepted unless it can be shown that it was egregiously misrepresented in this listing. Please read the listing carefully, check out the pictures, and ask any questions you might have before offering to buy.