A hallmark of the vintage Martin world: the D-18. Ours comes to us from 1937, and it’s kept itself in great shape for the past eighty years. The neck carve starts out in a smooth-cheeked C-profile, then slowly the point of a soft-V shape emerges as you travel along the neck toward the heel. Frets are freshly dressed by our repair team, and we’ve dialed in the setup for easy playability and lots of meat left to the saddle. The body was refinished at some point in this Martin’s past, but that über woody Mahogany tone is untouched! The tuners and bridge plate are both original, and If you look closely at the top, you’ll see the Adirondack is tight-grained and straight beneath the shaded burst. This Martin has been partially refinished by the venerable John Allison of Austin, Texas.
Mahogany dreads from the 30s have a dry, explosive tone that’s all their own, and this D-18 is no exception: digging in with a flatpick yields lots of crunch, and the projection is such that you might want to consider wearing ear plugs. It's an obvious choice for Bluegrass, but we also enjoyed fingerpicked Blues and some forays into Old Time and Appalachian fiddletunes. The woody clarity of the voice lends itself to a variety of styles, and the setup is such that you can easily transition between fingertips and flatpicks and various attacks. Included is a sturdy Calton flight case to make sure she stays safe and sound whenever you have to put it down (you have to sleep eventually, right?). This Martin has come many miles to have arrived at our shop today, and we’re confident you'll spend a lifetime exploring all those miles locked away in Mahogany, Adi Spruce, Ebony and Ivoroid.
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