The Martin J-40 acoustic guitar is surely one of the most beautiful factory guitars ever made, enhanced with the famous Martin quality and sound. This particular guitar was made in 1993 according to its serial number (523521), and while I don’t have the Martin production numbers for this model, I am confident that this is one of very few examples of this classic beauty. Featuring top-grade solid woods throughout, the J-40 is a superb American-made acoustic guitar with tremendous visual impact, a “Wow” factor which few other designs—boutique or otherwise—can ever produce.
The Martin J-40 features subtle aesthetic upgrades rather than over-the-top gaudiness, built into the Martin classic tight-waisted small jumbo body shape with masterfully scalloped top bracing. It has solid East Indian rosewood back and sides, a mahogany neck, a AAA Sitka spruce top, polished gloss finish, and a hand-fit dovetail neck joint. The bound ebony fretboard with hexagon abalone inlays, the ebony bridge and 5-9-5 style rosette, and the mahogany peghead with gold tuners make it look worth every penny of its current list price of $4,899.
Regarding its performance capabilities, I am going to quote one of the many on-line rave reviews:
“If you want more bang—in both quality and volume—for your buck, take a look at the Martin J-40 as your next acoustic guitar purchase. Much like other guitars in Martin’s Standard Series, the Martin J-40 combines quality features for both tone and aesthetics while keeping the price reasonable.
This week’s model is a bigger guitar than all of our previous Martin acoustic guitar reviews. In fact, while Martin is known for creating the first dreadnought size, the Martin J-40 was Martin’s first design for a jumbo guitar as the next step in the great quest for more volume. However, pursuing this goal has not sacrificed this model’s balance. While other jumbo guitars are bass-heavy, this guitar has a lot of bass that balances with the upper register as well.
The Martin J-40 is a wonderful rhythm guitar because it supports a melody without the excessive boominess of a dreadnought. You also get a little more volume than the average dread. This acoustic guitar is also a surprisingly versatile instrument for a jumbo. In addition to the typical acoustic genres like folk or country, the Martin J-40 can be used for 80s jazz or other non-traditional genres. Of course in addition to the sound, the Martin J-40’s unique aesthetics make it a great choice for a musician who wants a little more punch to their look.
The J-40 is in a class by itself. With its luxurious and tasteful cosmetic appointments, its wonderful smooth, deep voice, and its surprisingly comfortable small jumbo body, this uncommon instrument is a standout which commands attention. It produces a tone that is beautifully balanced with powerful response and volume, enhancing the art of the singer-songwriter.”
The playability and sound verify the quality promised by the name and the gorgeous appearance. The body dimensions are similar to those of most small jumbos: it has a 14/20-fret fingerboard with a 1 11/16" nut, a 25.4” scale, a lower bout width of 16”, and a depth of 4 7/8”. The Martin mortise/tenon neck joint and scalloped Spruce bracing of the Sitka top combine with the great sensitivity and resonance of Rosewood to make for the rich, bright sound characteristic of the J-40.
The playing condition of this particular J-40 is excellent, as you would expect of a top-grade Martin: straight neck, solid bridge, tight tuners, and so on. There is very little visible fret wear, and there is no buzz or intonation issue. Cosmetically, it’s in excellent shape, with only a finish crack below the bridge, and a crack in the neck binding—obviously of no concern—and there are a very few minor dings on the top and headstock. The action is set up at a fast and comfortable hair below 3/32” at the 12th fret low E, and of course the sound is terrific!
The included hard shell case is not original, but some would consider this Roadrunner deluxe model an upgrade from the standard Martin 345 case. Its clean black vinyl exterior and silver plush molded interior are certainly worthy of this fine guitar. The hardware all works perfectly and it is an ideal complement to this wonderful Martin.
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 fine instrument fully and accurately. Please check out the pictures and ask any questions before offering to purchase it, as its return will not be accepted unless it can be shown that it was egregiously misrepresented in this listing.
Thank you for your interest in this great 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.