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Martin D-18 owners club

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by teleamp, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. teleamp

    teleamp Poster Extraordinaire

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    Martin D-18 owners club, I have owned 2 of these fantastic guitars. If and when I get another it will be buried with me.
     
  2. simonc

    simonc Friend of Leo's

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    Count me in. Though " If and when" doesn't that mean you aren't part of the club? ;)
     
  3. krapyajleinad

    krapyajleinad Former Member

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    Hey, there's a separate Guitar Owners Club forum but maybe a moderator will move this thread. Can someone educate me on the Martin line and Martin's especially the D-18's? Are there any bad years like or are they just "good" and "bad" ones (excluding the pre-war Martins)? What's a good D-18 out now thats under two grand used?
     
  4. mrboson

    mrboson Tele-Afflicted

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    Here's my little lady: 1971. This guitar plays so nice. A few years ago I got a neck reset and a new pick guard courtesy of Martin's lifetime warranty. This guitar plays aMAZing!
     

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    Last edited: Nov 30, 2011
  5. Martin R

    Martin R Friend of Leo's

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    I'm the original owner of a 1974 D18 and I'm still gigging with it. Best guitar I've ever owned.

    And yes, there are good ones and bad ones. There were two at the Dew Music in Monroe, LA. This one and the POS. The salesman had packed up the POS when I came to pick it up. Good thing I opened the case.
     

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  6. teleamp

    teleamp Poster Extraordinaire

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    no such thing as an ex-Marine
     
  7. Blueser100

    Blueser100 TDPRI Member

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    I have a 2007 d-18v that is a cannon. Thought I'd never get used to the v-neck but I love it now.
     
  8. teleamp

    teleamp Poster Extraordinaire

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    What, Don Mare is the only one allowed to have an owners club in this section?
     
  9. SiennaBurst50

    SiennaBurst50 TDPRI Member

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    For most, the D-18 is the starting point for the "real" Martin guitars.

    D-18: Mahogany back and side, Sitka Spruce top. Black Binding

    D-21: East Indian Rosewood back and sides, Sitka spruce. Black Binding.

    D-28: East Indian Rosewood back and side, Sitka Spruce top. The Martin flagship. White body binding, black neck binding.

    D-35: East Indian Rosewood back and side, Sitka Spruce top, 3 piece back. White body binding, white neck binding.

    Those are your standard Martin's. Occasionally you'll see a D-41, D-42 and D-45. These are largely inlay options of the previously mentioned D-28. D-41 has large block fretboard inlays similar to Gibson Les Paul's. The D-42 has snowflake inlays and the D-45 is an all out abalone mess. It is worth mentioning that the D-45 is considered the be all end all of Martin guitars, usually they're made of more exotic tone woods---Brazilian or Amazon rosewood.

    Also, as mentioned, the model number refers to the cosmetic options, black, white, herringbone style on the HD models, etc. The D stands for drednaught....so you could have a 000-28 be the exact same tone woods and cosmetic features of a D-28, but in a orchestra size body.

    As with Taylor, Martin spices things up occasionally and you will see varying woods on all of the aforementioned models. What I have listed are the most common.

    There aren't necessarily good or bad years from Martin. 1950's or earlier D-18's seem to command the most money. While 1969 or earlier rosewood models command the most. Martin switched from Brazilian Rosewood to East Indian Rosewood in 1969, many believe this to be a downgrade in sound quality. Whether one believes this or not is entirely subjective; however, the Brazilian models command more money.

    The mid to late 1970's model Martins tend to have a bad reputation due to a mistake made on one of the jigs at the factory. From what I gather the jig which placed the bridge on the top of the drednaught models was misaligned, thus leading to tuning issues. (I feel as though I must add that my 1978 D-35 had this issue, once the bridge was realigned properly there were no tuning issues, and there was never any tonal issue). These tend to command less money than typical Martins; but it does not mean they are not quality instruments. (They tend to sell between $1,000-1,500....while newer models may fetch a few hundred more)

    There's a lot more about the subject, but I think I've hit the highlights...I'm sure someone can correct me if I was mistaken anywhere.


    Edit: Last Question asked.

    The D-18 Golden Era, in my opinion, is the best D-18 available for less than $2,000. The Golden Era featured a forward shifted bracing pattern used on the pre-war Martin's. The bracing allows for a louder more direct tonality. The Golden Era's are typically louder than regular D-18's. They are very fine instruments in my opinion and I would love to purchase one someday>

    Personal opinion:

    Mahogany Martins sound very punchy to me. Very direct. They may be very loud but the sound stops very abruptly. I would describe them as crisp and commanding. Rosewood has nearly as much punch, but has a warmer tonality to it. Not quite as crisp and not quite as much power, but warmer, sweeter sounding. I would use a mahogany Martin for flatpicking in a heartbeat. However, for a fingerstyle song I would more than likely prefer a rosewood.
     
  10. Don Miller

    Don Miller Tele-Afflicted

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    I got a D-18GE and its a cannon...the neck is slightly wider than the standard D-18s
     
  11. simonc

    simonc Friend of Leo's

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    :D My lighthearted attempt to get you back into a D-18 haha!

    Seriously though, I haven't played my tele for well over 3 months now....its strictly D-18. So much fretboard real estate it makes for easy open chords but my index finger is getting signs of rsi from barre chords on such a neck, still - worth it for the tone :cool:
     
  12. krapyajleinad

    krapyajleinad Former Member

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    Wow. Thank you for the info. Can you describe to me what a "herringbone style" is?
     
  13. braderrick

    braderrick Tele-Afflicted

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    Count me in, better post mine before I sell it! 1964 model, an old bluegrass pickin machine it is!, has the battle scars to prove it too!

    [​IMG]
     
  14. teleamp

    teleamp Poster Extraordinaire

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    I am looking for number 3 now. :cool:
     
  15. SiennaBurst50

    SiennaBurst50 TDPRI Member

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    HD-models refer to a drednaught body with "Herringbone." I know there are currently HD-28's and HD-35's, I don't believe there is such a thing as an HD-18.

    The herringbone is merely a cosmetic change on the models. The binding is a herringbone pattern rather than the straight, alternating black and white bands.

    Herringbone: http://www.google.com/imgres?um=1&h...d=1t:429,r:1,s:0&tx=30&ty=74&biw=1332&bih=646

    Herringbone was the standard on the Pre-war Martins.
     
  16. tcarp

    tcarp Tele-Holic

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    Earlier this year I sold my '06 D-18 to help fund a brand-dandy new D-28P. I couldn't justify both due to financial and other reasons, and I had been gassin' for something in a rosewood flavor for quite some time, so the D-18 went to a new home. I do miss it though and I wish there was some way I could have kept it. It was modded with 18:1 Vintage Grover Sta-Tites, a Greven 50's tortoise guard, polished headstock plate, and snakewood bridgepins with matching end pin and strap button. The pics don't do it real justice...the top had some very cool bearclaw. I have a sunburst Epi Masterbilt AJ500M to satisfy my mahogony cravings, but it's no D-18.
     

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  17. Califiddler

    Califiddler Friend of Leo's

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    Yes and no. The Herringbone itself, which is a decorative pattern around the top of the guitar, is cosmetic. But the HD models also have "scalloped" bracing. This bracing is lighter than the standard bracing and supposedly allows the top to vibrate more, increasing volume.

    The HD28 and HD35 have the scalloped bracing; the D28 and D35 do not.
     
  18. SiennaBurst50

    SiennaBurst50 TDPRI Member

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    Very true. Slipped my mind. I know of an older HD-28 that is simply a cannon; I can't attest to any of the new ones being able to keep up volume with a golden era though. (I realize that's not what you were implying, but do you know of any brand new HD model guitars with a volume advantage over a golden era?)
     
  19. Califiddler

    Califiddler Friend of Leo's

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    By "golden era", I assume that you mean a "pre-war" D28 or D18? ("Pre-war" itself is really a misnomer, since Martin made those models from what, 1934-1944? And the US was involved in WWII starting what, 12/8/41?)

    I don't know, I think that I have played only one "pre-war" D28. I have played a few "pre-war" D18's, but never side-by-side with a current HD28.

    But I don't think that would be a fair comparison anyway. A "pre-war" guitar has had a lot more time to open up than a current model guitar. As they say, even Martin hasn't figured out how to make a 40- (let alone 70-) year-old guitar. A more fair comparison would be same year HD28 vs. D28.

    I play a 1987 HD28. I have had it for 13 years and I still love it every time I take it out of the case. It's a cannon. I'm a bluegrasser and a Pennsylvania boy. There is nothing else like a Martin for me.
     
  20. GlenParrish

    GlenParrish Tele-Meister

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    I bought my D18v after playing 10 Martins in the shop (mostly D28s, btw). I found a great one. The vibration that comes off the back of this guitar is unbelievable. The tone is deep, dark, and luscious. It will never be sold.
     
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