The Martin D-18 guitar was introduced to the Martin lineup in 1932, and has long been thought of a the working musicians Martin flat top. While the older Martin instruments of the 19th and very early 20th century have limited appeal to collectors due to their primarily gut string design, the steel string, belly bridge models of the pre-war period are for some the pinnacle of acoustic guitar craftsmanship in the 20th century. The spruce top models are particularly sought after compared to the less expensive all mahogany styles of the period. This 1940 Martin D-18 is a holy grail acoustic guitar from Martin's most revered period, in exceptional condition for an instrument of its age.
This 1940 Martin D-18 is a fantastic example of the quality and craftsmanship of pre-WW2 Martin guitars. The 'D' body size was introduced in 1932 and was the largest size offered by the company, providing the open, punchy sound that would go on to form the flat picked and strummed playing styles of the country and rock and roll music that would follow over the next three decades. This guitar is constructed from an Adirondack Spruce top with Mahogany back and sides, and features the rear shifted 'X' bracing that gives Martin guitars of this period their signature resonance. The Adirondack top also features the kind of unique grain patterns found on this variety of spruce. This D-18 showcases all the specifications of the period, with the original open gear grover tuners, tortoiseshell binding and pick guard, and belly down ebony bridge and fingerboard.
This guitar is in exceptional condition for an instrument of its age, with only minor play wear to the rear of the body and some small signs of patina and play wear to the top and neck. The neck is straight with a good angle, having benefitted from a professional neck reset at some point in its life, along with a period correct refret. The bridge has been reglued at some point, with no other signs of repair or upkeep work apparent.
As with the majority of Martins from this period, it is also incredibly light and lightly braced, adding to its resonance. This guitar is in all original condition, and has been given a full set up and service by our luthiers at the Vintage Instrument Workshop. This guitar also includes a period correct chipboard case and 3 year warranty.