Museum: Martin Guitars

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1966 Martin D-18

Serial # 210188. A particularly lovely one-owner D-18 built in early 1966. This one features almost all of the 'early' 1960's D-18 features -- and it has the tone to match.

Changes to the designs of Martin's guitars began in 1965 after a period of two decades where the instruments remained largely unaltered. In 1965 the long bridge saddle was replaced with the modern 'drop-in' style that's still the norm today. In mid 1966 style 18 lost its tortoise-shell binding in favour of black, and soon thereafter Martin pickguards followed suit. In '67, the long-used T-bar neck support was replaced with a hollow-tube, and in 1968 the bridgeplates on Martin guitars switched to being made of rosewood, and soon were enlarged to more than twice their footprint. By the time Brazilian rosewood was phased out completely in the early 1970's Martin guitars had changed more than considerably in both looks and tone.

This 1966 example features the tortoiseshell celluloid bindings and pickguard, T-bar neck support, and small maple bridgeplate of the earlier guitars. The bridge, fingerboard, and headplate are of Brazilian Rosewood, and the tuners are Grover Rotomatics, complete with Patent Pending markings. The bridge features the drop-in style saddle that was new to 1966.

A gorgeous guitar that's in beautiful condition, this D-18 has just been through our repair shop and has had a neck reset and refret by Folkway's Mark Stutman. The bridge is an aged replica of the original, but with intonation-corrected saddle positioning. New bone saddle, original bridgepins.

Original finish throughout without any touch-ups or areas of significant wear, no cracks other than a repaired pickguard pull. Action set at 5-6 64ths with medium strings and proper neck relief. Nicely rounded neck with 1-11/16" nut.

Classic dry and sweet D-18 tone with a well-developed midrange. It's a loud guitar when you need it to be, but doesn't loose its tone if strummed lightly. An excellent flat-picking or rhythm guitar as it can handle most any right hand attack. Excellent treble string power and fullness.

With original hardshell case

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