Museum: Martin Guitars

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1966 Martin D-35

Serial # 210817. Introduced in late 1965, the D-35 was designed with its three-piece back to allow the builders at C.F. Martin Guitars to use rosewood sets that were too small to be used in Dreadnought construction. Brazilian rosewood was already in short supply by the mid 1960's and it would have been shameful to leave such fine wood unused just because it was of the wrong dimensions.

The Martin D-35 was the first new Dreadnought style to be offered since the first D's danced out of Nazareth in the early 1930's, and offered players something a little different than the D-28 - the company's only rosewood D in production since 1942. In addition to the three-piece back, the new D-35 model featured a bound ebony fingerboard, a volute-less neck, multi-layered side purflings, and Grover Rotomatic tuners. Under the hood, the top's bracing was lightened up significantly, which made the D-35 the most bass-end responsive Dreadnought since scalloped bracing was abandoned in 1944. At 1/4" wide, Martin D-35 top bracing is a 16th of an inch, or 20%, lighter than that of a D-28. These guitars were designed for a big, warm sound, and instantly found favor with Dreadnought buyers. Within a few years of the model's introduction, its production numbers approached those of the D-28, and by 1974 the Martin D-35 was the company's top selling instrument.

This very early example is a strikingly beautiful guitar, with exquisitely figured Brazilian rosewood, tortoise celluloid pickguard, and attractive Sitka spruce top. The instrument is in very fine condition, without any cracks, loose or reglued binding, or significant finish wear. The guitar's original small maple bridge plate is intact, and two top braces have been reglued. The bridge is full thickness, and the saddle has ample adjustment room left after our recent in-shop set-up. The fingerboard has been shaved at the nut-end and refretted, which has allowed this one to go without a neck reset to date. The guitar plays very well and comfortably. 25.4" scale length, 1-11/16" nutwidth, modern round neck profile.

With modern Martin / Geib style hardshell case

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