Vintage Instruments: Martin Guitars

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1960 Martin D-21

With its quarter-sawn Brazilian rosewood back and sides and tortoise bindings, the D-21 is stylistically akin to a D-18, but tonally on par with a D-28. The model was introduced in the mid/late 1950’s and offered through 1969.

This example has been played hard and used well, and has the wear to prove it. There’s plenty of worn finish around the pickguard, soundhole, and on the back; and the top shows arm wear on its lower bout. Neck finish is heavily worn as well, and feels fantastic in the hand.

The guitar has seen some repairs and plays easily and well. The bridge and bridgeplate are 1970’s replacements; the bridge is likely a Martin D-28 part. There is a repaired top crack at the lower bass bout and a repaired pickguard-edge crack, no back cracks, and one very minor repaired side crack. No finish touch-ups anywhere. The guitar has had a few different bridgeplate-mounted pickups installed over the years. At present it has an LR Baggs IMix system installed. The undersaddle ribbon passes through the side of the X brace, but the structural integrity of the brace appears fine. Strap button added to the side, adjacent to the neck.

New frets in 2016 by our shop, setup with modern action. 25.4” Scale, 1-11/16” nutwidth. Rounded neck feel, with nicely worn-in fingerboard edges.

A warm and well-rounded tone, with developed bass response and strong mids. The guitar has all kinds of great vibe and feel, and would be a wonderful gig-ready vocal back-up choice.

With hardshell case

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