Martin | D18 | 1944 | SN:87213
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- Model: D-18
- Year: 1940
- Top: Adirondack Spruce
- Back and sides: Mahogany
- Neck: Mahogany
- Nut Width: 1 11/16″
- String Spacing: 2 1/8″
- Scale: 25.4″
- Body Length: 19 7/8″
- Lower Bout: 15 5/8″
- Upper Bout: 11 3/8″
- Body Depth: 3 3/4″, 4 3/4″
- Bridge: Ebony
- Binding: Black
- Rosette: Ring
- Backstrip: None
- Purfling: Line
The prior owner has this to say:”This guitar has original scalloped bracing, and the original finish thru out. It shows normal playing wear; primarily pick wear around the sound hole and the original pickguard. There is just one crack, about 6-inches long on the top located at the bottom of the lower bout, as seen in the pictures. There are no other cracks on the body, or any neck cracks, or headstock repairs, or overspray of the original finish (it black-lights beautifully), or any issues other than those mentioned.
This Martin has had an excellent neck-reset and re-fret about two years ago. The bridge was professionally replaced and then contoured to the same wartime appearance and long bridge saddle slot that one would expect to see on a Martin of this era. The fingerboard and bridge are ebony and the top is Adirondack spruce.
The headstock has its original style tuners and Brazilian rosewood peghead veneer. As is often found during WWII production, as a result of material shortages, the tuners have plastic buttons, and there are no metal bushings for the tuner shafts. It also has the ebony truss rod. The resulting decrease in mass really allows this guitar to project when the strings are plucked, as their energy has less mass and weight to overcome due to the less weighty wartime materials used during this golden era.
The neck shape has a soft ‘V’ neck feel. The 6th string action height is 6/64 of an inch at the 12th fret, and the first string is 5/64 of an inch at the 12th fret. The fingerboard width is 1 11/16-inches at the stringnut. This guitar plays very well and sounds as fine as any pre-war Martin D-18 we’ve encountered. This guitar even comes in its original 1940’s Martin hardshell case.
References: Martin Guitars, a History by Mike Longworth.
Pictures kind courtesy of Steve Broitman.
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