C. F. Martin D-18 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1967)

C. F. Martin  D-18 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1967)
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Item # 10422
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C. F. Martin D-18 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1967), made in Nazareth, PA, serial # 228956, natural lacquer finish, mahogany back, sides and neck; spruce top, rosewood fingerboard, original black hard shell case.

This is a fine-sounding D-18 built in mid-1967, as a time when Martin's Dreadnought flat tops were steadily increasing in popularity. This trend that would peak in the early 70's, when the singer-songwriter boom made them even more the de rigeur flat top. Earlier in the 1960s the mahogany D-18 and its pricier rosewood sister the D-28 were already practically the emblems of the Folk revival, thanks in large part to the Kingston Trio. As the decade went on the Martin Dreadnought became -- and pretty much remained ever since -- the acoustic guitar of choice for serious pickers of just about every persuasion.

This D-18 has the standard mahogany back, sides and neck with a spruce top and transitional appointments specific to 1966-7. The pickguard is black celluloid and the outer body binding is also black plastic. The rosewood bridge has the short saddle recently introduced but rests over the traditional small maple bridgeplate, replaced year or so later with a much larger rosewood piece. The original tuners are "Patent Pending" Grover Rotomatics, a recent fitting on this model at the time. The headstock's "rounded" corners are characteristic of this period, the result of Martin's shaping templates having become worn from extensive use.

Martin records indicate 2602 D-18s were shipped in 1967; the best sales year for the model to date. At $295 (plus case) this guitar represented a serious professional level investment, but it was the ambition of a vast number of aspiring flat-top players to own one. From its introduction in the early 1930s on, the D-18 has been a workhorse for country, gospel, folk, and other forms of American vernacular music and in the '60's this sonic palette only expanded. This D-18 sings with a powerful, bright and clear sound, and is an excellent instrument for just about any flat-top application.
 
Overall length is 40 3/4 in. (103.5 cm.), 15 3/4 in. (40 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 4 15/16 in. (12.5 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 25 1/2 in. (648 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.).

Overall this 55 year old D-18 shows some fairly minor wear overall and remains in structurally fine shape. The finish remains original, the top shows some light checking and some unobtrusive pickwear just above the strings. The back and sides are also very clean showing some tiny dings and scrapes. The back of the neck is very clean with hardly any wear.

The guitar has a cleanly fitted reproduction pickguard, matching the contours of the original. The original black acetate pickguards introduced on Martins in 1967 proved unfortunately prone to curling and shrinking, likely what happened to this one. The only crack repair is one very small neatly repaired grain split on the bass side rim at the apex of the lower bout, sealed up but visible with no overfinish.

The neck has been very neatly reset. The bridge is original, looking to have been lowered a bit long ago. The small maple bridgeplate is original as well, only the saddle has been replaced. The fingerboard and original frets are very well preserved showing very little wear. This is a very well cared for guitar, and it remains in an original or at least period green-lined HSC, a lovely package of 1960's Martin goodness. Overall Excellent Condition.