C. F. Martin D-12-20 12 String Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1967)

C. F. Martin  D-12-20 12 String Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1967)
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Item # 11476
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C. F. Martin D-12-20 Model 12 String Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1967), made in Nazareth, PA, serial # 221486, natural lacquer finish, mahogany back and sides, spruce top; mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard, original black chipboard case.

This is an original 1960s example of Martin's first production 12-string, the D-12-20. The model was launched in 1964, when Martin could no longer ignore the popular demand for 12-strings, something they had previously been reluctant to build. The d-12-20 was the result, basically a 12-fret D-18S with 12 strings braced rather more heavily for the extra tension as would be expected. It has features typically associated with Martin's Style 18; a spruce top, mahogany body and rosewood fingerboard and bridge with a slightly fancier backstrip presumably meriting the "Style 20" designation. 1076 of these were sold in 1967, making the guitar a success at the time.

This pre-1968 example is a much more responsive guitar than the much more common 1970s 12-strings, which are rather more heavily built with a heavier rosewood bridge plate. It is fitted with openback Waverly strip tuners instead of the heavy cast "box" Grover Slimline pegs Martin later used, with better handling as a result. This Martin 12-string has a smooth ringing sound, with more depth than some 12-strings but plenty of clarity on top. This 1967 D-12-20 has very little wear; it plays and sounds great and is superbly well preserved for its 55+ years on the planet.
Overall length is 41 in. (104.1 cm.), 15 5/8 in. (39.7 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 24 3/4 in. (629 mm.). Width of nut is 1 7/8 in. (48 mm.).

For being over half a century old this D-12-20 has been kept in pretty spectacular shape, with only a few maintenance repairs. The original lacquer finish shows light checking mostly over the top; the back, and sides, show some small dings, scratches and nicks here and there. The neck has been very cleanly reset, with a small shim discreetly added under the fingerboard extension. The fingerboard has been neatly refretted with a period correct gauge of fret wire.

The guitar is crack-free except for a very small grain split off of the top edge of the pickguard caused by celluloid shrinkage. the Martin shows no other evidence of repair work. Internally all of the braces, as well as the original maple bridge plate, have been left untouched. The original rosewood bridge is at full height and the drop-in bone saddle has plenty of room to be lowered in the future, if needed. The action is very low and supple for a 12 string, and this is as good a playing and sounding one of these as we have ever had. It resides in the original red-lined heavy chipboard case. Overall Excellent Condition.