C. F. Martin D-18S Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1968)

C. F. Martin  D-18S Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1968)
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Item # 9168
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C. F. Martin D-18S Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1968), made in Nazareth, PA, serial # 234663, natural lacquer finish, mahogany back and sides, spruce top; mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard, black hard shell case.

The fairly rare 12-fret Martin "Special" Dreadnoughts have often been under appreciated, and even today are in the shadow of the typical "Bluegrass approved" 14-fret models. With a big, expansive sound and wide neck, these are great old-time guitars and we think they are often tonally more muscular than their 14-fret brethren. This 1968 D-18S has some minor wear and tear but remains in excellent playing condition.

Only 150 examples of this model were made in 1968 -- the second production year -- compared with nearly 1700 14-fret D-18s, so "fairly rare" is not an exaggeration! While popular mostly among discerning folk players, these 12-fret models offer a sound that excels in many styles of music. This mahogany D-18 retains more sonic transparency even when played hard compared to its rosewood brethren and may be the most versatile of all. This is a great-playing guitar with a very powerful voice, one of Martin's best late-'60s offerings.
 
Overall length is 40 3/8 in. (102.6 cm.), 15 7/8 in. (40.3 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 5 in. (12.7 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 25 1/2 in. (648 mm.). Width of nut is 1 7/8 in. (48 mm.).

This guitar is in well-preserved condition overall, with some general wear but no major repair. The finish shows dings, dents, and scrapes -- mostly to the top and back -- but not much in the way of heavier wear. There is a neatly cleated repair to the top center seam, and one sealed grain crack on the back. The bridge appears original but has been re-glued and lowered slightly. There is a small patched strap button hole in the side of the heel.

The pickguard is a replacement; the original black acetate 'guards of this era are often heavily shrunken and curled by now so this is very common. The tuners are early '70s Schallers, not original equipment but quite functional and very high-grade machines. The frets show hardly any wear, the action is low and comfortable and this is an excellent-playing and sounding guitar, with a very big sound that never gets muddy. The guitar is fitted with a currently un-wired endpin jack, so it is ready for the installation of a pickup system if desired. Excellent - Condition.