Here is a vintage 1935 Martin D-18 flat top acoustic guitar. This particular pre-war example, serial number 61525, is in completely intact, 100% all original, condition. This unbelievable find from Martin’s Golden Era is rare in and of itself, however, finding one in perfect structural condition, with no cracks, no breaks, no repairs, no modifications, and no replaced parts, is practically impossible. Recently purchased from the second owner, who bought it used from a family friend in 1945, this uncirculated D-18 is, without a doubt, the absolute premier acoustic instrument of its kind. Produced for less than 5 years in the following configuration, with a 14-fret neck and advanced, or forward, bracing, dictates that sheer odds and the accumulation of time past renders this guitar irreplaceable and exceptionally rare. Sure, heavily damaged, refinished, and repaired Golden Era D-18s become available, but one of this caliber hasn’t been sold for many years. It is difficult to put a price on such a virgin instrument, and at this level, the value of this remarkable piece will certainly outweigh its sale price. So, if you are in the position to purchase this historic acoustic, it would probably be one of the best investments you could possible make. We welcome all serious parties and enthusiasts alike to enjoy the 99 super high resolution photos included to the right, in addition to, the HD video.
To clarify and expand upon the 100% originality claim, here is a list of the original components/parts/features:
– Original Adirondack Spruce top
– Original Honduran Mahogany back, and sides
– Original Lacquer finish on entire body
– Original 5-ply binding on top (b/w/b/w/b)
– Original single-ply black binding on back
– Original Ebony fingerboard
– Original Brazilian Rosewood headstock veneer
– Original Grover tuning machines with “Butterbean” buttons (riveted)
– Original T-frets
– Original Ebony bridge
– Original bone nut, 1 3/4″ wide
– Original bone saddle
– Original Tortoise plastic pickguard
– Original Scalloped braces
– Original bridge plate
– Original neck joint
– Original “C.F. Martin & Co.” headstock decal
– Original small dot inlays
– Original un-notched black plastic bridge pins
– Original black plastic strap pin
The guitar sounds a-m-a-z-i-n-g. It is beautifully balanced, all strings are perfectly pronounced, and has an incredibly wide tonal spectrum: from sub-harmonic lows to beautifully smooth highs. Extremely clear, yet in no way brittle or thin, it represents the absolute best tone Martins have to offer. The warmth and richness of the lower strings prevents frequency distortion and dissonance through sustain. Listen and watch the video below, which was recorded with (2) Sennheiser RE20s directly into an Mbox. The sonic quality is completely minimal, using very basic recording tools, and it still sounds fantastic.
The guitar was re-strung with Pyramid .011-.050 bronze strings, and though it is playable over the entirety of the fingerboard (see video), it does have typically higher action due to the small degree of the original neck angle. Furthermore, as is evidenced by the consistent isolated wear on the shoulder, under the pickguard, and on the back of the neck, this guitar was thoroughly played, and the frets display such. The first 3 frets are heavily worn, but as discussed, the guitar is still very playable and quite enjoyable.
The original braces are perfectly intact and completely solid. None are loose, and the guitar resonates with absolutely zero brace distortion or acoustic fatigue. It projects: loudly, cleanly, clearly. The original Ebony bridge sits perfectly flat atop the Spruce, with no indication whatsoever of the top bulging or flexing upward. The bridge plate is in perfect structural condition as well.
Thankfully, there are no pickgaurd nor drying cracks. The original Tortoise pickguard has lifted slightly, however, as can bee seen in one of the photos included, can easily be pushed down to conform to the flatness of the top. A quick”n’easy fix at most, we are selling it with the guard as-is, for the new owner to decide the best method for re-gluing it.
As I frequently discuss in our vintage Martin guitar auctions, the incredibly beautiful tone and superior sound quality, for which Martins have always been appreciated, are the practical reasons for owning such an incredibly crafted instrument. Guaranteed to steadily increase in value, blue chip Martin investments are one of the most obvious purchases guitar enthusiasts, collectors, and players alike should consider.