Here is a vintage 1941 Martin D-18 pre-war flat top acoustic guitar. This particular example, serial number 77277, is in good vintage condition and is an absolutely fantastic player’s piece. The scalloped bracing combined with the famously fine war era construction technique, produced the most masterly crafted acoustic instruments ever made, and while clean all original examples are worth upward of $30,000.00, this listing represents a great opportunity to buy one for significantly less.
While the majority of the repair work appears to be rather novice in approach, and mediocre in execution, the evidence suggests it was performed long ago. Interestingly, whether result of repair service circumstances or not, the guitar sounds absolutely incredible. It resonates much louder than most, to a degree where the player can physically feel it vibrate into your body. Highly transparent with well-balanced bandwidth and full of righteously rich tone, this special specimen sounds better than most we’ve heard. The string action and height are fantastic, which makes it a perfect player’s guitar with remarkably tonality.
Sometime in the ’60s, two large after-market pickguards were removed from the top, and though the top was over-sprayed afterward, the residual glue ghost marks are still unfortunately visible. However, it does not appear that the top was sanded in the process. Soon thereafter the original bridge was replaced, though the original is included and pictured. Probably around the same time, the bridge plate was replaced with what appears to be a Brazilian rosewood version. The original bridge was sloppily removed, and there is chipping evident around the perimeter of the footprint. There is a small stress fracture along the inside waist of the treble side. Though these small defects are not cracks through the wood, and while it is highly common amongst 70 year-old Martins, it is still something a luthier would address given the opportunity. The back and sides appear to be either oversprayed or french-polished.
The neck was professionally reset, the frets and fingerboard are original and nicely preserved. The finish on the neck and headstock is original, as is the decal. The original Kluson tuning machines are in excellent functional shape, and have remained on the guitar since new, with no extra holes or any other evidence of replacement.
The guitar includes a late-40’s to early-50’s Martin case, which was most likely fitted with the instrument during the time it was most serviced.