Martin D-18 Guitars
About Martin D-18 Guitars
The Martin D-18 is a masterpiece of steel-string acoustic guitar design. It is a mainstay of Martin's famous guitar lineup. The Martin D-18 traces back to the earliest dreadnought guitars that C.F. Martin & Company built almost a century ago. Its Martin dreadnought siblings include the D-28, D-35 and flagship D-45. Musician’s Friend is proud to offer them all.
The higher the Martin guitar model number, the more ornate its inlays and binding. While the Martin D-18 is the least decorated, it is by no means a lesser guitar. It features mahogany back and sides, as opposed to the rosewood found on most versions of the other models. Mahogany imparts unique tonal characteristics. It often results in a brighter sound. Mahogany back and sides also give Martin D-18 guitars great projection that cuts through the mix. The Musician’s Friend experts find it well-suited for fingerpicking and playing lead.
The Martin D-18 dreadnought acoustic guitar is a traditional-style dreadnought. It features a rosewood fingerboard and bridge with black binding and pickguard. The Martin D-18 also has chrome-enclosed tuning machines. Its solid mahogany back and sides combine with a large dreadnought guitar size to produce a loud, clear treble and a warm, moderate bass.
In 1916, the Oliver Ditson music publishing company partnered with Martin to develop a large-bodied steel-string guitar. Guitar players said it was as loud as a cannon. They called it the Dreadnought, named for the WW-I-era class of battleships. At the time, the dreadnought battleship was the most formidable weapon on earth.
Early Martin dreadnoughts featured a longer body. They had a spruce top and mahogany back and sides. The body met the neck at the 12th fret. They also had a slotted headstock. The Ditson dreadnoughts were not big sellers. When Ditson went out of business, C.F. Martin & Co. began selling their own dreadnoughts.
The first few years of production maintained the initial 12-fret design. That means the neck met the body at the 12th fret. By 1934, they released the familiar 14-fret dreadnought design. The 14-fret design is now the most popular steel-string acoustic guitar design in the world. It has excellent tonal balance, projection and playability. If you're not sure a Martin D-18 is right for you, learn more at Musician's Friend about the full assortment of Martin guitars.
Martin D-18 Guitar Variations
Martin offers several versions, including the Standard D-18 with a solid Sitka spruce top. The Martin Retro D-18 is based on the iconic pre-war models and loaded with Fishman electronics for amplified picking. The Martin D-18 1937 features period-correct materials and construction methods, right down to the hide glue. The Martin D-18GE Golden Era 1934 is based on another pre-war classic and features a slightly stiffer Adirondack solid spruce top. Whatever your playing style, it can only be enhanced when you play the best guitars available. Martin originated the dreadnought design and perfected it, and the D-18 is a prime example of their years of fine craftsmanship and commitment to quality. Order your Martin D-18 today and own a masterpiece.
Previous Martin D-18 Guitars
Martin D-18V (Discontinued)
It has all the craftsmanship and quality that has made Martin the leader in acoustic guitars for over a century. Solid Sitka spruce top, solid mahogany back and sides. Its mahogany neck has a modified V profile. It has an ebony fretboard and bridge, rosewood headplate, and scalloped bracing. The Martin D-18V is beautifully handcrafted from top to bottom. It has a belly-drop style bridge, vintage butterbean tuners, and old-style rosette.
Martin D-18E Retro (Discontinued)
The Retro Series D-18E Dreadnought acoustic-electric guitar features a sleek, modern High Performance Neck for enhanced playability. The Martin Retro Series D-18E adds a Sitka spruce top to the mahogany back and sides. You’ll also find the Fishman F1 Aura Plus acoustic-electric guitar pickup system. The Martin D-18E is perfect for intermediate and advanced players.
Martin D-18P High Performance (Discontinued)
The Martin D-18P Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar features the High Performance Neck found on Martin's popular Performing Artist series guitars, redesigned to offer a slimmer, faster profile and more comfortable spacing in the first frets and faster action as the player moves up the fingerboard. The bridge spacing has been increased as well to provide more hand comfort when resting on the bridge. The D-18P is constructed of Solid Genuine Mahogany on the back and sides that provides it with strong bass response and tonal projection.
Martin D-18 Mahogany (Discontinued)
Martin D-18 Sycamore (Discontinued)
With this guitar, C.F. Martin & Co. celebrates 50 years of guitar manufacturing at their Sycamore Street location. This unique dreadnought 14-fret guitar has solid sycamore back and sides married with a torrefied Sitka spruce top. Torrefaction accelerates the natural aging process, which in turn gives the guitar the appearance and warmth of an aged guitar. The modified low oval profile neck with a Performing Artist taper is also made of solid sycamore. Production of this guitar will be limited to 50.
Martin D-18 Custom Koa (Discontinued)
Martin dreadnought made from Genuine Koa, and attractively appointed. The classic Martin dreadnought is the D-28. It is the iconic large-body acoustic against which all others are judged. The D-18 Koa guitar will be "brighter" than the traditional Martin dreadnought guitars. It will have plenty of sustain, but focus more on the mids and highs relative to the more bass-heavy Martin HD-28 model.
Martin D-18 75th Anniversary (Discontinued)
The Martin D-18 75th Anniversary Edition Acoustic Guitar conjures memories of times long past. Its Adirondack spruce top offers superb resonance and response. The D-18 guitar's solid genuine mahogany back and sides lend it balanced midrange for the perfect blend of legendary Martin tone. Scalloped 5/16" top Adirondack spruce bracing ensures tonal clarity. The D-18 75th Anniversary Guitar also boasts a genuine mahogany modified V-shaped neck set with a dovetail neck joint for enhanced stability.
Martin D-18 1937 (Discontinued)
This special edition D-18 acoustic guitar is Martin's loving recreation of the original 1937 guitar, now a highly sought-after collector's item. Crafted with mahogany back and sides, a solid Adirondack top with the X-brace and scalloped braces of the period, hide glue, vintage toner on top, ebony bridge with long saddle (2-5/16" string spacing), and a tortoise pickguard. The neck is also formed exactly as the original and reinforced with a traditional non-adjustable T-bar. Ebony fretboard (1-3/4" nut, 25.4" scale), small abalone position dots, fossil ivory nut and saddle, ebony bridge pins, 30's style hardshell case. The features and details add up to a true masterpiece of the luthier's art, with all the storied sound quality that graced the original pre-war guitar.
Martin D-18 Authentic 1937 (Discontinued)
The Martin D-18 Authentic 1937 Guitar replicates the specifications, materials, and processes used in the construction of the original pre-WWII D-18. This hand-constructed model draws its inspiration from a stellar 1937 example and employs the use of hide glue as well as vintage "T" bar neck reinforcement. Other significant features on the dreadnought include an Adirondack spruce top with circa 1937 sculpted Adirondack bracing, a nitrate tortoise colored pickguard, Old Style 18 position inlays, black Boltaron bindings, black ebony fingerboard and bridge, fossil ivory nut and saddle, ebony bridge pins and a vintage style case.
Martin D-18 Authentic 1939 (Discontinued)
The new Authentics from Martin are constructed in the traditional Martin way - with hide glue throughout, and historically accurate detailing confirmed by using a CAT scan machine located at the Smithsonian Institute. Based on a 1939 D-18 in Martin's museum, this guitar features mahogany back and sides, an Adirondack spruce top, and uses an authentic circa 1939 bracing pattern. Period-correct "18" Authentic-style appointments, with an Authentic neck barrel and heel, complete this piece. Comes with 545V Harptone case.
Martin D-18 Golden Era (Discontinued)
Hand-bulit by Dale Eckhart, Martin's Custom D-18GE Golden Era Acoustic Guitar features the special combination of Adirodack spruce top and sinker mahogany back and sides with Brazilian rosewood top and back binding, Style 18 black maple wood inlays, and Old Style 18 rosette. Other high-qualty appointments include Waverly nickel 1129 tuners with oval knobs, two-way adjustable truss rod, dovetail neck joint, grained ivoroid side dots, a Brazilian rosewood 1930 Style belly-long saddle bridge, ebony bridge and end pins, and a faux tortoise pickguard.
Martin D-18 Custom Quilted Mahogany (Discontinued)
Martin's Custom Shop crew has done it again. Starting with the Original Dreadnought platform with 14 frets clear of the body, and constructed the traditional way using only hide glue, this instrument is not just one for your collection, but a guitar that you'll want to pick up time and time again to play, show off and otherwise enjoy. Musician's Friend commissioned Martin's expert Custom Shop team to come up with a small run of quilted mahogany guitars, and they exceeded our expectations in every way. The tops, backs and sides of these Custom D-18s are comprised of beautiful, swirly, woody mahogany. It's gloss finish not only protects the guitar, but it will allow you to enjoy the natural, gorgeous patterns of the woodgrain for years to come.
The Custom Shop's final product is very lightweight and resonant. It produces a range of tones that is mesmerizing thanks in part to tops that were milled to a slightly thinner spec, allowing the optimum movement in conjunction with scalloped 5/16" Adirondack "Golden Era" bracing. For the neck, we opted for Martin's Modified Low Oval profile (Performing Artist taper) for a feel on the genuine mahogany neck that's very comfortable. The guitar has elegant aesthetic appointments as well, including a black/maple/black back inlay, Style 45 Golden Era with D18 inlay purfling, and a Style 28 maple and black wood fiber rosette. Ultimately, though, this well-conceived combination of attributes takes a back seat, and really let the wood do the talking, so to speak.
Martin D-18-12 Custom (Discontinued)
A gorgeous 12-fret dreadnought made with sinker mahogany from Belize and topped with Adirondack Spruce. Inspired by a 1929 Ditson 111 that resides in the C.F. Martin museum, the CS-D18-12 is a 12 fret dreadnought with a body constructed of mahogany reclaimed from rivers in Belize. Commonly referred to as "sinker mahogany," these logs sank to the bottom of a river that was used to transport them and have been lost for over 100 years. Hot hide glue was used to construct these instruments which also boast a T-bar trussrod, slotted headstock and Adirondack spruce top. Also included on the CS-D18-12 and new for 2012 is the Custom Shop Thin Finish package. This nitrocellulose finish is 40% thinner than the standard C.F. Martin nitrocellulose finish. Only 75 of these instruments will be made for the world in 2012. Includes case.
Martin D-18 Authentic 1937 (Discontinued)
An authentic pre-WWII D-18 reproduction. The Martin "Authentic Series" D-18 guitars go well beyond the already highly acclaimed Golden Era vintage recreations in faithfully replicating the specifications, materials and processes used in the construction of the original pre-WWII Martin guitars. These custom hand-constructed models draw their inspiration from stellar 1937 examples and employ the use of hide glue as well as a T-shaped neck reinforcement bar. Other significant features on the Martin D-18 guitar include an Adirondack red spruce top with circa 1937 contoured Adirondack bracing, a specially shaped tortoise colored pickguard, a narrow tortoise colored end piece, old style 18 abalone position markers, grained ivoroid side position dots, black ebony fingerboard and bridge, fossil ivory nut and saddle, Gotoh nickel open geared with butterbean knobs and a V18a Authentic Style guitar case.
Martin D-18 Performing Artist (Discontinued)
Redesigned neck to offer a slimmer, faster profile. The Martin D-18P Dreadnought Left-Handed Acoustic Guitar features the High Performance Neck found on Martin's popular Performing Artist series guitars, redesigned to offer a slimmer, faster profile and more comfortable spacing in the first frets and faster action as the player moves up the fingerboard. The bridge spacing has been increased as well to provide more hand comfort when resting on the bridge. The D-18P is constructed of Solid Genuine Mahogany on the back and sides that provides it with strong bass response and tonal projection.
Other Martin Guitar Models
Martin Grand Performance | Martin Dreadnought | Martin D-28 | Martin HD-28 | Martin D-35 | Martin D-45 | Martin DX | Martin Dreadnought Junior | Martin Backpacker | Little Martin | Martin 0 | Martin 00 | Martin 000
Other Martin Guitar Series
Martin 15 Series | Martin 16 Series | Martin 17 Series | Martin Modern Deluxe Series | Martin Authentic Series | Martin Performing Artist Series | Martin Road Series | Martin Standard Series | Martin X Series | Martin Custom