4/09/2015

2011 Martin D-18VS 12-Fret Dreadnought Guitar




Update June 2, 2015: I've been gigging with this guitar (I love, love, love the tone) and have made a few changes since the first post. This now totes a K&K 3-sensor pickup ($99 type, used to be called Pure Western) which sounds tops and also has new ebony bridge pins. Pics below. I've updated because it's up on the block for sale as the wider neck width wears me down a bit faster over a concert's length for my thumb-over chords up the neck.


Here are those new ebony bridge pins (an upgrade vs. cheap plastic) and a compensated B-string slot.


Here's the endpin jack for the K&K pup.


...and here's a tiny little back-scuff I added at the last show. It'll come off with buffing but I don't like to do that on Martin finishes if I don't have to as they mark up fairly easily. Now back to the original post...

I'm a big fan of 12-fret Martin dreadnoughts. For a long time I had a severe crush on an older D-18S from the 60s that I couldn't quite come up with the scratch to purchase. I guess it's all of those old Norman Blake tunes that got me hooked... but something about the way the body and neck are centered on my lap also makes the 12-fret variant on the classic dread so much more comfortable for me to sit and bang on over a long session. It's got standard 25.4" scale and a 1 3/4" nut width.

This is a practically "brand new" D-18VS from 2011 that'll be up for consignment soon. Right out of the box, with a twist of the truss rod, it's in perfect health and setup right on the dot. It certainly has that classic 12-fret D tone: big, full, focused, and lots of bottom. This makes it a great "backing" guitar that's also ideal for "fills" now and then as it has plenty of punch and boom for both. The neck feels a lot like a 50s/60s Martin neck but perhaps a hair faster. I like!



As you'd expect for a "vintage series" D-18, this is spec'd out with Sitka spruce on the top and "actual" mahogany for the back, sides, and neck. The bridge and fretboard are ebony and it has a bone nut and saddle. The saddle, like the original old guys, isn't compensated for the B string but I could certainly do that for the next owner with half a minute's work.


The squared-off slotted headstock is both "formal" but very classic. This guitar has Waverly tuners standard. I like Waverlies... you?


This has standard 18-series vintage styling with "reduced"-size pearl dots as they go up the board.


The beveled pickguard sure is classy... as is the thin, dramatically-pretty gloss finish.


Even if the long saddles are a little bit more impractical by today's drop-in saddle standards: they sure look great and they definitely have "a sound."



The condition is: painfully clean. There's not even any fretwear to speak of.





The binding is all dark tortoise plastic.




There are those Waverly tuners. Good stuff!


The only distress is some finish rub-off right here and a tiny bit on the other side. I'm guessing this is where the guitar rubbed up against a wall-hanger.



A good, arched-lid TKL hard case with plush padding is included. I'm assuming this is original to the guitar as it's got the Martin nameplate on the side.

3 comments:

Brooks Kenna said...

Will you take a D-18v in trade? It sounds nice but it's too narrow at the nut for me.

Brooks Kenna said...

Is this guitar for sale?



Brooks

mybluegita@hotmail.com

Jake Wildwood said...

Long gone, sorry!