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1956 Martin D-18

C. F. Martin D-18 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1956), made in Nazareth, PA, serial # 147580, natural lacquer finish, mahogany back, sides and neck, spruce top; rosewood fingerboard, body bound on the top and back. Overall length is 41″, 15 5/8″ wide at the lower bout and 4 15/16″  in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 25 1/2″. Width of the nut is a hair over 1 10/16″ with an imbedded metal non adjustable truss rod.

This well played-in ’56 has everything a flat picker would desire from a vintage D-18: comfy neck and blue grass action at 4-3, great volume, deep bass and the tone that can only come from decades of playing.

The serial number places this D-18 among the first batches Martin produced in 1956. It’s also one of the first with the distinctive orange-brown pick guard material Martin used briefly in 1956-7.  The top and back are free of cracks and the original finish shows genuine age and play wear. Clean original bridge plate with the original Brazilian rosewood bridge set up with a new bone saddle from our luthier, David Hatchard, who dressed the frets and did a full professional setup and inspection. Original Kluson Deluxe tuners.

The previous owner bought this guitar from a band mate in the 1970’s, and it soon became his number one. He played it heavily and performed plugged in with a sound hole pickup. There is an ancient output jack repair on the side of the lower bout, and the end pin hole was also enlarged for a jack. We left the old side repair alone, and placed a No-jack end pin for correct vintage appearance. The hole is there for you to add a modern pickup down the road, or have us install one for you. A strap button is already fitted along with another filled strap button hole. There is a small area of ancient finish touch up over some of the pick rash around the bass side of the sound hole that is really a no never mind – play it enough and that will disappear!

Bring your favorite strap, your Blue Chip pick and your fiddle tune songbook. This won’t last long.

A very fine player’s D-18 from the 1950’s

Check out the videos of Frank Corso on the flat and finger picking stylings….

  • Year: 1956
  • Manufacturer: C. F. Martin
  • Model: D-18
  • Case: Older Hardshell
  • Color: Natural
  • Condition: Finger and Flat Picking Good!