Steve Swan Guitars
High Quality New and Used Acoustic Guitars

(650) 515-1014

Vintage Martin Dreadnought

I seek out strong examples of Pre-1970 Martin guitars from many sources. With their light build, Adirondack Spruce tops, and scalloped brace voicing, I am strongly interested in all models from the classic late 1920s through 1944 period. I like to have good sounding examples of the larger OOO and Dreadnought sizes in the postwar tapered brace voicing period of 1945 through 1948 with Adirondack Spruce tops ending for all models by late 1946 and Sitka Spruce tops being used exclusively in 1947-48. The beefier build style starting in 1948 progressing up through the mid-1960s produced some really great Dreadnoughts for Bluegrass and other heavier playing styles where volume and clarity are important. Scattered throughout the 1950s and early 1960s, but most notably in the 1952-53 period Martin used light, but strong Engelmann Spruce tops on some of their guitars. Many dealers currently mistake and misname this lighter colored top wood as Adirondack Spruce. I’ll also have smaller model sizes represented in this 1948-1969 group if they are responsive and demonstrate a lot of character in their voice.

Coming Soon: 1945 D-28, 1946 D-28, 1953 D-28 with Engelmann Spruce top.


1939 Martin D-18 wide neck (cleanest ever) (72686)

This 1939 Martin D-18 (72686) is the cleanest and, by all accounts, the best sounding transition wide neck D-18 that we have ever had pass through the shop. Celebrated all over the western states, this particular guitar has created many new fans for the transitional wide neck and set-back X-brace dreadnoughts that Martin only made […]

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Price: $42,500

Late 1937 Martin D-18 (68646)

TEMPORARY PHOTO SET __________________________________________ Every once in a while a 1930s Martin D-18 comes along that competes in volume and a solid presence with the D-28s from that same period. This late 1937 Martin D-18 (68646) is one of those. Part of the solid feel comes from the fuller neck profile from under the nut […]

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Price: $47,500

Early 1941 Martin D-18 (76975)

This very early 1941 Martin D-18 (76975) is one of the first 250 guitars built that year, and one of only 575 D-18s built in 1941. The voice is closer to what I would expect from D-18s built in 1940, very bold and midrange-rich, supported by a strong bass. Top top spruce grain is tighter, […]

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Price: $23,500

Early 1945 Martin D-18 (90565)

This well-loved and played early 1945 Martin D-18 (90565) is one of 475 made that year, and one of less than half made that year that got the renewed use steel T-bar neck reinforcement (my preferred choice). This guitar received the new radically tapered style of brace voicing that first made its appearance at the […]

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Price: $7500

1949 Martin D-28 before neck reset and refret (112610)

This consignment 1949 Martin D-28 (112610) is scheduled to go in for a neck reset and refret by Alan Perlman about March 30. If you would prefer to purchase and play it as-is, the retail price will be significantly less. The even grain Sitka spruce top is nice and healthy, with only the beginnings of […]

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Price: $9750

1948 D-28 (105204)

This early 1948 Martin D-28 (105204) was a big surprise in the responsiveness and huge voice that it delivers. The voice reminds me much more of a good mid-1947 tapered brace D-28 in the volume and presence. This guitar was used in dance bands and charity music performances by the original owner. As can be […]

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Price: On Hold

1943 Martin D-28 (83786)

This responsive refinished 1941 Martin D-28 (83786) is very useful for playing melodies and rhythm functions with light gauge stringing. Like many 1940s era D-28s, this guitar had been used with a DeArmond soundhole pickup and the output jack hole has been plugged before the older refinish. Repaired cracks include 7 on the treble side […]

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Price: $22,500

1935 Martin D-28 (59394)

_____________________________________________________________ NOTE:   The highly polished surfaces of the back and sides makes outdoor photography without reflections exceedingly difficult, to say the least. _____________________________________________________________ This consignment 1935 Martin D-28 (59394) comes to the shop from the estate of a friend who purchased it over 20 years ago from a large upper midwestern electric dealer. The […]

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Price: 65,000

1946 Martin D-28 (95062)

From spring of 1946, this extra resonant and responsive consignment D-28 (95062) is one of only 425 made that year. The combination of lively medium density Brazilian rosewood back and sides, a beautifully quartered Sitka Spruce top, Steel T-bar reinforcement in a full profile neck, and the radically tapered top braces all combine to make […]

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Price: $19,500

1955 Martin D-28 (144545)

This lovely consignment 1955 Martin D-28 (144545) remains in marvelous original condition and the list of repairs is quite short. One of 806 D-28s made in 1955, the quality and care displayed in Martin guitars from the 1950s remained undiminished, even though the postwar boom in instrument ownership kept Martin quite busy. The  fine grain […]

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Price: $10,500