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-45 (73128)

This beautiful consignment 1939 Martin D-45 (73128) comes to the shop after having been proudly owned and played for 50 years by the current owner. This guitar was made in the summer of 1939, right after the change from the older wider standard neck to the 1 11/6″ nut width. Standard features for that period […]

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Price: Sold

1935 Martin D-18 (59596)

This consignment 1935 Martin D-18 (59596) has had a lot of professional stage use and repairs over the years. With the recent neck reset, refret, bridge reglue, and installation of new Waverly G-98 style tuners by Alan Perlman, this guitar is once again performing efficiently and well. The voice is large and full. One of […]

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Price: $27,500

1937 Martin D-28 (66724)

For many decades the vintage guitar community has looked to the 1937 D-28s to the time when Martin really found its way with guitars that were responsive, tonally complex, and forcefully loud in group settings. This guitar, serial number 66724, is and outstanding example in condition and sound, with a voice that is consistently powerful […]

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Price: Back to Owner

1949 Martin D-28 (111624)

  This consignment 1949 Martin D-28 returns to the shop after many years. This guitar has a very bold, complex voice that works exceptionally well as a rhythm instrument in a group or for flatpicking melodies. Tight even grained Sitka spruce top, Brick-red Brazilian rosewood back and sides, Original Kluson Deluxe tuners (Gotoh Kluson replicas […]

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Price: $9750

Early 1951 Martin D-18 (117964)

This consignment early 1951 Martin D-18 (117964) was only the third Martin guitar made for that year! This returning instrument is strong and colorful in its response and just feels good to hold and play. I tend to think of it as an honorary 1950 Dreadnought, which is one of my favorite postwar years. Sitka […]

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Price: 6950

1941 Martin D-28 (78220)

This consignment Martin D-28 (78220) is an especially fine one-owner example and remains in very fine clean condition. One of only 183 D-28s made by Martin in 1941, this guitar has the rich complex tone and great penetrating volume that I have come to expect from the Martin dreadnoughts made in this year. The series […]

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Price: Sold

1940 Martin D-28 (76035)

One of only 134 Martin D-28s made in 1940 (76035), this consignment guitar was made late in the year and it is a one-family, indeed a one-player, instrument that comes to the shop in extremely clean condition. Having been stored for 25-30 years in the midwestern family home, the lacquer finished surfaces and plated metal […]

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Price: $70,000

1943 Martin D-18 (85241)

  This consignment 1943 Martin D-18 (85241) comes to the shop speaking with a very powerful voice and having had a few repairs that keeps the price very reasonable. One of only 425 D-18s made by Martin in 1943. Repairs are: Replacement Waverly tuners, Replacement fingerboard with snail shell dots, Replacement bridge and bridge pins, […]

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Price: Sold

1950 Martin D-18 114189 (114189)

This wonderful 1950 D-18 (114189) comes back to the shop on consignment now that the owner has goneon  to prefer OO size guitars. Typical of 1950 Martin dreadnoughts, this guitar has a nice med-full neck profile, a very solid and musical voice with a lot of harmonic detail, and the usual high position on the […]

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Price: 6500

1940 Martin D-18 (74186)

This consignment very early 1940 D-18 (74186) is one of the nicer examples that I have personally held, and is one of only 377 D-18s made that year. All repair and set up work done by Sparky Kramer in consultation with the consigning owner. The gorgeous wide grain Adirondack spruce top has the narrower grain […]

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Price: Sold