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.


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 […]

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Price: $75,000

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 […]

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Price: $75,000

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: On Hold

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

Early 1947 Martin D-28 (98686)

This huge sounding and great playing consignment early 1947 Martin D-28 (98686) dates from early enough in the year that it retains the zipper backstrip, but was made after the herringbone top purling had been phased out. I sort of consider this guitar to be an honorary 1946 Martin dreadnought, due to the heavily tapered […]

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Price: $9975

1964 Martin D-21 (199572)

Temporary photo set. This consignment late 1964 Martin D-21 (199572) is a returning champion from a discerning player who has decided that OOO size guitars are a better fit for his playing style. One of only 125 D-21 guitars produced in 1964, this one is in nearly a Time Machine state of preservation, showing off […]

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Price: 6500

1934 Martin D-28 retopped by Martin about 1948-49 (569XX)

Replacement photos coming soon. This consignment 1934 Martin D-28 (569xx) retains all of the early neck features from the first 8 months of production, but it was retopped by Martin with a Sitka spruce top and the then current brace position about 1948-49.  A professionally done and conservatively approached top brace revoicing to scalloped configuration […]

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Price: Sold

1937 Martin D-28 (667--)

This consignment 1937 Martin D-28 (667xx) is an outstanding example in both condition and sound. One of only 148 D-28s made in 1937, this guitar represents what many have believed is Martin’s finest year for prewar dreadnoughts. As their recently developed 14 fret dreadnought models were refined and made with a more consistently powerful and […]

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Price: Sold

1941 Martin D-28 782XX (782XX)

This consignment 1941 Martin D-28 (782XX) is an especially fine sounding example and remains great condition. One of only 183 D-28s made in 1941, this guitar has complex tone on all strings and the great penetrating volume that I have come to expect from Martin dreadnoughts made in this year. Martin really found its mark […]

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Price: $75,000