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.


1946 Martin D-18 (96240)

This well presented consignment 1946 Martin D-18 (96240) has a lot of power to cut through in a group context, yet still retains a musical vintage warmth in the midrange and bass. The medium grain Sitka spruce top is free of cracks, but shows some dings, pick wear, and light fingernail dragging. The ebony bridge […]

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Price: Sold

1942 Martin D-28 (82509)

This consignment 1942 Martin D-28 (82509) is one of only 96 examples made during the first year of WWII. This guitar remains in a fine state of preservation, though it was clearly used for years of performance. The voice is rich and even, responding quickly to a light pick attack. The medium grain width Adirondack […]

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Price: $80,000

Late 1940 Martin D-18 (76353)

  This consignment late 1940 Martin D-18 (76353) has a tone and feel that reminds me very much of some of my favorite D-18s from 1941. One of 377 D-18s made in 1940, this instrument has the stiff Adirondack spruce top, brass button Grover G-98 tuners, and steel T-bar neck reinforcement that help make most […]

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Price: Sold

1949 Martin D-28 (109997)

This consignment 1949 Martin D-28 (109997) comes to the shop in completely crack-free condition and showing moderate pick wear on the top and capo wear on the rear of the neck. The penetrating voice is very clear and strong, with a medium-low string height from a neck reset and refret for easy play. The Brazilian […]

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Price: $15,000

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. It is one of only […]

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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 for 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: Sold

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