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 series […]

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Price: Sold

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: Sold

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

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

1943 Martin D-18 (83225) (83225)

This early 1943 Martin D-18 (83225) is lightly built and responds with a rich, warm voice that works especially well as a bluegrass or flatpicking guitar. The bold grain lines of the Adirondack spruce top is very characteristic of tops that were used on a great many of the Martin dreadnoughts from 1943, celebrated for […]

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Price: Sold

1939 Martin D-18 wide neck (72686)

   This consignment 1939 D-18 (72686) is by far the cleanest prewar wide neck D-18 that I have had in the shop. The spectacular condition is matched by the very colorful and forceful voice that has more fully developed through careful play in the last few years. Only about half of the 475 D-18s made […]

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Price: Sold

1936 Martin D-28 (638XX)

This consignment 1936 Martin D-28 (638XX) has a beautiful voice, complex and powerful at the same time. One of only 61 D-28s made in 1936, this example may be the one of the very cleanest and most original of those left in existence. The features are standard for the time and include: Adirondack spruce top, […]

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Price: Sold

1944 Martin D-18 88780 (88780)

This consignment 1944 Martin D-18 (88780) presents very nicely and has a tonally complex voice. This guitar is one of the 381 scalloped voiced D-18s made in 1944. The Adirondack spruce top is attractively amber colored and shows bold grain lines. The finish shows some crazing and a cloudiness over the pickguard that is typical […]

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Price: No longer available