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 the first 100 of Martin’s 14 fret D-18s, this guitar has standard features for that time period, which include: Adirondack spruce top (wide grain at center), Honduras Mahogany back, sides, and neck, 1 3/4″ nut width, 2 5/16″ string spread at bridge, Advanced X top brace position, Ebony fingerboard with snail shell dots, Ebony bridge (Martin-made replacement), Brazilian rosewood headstock overlay, “C.F. Martin” stamp on rear of headstock, Ebony heel cap, and black body binding.
The repair list is extensive and will be listed by section.
TOP: No crack repairs. There is extensive pick wear around the pickguard, on the bass side of the soundhole, and across the fingerboard extension. Lacquer was hand brushed into these heavily worn areas and an overspray area was applied at the arm wear area at the widest part of the bass-side lower bout. There are assorted dings and small gouges scattered over the rest of the top surface. The bridgeplate is original and the worn pin holes have been repaired with sawdust and hide glue. All braces are original and healthy. Replacement Martin bridge with drop-in long saddle. Original pickguard with very little shrinkage.
BASS-SIDE SIDE: Long crack toward the back lining through the waist area toward the tail, with other parallel associated cracks in the lower bout. Long crack is cleated, with cleats cut into the lining. Network of cracks glued and some obscured with opaque brown lacquer. Binding cleanly broken at widest part of lower bout. Some hand brushed and locally sprayed lacquer repairs of cracked areas.
TREBLE-SIDE SIDE: Three cracks between the waist and widest part of the lower bout. Small football patch at lower bout corner. Backside binding very worn and cracked at waist area. Some dings and small gouges.
BACK: All braces are original and healthy. One 5″ and one 2″ crack at the lower bout near the tail. One 2 1/2″ crack at center seam. There is much belt buckle rash and finish wear at the edges and waist area.
NECK: The neck has been reset with a fingerboard extension wedge, and refretted. The various refret planings over the years have thinned the fingerboard up to 30% in some areas, mostly near the body joint. The strap button screw has a small crack extending about 1/2″ on the surface, but does not go through. There is major lacquer wear on the rear of the neck and capo gouges in the lower positions.
HEADSTOCK: There is much wear near the low E string side from poor string winder technique. There is wear of the top edge of the headstock on the rear face. The original tuners were changed from the Original Grover G-98s to Grover Rotomatic. There is a tearing crack on the rear of the headstock from the extra weight of the Rotomatics. At some point some period-correct Grover clipped plate G-98 tuners were reinstalled, using oversized Waverly bushings for the enlarged Rotomatic holes. These old tuners were so worn and rough turning that New Waverly G-98 tuners were installed. The old clipped plate G-98 tuners are in a back in the accessory pocket of the case. The string nut is a bone replacement. The original decal is intact.
The response is strong and even-toned. This versatile guitar could easily be used as a workhorse band guitar or as a solo instrument. The feel is solid and sure. This is not a delicate instrument, despite the early date.
With contemporary Martin hardshell case.
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