This great sounding 1941 Martin D-18 (77280), having a complex midrange and treble that is a hallmark quality of the best D-18s this year.
-The tight grain Adirondack Spruce top generally has bold winter grain lines, giving this top a complex speaking voice in all ranges. The finish shows significant pick-fingernail wear above and below the pickguard, armwear at the bass-side lower bout edge, and palm wear at the top of the treble side area near the fingerboard extension. Repaired top cracks include a hairline from the E side corner of the fingerboard extension to the sound hole edge, Glued pickguard shrinkage cracks at the B string area and outside edge area, And a tight hairline crack from near the treble side corner of the bridge to the tail area. There is a 3/8″ circular plug below the A string area of the bridge, surrounded with a circular dent (from the clamping process?). The pickguard was carefully lifted to allow the shrunken wood underneath to spring back into a relaxed position for gluing. The bridge is a new replacement made by Alan Perlman. The interior bracing and bridgeplate are all clean and original.
-The Back and Sides have had no repairs or cracks. An old thin overspray treatment on the back smoothed some of the accumulated scratches. There is an area on the bass side upper bout that was worn free of finish, probably caused by leaning the player’s chin directly on the side for playing. Alan Perlman applied a very thin layer of shellac over this bare area. There are small areas of repaired finish on the treble side upper bout back edge and corner area. The treble side near the neck joint has hand wear to the finish from the palm when reaching up over the top of the body for the highest notes on the fingerboard extension.
-The neck has been recently reset and refretted by Alan Perlman. Previous refrets have shaved the fingerboard thinner, particularly at nut to the first two fret areas. There is an old plugged eye bolt strap button hole on the bass side of the heel. The treble side of the heel has an older strap button installation. There is finish wear at the corner of the neck heel. Most of the finish on the back of the neck has been worn off and there are a few capo dents at the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th fret areas. The tuners are original and work well. The nut is a replacement.
The guitar is light and fairly hums when played. The original slim neck profile feels fast and easy to play. A very fine flatpicking and bluegrass lead guitar from one of my favorite years. The 1960s hard case is worn but very functional.