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When asked what was up with the non-Sitka tops on early 50's Martins, CF Martin said they found a batch of Engelmann up in the attic in Nazareth and used it 'til it was gone.
I have owned several '53's and they all have the Engelmann Spruce tops. Sitka ages to a pumpkin/brown hue. Similar to Adirondack, Engelmann ages to this this rich, golden color.
This one has aged to a color similar to the torrefied spruce tops being used today.
Though it is one of the softest of the spruce species used for guitar soundboards, once it is played in, the tonal response of Engelmann is quite impressive, head and shoulders above Sitka. The trebles are just like ringin' a bell.
This particular '53 D-18 has some very attractive Brazilian for its headplate, fingerboard, heel cap and bridge.
This is one of a limited number of '53 Martins that were built with an Ebony truss rod instead of steel. This makes for a very light weight and responsive dreadnought. It weighs less than 4 lbs.
This D-18 has had quite a bit of work done:
-- neck has been reset
-- back has been replaced (2012)
-- it has been refinished (2012)
-- original pickguard replaced
-- original tuners replaced
-- treble side repair
-- 3" wide spruce top patch
Bryan Kimsey worked on it in 2016:
-- scalloped braces
-- removed popsicle brace
-- repositioned saddle
-- bone nut and saddle
Watch this video of Bryan with this guitar well mic'd and well played.
I have priced this D-18 as a player.
**Please note** This is NOT a collector guitar.
Most players will tell you that Martin dreads are the finest in the world. They are all good but some, like this '53 D-18, are great. It is the perfect bluegrass guitar.
The 1-11/16" nut and saddle, 2-1/8" spacing are bone.
Action is 3/32" low E and 2/32" high E with good saddle height.
In the 50's, Martin used "edge grain ivoroid" for rosettes and purfling on the 18 series. (Bill Collings liked this look and used it on his 1 series.) They also used a single inner and outer ring of Brazilian for the rosettes. It also has the cool, deep red 50's acetate bindings.
Includes newer brown/alligator print tolex Martin dread case with burgundy interior.
Sorry, no trades on this one.
So, if you've been searching for that killer vintage Martin dread at a reasonable price or if, like me, your birthyear is '53 and you've had as much work done as this old soldier, this could be the one for you.
$3450 shipped to CONUSA
Ad Number 129177
Posted: Sep 13, 2018 08:13 PM CDT
Medway Massachusetts 02053
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