Save This Search: Martin's Rare Electric Guitars

When you think of Martin, you think of Martin acoustics: dreadnoughts, 15 series, parlors, and the like. And why shouldn't you? The company has, after all, earned its reputation as the leading acoustic guitar maker of the past two centuries.

But for a few decades within that span, Martin created full-fledged electric guitars—ranging from oddball acoustic-electrics, hollowbody electrics, and overseas-built solidbodies—and they are their own special treat each time you're lucky enough to find one.

The D-18E from 1958-'59 can be seen as a transitional model, a regular Martin dreadnought with two DeArmond pickups fixed to the body and the type of volume and tone knob array you'd expect to see on an electric. You will find these classified under Martin's acoustic-electric subcategory on Reverb.

While the D-18E (or its siblings the D-28E and 00-18E from the era) may strike some as an ungainly attempt at an acoustic-electric hybrid, by one specific measure it may be the most successful ever made, since the D-18E Kurt Cobain played for Nirvana's MTV Unplugged concert sold for a record-breaking $6.1 million dollars in a 2020 auction.

But the F-50, F-55 and F-65 that followed, in 1962, were actual electrics. With thinline hollowbodies, wide lower bouts, bound tops, and sunburst finish options, they had all the details of Martin's luthiery, but in machines primed for folk-rock.

However, the production of these guitars didn't last for long. Two replacements, in the form of the GT-70 and GT-75, arrived in the mid-'60s and ditched the standard Martin headstocks for grand, spiky swoops. But like their predecessors, they weren't built for many years at all.

In the '70s, Martin licensed its name for solidbody electrics to be built in Japan, including Tele-style players, quirky offsets, and more. None of these guitars really found their audience, and are all rare in their own way, but you can still find them for reasonable prices on the used market.

To find Martin electrics on Reverb, just click the button above to save our search, which will make every newly listed Martin electric appear automatically on your Reverb Feed. You can also visit the Martin brand page, filter to the electric guitar category, and click the follow button, or search for any of these particular models that strike your interest and do the same.

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