C. F. Martin D-18 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1967), made in Nazareth, PA, serial # 217685, natural lacquer finish, mahogany back, sides and neck; spruce top, rosewood fingerboard, black tolex hard shell case.

This is a fine-sounding D-18 built very early in 1967, a time when Martin's Dreadnought flat tops were steadily increasing in popularity. This trend that would peak in the early 70's, when the singer-songwriter boom made them more than ever the de rigeur flat top. Earlier in the 1960s the mahogany D-18 and its pricier rosewood sister the D-28 were already practically the emblems of the Folk revival, thanks in large part to the Kingston Trio. As the decade went on the Martin Dreadnought became -- and pretty much remained ever since -- the acoustic guitar of choice for serious pickers of just about every persuasion.

This D-18 has the standard mahogany back, sides and neck with a spruce top and a set of transitional appointments specific to 1966-7. The pickguard is still the old style tortoise celluloid but the outer body binding is black plastic, a change made the year before. Soon after this one was built the guards would be changed to black acetate. The rosewood bridge has the short saddle recently introduced but rests over the traditional small maple bridgeplate, replaced year or so later with a much larger rosewood piece. The original tuners are "Patent Pending" Grover Rotomatics, a recent fitting on this model at the time. The headstock's "rounded" corners are characteristic of this period, the result of Martin's shaping templates having become worn from extensive use.

Martin records indicate 2602 D-18s were shipped in 1967, the best sales year for the model to date. At $295 (plus case) this guitar represented a serious professional level investment, but it was the ambition of a vast number of aspiring flat-top players to own one. From its introduction in the early 1930s on, the D-18 has been a workhorse for country, gospel, folk, and other forms of American vernacular music and in the '60's this sonic palette only expanded. This D-18 sings with a powerful, bright and clear sound, and is an excellent instrument for just about any flat-top application.

Overall length is 40 3/4 in. (103.5 cm.), 15 3/4 in. (40 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 4 15/16 in. (12.5 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 25 1/2 in. (648 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.).

Overall this 55+ year old D-18 shows some wear overall but remains in structurally fine shape. The original finish has some minimal checking mostly on the top with the only notable pickwear being a spot down to the wood on the lower lip of the soundhole. The top also shows are some random dings, dents and scrapes but nothing too serious. It looks like an old Dymotape label was stuck on and removed below the bridge off the back edge of the pickguard; this area has ambered less than the rest of the top. On first glance it looks like a spruce patch, but this is only finish variation, there is no repair there.

The sides are relatively clean showing some tiny dings and scrapes, the back has more wear with some visible buckle damage and an overfinished worn-through spot in the lower center. There is a similar overfinished spot on the back edge below the endpin, cause unknown. The back of the neck shows typical wear down to the wood in the lower positions and an odd spot worn away on the spine behind the 9-10th fret.

The guitar retains the original tortoise celluloid pickguard, one of the last fitted before the switch to black acetate 'guards later in 1967. The only crack repairs are a couple of small neatly repaired grain splits on the treble side rim below the waist, sealed up with no overfinish. The bridge appears original, looking to have been lowered in front of the saddles just a bit long ago. The small maple bridgeplate is original and nicely intact as well, only the saddle has been replaced. The internal braces remain original with some signs of having been reglued in spots.

The neck has been very neatly reset, the fingerboard trued and refretted with no subsequent wear. The nut is newer as well. In general this is a well cared for guitar, and it remains a fine playing and sounding piece of 1960's Martin goodness from the last great year before the guitars began to be noticeably more heavily built. Excellent - Condition.

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Listed3 months ago
ConditionExcellent (Used)
Excellent items are almost entirely free from blemishes and other visual defects and have been played or used with the utmost care.Learn more
  • D-18
  • natural lacquer
  • 1967
  • None
Fretboard Material
  • Rosewood
String Type
  • Steel
Right / Left Handed
  • Right Handed
Model Family
Number of Strings
  • 6-String
Neck Material
  • Mahogany
Body Shape
  • Dreadnought
Finish Style
  • Gloss
Top Material
  • Spruce
Back Material
  • Mahogany
Sides Material
  • Mahogany
Color Family
  • Natural
Active Preamp
  • No
Number of Frets
  • 20

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Retrofret Vintage Guitars

Brooklyn, NY, United States
Joined Reverb:2015

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