Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Beautiful Martin D-180

Marking the one hundred and eightieth anniversary of C.F. Martin guitars in the USA, the D-180 is a stunningly beautiful guitar.

The Martin D-180 Commemorating the 180th anniversary of CF Martin & Co.

The Martin D-180 Head Stock

The Martin D-180 and the Most Beautiful Rosette I've ever seen.

That rosette is amazingly gorgeous!
That rosette is amazingly gorgeous!

The Martin D-180, A Guitar To Lust After

To commemorate the one hundred and eightieth anniversary of their existence, C.F. Martin & Company created one of the single most beautiful acoustic guitars ever seen. This guitar is stunning in every way, visually, tonally, and historically. It's a celebration of the world's finest and most celebrated acoustic guitar manufacturer, really, and C.F. Martin & Company are definitely a thing to be celebrated.

If you're like me, then you literally lust after guitars for their play-ability, tonality, and beauty. This D-180 by Martin is going to be something like a super swimsuit model to people like you and I. A trophy guitar. We all know such things cost a lot of money, and this D-180 is no different, it's very pricey. I'm seeing them new online for $13,999. Probably less expensive than any swimsuit model, and it's definitely less expensive than a corvette, but to persons like me, probably something I'd appreciate more than either.

While this Martin D-180 is very expensive, it isn't anywhere near the most expensive guitar Martin makes or has made. Instruments like the D-50 Koa Deluxe are more expensive instruments, and then there are even more expensive ones still. This guitar, however, and in my opinion, is more beautiful than those. So far as similar guitars, well, there are none insofar as the exquisite abalone inlay on this instrument goes, but as this is a guitar with Madagascar rosewood for its backs and sides, the Martin D-45 Madagascar is one to consider as an alternative.

Just what is it which makes me think this particular dreadnought out of all the many models ever made by Martin is the single most attractive of them all? What's so special about this thing anyway? Well, to me, it's the abalone inlay. I think of the rosette on this thing as the very most beautiful one I've ever seen. Another of the major points of beauty here are the finger board or fret board positioning markers, and those are entirely unique to this instrument as also is the lower inlay on the head stock.Now I know others may not care for it at all. I've no problem with that, some folks prefer the pure simplicity of a Martin D-18, and you'd best believe that I do as well, I've owned a D-18 in the past, but to me, this D-180 is without question the most attractive guitar to my tastes.

A Lovely Woman and a Martin D-180

Source

The Martin D-180 Specifications

So far as the specifications for this guitar go, it is a D-45 built to golden era specifications except that the particular rosewood used is from Madagascar and not Brazil. The other major differences are the abalone inlay, which is unique to this guitar. It's plain and simple to see that nowadays Madagascar rosewood is a big deal, and it seems as though most everyone wants to own a Madagascar rosewood dreadnought. Essentially, it is a very attractive wood with more coloring and grain pattern variety than is East Indian rosewood, but were you blindfolded and handed various and sundry instruments, some with the Madagascar rosewood and others with the East Indian variety, you're not going to be able to tell which guitar is of one wood and which is of the other.

Of course the soundboard is of Adirondack spruce. Adirondack spruce is sometimes called red spruce, and is thought to be the finest variety of spruce for use on guitars, and so it is generally only found on a builder's very best of instruments. If you are able to buy one of these guitars, then buddy, I am jealous of you. If you're a player and interested in the purchase of the Martin D-180, then it's a very good bet you've already got a few Martin instruments in your home. If I were that person, then I'd likely recommend not playing this guitar too very often, or at least not taking it out and about, as keeping it as close to mint condition as possible well help this sure fire investment rise in value as the years go by. Other specifications are as follows:

- Construction: Mahogany Block/Dovetail Neck Joint
- Body Size: D-14 Fret
- Top: Solid Adirondack Spruce
- Rosette Style: Unique to this guitar
- Top Bracing Pattern: Standard high "X" (Golden Era Style), Forward Shifted
- Top Braces: Solid Adirondack Spruce 5/16''
- Back Material: Solid Madagascar Rosewood
- Back Purfling: D-45 Golden Era
- Side Material: Solid Madagascar Rosewood
- Endpiece: Grained Ivoroid
- Endpiece Inlay: Black/Maple/Black Fiber
- Binding Grained: Ivoroid
- Top Inlay Style: Style 42
- Side Inlay: Select Abalone with Black/Maple/Black Fiber
- Back Inlay: Black/Maple/Black Fiber
- Neck Material: Select Hardwood
- Neck Shape: Modified V
- Nut Material: Bone
- Headstock: Solid/Long Diamond/Square Taper
- Headplate: Solid Madagascar Rosewood
- Heelcap: Grained Ivoroid
- Fingerboard Material: Solid Black Ebony
- Scale Length: 25.4"
- # Of Frets Clear: 14
- # Of Frets Total: 20
- Fingerboard Width At Nut: 1-3/4"
- Fingerboard Width At 12th Fret: 2-1/4"
- Fingerboard Position Inlays: 180th Anniversay Design
- Fingerboard Binding: Grained Ivoroid
- Finish Back & Sides: Polished Gloss
- Finish Top: Polished Gloss w/ Aging Toner
- Finish Neck: Polished Gloss
- Bridge Material: Solid Black Ebony
- Bridge Style: 1930s Belly w/ Drop-In Long Saddle
- Bridge String Spacing: 2-5/16"
- Saddle: Bone
- Tuning Machines: Waverly Gold 4060 w/ Butterbean knobs
- Bridge & End Pins: Fossilized Ivory w/ Black Pearl Dots
- Pickguard: Delmar Tortoise Color
- Case: 545 Geib style w/ 180th Anniversary Design
- Interior Label: Signed by CFM IV - Numbered in Sequence without Total

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