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FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / Played Some Cool Guitars Earlier this Week!

Contributing Member

San Francisco, CA

Nov 9th, 2019 09:19 AM   Edit   Profile  

On Thursday I happened by a guitar shop (Sylvan Music in Santa Cruz, CA) and spent a couple hours playing the following instruments. All had fresh strings on them:

* D-18 Modern Deluxe
* D-28 Modern Deluxe
* Standard D-18
* Standard D-28
* 1937 D-18 (only $50K)
* Two different 1966 D-28's
* 1969 D-21
* 1969 D-28
* 1966 D-35
* Two different 1970 D-35's

The unquestioned winner for tone was the Standard D-18.

Even though I've sworn off 1 3/4" nut guitars, I would have bought this one except that the MLO neck hurt my left hand after only 15 or 20 minutes of playing.

After playing these fine instruments I headed over to the Santa Cruz Pier, downed some excellent fish & chips, had my car covered in bird droppings (LOTS of gulls and pelicans here), and then headed up beautiful Route 1 to Half Moon Bay and the Open Mic at Cameron's Pub & Inn.

My idea of a really FUN day!

But I can't get that D-18 out of my mind...


(This message was last edited by 6L6 at 11:20 AM, Nov 9th, 2019)

Contributing Member

East Tennessee

Nov 9th, 2019 10:31 AM   Edit   Profile  

Very cool, sounds like the store has a great selection of Martins. I played 3 different Standard D-18s when I bought mine in April and there was a clear winner (to me anyway). Sounds even better with Elixer 12s imo.

Good luck getting the D-18 out of your head!

Contributing Member

Bogue Falaya River

is STILL dark and cold.
Nov 9th, 2019 03:39 PM   Edit   Profile  

My brother got a D-28 about 20 or so years ago. He let me play it some. I have never played a guitar that sounded so good and was yet so easy to play. You usually have to choose between "easy to play" or "great tone" (if you're an amateur like me), but with the Martin you're just giving up your money.

Contributing Member

Boycott Amazon

Thank you FDP sponsors
Nov 9th, 2019 04:44 PM   Edit   Profile  

I picked me up a D-18 about 8 months ago. It's every bit as good sounding and playing as my 2006 D-18 GE that I stupidly sold a few years ago.

That said, if my place was on fire and I could only save one acoustic it would be my 2014 Gibson Advanced Jumbo. That thing just oozes personality.

Contributing Member


Home of the Goodyear blimp
Nov 9th, 2019 05:01 PM   Edit   Profile  

Interesting because I passed on a D18GE for a 2013 D18 and never looked back. I don’t love the new necks, but they aren’t the dealbreaker for me either.

That said in case of a fire my 72 D35 is the guitar I grab on the way out. Just a great Martin and I’ve owned a few.

Contributing Member

The older the violin

the sweeter the music.
Nov 12th, 2019 04:04 AM   Edit   Profile  

"But I can't get that D-18 out of my mind..."

I know how that goes. Twenty years ago I played a used HD-28V at Dusty Strings in Seattle. It was absolutely sublime, both it tone and playability. But I didn't have $2k in my pocket at the time.

But I still think about that guitar....

Contributing Member

North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Nov 12th, 2019 06:06 AM   Edit   Profile  

I asked Jon Garron, of My Favorite Guitars, how many guitars he owned. This was back when he was still in Naples Florida.

He said one, then showed it to me, a mid 1950, I believe, D-18, it sounded amazing. I walked by one hanging on his wall and gave it a light strum and as I past it the volume increased. I really don’t think you can do better than a good D-18, if that’s the tone your looking for. It is for me. Though both of my Martins are all mahogany, I would like a 00-S with mahogany and a spruce top.

Contributing Member

St. Louis

"Thumbpicks don't slide into soundholes"
Nov 12th, 2019 06:04 PM   Edit   Profile  

A friend of mine bought a pair of old d-28s years ago at a farm auction. He bought one for his brother and the other for himself. We were at a party one holiday and he wanted me to pick which one he should keep. He couldn't make up his mind. I played them both and was simply mezmerized by both. I had to finally put them both back in the cases and told. Him to toss a coin. There was simply no definite winner. Both had been played a lot and broken in well. Loud sweet and just silky playing. First time I ever couldn't pick one over the other. He and his brother are both gone now and I never heard about the instruments . I just hope they didn't wind up in a pawn shop or something. I know that in later years I asked him which one he kept. He said they just swapped them back and forth. Could never figure which one they liked better. I just know they were both one number off from each other and were early 60's .

FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / Played Some Cool Guitars Earlier this Week!

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