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Martin & Co D-18 1955 CFM IV

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Martin & Co D-18 1955 CFM IV
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News Martin & Co D-18 1955 CFM IV

Dreadnought Steel String Guitar from Martin & Co

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Like the recent CFM IV 1955 D-28, the CFM IV 1955 D-18 commemorates the 55th birthday and contribution of Christian Frederick "Chris" Martin IV to the company that bears his name.

Since its introduction in 1935, the D-18 has been described as one of the major stalwarts of the Martin line, and for many years outsold the more costly D-28. In 1955, the year of Chris Martin’s birth, Martin sold 1,103 D-18s versus 806 D-28s.

In the company’s own words:

“Prized for its bright treble, crisp midrange and clear bass, the D-18 is a favorite of many bluegrass, folk and country musicians. Its strong, loud voice is meant to be heard and hold its own over banjoes, mandolins, steel guitars – and, yes, raucous rock n’ roll. It’s also excellent recording guitar offering exceptional balance and distinct articulation.”

“Elvis Presley played a 1942 D-18 during his early career (it can be heard in on all of his Sun recordings, including the classic ”That’s Alright Mama"). Hank Williams also played a D-18 that he rotated with his D-28 (Hank’s 1947 D-18 is now owned by the Martin company and is on permanent display in the Martin Museum).  Oh, and you remember that great rockin’ guitar intro on Eddie Cochran’s “Summertime Blues”? That’s a D-18, too."

“In creating the CFM IV 1955 D-18, we carefully replicated D-18 specs in place during 1955. This includes Sitka top with non-scalloped top braces, small maple bridgeplate, elegant old style 18 rosette and tortoise body binding & pickguard, cedar ribbons, cloth reinforcement strips, ebony bridge (with long bone saddle) and fingerboard, bone saddle, rounded headstock (from template wear) with old style C. F Martin & Co. scroll decal and other authentic 1955-specific details.”

The manufacturers have also added extra features including back and sides of Quilted Mahogany (dark stain), adjustable 14-fret neck (with two-way truss rod), old style “waffleback” tuners, figured Madagascar rosewood back strip and head plate veneer (similar in look to the original Brazilian rosewood headplate), and a small paper label specially designed by Dick Boak and signed by C.F. Martin IV in numbered sequence. The guitar is finished in high-gloss polished lacquer.

Only 55 of these instruments will be offered, delivered in a Cabernet plush, 5-ply, hard shell case.

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