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Martin D-18 - Natural Reviews

5.0 stars based on 27 customer reviews
Questions about the Martin D-18 - Natural?

Questions about the Martin D-18 - Natural?

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  • from Detroit,MI. April 17, 2017Music Background:
    Amateur Hobbyist

    100% Satisfaction!

    This is a fabulous guitar, beautiful design, construction quality, and most importantly has an addictive sound that wants you to keep playing it as long as possible. This is my favorite guitar of my collection and can't imagine ever getting rid of it. Arrived in perfect condition, extremely playable with moderate low action and has a great feel in your hands. This guitar delivers 100% Satisfaction!

  • from Aiken, SC August 4, 2016Music Background:
    Old Time Picker

    Sweet Martin D18

    Hi Acoustic Guitar Lovers, Its the Old Time Picker again, I'm back at Sweetwater, And yes I've bought a new Martin D18 its a Sweet Heart sounds great and looks and feels great, I'm Blind so the feel and sound has to be right, So hears some advice, First listen for that one of a kind sound your looking for, and Second look for that great finish, I know Martin guitars are hand made and can have some little problems with the binding, But ask your sales agent to take the time and look at all the guitars they can get their hands on and find the best finish possible, You might have to wait for some more to come in but Sweetwaters sales agents will do the looking for you no matter how long it takes, I sent two back free shipping of course for they had bad spots on the binding but my sales agent Jon found the right one for me and at a great price, Playing them and look at them good and hold out for the best you can get, but its worth the time to get a good one, I own three Martins, and ten Alvarez two Epiphones and I'm still looking for another, But for now my new Martin D18 has my little Puppy Mister Snickers and my wife Bunny happy listening to me play and sing, Oh ya Mister Snickers sings to, His favorite song is Tip Toe Through The Tulips. Well I better get back to Pickin and Grinin, Till next time from the Old Time Picker, Keep on Pickin.

  • from March 23, 2016

    The Sound In Your Head

    The D-18 has the sound I have always wanted in an acoustic guitar. I went through many other (cheaper) Martin models, returning them week after week. Every time I went back into the store, the D-18 was the guitar I ALWAYS returned to. Do not let the price deter you... The sound is unmatched. It is rich, full bodied and balanced in every spectrum of sound. The D-18 has one of the most playable necks I have ever played on an acoustic and the dreadnaught body fits right into yours.
    The new 2012 D-18 has that classic Martin appearance that everyone loves and in my opinion will be an heirloom for many generations to come.

  • from TExas USA March 16, 2016

    Martin D-18 is great acoustic

    Played this guitar for 18 months. I continue to be amazed by this instrument! It is easy to tune, holds a tune, frets accurately across the entire fret-board, has great volume, tone and sustain. When I record this guitar the tone, volume and sustain are as good as it gets. People always comment on it, and I just say "its a vintage Martin". If you are looking for a acoustic, this one is worth a play at you music store

  • from vonore, TN March 16, 2016

    D-18 Martin!!!

    Oh wow! What a guitar! The post 2012 d-18 is so impressive with its beautiful balance and power. It has always been considered a professional level Martin and really lives up to the name. I can't say enough good things about this model, if you've not played one you need to. This was the 4th Martin guitar I purchased from Sweetwater this year and they have all been flawless transactions. Thanks again Nathan

  • from Michigan February 9, 2016Music Background:
    Former professioinal, songwriter

    Just amazing

    Is there really anything else? I've played lots of nice acoustic guitars over the years, (Taylors, Gibsons, Takamines, Seagulls, Guilds, Yamahas, Ovations, etc, etc,) and thought a few sounded pretty decent, but when I took my D-18 home, my other acoustics, which I previously though sounded great, sounded thin and weak. The tone of the D18, I feel, is what every acoustic player is looking for, but doesn't know it, because they think their current guitar is just fine. Take your guitar to your local shop, and play it, then play a D-18 ... You will be amazed as I was! The tone is balanced perfectly ... Light finger picking is pronounced and smooth and harder strumming projects, and all the nuances in between are picked up, giving so much expression to one's playing. And the playability is so nice, makes some of those difficult progressions much easier to play. A good Martin is not cheap, but with the D-18 you get a guitar that will put a smile on your face every time you play it!

  • from Washington State October 20, 2015Music Background:
    semi pro turned casual


    Well I've been playing guitar on and off since the late 60's, a lot of the time it was acoustic but I did take a serious plunge into the electric side of music. I have put most of the electrics back in their cases and have concentrated on acoustics again (finding my roots). I have a lot of fine acoustics - Martins, Taylors, Guilds, Tacomas, Eastmans, etc. some vintage and some not, even boutiques. I recently pulled the trigger on the D-18 because I felt as though my stable was not complete. Wow, I was really impressed with the magic that popped out of this thing right out of the box, I just couldn't put it down. The action is setup pretty good, in a couple of weeks I will have my Luther do a set up to my liking. The finish work on this guitar is top notch as it should be...it's a Martin. Buy one, you won't be disappointed.
    Now to tell about the service from Sweetwater, Aaron T. is super to work with. He answered all my questions and worked with me to make this all happen. I bought with confidence knowing I would be taken care of no matter what. I will be buying again from him in the future.
    Well, I must now go play!!!

  • from Atlanta, GA May 31, 2015Music Background:
    Classical, flatpicking, rock, jazz, fingerstyle

    What your soul wants a Martin to be

    Blown away is right....wow! I am lucky enough to live close to many of the finest guitar stores out there. I've played so many guitars, custom and authentic from numerous brands. After owning a Rosewood/Adirondack Martin for two years (and loving it), I find it hard to believe how much louder and more sustain this guitar produces. It's louder in the mid strings than my HD16RADI, while still having a very deep bass sound. Of course the rosewood does the bass twice as deep but honestly it does it at a cost of balance...and that's where this D18 has just shined! The balance and pureness of each note is so sweet. Speaking of sweet, this guitar smells like candy, like sunscreen and bikinis with caramel. It's lust-inducing! I really believe this to be the perfect example of what my soul wants a Martin to be, smooth neck, bone everything, padded handle on the case, butter bean incredibly accurate tuners and just overall balance and beauty. It's so perfect.

  • from March 3, 2015Music Background:
    Amateur player

    Completes the trio

    Like another reviewer, the D 18 completes the "trio" of the HD 28, D 35 and D 18. Three guitars that compliment each other but sound entirely different from each other.

  • from Hoopeston Il. March 3, 2015Music Background:

    Great D-18

    Perfect compliment to my HD-28 & D-35. Thanks to Bart. He's a great sales tech. You should call him. I know I will again.

  • from Grovertown Indiana February 28, 2015Music Background:
    Hobbyist , solo gigs in the past, also bands many years ago.

    A Beautiful Guitar

    In my 40+years of playing I have never owned such a beautiful instrument. The bass is awesome , the highs are shimmery and the balance between the 2 is perfect. My wife who usually doesnt notice these things said WOW its loud! Everything you could wish for in a guitar. My salesperson Chris Sanders was very nice and very helpful. I would for sure buy this all over again

  • from Pennsylvania February 26, 2015Music Background:
    Long-time guitar player


    This D-18 is now right up there in sound with Martin's higher-priced models, due to the return of the forward-shifted scalloped X bracing.
    Loved it immediately right out of the case! Sound & playability are awesome! As always, Mike Soper & the other guys at Sweetwater shipped this to me quickly, & well-padded within the boxes. Ask for Mike Soper for the best of advice, knowledge, & ultra-friendly service!

  • from Harvard, MA January 13, 2015Music Background:
    Amateur, playing folk and Americana since the 60s.

    Fine Mahogany Sitka Guitar

    I own a 1969 D-18 that I bought in 1970. It is my go-to guitar for playing folk and Americana both with a flat pick and individual finger picks. For many years I used 80/20 light gauge strings and I also tried the phosphor bronze flavors as well. The reason I am writing this review is because I want to pass on some string info for you current and future D-18 players. Try the Martin Monel strings - the Tony Rice strings are medium gauge and the Retro strings come in a light gauge. Monel strings on a mahogany guitar are a total game changer. While the D-18 is a rich, mello, woody guitar, Monel turns it into even a more beautiful guitar. While I use Martin SP PB Life Lights on my rosewood and sitka Martin OM-21, there is no going back on the D-18 - it's Retro light monel forever. And guess what - the D-18 gets better and better over the years - mine is 45 years old.

  • from Toledo, OH November 25, 2014Music Background:

    Exceptional guitar and outrageously good service!

    Martin guitars have long since established a proven track record of building one of the industries best guitars - Love my new D-18!

    Where this really get's awesome for me is in the personal attention that I receive from my sales engineer - Dave Brow. The service is more than just "service" it's an EXPERIENCE! Sweetwater is the "difference" that I have been looking for.

  • from Pacific Palisades, CA November 13, 2014Music Background:
    Dedicated noob

    Greatest guitar I've ever played

    Great versatile iconic guitar. Sweetwater gave a great price and the shipping was very fast. Guitar arrived in perfect condition, double boxed. Setup perfect out of the box.

  • from Sebring, Fl November 5, 2014Music Background:

    The Finest Guitar I've ever had.

    The Finest New Guitar a person could buy. The Martin Guitar Company really are making the finest guitars in their history The new D-18 is Superb.

  • from West Virginia May 16, 2014Music Background:

    Love it!!

    I have always been a Taylor guy, or so I thought, but for some reason I never kept them long! I recently had the opportunity to play a D-18 with the Eclipse factory installed pickup, and HOLY MOLEY!! What a loud and resonant guitar!! All the bass that is missing from a Taylor, but still very balanced!! The neck profile is very much like my Stratocaster, which is a plus, and the butterbean tuners are very smooth and accurate!! I grew up with Martin guitars, but I never thought I could afford one.. now I have a "Holy Grail" D-18!! This is a KEEPER!!

  • from Gilbert AZ March 15, 2014Music Background:
    Musician, teacher, worship leader.

    Martin D-18 is one fine guitar!

    After a bad experience with a 70's Martin (intonation problems) I stayed away from Martins and used Taylors for their spot-on intonation and very playable necks. But I always missed the tone of my old D-35. I started looking at Martin Dreads again hoping to find that elusive mojo that the D-35 had. After playing everything in sight, I finally came across the new 2012 D-18 and never looked back. Martin has done it RIGHT with this new model! Everything I didn't like about the old style D-18 has been fixed: The neck profile is very comfortable (Modified low profile/performing artist taper), which is much like a Taylor neck including the 1 3/4 nut width, which I prefer. Ebony fingerboard, beveled tortoise shell pickguard, premium grade Sitka top, open geared butterbean tuners, old-style Martin Decal headstock logo, and best of all, 5/16 scalloped, forward shifted X bracing!. This D-18 is the real deal and the proof, as they say, is in the pudding. It sounds GREAT! Huge bass, warm tone, great mids, clear, balanced trebles!
    And the intonation is perfect all the way up the neck, as it should be.
    I use Elixir Nanoweb .13's Phosphor Bronze and tune down to Eb, which is perfect for my vocal range and keeps the string tension just right for bending and fingerpicking. LOVE THIS GUITAR!!!
    Made me a believer in Martin again. Nothing else touches this guitar in this price range. GET ONE!!

  • from Shelton, CT February 16, 2014Music Background:
    wanna be

    own a classic

    My D-18 arrived two day ago - can't put it down - the strings were .13s (ouch!), which I replaced with Martin SP .12s - other than that, perfect out of the box - kudos to Sweetwater for being the best in the biz...

    I have an HD-28, which I thought was loud - it is nothing compared to the 18 - this mahogany beauty can really sing, yet can be sweet and subdued too, just like the 28, with no loss in sustain or clarity - amazing dynamics; pure tonewood, no mic...

    I AB'd the D-18 and the D-17 - no comparison - the new D-18 is in a class all its own - spend the extra $$$ and you will see why...

    Love the 1 3/4" neck - I had my doubts because I have small hands, but they feel right at home...

    thank you Martin...thank you Sweetwater...

  • from Nashville, Tn. October 14, 2013Music Background:
    Hobbyist, long time picker..old timer....


    I don't think I could ad anything to the other reviews...very impressed...haven't set it down. Playability is superb... set up , dead on right out of the box... my thanks to Kent and the staff that helped on the purchase and set up... nice job guys.. thanks... can't say enough... if your on the fence; go for it...beautiful highs, mellow mid range with just a nice touch of low end.....jim b.

  • from Fort Collins Colorado September 20, 2013Music Background:
    Novice player, Hobbyist

    New reDesigned D18

    New design D18
    This new redesigned D18 is a great all around acoustic—great sound and sustain--easy playability with neck improvements. Once you start playing this guitar you will find it hard to put it away. No matter what your style—country, bluegrass, clawhammer, folk finger style, or down home country blues this guitar will work for you.
    Sound Engineer Arron at Sweetwater was very calm, good listener and helpful.
    This Guitar will soon become one of Americana's great treasures.

  • from CO,USA June 9, 2013Music Background:
    Martin enthusiast, hobbyist

    My first Martin? The iconic D-18!!

    I spent months trying to decide which Martin to purchase. In the end I was drawn to the D-18. I simply love everything about my first Martin. The neck is without-a-doubt one of the nicest feeling necks I have ever played. The ebony fingerboard has a very comfortable and precise feel to it. The open geared nickle tuners with butterbean knobs adds to that vintage feel. Bone nut and saddle are a definite plus. The tonewoods are a perfect marriage and quite beautiful. The tone is superbly balanced throughout. Take one strum and WOW , the D-18 resonants thru your whole body. Martin kicked it up a notch with this guitar!! I am one proud Martin owner. And this is a great year to buy a Martin as they are celebrating their 180th anniversary!!
    And everything I have heard and read about Sweetwater's customer service is true.The D-18 came set up perfectly right out of the box. My sales engineer, Lindsey, went above and beyond in answering all my questions and assisting me in my purchase. Just a real positive experience all the way round.
    Which Martin should you buy? The answer is simple- the D-18!!
    And who should you buy your D-18 from? The answer is simple- Sweetwater!!

  • from Michigan February 23, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Musician, Singer/Songwriter, 40 years

    Just What A Martin Should Be

    Being an active professional musician I've owned almost every kind of guitar made, but this is my first Martin. I'm not sure why I waited so long. This D-18 is a great guitar!!
    I've owned many boutique guitars and truly this guitar can run with the best of them. Now, I've only had this guitar for a few days, but I've nearly played the strings off it.
    The build is absolute perfection. I got one that has silking plus on the spruce top and the mahogany is just gorgeous. The ebony neck is flawless and the neck feels just right for aggressive strumming or finger picking. I love the new 1.75" nut width. The overall understated appearance is just beautiful.
    Tone, WOW, this has got it!! The bass is just what you can imagine a Martin is known for but the mids and trebles are great also which all adds up to a very nice balanced tone.
    I guess the only thing I would change on this guitar is the plastic bridge pins, which I plan to change. The case is very nice, not Martins top of the line but really very good quality.
    Sweetwater came through again. I would rather play a guitar before I buy it but I'm so confident in Sweetwater's guitar shop I've bought several guitars from them and would buy another one.
    Thanks Sweetwater for another great guitar!!

  • from Romance, AR January 2, 2013Music Background:
    novice, hobbyist

    Martin D-18

    I purchased this from a local dealer, it was a display model. However that did not detract from it's ability to blow me away when I played it. The ease of playing it suprised me, being new to playing the guitar this was my first purchase of a high-end guitar. I would recommend this to anyone beginner or advanced player. GET IT NOW!!!!!!!

  • from Oregon November 1, 2012Music Background:

    THE D18!

    the new D18 delivers! it is an absolute tone machine and hugely playable in every way- Martin done right!

    GET IT!

  • from PA July 23, 2012Music Background:
    Semi pro musician

    Thanks Martin!!

    One of the best moves Martin has made is the remake of the time honored D18. No longer straight braced with a 1 11/16th inch nut width. The new D18 has scalloped forward shifted bracing and the new high Prefomance neck with 1 3/4inch nut width. This D18 has the deep base of the vintage golden era Martins but remains well balanced not over powering the trebles. It has a beautiful high end and the smooth playing up the fretboard now made much easier with the High Preformance neck and a 1 3/4in nut width. Gone is the black Pickguard replaced with a Delmar tortoise pickguard. The ebony fretboard is smooth and feels wonderful and the set up out of the box was a perfect 3/32in and 2/32in at the low E and high E 12th fret. Plus the D18 now comes with a bone saddle and bone nut the only downer for me was the black plastic bridge pins which I replaced with ebony bridge pins. Martin also upgraded the grade of Sitka Spruce used for the solid top which is a major reason for the vintage sound that now is closer to the old original D18's of the 30's , 40's and 50's. I didn't buy my D18 at Sweetwater as I have most of my acoustics due to the fact that when they are in stock at Sweetwater they are sold out in no time so I had to search for a dealer that had one. Sweetwater stil is my first choice however when I am looking for a new acoustic..The new D18 is one of the best acoustics I have played in a long time and wil only get better with age if you love Martins this is a must have acoustic guitar.

  • from Indiana July 11, 2012Music Background:

    New D-18

    The new D-18 sure has that vintage vibe and look to it. It was great right out of the box. My particular D-18 was light as a feather also, meaning that this guitar already had that vintage/broke in sound. In time it will only get better. Martin really got it right on this particular guitar. It is becoming one of my favorite guitars. I would HIGHLY recommend this guitar to anyone wanting a new guitar regardless of style they play.

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