Martin D-18E Retro Series Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Guitar Natural

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The D-18E Retro features a sleek, modern High Performance Neck for enhanced playability. The D-18E Retro adds a Sitka spruce top to the mahogany back and sides. Perfect for the intermediate and advanc... Read More

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The D-18E Retro features a sleek, modern High Performance Neck for enhanced playability. The D-18E Retro adds a Sitka spruce top to the mahogany back and sides. Perfect for the intermediate and advanced player.

C. F. Martin & Co. is inviting musicians to take a trip back in time with the introduction of a groundbreaking guitar technology available in the new four-piece Retro Series: D-18E Retro, D-45E Retro, HD-28E Retro, and OM-28E Retro. Paying homage stylistically and sonically to the iconic classic Martin guitars of the 1930's and 40's, this series features traditional non-cutaway Martin guitars incorporating significant advancements in plugged-in sound reproduction. The series exquisitely captures a sought-after sound, melding traditional models with state-of-the-art technology, and will appeal to musicians and guitar aficionados alike.

Martin designers dove back into the rich history residing in the Martin museum and chose world-class examples to use as "tone donors." These guitars include a 1942 D-45, a 1941 D-28, a 1937 D-18 and a 1934 000-28 (long-scale) on loan from Vintage Instruments. Each of these guitars possesses unique tonal characteristics that can be attributed to the passing of time. The premise was to convince the new guitars into electronically behaving as if they were the museum guitars.

Developing the new Retro Series electronic foundation, Fishman electronically infused the essence of the museum instruments into the newly created Martin counterparts, a new technology for both companies. To build upon this "vintage-conditioned" sound, Martin Guitar teamed up with Fishman and Grammy Award -winning producer Bill VornDick at his historic Mountainside Studios in Nashville for a multi-step process. They utilized VornDick's private collection of rare vintage and boutique microphones, many of which date back to the 30's and are iconic recording industry microphones. This collection adds unique coloring to the plugged-in sound, reminiscent of the first microphones these museum guitars would have ever encountered in the professional recording studio.

The Retro series instruments are vintage in appearance but will have enhanced playability including a modern "High Performance Neck" taper and modified low oval profile. They will all have the new Fishman F1 Aura + electronics system featuring "Easy Mode" with three pre-blended mic/pickup presets and all of the programmability and tweakability of the original F1 Aura in "Performance Mode. "

Great for studio or live, this series reproduces the pristine sound that until now could only be accomplished in a highly-controlled studio setting with talented engineers.

VornDick said it best after hearing the finished product, "The plugged-in sound of these instruments is by far, the best reproduced acoustic sound I've ever heard." Includes case.

  • Dreadnought body size
  • Solid Sitka spruce top
  • Standard ''X'' scalloped, forward shifted bracing
  • High performance neck
  • Fishman F1 Aura Plus pickup system
  • Includes 445 Hardshell case
  • Model: D-18E Retro
    Construction: Mahogany Blocks/Dovetail Neck Joint
    Body Size: D-14 Fret
    Top: Solid Sitka Spruce
    Rosette: Style 18
    Top Bracing Pattern: Standard ''X'' Scalloped, Forward Shifted
    Top Braces: Solid Sitka Spruce 5/16''
    Back Material: Solid Genuine Mahogany
    Back Purfling: Old Style 18
    Side Material: Solid Genuine Mahogany
    Endpiece: Tortoise Color
    Endpiece Inlay: none
    Binding: Tortoise Color
    Top Inlay Style: Multiple Black/White Boltaron
    Side Inlay: none
    Back Inlay: none
    Neck Material: Select Hardwood
    Neck Shape: Modified Low Oval Profile w/ Performing Artist Taper
    Nut Material: Bone
    Headstock: Solid/Square Taper
    Headplate: Solid East Indian Rosewood
    Heelcap: Tortoise Color
    Fingerboard Material: Solid Black Ebony
    Scale Length: 25.4''
    Number of Frets Clear: 14
    Number of Frets Total: 20
    Fingerboard Width at Nut: 1-3/4''
    Fingerboard Width at 12th Fret: 2-1/8''
    Fingerboard Position Inlays: Old Style 18 - Green Abalone
    Fingerboard Binding: none
    Finish Back & Sides: Polished Gloss
    Finish Top: Polished Gloss w/ Aging Toner ; Sunburst available at additional cost.
    Finish Neck: Satin
    Bridge Material: Solid Black Ebony
    Bridge Style: 1930s Style Belly w/ Drop-In Saddle
    Bridge String Spacing: 2-3/16''
    Saddle: 16'' Radius/Compensated/White Tusq
    Tuning Machines: Nickel Open-Geared w/ Butterbean Knobs
    Recommended Strings: Martin Studio Performance Lifespan Phosphor Bronze Medium Gauge (MSP7200)
    Bridge & End Pins: Black w/ White Dots
    Pickguard: Delmar Tortoise Color
    Case: 445 Hardshell
    Interior Label: none
    Electronics: Fishman F1 Aura Plus
One year warranty on Martin Backpackers, Little Martins and Ukuleles. Limited lifetime on other Martin guitars.

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Review Snapshot

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MartinD-18E Retro Series Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Guitar

(based on 1 review)

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(1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


Martin D-18 Retro


from Alexandria, La.

Comments about Martin D-18E Retro Series Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Guitar:

I was shocked when I plugged this D-18 retro into my Fishman acoustic amp.. The neck plays like butter with it's low profile feel. The spruce top is master quality tight grain with flames. The tone is as good as many 30 plus year old mahogany Martins. Right out of the box it sounds and plays as good as any one of my 14 Martin guitars and this D-18 is the lowest priced Martin that I own. I bought it for a cheap Martin to play electric and never expected the quality would be so nice. I own one of the David Crosby quilted mahogany's with an engleman spruce top and this Retro is equal if not smoother to play. If this guitar had no electronic, it would still be a great Martin to own. That said, the Fishman aura + is the best I have ever plugged in.

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