Serial # 81828. A one-owner guitar that shows the creases of time in its playwear, which can somehow inspire more musicality out of one's fingers, and more soulfulness in one's attack. For many, a guitar is measured not only by its tone, but equally so by the stories found in its well-worn finish. This 1942 Martin is one of those instruments.
This D-18 was owned by a Kansas City, Kansas picker named Jess "Red" Kirch Sr., who played in a country n western duo and on the radio station in the '40s and '50s in Kansas City. The guitar was played hard and often, and has earned the telltale wear of a great sounding instrument. It's the first strum that really seals the deal.
The guitar's tone is wonderful. It's an ebony-rod D-18, so it's particularly light in weight, and we can't say enough about how much that lightness effects the tone of the guitar. It's tremendously open, with amazingly robust low notes, and has a dry and musical mid range. Trebles are especially full, round, dark and present, and the guitar's balance from string to string and fret to fret is remarkable. It's loud and responsive, with both strong fundamental, and excellent overtones. It scores very high marks in tone.
The guitar is in very fine condition. The workmanship istop notch. The instrument is original except for its new frets, saddle and bridge. There has been no neck reset.
The guitar's neck measures 1-11/16" wide at the nut. Its fingerboard is full-thickness, and the neck has a fairly modern feel. The instrument has perfect relief, and plays remarkably well everywhere on the neck.
The Martin D-18 stands as one of the true original dreadnoughts introduced by Martin in 1932. The D-18 made a switch from a 12-fret to a 14-fret instrument in 1934 and has stayed largely the same since, with just the occasional change in wood source or cosmetic detail. Since the D-18 uses Mahogany, it is thought to have a somewhat crisper sound with more definition in the top-end.