Sunday, September 5, 2010

Martin D-18VE Acoustic Guitar


There is nothing like the look and sound of an old Martin dreadnought. Martin realized that there are a lot of people looking for just such an animal so they introduced the V series guitars. To get an idea of what they are like, we will look over a D-18VE today.

There are plenty of vintage-style things on the D-18VE, such as its rosette, headstock shape, pick guard, hardware, fretboard markers and neck profile. This carries over to its construction, with scalloped braces (light strings, please) and top bracing that is more forward than the regular D-18V.

The basic construction is solid. It has a solid sitka spruce top, and solid mahogany sides and back. Note that the vintage series gets a nicely aged finish. The fretboard and bridge are made of ebony.

The neck is fabulous. The small frets are comfortable to the touch, and are very well finished on the edges, unlike a lot of new guitars I see on the market. The neck has a comfortable V shape to it, and the width at the nut is about 1 & 11/16 inches.

There is an “E” in the name, so the D-18VE has the factory electronics, which consists of the Fishman/Martin Ellipse Matrix Blend pickup system.

The electronics combine Martin's piezo bridge pickup with a condenser microphone attached to a tiny gooseneck inside the body. Inside the sound hole are sliders for volume and pickup blend. There is also a phase switch and a mic trim control. Blending the condenser mic with the piezo gives a very natural sound, and an accurate reproduction of what the guitar is actually doing.

And, what is the guitar doing? Being awesome! This really is a great-sounding guitar, with a very clean tone (less overtones) and tons of bass. This guitar would be fantastic for recording.

In the end, this is the story of the one that got away. I got a fantastic deal on this guitar, and flipped it shortly after getting it to make a few bucks. I was not playing much acoustic at the time, so it was no big loss. Of course, acoustic guitar is pretty much all that I am playing right now, so I recently completed a successful search for a new dreadnought. Details to come…

p.s. Happy birthday, mom. We miss you.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that's the first modern D-18 variant I've heard of with an ebony fingerboard and bridge.
    Nice review.

    Oh, and happy birthday wishes to mom, too. Their love lingers on, thankfully.

    Corey K