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Author Topic: Martin D-18  (Read 762 times)
DAWard
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« on: May 12, 2017, 04:43:46 AM »

I have always been a big fan of Larrivee L series guitars.  I have an L-05 which I wouldn't take anything for.  That said, I've never cared for their D series models.  I recently purchased a Martin D-18 and am very impressed with the changes they have made.  It is an articulate guitar which responds well to a soft touch or a good pounding.  You can hear each individual note and it rings forever.  Well worth taking one for a test ride.
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Mikeymac
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« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2017, 04:27:52 PM »

Agreed.

I have a 2012 Martin D-18 (made right after the updates/changes), and it is an incredible guitar. Everything you said, and I hear every string ring out, the bass is powerful, but not muddy (I have a D-35 that sounds muddy in the bass by comparison), and I love the neck profile and 1 3/4" nut. The set up on mine (purchased used) is excellent, plays like a dream.

Also, excellent woods and craftsmanship throughout (there's a thread about mine further down on this page). Probably the best $1400 I'll ever spend for a mahogany acoustic.

 nice guitar
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1979 L-19
1992 OM-05    
2010 D-03 w/Italian Spruce top
2010 RS-4 in Candy Blue
2013 C-10 Italian Spruce/Silver Oak
broKen
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« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2017, 04:56:14 PM »

Sounds like Martin is following someone else's lead. Hmm,,,now who might that be?  whistling
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Chasjax
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« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2017, 05:43:05 PM »

I agree on the new D-18.  I recently acquired one and the neck shape (very similar to the Larrivee), 1-3/4" nut width, and quality of build is excellent.  It is similar to the Larrivee 03 series - no bling but high quality and great value.  I wish I had paid only $1,400 though  -    crying

Chas
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Mikeymac
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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2017, 03:34:02 AM »

I agree on the new D-18.  I recently acquired one and the neck shape (very similar to the Larrivee), 1-3/4" nut width, and quality of build is excellent.  It is similar to the Larrivee 03 series - no bling but high quality and great value.  I wish I had paid only $1,400 though  -    crying

Chas

Yeah, mine was used, but in completely MINT condition, and with an upgraded Martin case - purchased it from another lefty player on the Martin forum... I think he was anxious to sell because he was upgraded to one of their more "custom" D-18's - maybe the GE? It was indeed a great deal - just got it around 3-4 months ago. It has quickly become my #2 right behind my '92 Larrivee OM-05.
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1979 L-19
1992 OM-05    
2010 D-03 w/Italian Spruce top
2010 RS-4 in Candy Blue
2013 C-10 Italian Spruce/Silver Oak
teh
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« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2017, 11:33:41 AM »

Congratulations on picking a winner with your new D-18. It's interesting that my favorite songwriter Gordon Lightfoot uses a D-18 from the late 40s as his go to 6 string guitar.

While I love my parlor, I agree that the L body is Larrivee's best body style and if memory serves it is Jean Larrivee's design.

I would be interested in hearing your description in the differences between your D-18 and your L05.
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TEH

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DAWard
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« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2017, 05:51:47 PM »

Teh,

Describing a sound is difficult because we must use terms from the other senses – but I will give it my best shot. 

My L-05 is very well balanced with plenty of head-room before it breaks up.  It responds better to flatpicking than to finger style and sounds ‘full’ but more in an enclosed way versus the D-18.  It has great note separation and is a bit more mid-range than the Martin.  I consider it to be like a good friend who listens well and speaks even better.  I know every time I pick it up, that I might fail it, but it will never fail me.

The D-18 has more of a ‘let’s get this party started’ feel to it.  It responds very well to a soft touch but when pushed, will break up in a good way like an over-driven tube amp does (think Stephen Stills ‘Black Queen’ for example).  The note articulation is as good as the L-05 but more top and bottom presence.  The Larrivee has more overtones and is a bit richer as a result.

Within the last few years my preference has changed to mahogany over rosewood.  I am fortunate to have owned a lot of guitars during my 54 years of playing and compare the two above to those I had from the same makers: Martin D-35, D-35s and a D-28.  Larrivee L-09, LV-09, D-09 and P-09.  The two I have now are the best of their respective lots.

Regards,

David


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Mikeymac
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« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2017, 05:02:26 PM »


Within the last few years my preference has changed to mahogany over rosewood. 


I've noticed this as well. My #1 and #2 guitars currently are my OM-05 and my D-18. I do like my D-35, but it doesn't have the clarity and punch of the D-18. [EDIT: I also have a 2015 J-45 that I like - it's not as good as the D-18; just different, and I think it needs to open up/mature a bit more and it will also come into its own.]

Your description of your L-05 reflects what I've noticed (I have a C-10 in Silver Oak). I believe the narrow waist and size can be an advantage for L-bodies guitars in rosewood (L-09, etc.); I have a '79 L-19 on the way to me, and it seems to have these qualities. I played it briefly when I bought it, but it was right-handed then, and I couldn't give it a full "audition." But it sounded good enough that I bought it and am having it converted to lefty - hope to have it by June 1.

The "new" (post 2012) D-18 is one of Martin's best instruments, and certainly best "bang-for-buck" guitars. I know there are guys who like the GE's and the Authentics (the guy I bought mine from was "upgrading" to one of those), but I see no need to spend a lot more money for what might be a little more of "it".

I like the specs and tone of the D-18 so much, I'm thinking (down the road a piece) of ordering a Custom Shop Martin 0000-size guitar with D-28 woods and specs (top shading, trim, neck and nut shape, etc.).
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1979 L-19
1992 OM-05    
2010 D-03 w/Italian Spruce top
2010 RS-4 in Candy Blue
2013 C-10 Italian Spruce/Silver Oak
Mikeymac
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« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2017, 05:25:18 PM »

I think I mentioned this in my other thread on my D-18, but I'll revisit it here: I also have a D-03 with Italian Spruce top. It's a nice guitar, but the D-18 has more clarity and punch without getting out of focus.

I also mentioned that the Larrivee D-03's body is larger than the D-18. It's noticeable: the upper bout is around 1/2 - 3/4" wider and the lower bout is 3/4 - 1" wider than the D-18. The bodies are nearly identical in depth. I've wondered if this extra "air" contributed to the lack of focus on the D-03 (which is a 2010 build) - I don't know.

Just some more observations and information.

 

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1979 L-19
1992 OM-05    
2010 D-03 w/Italian Spruce top
2010 RS-4 in Candy Blue
2013 C-10 Italian Spruce/Silver Oak
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