1983 Martin D-18 - Opinions/value?

retroLS1

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760
Have an opportunity to pick up a 1983 Martin D18 from a friend's friend. It's a 1983 (150th anniversary?) D18 model, description being "super clean, ready to be played - no nicks/dings/bruises and the neck is great. Will just need a new set of strings." It includes the factory hardshell case. What do guitars of similar description typically go for? It's a Martin, so even the worst model possible is still going to be a pretty darn good guitar, but where does the D18 - specifically the '83 model - land on that scale? Wondering if it's worth the investment.
 

Akwingnut

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435
Martins from the 80's aren't quite vintage yet, so they don't merit much up-charge for age. A typical D-18 from the 80's can be had for less than $1500. Some would pay a little extra for the "150th Anniversary" stamp (assuming Martin did that in 1983 like they did the 175th anniversary in 2008).

Make sure the neck is straight and that it's not in need of a neck reset ($300-500). Have it looked over by a good tech and go from there. Best of luck!
 

RustyAxe

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3,012
Not much more or less than any other modern used D-18. No truss rod adjustment on pre-85 models, either.
 

retroLS1

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760
Thanks guys. He is selling it for 850 which to me seemed like it could be a decent deal if it were clean and didn't need any repairs or work. I have a few nice acoustics so I was thinking more along the lines of picking it up, cleaning it up if need be, and finding it a new home.
 

Akwingnut

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435
Thanks guys. He is selling it for 850 which to me seemed like it could be a decent deal if it were clean and didn't need any repairs or work. I have a few nice acoustics so I was thinking more along the lines of picking it up, cleaning it up if need be, and finding it a new home.
I would jump on it for $850, assuming that it needed no work. That's money in the bank.
 
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Clark GriswoId

Looks Great. Little Full, Lotta Sap.
Silver Supporting Member
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3,746
Thanks guys. He is selling it for 850 which to me seemed like it could be a decent deal if it were clean and didn't need any repairs or work. I have a few nice acoustics so I was thinking more along the lines of picking it up, cleaning it up if need be, and finding it a new home.
As long as it doesnt need a neck reset and isnt cracked anywhere- $850 sounds good to me
 

guitararmy

Member
Messages
2,705
To my inexperienced eye, the action near the heel doesn't look bad. No pics of the bridge saddle, so can't tell how much it has been lowered to compensate for any neck angle changes.
Looks nice.
 

retroLS1

Member
Messages
760
Thanks for the input guys, I appreciate it. Will post up the next batch of photos when I get them and see about meeting up with him.
 

Salfordlad

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956
Even if it needs a neck reset it's a decent price.
I beg to differ. A reset will run you at least $500 or more. For $1300-1400 you could get a used post 2012 D18 with the pre-war specs. Ebony board and bridge, forward shifted scalloped bracing etc. The new D18's are phenomenal. That being said if it doesn't need a reset $850 is a great deal.
 

RustyAxe

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Messages
3,012
I beg to differ. A reset will run you at least $500 or more. For $1300-1400 you could get a used post 2012 D18 with the pre-war specs. Ebony board and bridge, forward shifted scalloped bracing etc. The new D18's are phenomenal. That being said if it doesn't need a reset $850 is a great deal.
No need to beg. But then it wouldn't be a 33 year old guitar, would it? I know more than one shop where I could get a neck reset for much less than that. Hell, if the seller is the original owner Martin will often do the job under warranty ...
 

Salfordlad

Member
Messages
956
No need to beg. But then it wouldn't be a 33 year old guitar, would it? I know more than one shop where I could get a neck reset for much less than that. Hell, if the seller is the original owner Martin will often do the job under warranty ...
Not around my neck of the woods (no pun intended). Gryphon in Palo Alto who are the go to guys in the SF bay area, quoted me $850 or higher for a reset on my 1990 D16M...... I lowered the saddle and saved $850.
 

RustyAxe

Member
Messages
3,012
Not around my neck of the woods (no pun intended). Gryphon in Palo Alto who are the go to guys in the SF bay area, quoted me $850 or higher for a reset on my 1990 D16M...... I lowered the saddle and saved $850.
That's one of the most expensive shops in the country. A typical neck reset on a Martin dovetail would be around $400-450 in my area, done by authorized Martin pros.
 

Mt Russmore

Member
Messages
8
Hey brother. BUY IT !!! Regardless of a neck reset .. Buy It. Great deal. Give me his number and I'll buy it !! LOL Good Luck.
 




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