Up for sale, a 1996 Martin D-45 in exceptional, crack-free condition, complete with the original hardshell case and factory paperwork. Martin's flagship dreadnought, the D-45 can trace its genesis to singing cowboy Gene Autry, who requested Martin make him the, "biggest, fanciest Martin" for the tidy sum of $200 in 1933. Only a handful of D-45s were produced in Martin's Pre-War years, and the model has historically been available in exceedingly small quantities compared to Martin's other dreadnought output.
Abalone marquetry is liberally used throughout, framing the top, rims, back, soundhole, and fretboard extension, with additional ivoroid body binding, and hexagonal abalone inlay extending the length of the fretboard. Further top-tier features include gold hardware and a bound headstock face with vertical C.F. Martin inlay.
Tonewoods comprise a Sitka spruce top, East Indian rosewood back and sides, a mahogany neck, and ebony fretboard and bridge. Sound simply leaps from this instrument, with brilliant, sparkling trebles, and defined, powerful wound strings. There’s a notable brightness and percussive cut inherent in this D-45, while still retaining the muscle and kick of a spruce/rosewood Martin dreadnought. Nuance, detail and power are at the player’s fingertips, and this Martin has tonal breadth to match its considerable cosmetic appointments. The guitar weighs 4lbs 10oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with easy-playing action and 12-54 bronze strings.
The mahogany neck has a shape that splits the difference between soft V and U-shaped profile carves, offering ideal substance and plenty of shoulder in the higher registers. The profile measures .875" deep at the 1st fret and .985" at the 9th. On the bound ebony fretboard, the original slender frets have well-rounded crowns and exhibit no wear, playing cleanly up the 25.4" scale with a straight neck. The nut measures 1 11/16" in width. The bound headstock overlay features vertical C.F. Martin inlay, and the gold Schaller-made tuning machines function smoothly with just a touch of surface patina on the buttons.
The body features the original ebony bridge which sits flush with the top and is fitted with the original saddle which still has ample height. Cosmetic wear is limited to one very shallow ding on the treble-side upper bout on top, light pick scuffing across the tortoise guard, and just a few additional faint finish scratches and minor marks on the body as a whole. The finish on the neck profile is clean and smooth, and there is one very slight repaired split in the bass-side neck binding at the 12th fret.
The original molded black Martin hardshell case with green plush interior is included, along with the original factory paperwork (this Martin was originally sold via a dealer in Japan).