Martin Guitars Wildwood Custom D-18 – Adirondack Spruce
An Acoustic IconAttention, all acoustic guitar aficionados! The Wildwood team is brimming with excitement about our latest collaboration with the Martin Custom Shop: a new series of Wildwood Custom acoustic guitars. Why are we so geeked? Well, two of our favorite things in the entire world are basking in the glorious sound of a great Martin and providing our customers with exceptional value, and this run of Martins allows us the opportunity to do both! Let’s take a closer look and see why these guitars have won our hearts in record time.
Big Tone. Big ValueWhen we spec’d out these guitars, our goal was to build mighty guitars that could slay all comers in the acoustic arena while keeping them at a reasonable price point. So, we took some of our favorite standard Martin models and made a couple choice tonal tweaks to set them apart from the pack.
When we considered what type of sound to go for, the discussion was short and the decision was unanimous: we should try to emulate clear, crisp, woody tone of our favorite Martins from the forties and fifties. While our desire to keep the price point low trumped our desire to deck these guitars out with vintage-accurate appointments, we do believe that our choices regarding tonewood and bracing have imbued these guitars with the spirit of a vintage Martin.
Awesome Adirondack ActionTo cop this vintage-style tone, we chose to equip these Martins with Adirondack spruce tops and scalloped 5/16” Adirondack bracing. It’s no secret that we love Adirondack spruce to an unhealthy degree here at Wildwood, so let’s dive into the reasons for our obsession with this stellar tonewood.
Adirondack spruce produces a plethora of pleasing timbres. From the get-go, it gives the guitar a woody, percussive attack with piano-like roundness and an exceptionally wide dynamic range. You can coax plenty of different sounds out of a guitar with an Adirondack top simply by altering your right-hand technique, so it really facilitates expressive playing!
Part of the reason for this is the otherworldly amount of headroom that Adirondack spruce offers. Every acoustic guitar’s top has a point at which it cannot get any louder. Once you hit that point, the top is “maxed-out” and playing harder yields more compression rather than more volume.
For guitars with Adirondack tops, that point is much, much higher than normal. So, you can really hit hard with your right hand without losing any clarity. Think of it like this: if electric guitar players prize amps that can “go to eleven,” acoustic guitarists prize Adirondack spruce because it can go to quadruple-fortissimo. Nevertheless, it is still quite expressive and open-sounding at lower volumes.
The D-18 of Your DreamsThe Martin D-18 and Adirondack spruce are a match made in acoustic guitar heaven. With the help of the warm, round-sounding mahogany back and sides, the Adirondack top produces a clear, open, balanced, midrange-forward sound that suits just about any genre or situation.
It has excellent note separation, but it also sounds piano-like and full. Strum some chords on the Wildwood Custom D-18, and it will sit just right in the mix. Take a lead, and it will punch right through. It sounds expansive enough to make solo singer-songwriter arrangements sound full and rich, but it's mannered enough to provide a rock-solid foundation for a full band. It's dynamic enough for fingerstyle, and it sounds like a wooden cannon when you lay into it with a flatpick. Oh, and it records beautifully because of its midrange punch and astounding articulation. As you can see, the Wildwood Custom D-18 may very well be the dreadnought of your dreams!
The Ultimate SleeperSince we went all-out to get the most opulent vintage Martin tone possible with our Wildwood Customs, we elected to equip them with the simple, elegant appointments that normally grace Martin’s standard production models.
So, while these guitars may look like a regular Martin, they will blow your mind after one strum. In a sense, they are the ultimate sleeper guitars: no bling, no abalone imported from the coast of the Caspian sea, no rare woods, just pure vintage Martin tone.
Feel the JoyPlaying a Custom Shop Martin is a singularly joyous experience, and we could not be happier to share that joy with our exceptional customers. We know that these Wildwood Customs will prove themselves to be steadfast companions on your acoustic adventures, and we cannot wait to see how they inspire you along the way.
|Model||Wildwood Custom D-18|
|Top Wood||Solid Adirondack Spruce|
|Top Finish||Polished Gloss|
|Back & Sides Wood||Solid Mahogany|
|Back & Sides Finish||Polished Gloss|
|Neck Wood||Genuine Mahogany|
|Neck Joint||Mahogany Blocks/Dovetail Neck Joint|
|Neck Shape||Modified Low Oval Profile w/Performing Artist Taper|
|Neck Dimensions||.820 1st - .890 9th|
|Fretboard Inlays||Old Style 18|
|Width at Nut||1 3/4"|
|Binding||Antique White Boltaron|
|Rosette||Old Style 18|
|Tuners||Gotoh Nickel w/Butterbean Knobs|
|Bridge||1930s-Style Ebony w/Drop-in Saddle|
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