Used 1989 Martin J-40 M
Sonic EvalauationYou can fight me on this if you want, but there are few things in life better than strumming a vintage Martin guitar that has been broken-in to perfection by decades of play. It's especially wonderful when that vintage Martin is a hard-to-find model like this 1989 J-40 M! Though it exhibits many of the characteristics you'd expect to find in a jumbo guitar with rosewood back and sides (rich, warm, piano-like low-end with sweet, sparkly trebles), it takes things a step further. Perhaps because time has worked some magic, this serial has a particularly clear, woody voice with a Goldilocks-approved balance between the fundamental and its overtones. It's quite articulate, its trebles are snappy and crisp, and its midrange packs a walloping punch.
Though it is certainly responsive enough to work well as a fingerstyle guitar, this J-40 M is a world-beater as a strummer. If you want fullness without the boom of a dreadnought, this guitar is the ticket. It fills the room with rib-rattling resonance, it projects like nobody's business, and it remains dynamic and expressive. However, it never sounds flubby or muddy. When I sat down with it and strummed a few big open chords, I couldn't stop smiling. If you're a strummer, this is the sort of inspiring guitar that will brighten your day every time you pick it up.
Condition ReportThis jumbo Martin is in excellent condition overall, but it has accumulated some war wounds during its thirty years on earth. The pickguard has some light scratches and there are small dings throughout the finish. The frets show light-to-moderate wear, but they still have lots of life in them--the average fret height is .036 inches. There are two small flaws in the binding: a chip on the treble side of the seventh fret, and a crack by the seventeenth fret on the bass side. At the waist, the binding has separated in a couple of spots. A previous owner also installed a new nut and a strap button on the neck heel.
|Model||1989 Martin J-40M (Signed by C.F. Martin)|
|Top Wood||Solid Sitka Spruce|
|Top Finish||Polished Gloss|
|Bracing||Scalloped Spruce X-Bracing|
|Back & Sides Wood||Solid East Indian Rosewood|
|Back & Sides Finish||Polished Gloss|
|Neck Wood||Genuine Mahogany|
|Neck Shape||Martin Low Profile|
|Neck Dimensions||.830 1st - .910 9th|
|Fretboard Material||Bound Ebony|
|Fretboard Inlays||Abalone Hexagons|
|Nut Width||1 11/16"|
|Rosette||Black and White Plastic|
|Tuners||Gold Closed-Gear Martin|
Click Here to learn more about what makes a Wildwood instrument so special...