Sonic Evalauation

You 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 Report

This 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.


Brand Used
Model1989 Martin J-40M (Signed by C.F. Martin)
Type0000-14 Fret
Top FinishGloss
Top WoodSolid Sitka Spruce
Top FinishPolished Gloss
BracingScalloped Spruce X-Bracing
Back & Sides WoodSolid East Indian Rosewood
Back & Sides FinishPolished Gloss
Neck WoodGenuine Mahogany
Neck FinishSatin
Neck JointDovetail
Neck ShapeMartin Low Profile
Neck Dimensions.830 1st - .910 9th
Fretboard MaterialBound Ebony
Fretboard InlaysAbalone Hexagons
Nut Width 1 11/16"
Scale Length25.4"
Nut MaterialBone
RosetteBlack and White Plastic
TunersGold Closed-Gear Martin
SaddleCompensated Bone
BindingAntique White

Why Order from Wildwood Guitars?

An instrument from Wildwood isn't just an ordinary guitar. It's your guitar. Each and every instrument we sell includes a full, point by point setup, an exhaustive evaluation, and expert shipping procedures, with first class, industry leading standards from start to finish. Why? Because you deserve it.

Click Here to learn more about what makes a Wildwood instrument so special...
Wildwood Pre-Owned
Serial Number: 487398

Add to Wishlist
Add to Wishlist

High Resolution Photo Gallery