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Discussion Starter #1
And now for something completely different. My 12 fret search ends.

Early 70s Martin D18S.

If someone told me 3 years ago I'd own a good mahogany guitar (let alone 2), I woulda told them they were crazy. I've never really been into D18's, always been more of a D28 / D35 guy, but this was the right deal at the right time. It's 90% of my Lowden for about 20% of the money. Huge sounding, and I've read that the larger bodied rosewood guitars are too much bottom end, so the larger bodied mahogany strikes a nice balance. Whoda thunk?

There is some controversy as to what the S stands for. Sloped shoulder? Although somewhat applicable, Martin never used that term. Slotted headstock? Again, applicable, but not an official Martin designation. 'Standard' seems to be more likely, as the early dreads were built like this - the 14 fret guitars came along later, to entice banjo players with their longer necks (more neck free of body, more accurately).

Anyways, enough blabbing - onto some pics.

IMG_2102.JPG

IMG_2131.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks! It is a tonal monster. And physically, too. Close to 2" longer than a regular dread, and that's saying something. It's also got a wide fingerboard (1 and 7/8").

I love the slotted headstock and was holding out for one. I've read that they're difficult to change strings but that hasn't been my experience so far. I did start with a classical guitar so maybe that helps.
 

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The S stands for the body style-the neck joins the body at the 12th fret instead of the 14th,so the bridge is moved lower and the body proportions change-your guitar had more rounded shoulders than a typical 14 fret dread.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The S stands for the body style-the neck joins the body at the 12th fret instead of the 14th,so the bridge is moved lower and the body proportions change-your guitar had more rounded shoulders than a typical 14 fret dread.
All true, the S models of their guitars are 12 fret with sloped shoulders. Not all have slotted headstocks, though.

None-the-less, the debate remains as to what the S actually stands (or stood) for. Doesn't matter to me, just an interesting tangent to a somewhat rare guitar.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Here's a pic showing the difference in body size between the S and a regular 14 fret D. Many companies just move the bridge but Martin made the body larger and moved the bridge a bit. Actually, Martin made the 14 fret dreads smaller.

IMG_2135.JPG
 
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