Here is a 2017 Martin D-18 Custom Shop, the modern interpretation of Martin’s famous D-18 and now built with Sinker Mahogany and Adirondack Red Spruce.
This Martin D-18 Custom Shop is built with genuine old growth Sinker Mahogany back and sides, harvested in the late 1800s in the rain forests of Central and South America for export. Using the rivers as the only means of transport, needless to say some logs did not make it. Many sunk in the mud and basically became a time capsule, aging for a century void of oxygen to rot. Some logs take on unique, subtle striping due to mineral deposits in the mud. Comparing between Sinker and regular Mahogany the ‘sinker’ has a bit more clarity and a slightly warmer tone than standard. The notes are a bit rounder and have a tad more sustain. Also, the ‘sinker’ has a bit more dynamic range.
Martin combined this superb tonewood with a premium Adirondack Red Spruce top, the holy grail of top woods. The wood of choice in the ‘Golden Era’ of guitar building from the early 1930s through pre-war early 40s. The top comes with Adirondack ‘Golden Era’ style scalloped bracing, the same bracing used back then also. The wood combination creates a loud and clear, balanced tone with deep warm bass and bell like highs. The neck is a modern Genuine Mahogany Modified Low Oval neck with the Performing Artist Taper. This PA Taper includes a more parallel neck profile with a slimmer taper at the 12th fret. This gives the guitar comfortable width in the first few frets plus a faster feel for lead-work as you move up the neck. Very easy and comfortable to play! Finally, the classic look of the dark Faux Tortoise binding, Nickel Grover butterbean tuners and Abalone dots complete the vintage look. This is the sound of a Golden Age classic with a modern feel. A truly great guitar! Listen to a sound sample here: