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The Martin D-45, A Top of The Line, Beautiful Acoustic Guita
Guitar of China 2016-08-18

The Martin D-45, A Top of The Line, Beautiful Acoustic Guitar Masterpiece

The D 45, by C.F. Martin & Co

The Martin D-45 is the top of the line acoustic guitar produced by the legendary

American company, C.F. Martin & Co. It is a similar guitar to their more

widespread, affordable, and famous model, the D-28, in that it features a solid

spruce soundboard, solid rosewood back and sides, and the high "X" bracing

that is present on almost every single studio or professional quality guitar used

for playing leads, or even rhythm. The Martin D 45 starts at a base price of

$7,500.00, and then goes as high as the pocket is deep.

The most famous, loved, and purchased acoustic guitars in the world are all

Dreadnought, or "flat top" guitars-and they are always either guitars made by

C.F. Martin & Co., the Gibson guitar company-or, they are copies of models that

are made by Martin or Gibson.

The Martin D 45, Martin's Flagship Acoustic Guitar

What distinguishes the Martin D-45 from other models in the Martin line, or other

imitations of equal or greater value is the abalone inlay that is virtually

everywhere on the Martin D-45. Especially noticeable is the abalone inlay in the

solid ebony fingerboard. What you see, and what the inlay is used for is to

demonstrate for the player, or the careful observer, the fret that the player is on

with his left hand-this, assuming that the guitarist is right handed. Never fear,

left handed pickers, or aspiring musicians-all Martin guitar models are available

in left handed models, as well as the standard right handed model.

Also noticeable is the abaloneinlay on the D-45 headstock, and a break from the

traditional horizontal signature on the Martin Headstock, as the D-45 is abalone

inlay, and vertical. I've imported two very fine pictures that show this beautiful

feature. Maybe you noticed, and maybe you didn't-but the tuning keys on the

D-45 are gold plated. We're talking about an instrument that goes to every

extreme for beauty.

There is no such thing as a dressed down Martin D 45, there is however, such a

thing as a D 45 being even more dressed up. You need to realize that the Martin

D-45 isn't the most common guitar that you'll see, in fact, it's a pretty uncommon

guitar. I've played untold dozens of Martin guitars, and owned two, but I've only

ever played ONE Martin D 45, and this was simply the most beautiful, dressed

up guitar that I've ever seen. Take a deep breath, the one I played was for sale

for "only" $45,000.00

Forty Five grand for a guitar might sound completely stupid to you-but it's not if

you make your living using that guitar to do so. It's no different than that

cowboy who bought a forty five thousand dollar pick up truck to haul his tractor

and tools around with. Also, that particular D 45 had the most beautiful inlay

pattern that I'd ever seen-it was various colors of green, and pearl white, and

was of some kind of vine, and it "grew" from the sound hole up to the head


One more thing to consider when thinking about abalone inlay-it's very bad for

the health of the Luthier building these guitars to breathe in the abalone dust

that is created when the precision made pieces are cut for the guitar's inlay. I'm

not sure that it's even worth it to do that sort of thing without all the right

equipment. Think about that when you price a D 45, or other model of guitar

featuring lots of abalone inlay.

The Koa Wood Martin D 45

As I've stated above, the tradition with the Martin D 45 is that it is a guitar

featuring the finest solid rosewood back and sides. This is still the case-but the

Martin D 45 is also available with another, less often used tonewood, and that is

Koa wood.


Why is it that different woods are used for acoustic guitars, and how do these

woods affect the sound of the instrument? In the past, there was less

opportunity for confusion on this issue, since most guitars were made of

mahogany, rosewood, maple, ebony, and spruce. But with the dwindling

availability of traditional tonewoods, particularly those cut from old-growth

forests, major manufacturers and smaller luthiers have been compelled to

consider the use of alternative species of tonewoods- some of them common

and others decidedly uncommon. ~Dama Bourgeois~

Koa wood is becoming more and more popular as a tonewood for fine guitars,

and it's a wood with some pretty interesting characteristics. I'll say that it would

be impossible for you to go wrong with a koa wood guitar. . . but you just might

not be getting exactly what you thought you wanted unless you've got a

studied ear for guitars, and tonewoods. Let me explain: Koa wood's tonality

varies more than mahogany or rosewood, depending on the density of the

wood used; and koa wood density varies as well. Basically, it comes down to

this: The more dense the koa wood - the more the guitar will sound like a

rosewood guitar. The less denser specimens of koa wood  make for a guitar that

sounds more like a mahogany guitar.

The Martin D 45 Golden Era

The Martin D 45 Golden Era is the top of the ladder, the only way to get a guitar

designed to be more beautiful in sound and appearance is to special order one

from either Martin, or the luthier or your choice. What distinguishes the Golden

Era D 45 from the rest is that it has both the solid Adirondack spruce

soundboard and solid Brazilian rosewood back and sides. The beauty of

Brazilian rosewood is not only in it's appearance, Brazilian rosewood has specific

tonal characteristics that are completely unique to that tonewood. This guitar

retails at $20,500.00


In conclusion, I'd like for you to understand that the Martin D 45 is a guitar built

for beauty, and all Martin guitars built with solid tonewoods are built for premium

sound, and are intended for a professional, or a serious enthusiast. Having said

that, it's important to understand also that a guitar enthusiast is often mostly

interested in the guitar's tone and playability. Because no two guitars, even

guitars made from the same woods from the same trees by the same luthier will

be "equal," a standard model Martin D 45 might very well be preferable to one

musician over a Golden Era model-based on sound.

The opposite might be true for someone else. The Golden Era model, however,

will always retain a higher value both new, and used to most any and every

consumer. I hope that this has been interesting and useful to someone-and I

haven't touched on some of the finer, less known and considered specifications

for these types of guitars, but should you stay tuned-these subjects will also be

addressed. As always, I'm happy to answer any questions that you might have.

Till then, play your guitar!