Martin introduces anniversary dreadnaughts for 2016

CF Martin & Co.As a part of their year-long celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the dreadnaught guitar body style they debuted in 1916, the CF Martin Guitar Company in Nazareth, PA has a number of guitars being introduced at this week’s Summer NAMM Show in Nashville. These include a vintage reproduction of the very first of its type, a D-1 in the Authentic series, a limited edition Bluegrass 16, a limited edition D-222, and a 50th Anniversary D-35.

All are built in the company’s Pennsylvania shop and should hold some interest for bluegrass players and collectors alike.

Martin D-1 Authentic 1931The D-1 Authentic 1931 is meant to exactly replicate the guitar that started the dreadnaught revolution. Martin lists this as based on the first guitar where they used the dreadnaught designation in the catalog listing. It is made with an Adirondack spruce top and mahogany sides, with a Brazilian rosewood bridge and fingerboard.

Students of modern Martins will notice that the slope of the shoulders is quite different from contemporary dreadnaught models, and that the D-1 Authentic 1931 has a 12 fret, slotted headstock mahogany neck. This is just as the guitar would have been made in ’31, in keeping with the vintage reproduction. It carries a retail price of $6999.

Martin CS-Bluegrass 16The CS-Bluegrass 16 is limited to only 100 models and is designed with the features most demanded by bluegrass guitarists. The Adirondack spruce top is made with forward-shifted and scalloped X braces and an enlarged soundhole. The top is treated with Martin’s VTS system to resemble an aged piece of wood. Guatemalan rosewood is used for the back and sides and the top is trimmed with herringbone binding.

The mahogany neck attaches at the 14th fret and the body is styled in the modern dreadnaught manner. Ebony is used for the fingerboard and bridge. The CS-Bluegrass 16 is listed at $7999.

Martin D-222 100th AnniversaryThe D-222 100th Anniversary model is also limited to a production run of 100 guitars. As the official 100th anniversary guitar, this one is offered at a lower price point and utilizes Sitka spruce for the top and mahogany for the back and sides. The body shape is accurate to the period with sloped shoulders and a 12th fret, slotted headstock neck.

This one carries a retail price of $4999.

Martin D-35E Limited EditionAnd lastly, Martin is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its D-35 model, the D-35E 50th Anniversary Limited Edition. Historically, the D-35 was differentiated from the more popular D-28 model by the use of an angled, 3-piece rosewood back and this new edition follows suit.

Made with Adirondack spruce and East Indian rosewood for the body, this new guitar also follows contemporary dreadnaught shape and style and is listed at $4999.

You can find more details and photos on the Martin Guitars web site, at this week’s Summer NAMM show, or by visiting your favorite Martin dealer.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.