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  #1  
Old 06-20-2019, 10:05 AM
KalamazooGuy KalamazooGuy is offline
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Default Best D18 for Bluegrass flatpicking?

Howdy,

My next purchase will be a D18. I am really getting into the styles of Tony Rice and Billy Strings. My chops are getting there too, kinda [emoji4].

Anyways, I don't want to buy the "wrong one" or have regrets I didnt spring for a vintage unit or a GE model.

At the end of the day, is there really that big of a difference between those or a recent model at half the cost? I know there can be gems and duds on every level but any advice will help. Especially if you have owned one.

I have several rosewood guitars and am looking specifically for a D18 at this point.

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 06-20-2019, 10:42 AM
Bogle Bogle is offline
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The D18's produced in 2012 and later are overall pretty great...you should be able to find one at a reasonable price. If it's within your range however, a used D-18GE can be a fantastic deal, and frequently a lot closer to the sound you'll get from a vintage one at a FAR lower cost.
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:48 AM
llew llew is offline
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There are D-18GE models available used...it's a bluegrass monster. Check reverb.com. It's a cut above the standard model D-18 for the style of music you're interested in. Also, the 75th Anniversary D-18 that came out in 2008/2009 is essentially a D-18GE in a different outer package.

FWIW I had a '62 D-18 that had a neck set/refret and a few cracks fixed/cleated and it was a great sounding D-18 but I still preferred the newer D-18GE to the '62.
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Last edited by llew; 06-20-2019 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:49 AM
rokdog49 rokdog49 is offline
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I believe the "GE" has been discontinued. It had an Adirondack top. It had a voice that was a little punchier and the bass was less muddy but the current standard sounds "sweeter".
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Old 06-20-2019, 12:34 PM
DesertTwang DesertTwang is offline
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Psst ---- here's a secret: Martin America 1 Model. Built to the specs of a D-18 but sycamore back and sides and Adi top. I compared mine side by side to a D-18 before buying it, which paled in comparison.
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  #6  
Old 06-20-2019, 01:26 PM
KalamazooGuy KalamazooGuy is offline
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Sycamore! Interesting.......
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Old 06-20-2019, 01:45 PM
rokdog49 rokdog49 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertTwang View Post
Psst ---- here's a secret: Martin America 1 Model. Built to the specs of a D-18 but sycamore back and sides and Adi top. I compared mine side by side to a D-18 before buying it, which paled in comparison.
In what ways?
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  #8  
Old 06-20-2019, 01:58 PM
Mark L Mark L is offline
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If by D18 you mean Martin brand, there are a lot of choices but you dont state your price range.

If by D18 you mean a spruce/mahogany dreadnought, I suggest a plain jane Collings D1 (not D1A), used. There are a few around right now. Id say a high price for excellent condition would be 2500, low around 2000.

Good luck on your quest.
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  #9  
Old 06-20-2019, 02:09 PM
lowrider lowrider is offline
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I think the best D-18 for you is the one that you go out and find live, either new or used. If you just want a d-18 buy it online and the one that arrives will most likely blow you away. If you want the absolute best one for you, not for me, not for your favorite BG player, you've got to go find that one!

Good luck, guitar shopping is just as much fun as playing. I love it!
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Old 06-20-2019, 02:16 PM
slopeshoulder slopeshoulder is offline
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I was considering a D-18 but purchased this instead. Maybe worth a look?

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...40s-tt-natural
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Old 06-20-2019, 02:19 PM
slopeshoulder slopeshoulder is offline
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Here is a review I did.

https://youtu.be/mjOecYC9jRA
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  #12  
Old 06-20-2019, 02:22 PM
GHS GHS is offline
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The best D-18 is a Takamine EF340tt...half the money....same specs, just as good a tone..check it out.
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  #13  
Old 06-20-2019, 02:24 PM
GHS GHS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slopeshoulder View Post
I was considering a D-18 but purchased this instead. Maybe worth a look?

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...40s-tt-natural


Wow! I honestly did not see your post. I agree with you 100%. I found one used but in perfect shape. This guitar rocks.
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  #14  
Old 06-20-2019, 02:25 PM
Brooklyn Bob Brooklyn Bob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GHS View Post
The best D-18 is a Takamine EF340tt...half the money....same specs, just as good a tone..check it out.
Running out for popcorn now..
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  #15  
Old 06-20-2019, 02:52 PM
DesertTwang DesertTwang is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rokdog49 View Post
In what ways?
Everything. Volume, tone and responsiveness. To me, the America 1 sounds more "like a Martin" than the D-18.
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"And that's why I've always thought of bluegrass players as the Marines of the music world" (Some rock guitar guy I jammed with a while ago)

Martin America 1
Martin 000-15sm
Recording King Dirty 30s RPS-9 TS
Taylor GS Mini
Baton Rouge 12-string guitar
Martin Backpacker
1933 Epiphone Olympic
1971 Dobro
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