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  #1  
Old 11-21-2013, 01:22 PM
Treenewt Treenewt is offline
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Default NGD- Martin D-18 MV Custom

Guys, this is a long one, so please bear with me. Itís not a rant. Itís a story.

This year has already been a pretty cool, and pretty crazy one for me in regards to guitars. In my search for an OM body, I stumbled across a used Breedlove American Series, which I put on layaway, only to have my mother-in-law pay it off for me! Then, when I had it in the shop getting a Baggs Lyric installed, someone unbeknownst to me called and paid for that install. Now how in the world do you top a story like that? Well, Iím about to tell you.

I have a group of guys that I do a Bible study with on Tuesdays. We call it the Taco Tuesday crew ($1 tacos are tough to beat), but it could just as easy be called the Guitar Guys or something, because 1/2 of us play guitar, and 1/2 of the 1/2 have serious issues with guitars (me being the chief offender). We had a get together a few weeks ago with all of our families, and in the midst of that, these brothers have me sit down with my family while they tell me how the Bible study has been such a blessing to them.

Then, they said that although this should probably be an intervention, they decided to just add fuel to the fire. One of them handed me a card and said ďHereís your Martin.Ē I about fell out. Literally. Who does this?

For three months, these guys had conspired (with my wifeís knowledge) to collect enough funds to get me the guitar, specifically the Martin, of my dreams. I never suspected a thing! They continued on with this plan even after I found the Breedlove and my in-laws picked it up for me. And guys, let me tell you, the week they did this was one of those weeks where you feel like a pretty worthless human being, where you feel like you donít deserve the air you breathe. And into that came this completely unexpected gift! Can you believe this? I still canít!

So to make a long story even longer, I thought about what I wanted to do. I know thereís been a lot of discussion round these parts lately about custom builds vs. big manufacturers, but for me, the D-18 has always been my dream guitar. For me, the combo of Mahogany and spruce is it. I just never thought Iíd be able to afford one.

A month or so ago, just out of curiosity, I had contacted Paul at Music Villa to inquire about their custom run of D-18s, specifically if they had them in sunburst. Paul called me back and said they did in fact have one, but then he told me the price. I politely declined and said ďmaybe one day!Ē I have three kids and a mortgage! Not happening for me! But these friends of mine changed all that!

So I contacted Paul again, and again he got back to me. He made me a great deal on their MV Custom D-18 in sunburst, put a K&K in it and shipped it out the next day.

First look upon opening the case:





It came last night, and let me tell you, I had to make myself put it up at midnight so I could go to bed. Absolutely AMAZING guitar! If youíve seen the videos they put out at the Acoustic Letter, I can say that the one they did for the D-18 is spot on accurate. This guitar is awesome! The thinner top and GE bracing makes it extremely responsive, but it will also take a heavy hand when you lay into it (and I strum HARD). The burst is beautiful (to meÖI know, lots of threads on that topic round here!), and the neckÖgood Lord, the neck is BUTTER. Super easy to play, super hard to put down.

And i must say the K&K surprised meÖI really like the tone I get! Iíll say it: you guys were right about those!

So in this season of Thanksgiving, and in light of some of the threads that have been going on, let me just say that Iím incredibly thankful for my friends, and Iím thankful for the variety of builders large and small that produce these amazing instruments we are all blessed to play. I know for many of you, this would not be your dream guitar, and Iím ok with that. Itís my dream! Itís my hope that you guys all find the one that plays, looks, and feels right to you, and that youíre thankful for the one you have! Happy thanksgiving guys!

Here are a few more pics...my iPhone and photography skills are pretty lame, so forgive me:



This is my best friend giving her a play:

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  #2  
Old 11-21-2013, 01:26 PM
ErikW ErikW is offline
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wow, what a great story and a great guitar! Congrats!
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Old 11-21-2013, 01:32 PM
27Years 27Years is offline
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Truly a wonderful group of friends, a great wife, a heart warming story, and a really nice sunburst on that guitar. Congratulations!
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Old 11-21-2013, 01:43 PM
woodbox woodbox is offline
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Default it comes around

If one reaps what they sow,
it appears your family and friends have witnessed you doing some good along the way!

Cant go wrong with a D18...nice.

Thank you for telling your tale.
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Old 11-21-2013, 02:17 PM
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rmyAddison rmyAddison is offline
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Great story!!

To me your friends doing this for you indicates you must be a pretty good guy, and they got you a pretty darn good guitar, I love Martin mahogany dreads!!

Congrats enjoy your D-18 burst, she's a looker!!!
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Old 11-21-2013, 02:37 PM
kyop1975 kyop1975 is offline
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That is an amazing story Treenewt. Great guitar! I love the sound of a D18 as well!!

Pax Christi,
Kyle
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Old 11-21-2013, 02:38 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is online now
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Hi Treenewt,

Wow, good for you! Great story and lovely guitar! Congratulations!

- Glenn
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Old 11-21-2013, 02:50 PM
Treenewt Treenewt is offline
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Thanks guys,

All I know is I have some awesome friends, and I'm thrilled with this guitar!
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Old 11-21-2013, 08:25 PM
harindavid harindavid is offline
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Congrats treenewt! Awesome story as well...

Don't ever let go of those friends of yours, you are truly blessed
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Old 11-22-2013, 08:32 AM
Treenewt Treenewt is offline
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I absolutely love this guitar! Last night, I sat on the couch with it and mostly fingerpicked, and while the string spacing at the saddle is a little bit tighter than my OM or parlor (due to the performing artist neck, methinks), I adapted pretty quickly. The sound is so sweet and full...I still can't believe I actually have a D-18! And with pretty much every pluck of a string, I'm reminded of the amazing friends that made it happen!
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Old 11-22-2013, 08:51 AM
GuitarDogs62 GuitarDogs62 is offline
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First that was really a good story and nice to hear that you have a support group and family and friends like that. $1 Taco's, I love that idea. Now the Guitar is awesome looking and beautiful. It's a Martin D-18, I feel you can't get better than that. I am planning on buying one in 2014 because it's my dream guitar too. Congratulations and play it in good health. I always love to hear stories like this amongst good friends and family.
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Old 11-22-2013, 08:53 AM
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Congrats on your dream guitar! You've got some great people in your life that obviously think very highly of you, doesn't get much better than that.
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Old 01-07-2014, 02:32 PM
Treenewt Treenewt is offline
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Default UPDATE- One Month In

I've had my Martin Custom D-18 for over a month now, and as I was playing it a bit today, I wanted to post an update as to how I feel about it now.

My initial impressions still hold true: this guitar does pretty much everything I'm able to throw at it well. It sounds great strummed, and yet it can be fingerpicked with great ease (even with the relatively tight 2 3/16 saddle spacing). And the tone...oh my, the tone! Such a sweet guitar! Very warm on the lows, but the mids and highs are present and give it punch in addition to the customary Martin growl. And yes, it will growl! A first position F sounds super nice! And DADGAD...please! It's like it was made for it!

The neck on the new 18s is so easy to play, all the way up. I've really enjoyed moving around on it. Again for what I do, which is a mixture of strumming and finger style, it is absolutely ideal.

This is my first really glossy finish guitar, and while I still love the sunburst (yes, I'm one of those who actually like Martin bursts), the fingerprints kind of drive me crazy! But, that's let me to actually wipe it down when it goes in the case, so I reckon that's a good thing.

Now, on to amplification: I'm still not in love with the K&K, but it's made me come to a realization. The better a guitar sounds unplugged, the harder it is for me to get a similar sound amplified. The K&K is a great pickup, but when I go from plugged to unplugged, this guitar takes a quantum leap tone-wise. In a band setting, the K&K does wonderful, but if it was just me acoustic, I'd mic this bad boy all day long. So, I'll deal with the K&K. Maybe one day I'll dual source it with a Baggs Lyric. Who knows?

All in all, this D-18 is what I'd always hoped one would be: perfect for me. It hasn't cured GAS, because I'd still love an 00-18V, but I will be content without it, too!

And for a late Christmas shot, here's my son inspecting my Martin and my Breedlove. Startin' him young!



And here's one with the other Martin in the family:
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Old 01-07-2014, 02:49 PM
llew llew is offline
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Great story and some fine friends you have who obviously care a lot about you. Like you I'm not a big K&K fan. In that same vein I can recommend the McIntyre Feather passive SBT and if you're looking for an internal mic system the new LR Baggs Lyric works great. Just put one in my Collings OM2H deep body and it sounds "unplugged" plugged in. Like it so much I just ordered a second one.

Anyway...congrats on the Martin! Great guitar!
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Old 10-08-2016, 10:22 PM
Steel and wood Steel and wood is offline
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Great story and congratulations!

Yep, the Martin D18 is pretty much my dream acoustic guitar also.
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