1956 Martin D-21

1956 was the first full production year of Martin's D-21 model. With Brazilian rosewood back and sides and a spruce top, the D-21 sounds quite a lot like a D-28; but from the front it looks a heck of a lot like a D-18. In fact, except for the guitar's checkerboard back strip and rosewood back and sides, the D-21 is cosmetically identical to the D-18 models built at the same time.

While the D-21 has a tone that's mostly similar to its older D-28 sibling, it's not exactly a D-28 dressed in style 18 threads, thanks to its rosewood fingerboard and bridge. The use of rosewood, rather than ebony, for the bridge on a D-21 imparts a slight increase in warmth and softness to this model as compared to a D-28. It's subtle, sure, but it's there, and it makes the D-21 a rosewood Dreadnought that many people who traditionally play mahogany guitars quite enjoy. Most mahogany vintage guitars feature rosewood bridges (whether it be a Martin or a Gibson), and part of their charm is the sound of that lightweight rosewood bridge.

This 1956 D-21 is a very fine sounding example and is in excellent shape. It’s dark and woody, but powerful and articulate when you want it to be, and it handles most any pick attack with ease and great tone. It's had a neck reset and frets replaced in recent years and it plays beautifully. A crack-free guitar with full-height original bridge, original tuners, nut, and finish; there are few faults to report on. Some areas of play-worn finish on the top up by the fingerboard, a reglued pickguard, a filled-in strap button screw hole on the neck heel, and a slight widening of the saddle slot are the only strikes against this one – and they're all admittedly quite minor flaws.

Straight-braced Sitka spruce top with quartersawn Brazilian rosewood back and sides. Tortoise celluloid binding and pickguard, rosewood fingerboard and bridge, style 18 rosette and style 28 back strip. 1-11/16” nut, 25.4” scale, 2-1/8” string spread at the bridge. The neck has a rounded soft V, (almost a C) carve and a 1st fret depth of .835”.

With period Lifton hardshell case