1974 Martin D12-20 12 String Guitar

1974 Martin D12-20 12 String Guitar

Product Code:Guitar-1472802158
Availability:In Stock
  • $88.00

  • Ex Tax: $88.00

1974 Martin D12-20 12 String Guitar

Brand: Martin
;String Configuration: 12 String
;Model: D12-20
;Country/Region of Manufacture: United States
;Dexterity: Right-Handed

1974 Martin D12-20 12 String Guitar

     This is a wonderful old Martin 12 string guitar from 1974. The serial number is 348014. It has a solid spruce top and solid mahogany body and lacquer finish and was hand made in Nazareth when Martin was building far fewer guitars than they build these days. It sounds wonderful and has large rich tone with a deep bass and plays easily and still looks very good. The finish, bridge and tuners are all original and the inside is very clean as well.

   When I bought this guitar 7 years ago the pick guard was lifting and caused a crack under the guard and the neck needed to be re set as the action was too high. The pick guard was removed, the crack was repaired well and a new pick guard that looks just like the original was installed and the neck was re set. Martin  used a tubular hollow square steel truss rod from 1967 – 1985. They work well but have some compliance flexing under tension so the neck was set to allow for the extra compliance and the saddle is on the high side. As I recall, the bridge slot was routed deeper for the tall saddle to ensure that it would be stable and it has been. I have kept the guitar tuned to D tuning for the last 7 years and with D tuning it is stable and plays perfectly. It has been tuned at times  to E flat and E for recording but with the higher tunings you would want to lower the saddle slightly as the action gets higher so I just opted to leave it in D. 

The saddle height is greater on the treble side but it is not leaning. I'm not sure that this would be a good guitar for someone who wants to tune to E as the high saddle might cause sticking on the saddle but if you love the sound of vintage Martins with that deep beautiful vintage sound and play in lower tunings and use normal strings (not extra light) this is about as good as it gets. The saddle height gives it more volume and very good bass although the guitar is well balanced and has no dead spots; its all there and it has been stable and playing beautifully since the work was done 7 years ago. I restored one from the 60s recently with a lower saddle and prefer the sound of this one as it has a deeper bass and more volume.

     Overall the guitar still looks great. There is the repaired crack under the pick guard and it looks like someone bumped the top edge of the front on the upper bout but overall the finish on the back, sides, neck and top is very good and there are no other cracks. This guitar records really well and has a much bigger and mellower voice than the newer Martins. I can probably send recordings of this guitar on request once they are converted to mp3s. The action is nice and easy and it plays well all the way up the neck including leads in the high registers. The original frets are not worn but there is some change in slope at the body from having the neck re set. It plays easily and sound great though and is a great guitar for recording; the mics don't lie. You could play it for 10 years, level the fingerboard and re fret it and it will come out just right but it plays fine now. These Martins are under rated because you are more likely to find one with high action that is difficult to play as compared to an old Cibson B45-12, however I have owned both and this Martin has a bigger sound and sounds like a Martin, basically what you would expect from a good vintage Martin but with 12 strings.

     I will guarantee that this guitar is as described and you should love the sound. Its probably one of the easiest playing ones out there and it comes with a good hard shell case that fits it perfectly.

Buyer to pay actual shipping charges which are typically less than $60 to most of the US. I will pack it very carefully.

1974 Martin D12-20 12 String Guitar

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