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- Martin D-222 100th Anniversary
Martin D-222 100th Anniversary
The Martin Company, in 1916, designed and made their very first Dreadnaught guitar for the Oliver Ditson Company, a music publisher for whom Martin had made, and continued to make into the 1920s, an entire line of guitars and ukuleles, all of them with the Ditson name on the back of the peghead and the Martin name inside. The thinking was, at the time, to have a guitar larger than any other in order to provide a deep bass sound to carry the back end of the mandolin orchestras that were so popular back then. Dang, did they ever succeed. All Martins at the time had 12-fret necks; most of their models got the longer 14-fret necks and proportionally shortened bodies by 1934 or so, leading to, among other designs, the Dreadnaught guitars we’re so familiar with today. For 2016, the 100h anniversary of their original Dreadnaught, Martin decided to make a very limited number (one hundred of them to be exact) reproductions of the original guitar they had made for Ditson, which was called a model 222 at the time. We have here #65 of 100, and it’s a knockout. It is built to all the original specs: mahogany back and sides, Sitka spruce top, 1-7/8” nut width, ebony fingerboard and pyramid-style bridge, scalloped top bracing, Ivoroid body bindings and mitered Ivoroid fingerboard binding, old-style fancy abalone fingerboard inlays, all that stuff, even down to the way-cool “Oliver Ditson & Co Boston - New York” brand stamped into the back of the peghead and inside the guitar. I've played a few of the originals, and I’ve had several D-18S models from the 1970s, which were built more or less to the same specs, but I will say that I’ve never played any Martin of this type that sounds as HUGE and as monumentally fabulous as the particular example we have here now. You need to play this thing to believe it.