By Greg Olwell
Martin debuts several new guitars at the 2017 Summer NAMM show in Nashville, Tennessee, including a few signature models for popular players, songwriters, and a beloved longtime Martin employee.
Closely modeled after the D-18 from the Golden Era series, the new Jason Isbell D-18 features vintage tone system Adirondack spruce top with mahogany back and sides, a rear-shifted X-brace, ebony fingerboard on an “Authentic 1939” shaped mahogany neck, and Fishman Infinity Matrix electronics. The fingerboard inlay is a copy of one of Jason’s tattoos. List price is $5,999.
The third in his series of signature guitars, Ed Sheeran’s new “÷” signature model takes its name from the title of his latest mathematical-themed album title. The Sheeran 3 features a spruce top with his new album’s artwork etched into the top, a blue rosette and headstock logo, and high-pressure laminated mahogany back and sides. It also has Fishman Sonitone electronics and a gig bag. List is $699.
When given the chance to design his own signature model, Martin’s archivist Dick Boak chose to show of a Martin’s insides. Boak, who’s also a musician and illustrator, penned a design that traces the guitar’s forward-shifted X-bracing on the outside of the top, along with images of the old factory and birds. With mahogany back and sides and a Sitka spruce top, it has a mix of D-18 and D-28 appointments. List price is $2,999.