Skip to main content

Martin D-18GE Guitar - Rate and Review

Martin D-18GE Reviews

Name: Clyde
Date: 03/04/11
Review: Martin D18 GE
Rating you give the Martin D-18GE: 5 - Best thing I ever played

Likes: I bought my first Martin in 1972, a D28.  I still own it and I have owned more than 30 Martins since '72 I have just bought the D18 GE and it has blown me away.  It is the best Martin guitar that I have ever owned.  I have a 28, HD28, a Larravee and a Gibson Advance Jumbo but the 18 GE tops them all.

Dislikes: I would like to see the folks at Martin use something other than plastic bridge pins on such a fine guitar.


Name: Bob D.
Date: 08/03/2010
Review: Martin D-18 GE
Rating you give the Martin D-18GE: 4 - Highly recommend it

Likes: This guitar does it all. I've owned it for over five years and the last couple of years the top has really started to come alive. Sometimes I can't believe how powerful this guitar can be. I've played Collings D1A, and some vintage D18's and some great 28's, and this is right up there with them, if not surpassing them. I don't think it's quite the guitar as the D-18 Authentic, but at half the price it certainly more than holds its own. My D-18 is named Charlie, even though Charlie Waller played 28s, he passed away around the same time I bought it. The guitar was brand new when we started recording the album. Can't wait to get it back in the studio. Live we use three AT large diaphram mics, and solos and rhythm cut right through. LOVE the bass and clarity of the upper end! Thanks Martin for making an affordable guitar with the sound I have always dreamed of!!

Dislikes: I am having finish problems on the neck, Martin will be taking the guitar back to refinish neck. Chunks of the clear finish have come off making it a little uncomfortable to play, but when you hear the great sound, it's easy to forget about any negatives! Hope to get some ebony end pins in the future too, should have been included on such a fine instrument.

Forum username:  bluesriff
Date:  10/29/07
Review:  1995 Martin D-18GE Limited/Anniversary Edition
Rating you give the Martin D18GE:
  4 - Highly recommend it

Likes about the Martin D-18 Golden Era:  Like the vee neck, the volume, bass, mids, highs.  It just has a punch to it.  Set up from the factory it is perfect for playing slide in open tuning also.

Additional Comments:  I also own a 1989 D-18 Special Limited Edition.  15 made for Domestic market.  Engleman spruce top.  This one sounds slightly better because of age, but both are keepers.  One for open tuning and one for regular of course.

Forum username:  1957strat
Date:  June 23, 2007
Review:  Martin D-18GE
Rating you give the Martin D18GE:  4 - Highly recommend it

Additional Comments:  After playing an original 1937 D-18, I had to find a D-18.  Martin started making the Golden Era and this was the closest thing to the original, aside from the Authentic model which I can't afford.  The D-18GE has a powerful tone.  The combination of the Adirondack spruce top and mahogony sides and back are amazing.  I used to think nothing else existed except rosewood sides and backs--for the best tone and loudness.  I was prove wrong!  I also have a Collings CW, which has the same configuration as the Martin D-18GE.  It is also an amazing guitar.  However, tne Martin feels less stiff than the Collings and it is easier to play.  I can play bluegrass tunes as well as jazz chord melodies all over the neck on the Martin.


Forum username:  Datzus1
Date:  4/24/06
Review:  Martin D-18 GE
Rating you gave the Martin D-18GE:  5 - Best thing I ever bought

Like about the Martin D-18GE:  This is my first mahogany dread, and first with the wider neck, so I've been adjusting to both the different tones and wider spacing for the past 6 weeks... to the point that I have not been playing my 41, 21 (from'68) or 76 models at all. They are jealous.  This GE is a wonderfully constructed Martin and it has enough volume
in any situation I can imagine.  The notes punch out clearly, flatpicking runs explode, and the capacity to work the dynamics of the sound has been delightful.  I can lay back, and still have enough volume in bluegrass and jamming situations to have a presence, but adding fills and riffs with authority seems to be exactly what this guitar is made for.

Maury set it up exactly to my specs, added a K&K mini PU and it does everything that I could ask for in a guitar. It sounds so perfectly balanced from low strings to the high, and all up and down the neck, and it has plenty of bottom end without the overtones and boominess I have in my RW dreads. Mic-ing it has been quite easy, especially without plugging in using the K&K.

I shopped around for a year, reading reviews, trying them out, A/B-ing them every chance I could before I pulled the trigger and ordered it... and my satisfaction is way up there in these early stages of our honeymoon!

Dislike about the Martin D-18GE:  Plastic pins, but I ordered slotted ebony and have switched back and forth twice. Ebony sound fine, with more mids to my ears; plastic are bright and not at all brittle.


Date: 09/07/05
Review: Martin d18ge
Rating you give the Martin D18GE: 5 - Best thing I ever bought

Likes about the Martin D18GE: Tone, Tone, Tone...this thing is a bluegrass guitar ever!

Dislike about the Martin D18GE: The cheap plastic bridge pins...I slotted the bridge and replaced them with ebony...much improved tone, and thats saying alot!

Additional Comments: I ditched by hd28lsv because of this guitar...had all the bass of the d28 plus alot more clarity....will never get rid of this one!


Forum Username:  D18GE OM2C
Date:  2/18/2005
Review:  Martin D-18GE
Rating:  4 - Highly recommend it

Like about the Martin D-18GE:  The TONE!!!  Clear, crisp, clean, punchy tone. This guitar is just incredible strummed with a pick.  Flat picking and picking individual strings with a pick are fantasic too. Finger style stuff, especially higher on the neck, tend not to be as strong (not enough complexity or overtones to my ear), but certainly passable.

Disliked about the Martin D-18GE:  Tiny Martin frets and the "V" neck are not my favorites.  Also, unless the through saddle is critical to tone (I don't know), I'd prefer a drop in saddle for easier string adjustments in the future.  However, so far it hasn't been an issue.

Additional Comments:  I have owned this guitar for three years.  I bought it new at my local high end acoustic shop.

I did NOT intend to buy this guitar.  I was actually in the process of finalizing the purchase of a used Collings OM-2C.  I pulled this Martin dread off the wall while I was waiting for the store staff to write up some stuff for the Collings and I was blown away.  At the time I knew nothing about D-18GEs and I was NOT even thinking about buying a dread, but I was just floored by the clear, powerful tone in this guitar.  I'd played a D-18V and liked it, but as good as the 18V is, the GE is better.  I've since played other 18V's and GE's as well as std. 18s, once all together in the same store so I could directly compare them against one another.  The GE just has more of what one would buy a Mahogany dread for.

I play this guitar in a praise band at my church and also record it (classic rock type stuff).  It's great in both applications.


Name:  Laurence Diehl
Date:  08/24/2004
Review:  Martin D-18GE
Rating:  5 - Best thing I ever bought

Like about the Martin D-18GE: 
Bottom line: They are building them like they used to. I have had Martins before - bought a D-35 back in 1973. That was a pretty good guitar but it had structural problems - top bellied up behind the bridge. I was always a rosewood fan before I got the D-18, but I promise you, this guitar has all the bottom you'll ever need - and it doesn't disappear in the high-mids like some D-28's do. It sounded great right out of the box, and getting better every day. I like the vintage wide neck on it too.

Dislike about the Martin D-18GE: 
I am not a big fan of Martin frets - too low and skinny for me. This means that pull-offs are a bit uncomfortable and the action on the treble strings, while low and playable, don't really have room to ring free. Compare this to a Collings (the perfect setup in my opinion)

Additional Comments:  Great value for the money!

Rate the Martin D-18GE
 5 - Best Martin I ever played
 4 - Highly recommend the Martin D-18GE
 3 - Good Martin, give it a try
 2 - Did the job, nothing special
 1 - Save your money, forget the D18GE

    Social Media

    Buy Online -
    Pick Up IN-STORE

    email usour twitterour facebook page pintrest youtubeinstagram


    Shopper Award