Twenty-two years ago, the Martin Guitar Company created the D16-H limited edition dreadnought guitar. It was an experimental project stimulated by continued requests for them to build an affordable guitar that emulated the sound of the pre-war (WWII) D18. Why the D18? Because, it is without question one of Martin's greatest creations with a combination treble/bass sound and sustain that is unequaled, so the experts say. Martin revealed the D16-H in '92 and it was very well received, and instrument reviews indicated that the '16' equaled the '18' in quality and sound. But, after a couple years, they stopped making the D16-H. Why? Who knows. Probably, because they wanted the value of the '16' to increase, and for demand for exceptional instruments to continue.
I bought a D16-H back in the day and it is everything the critics said it was. I thought that if I were ever to attempt building an acoustic guitar, it would have to be like the '16'. Then, late last year, my friend David encouraged me to stop procrastinating and short-selling my ability and to get going on a new build.
If you've been reading posts hereon about the creation of the TotalRojo TR18D, you know the details. My attempt was to create a guitar that is as close to the '16' as I could possibly come. I researched the D-18 thoroughly and bought Martin parts and plans, so that's about as close as I could get to the real deal.
Tonight (March 10, 2014) I completed my guitar. It plays and sounds exactly like my D16-H! Thanks to encouragement from my wife, sons, and friend David, I think I may have finally learned how to build a very nice guitar.
Here it is. Let me know what you think.
Mahogany neck with bone nut; rosewood headstock overlay; Shaler tuners; rosewood fingerboard with Mother of Pearl fret markers; rosewood bridge with bone saddle and MOP pins; tortoiseshell pick guard; ziricote wood heel cap; rosewood sides and bookmatched rosewood back; tortoiseshell binding.