Acoustic Guitars/Martin D - 19


Junior wrote at 2007-12-15 15:13:02
The D19 is one of Martin's most interesting guitar. It was made to be an in between model. As the 21 series became an in between model from the 18 and 28 series, the 19 series filled the gap between the 18 and 21 series. As far as years of manufacture, to the best of my knowledge they were only built from 1977 to 1979. The guitar is a D18 with a dark finish on the top. The D19m came later in production and had a mahogany top. Making the D19m more of a 17 series guitar. Before Martin cam out with the new 15 and 17 series, all mahogany Martins where either 15 or 17 series. However I don't believe Martin offered all Mahogany guitars in the 1970's except for the D19M. As far as only 30 being produced, I would doubt that vety much. If the guitar was that rare they would be worth double or triple of what they are selling for. Thats if your lucky enough to find one. Mine is a 1978 D19. It is a great guitar.

jiM wrote at 2008-02-04 21:49:10
According to Martin, four D-19 models were produced in 1976. Over 600 were made in 1977 and continued on a limited basis compared to the D-18 and discontinued in 1988. I have owned several Martin guitars. Presently, I have a 1977 D-19 and it is my favorite flat top. I've been watching Ebay from its beginning and at the most seen four D-19 models with the spruce top and nutmeg finish for sale. I bought one of them. But never have I seen the D-19M for sale. I suspect the blues players have all of them by now. The D-19 was a fancier guitar than the standard D-18 and now those of us that have one tend to keep it. Regards jiM..

Gordon wrote at 2008-05-26 12:39:59
Interesting to see the comments from James.

I am typing this looking at my D19 and I agree...there doesnt seem to be too many around.

Good advice from Jim K.

I will try getting some information from Martin.


Gordon L

JCINOC wrote at 2008-07-28 15:46:58
I enjoyed reading this thread.  I bought a 1980 D19 M about 5 years ago.  The guitar shop told me that it was essentially a D18 with different wood.  Beyond that, this guitar has been sort of a mystery to me.  I bought it because of it's great playability, and to my ear, smoother bass than other Martins that I have played.  In fact, I think that it is smoother throughout the scale -- never overly bright or dull.  I also play a D35 that I have enjoyed since I bought it new in 1984.

My only disappointment in reading this is the price estimate.  Once you play it an fall in love with it, I think that you would be willing to pay a lot more (not that it is for sale!)

Stoneyjohn wrote at 2008-11-29 16:18:55
I also have a Martin D19 which I bought second hand in 1984 when it was 5 years old, it has a dark stained spruce top and mahogany back and sides with rosewood fingerboard and bridge. I understand it is based on a Martin D18 but with the dark stained top and a bit more decoration. I bought it here in UK for 485 in 1984 and was offered 1000 some years ago but I would not part with it as it has a very special tone and is much admired by local guitar aficionados.

Tony B wrote at 2009-04-01 17:08:25
I had an opportunity to purchase a D-19 several years ago in Albuquerque, NM. As I recall, it had a spruce top, stained dark. Otherwise, it appeared similar to a D-18 (mahogany).

Chancy wrote at 2009-11-17 19:21:32
I have a 1981 D-19 I bought new. Spruce top with nutmeg stain. White and black purfling around the edge of the top that a D-18 doesn't have. Doesn't project as much as the rosewood backed D-28 but it is sweet.

It just so happens mine has it's serial number listed on Martin's dating list as the last Martin made in 1981 (one of only 111 serial numbers listed)....Ok I know it doesn't make the guitar sound any better but it's kinda cool. #436474, ok I'll sell it for $100,000 lol (just kidding)

The first time I played a D-19 I loved it, I intend to leave this fine instrument to my son.

marci wrote at 2010-02-13 14:55:59
yes this guitar, Martin model D19 is fantastic. j'm sure. j have buy this guitar about 1980 years in Rome, in a guitar shop under the railroad Termini Station in Rome. my guitar was make in a 1977. the neck have the old martin profile and the action is very like. the top is in spruce,dark stained , with a spruce a large line (remenber me adirondack wood ?)and all body is in mahogany AAA . the sound is great and tone is warm. j have many guitar, very expensive acustic model but this Martin D19 give me after 30 years a wonderfull  sound

Manchester Tom Mitchell wrote at 2010-06-03 10:52:05
Nice to find so many writing in glowing terms about the D 19.  I bought mine here in Manchester about two years ago.  Every scratch and dint tells the story of a working guitar.  It's by far the most playable guitar I've ever owned and I love the fact that it's not that common.  The CF Martin Story fives the D 19 a few paragraphs and some contemporary advertising too.  It seems that the 19 was just not a popular instrument at the time.  No accounting for taste!

G-man wrote at 2011-12-27 17:08:06
Bought my D-19 in february of 1978 it was made in 1977 just before Martin guitars went on strike for most of 1977, the earliest I've seen was dated 1976. When I registered  it for the warranty I received a letter from Martin thanking me for purchaseing a Martin guitar and was told if I had any questions to let them know. I then inquired as to the difference between the D-18 and D-19 models. I was told that the D-19 was basically a D-18 with a shaded top and top was upgraded to a D-28 quality top.

Dan Hinkle wrote at 2012-05-07 20:04:30
Somewhere out there is a D19 With a burn on the headstock also the sound hole has a large part removed Her name is Pearl Someone stole her from me My name is Dan Hinkle  I MISS HER

TomScott wrote at 2013-03-14 00:07:32
Mine is a 1981 D-19 and I got it in the mid 80s.  Best looking guitar I've ever seen. I had to have it.  It's perfect.  I love the tone and wouldn't change a thing.  It's very Martin-y, meaning it's not as user friendly or as delicate sounding as Taylors or some high end guitars.  You gotta put some effort into it, but it rewards you for the effort.

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James Koontz


Acoustic guitar, electric guitar, Amplifiers, Most anything Music related... Also most anything related to security, Fire and access control, as well as CCTV system.


20 years as a sound engineer, part time luthier, and general all around technical dude for many local bands. One of which was fairly large in the 80's and 90's with multiple recordings, and was the opening act for David Allen Coe, as well as got a nashville recording opportunity. The band disbanded before making it mainstream.

Loyal Order of the Moose, Boy Scouts,BMI

Highlights for Children, Mystery Magazine,several online Publications, multiple cd's from various artists.

I have 20 years experience, some electrical college experience. Studied Law, philosophy, and theology.

Awards and Honors
well, too many to listm and none worth much more than a paperweight to hold down the ones that are on paper.

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