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Summer NAMM 2017: Martin Guitar to showcase Jason Isbell, Dick Boak signature and more

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Out Now

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Martin Guitar


Laura  Barnes
Summer NAMM 2017: Martin Guitar to showcase Jason Isbell, Dick Boak signature and more

Above: The D-Boak custom signature. Below: Jason Isbell's signature D-18.

The D-Boak features imprinted original “Inside Out” artwork by illustrator, luthier, musician and Martin archivist Dick Boak.

Martin Guitar is set to introduce a number of new signature and limited edition guitars at this year’s Summer NAMM in July.

Martin Guitar will introduce a re-imagined D-28, and debut four custom signature edition models, including the newest Ed Sheeran LX1 and a Jason Isbell D-18.

Also featured in the Summer NAMM lineup is a limited edition Art Deco model, the all new FSC Certified Model America 1 dreadnought, and several exciting series expansion models.

The D-Boak Custom Signature Edition dreadnought features imprinted original “Inside Out” artwork by illustrator, luthier, musician and Martin archivist Dick Boak.

In creating the artwork, Boak wanted to reveal and embellish the quintessential scalloped X-bracing of the Martin Dreadnought – the rarely seen internal structure of the company's flagship guitar.

Personally signed and numbered in sequence, the D-Boak Dreadnought is crafted with a Sitka spruce soundboard, genuine mahogany back and sides, a modified low oval neck, simple dovetail neck joint, bone nut and saddle, and an ebony fingerboard and bridge.

Tonally, the guitar is clear, projective and glassine. It has an MSRP of $2,999.

“Anyone who has had the pleasure of working with Dick Boak over the past 40 years knows the impact that his creativity and love of guitars has made upon the company and the industry. This edition celebrates and shares his long and storied tenure at C. F. Martin & Co,” said Martin Guitar.

Martin Guitar will also unveil Jason Isbell’s signature D-18, designed by the Grammy winning artist and the luthiers at Martin.

Isbell, just released his new album The Nashville Sound, reuniting him with his band the 400 Unit. He already owns a Custom D-35 and two guitars from the Authentic series, a D-18 and an OM-28. “Both of those I take on tour pretty much all the time. I fly with them, and they hold up great. I love those guitars. I think they’re incredible.” Isbell also uses Martin strings, which he says are also great for the road. “I’ve never had any problems with them breaking or slipping out of tune. They usually hold up for quite a few shows.”

Isbell worked closely with the Custom Shop at Martin Guitar to design his new signature D-18. The model boasts a pre-aged Vintage Tone System (VTS) Adirondack spruce top, mahogany back and sides, and rear-shifted scalloped bracing which produce more natural volume and a clear powerful tone. Similar to Martin’s Authentic series, Jason’s Custom is constructed using hide glue, which unlike newer synthetic reproductions, dissolves into the grain of the wood and creates more resonance throughout the instrument.

“For all intents and purposes, it’s going to be real similar to the Authentic series, which I like a whole lot,” Isbell said. “Those guitars are great, I think about as good as you can get. I’ve been taking that D-18 Authentic on the road for the past couple of years and have just really fallen in love with it.”

Isbell added a personal touch by adding an inlay of one of his tattoos at the twelfth fret. He also chose a thin finish and left off the pickguard – both design details that have one common goal – to make it loud.

“Growing up with my granddad and his brothers and their Martins, whoever had the loudest guitar always had the best,” Isbell says. “So I wanted to make the loudest D-18 we could make.”

The D-18 Jason Isbell signature guitar will have an MSRP of $5,999.

Other new models to be showcased by Martin at Summer NAMM 2017 include the D-28, the Model America 1, the Ed Sheeran Divide signature edition,  the custom D-18 RG, the limited edition SS-00LArt Deco-2017, the D-15m StreetMaster, the new 16 Series GPC-16E and the X Series 0X2MAE.

Take a look at all of the new models over at


Tags: guitars, martin guitar, summer namm, westside distribution, new gear, Summer NAMM 2017, Jason Isbell, Dick Boak

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