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A Look at the Martin Custom Shop D-18 Sinker Mahogany Short Scale
CATEGORY: Product News

A Martin Custom Shop D-18 With Sinker Mahogany

The popularity of the Martin D-18 is undeniable. First making an appearance in the Martin catalog in 1931, this Mahogany back and sides, Spruce topped cannon is arguably the most sought after and copied acoustic guitar on the planet. 

Over the years Martin has made tweaks to modernize the D-18 and it continues to be a top seller. But what if we took a D-18 and gave it the Music Villa treatment and came up with a truly special version of the D-18?

In partnership with the Martin Custom shop, that is exactly what we did to come up with the Martin Custom Shop D-18 Sinker Short Scale. So the first obvious question then becomes, what is Sinker Mahogany?

What is Sinker Mahogany?


"(Sinker) Mahogany (is) from Belize, basically the same texture and color as the sought after Honduras Mahogany, but it is unique because it has been submerged in the rivers of Belize for 75 to 150 years!  Back when Belize was a British colony, they would float the logs to port.  Occasionally the logs would become waterlogged and sink while waiting for the rainy season’s flooding to carry them down river.  Some of these logs were recovered in 2008 by a small Belizean outfit using small boats and pulleys to limit the impact on the environment." (Reference Link)

For this special Custom Shop Martin, Sinker Mahogany is used not just on the back and sides but also on the neck. Tonally Sinker Mahogany resembles the dense tones of the Pre-War Martins that so many guitar players are searching for. 

If Sinker Mahogany Isn't Enough...


Just adding Sinker Mahogany would be enough for most people to say "wow", but we didn't stop there. In addition to the Sinker Mahogany, we had Martin use a VTS Spruce Top. VTS is an aging process that opens up the sound of the Spruce top. The top bracing is Golden Era Bracingstyle to further accentuate the vintage tonal pallette. 

The final touch that separates this guitar, even more, is the slightly shorter scale length of the neck. A modern D-18 has a scale length of 25.4 inches, this special Custom Shop model has a 24.9 inch scale length. This slightly shorter scale length (or the length between the nut and the saddle of the guitar) means there is less tension on the strings, so it takes less force to play the strings.  

The Bottom Line


If you are looking for a vintage-inspired Martin D-18, that has vintage tones and a unique feature set that will impress your guitar playing friends, this Custom Shop Martin is for you! The Custom Shop D-18 Sinker Short Scale is one of those guitars that you will play and cherish for years and from day one will be an heirloom piece in your collection. 

Have questions about this Martin or any other Martin? Contact Chad our acoustic specialist at (855) 557-8786 or


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