General Martin Guitar Specifications



                                                                                       Serial Number and Size/Style Number Stamps
        1898 to present: flat top serial number stamped inside on neck block.
        Oct 1930 to present: flat top model number stamped inside on neck block around serial number rant 439xx to 44362 (exact serial number change unknown).
        All Martin f-hole arch tops have the serial and model number on the inside center backstripe.
        Some letter suffixes clarify styles:
            A = ash
            B = Brazilian Rosewood
            BK = Black finish
            C = classical
            DB = Deep body
            E = electric
            FMG = Figured Mahogany
            G = Gut string classical
            GE = Golden Era
            GM = Grand Marquis
            H = Hawaiian style
            K = Koa wood back & sides
            K2 = Koa wood back, sides and top
            L= Left handed
            LE= limited edition
            M = Mahogany (of if a "J" prefix is used, Jumbo M body size)
            MB = Maple Binding
            MP = Morado back and sides and low profile neck
            N = Non-low profile neck (when low profile necks were standard)
            P = Plectrum (pre-WWII), low profile neck (1985 to present) or Fishman Prefix pickup
            Q = Old style non-adjustable truss rod neck (1985-present)
            R = Rosewood back and sides
            S = special order (pre-WWII) or 12 fret neck (1967 to present)
            SE= signature edition
            SW = Special Wurlitzer
            T = tenor
            V = vintage specs
            W = Walnut


                                                                                                       Martin Summary Timeline.
        Mike (AKA elephantfan85) put this together, and it takes most of the info above and summarizes it into a single Martin guitar timeline.

            1920's Martin transitions away from pyramid long bridge to standard long bridge on 18 & 28 series. Happens gradually starting in the early 1920's. 17 series either never had pyramid bridge or transitioned earlier.
            1922-1923, Martin makes guitars for Wurlitzer. Some lack Martin Serial #'s or markings of any kind.
            1929 18+ series Martins fully switched over to nitro cellulose lacquer finish. Transition started in 1926 with O-17H according to Longworth.
            1929 Martin switches from rectangle to belly bridge (Longworth 2nd ed page 84)
            1930 Oct, first time size & model number stamped on neckblock. Happens sometime after serial number 439xx and before or at 44362.
            1932 Some 17 series models transition to 14 frets clear of body & non slothead.
            1934 Most models switch to 14 fret clear of body and non slothead. Sometime around here Martin starts putting the Martin decal on the front of the peghead. For a short period of time they continue to stamp the back of the peghead as well.
            1934 Martin ends their use of bar frets on most models. (Most other guitar makers had done so around the end of the 19th century.) Martin Hawaiian style guitars retain bar frets until at least 1938.
            1938 D-18 #71539 has the rear-shifted X-brace with no popsicle brace
            1938 change to rear-shifted X-brace
            1939 D-28 #71968 has the rear-shifted X-brace with no popsicle brace
            1939 D-18 #72618 and has a 1 & 3/4 nut with no popsicle brace
            1939 D-18 #72702 has 1 & 3/4 inch nut WITH popsicle brace. Heel block on this one stamped 23 May 1939
            1939 switch to narrow necks (1 & 11/16ths) at serial #72740 for 000 and D models.
            1939 The #1 brace, inside near the neck block changes from 5/16ths of an inch wide to 1/2 inch wide, making it roughly twice as wide.
            1944 last scalloped brace guitar was approximately #89926. Though some models have been seen after this number with scalloped braces, and before this number with tapered braces.
            1945 Either Adirondack Red Spruce or Sitka for tops
            1946 Sitka spruce used exclusively on the tops
            1947 Last Herringbone D-28 #98233 in 1947
            1947 Kluson deluxe tuners appear
            1948 Sealed Kluson tuners appear
            1953 "magic" spruce? Luthier Dana Bourgeois did an interview with C. F. Martin III in 1984. The interview was in preparation for an article by Eric Schoenberg and Bob Green on the history of the OM model and was published in the March 1985 issue of Guitar Player. Bourgeois was asked to sit in on the interview, and in the last two paragraphs of his recollections especially interesting: "One footnote that I do remember distinctly is that Mr. Martin said that in '52 or '53 the Martin Co. bought a large supply of Engelmann spruce in the form of government surplus of building material. Though he preferred Red Spruce, it was no longer available after the mid-40s because all of the large stands had been decimated. Mr. Martin would have liked to switch from Sitka to Engelmann because he felt that Engelmann was closer to Red Adirondack Spruce than Sitka was. He could not, however, find anyone who was cutting Engelmann commercially, so they went back to Sitka." This nugget of information caught my attention because for many years I Of course, aside from the color of the tops, the anecdote does not in itself prove anything. But it at least suggests how the story might have gotten started.
            1958 Style D28 gets Grover rotomatic tuners
            1964 (summer) - It's generally accepted that hide glue was replaced with aliphatic resin (titebond) after the move to the new Martin facility. (But hide glue was still used until the mid-seventies for gluing tops and backs.)
            1965 Grover rotomatic tuners on all D size models.
            1965 Martin switches to short drop-in saddle (On D-18's, likely others as well)
            1966 Boltaron binding started. White replaced ivoroid and black replaced tortoise.
            1967 Black acetate pickguards first used. Replace tortoise colored celluloid
            1967 Grover rotomatic tuners on all models (lower models got "slimline" Grovers).
            1968 rosewood bridgeplates on all guitars #235586.
            1969 rosewood bridgeplates are larger on "D" guitars #242454 (1988 Longworth pages 57-58)
            1969 Brazillian rosewood is replaced by Indian. The first Indian guitars were four D-28's ser# 243644-47. The change in regular production may have started with #254498, though I've also heard that the number varied by model number, possibly as follows:
                D21 #254498
                D12-45 #255037
                D41 #255717
                D45 #256266
            There have been two documented 1970 Brazilian rosewood D-28's, which are anomalies. The first one was #265783, which was retopped with red spruce in 1993. The second one is serial number 265941. There are several D-35's with mixed woods in the 3-piece back. Like D-35 #258962, which has a Brazilian rosewood center wedge in the back. Note some post-1969 Martins have some Brazilian rosewood, in the bridge, bridgeplate, fingerboard, or peghead veneer.
            1972 Starting in 1972 Martin includes cases in the base price of most/all of their guitars. Prior to this they cost extra, and thus you'll see many different cases with Martins before this time. It is possible that the thermoplastic cases were the first ones Martin offered as part of the base price as they were first offered around this time.
            1985 Martin finishes phasing in adjustable truss rods.
            1988 Maple bridgeplates on all guitars #478093 (This entry from 1988 Longworth pages 57-58)
            2000 HD28LSV changed top wood & braces from Adirondack spruce to Sitka spruce after serial number 737277. This happened in May of 2000.
            2001 first use of Micarta fingerboards and bridges on standard production 16 Series GT models
            2003 Martin converts from glued in to drop in long saddles. Happens before serail # 942xxx Glued in saddles have square/straight ends, dropin have rounded.
            2003 Martin starts producing guitar necks with "wings". Basically The pegheads have wood splices on the portions that stick out. This is not easily visible from the front due to the peghead veneer. As with many other changes, this one is made to preserve dwindling wood supplies. In this case Mahogany.
            2005 Martin switches to bone nuts and saddles on many models. 2005 Martin starts using Spanish Ceder in many necks rather then Mahogany.



Vintage guitar serial numbers  reference and source code date information from Greg' Guitars Atlanta. Contact us greg@gregsguitars.net or 770 337 9679. Twitter,facebook and forum room

                                                                                                    Martin Guitar serial numbers


Year    Serial#     (produced)             
----    ------------------------

Year    Serial#     (produced)             
----    ------------------------

Year    Serial#     (produced)             
----    ------------------------
1898    8001-8349 (349)               
1899    8350-8716 (367)               
1900    8717-9128 (412)               
1901    9129-9310 (182)               
1902    9311-9528 (218)               
1903    9529-9810 (282)               
1904    9811-9988 (178)               
1905    9989-10120 (132)              
1906    10121-10329 (209)             
1907    10330-10727 (398)             
1908    10728-10883 (156)             
1909    10884-11018 (135)             
1910    11019-11203 (185)             
1911    11204-11413 (210)             
1912    11414-11565 (152)             
1913    11566-11821 (256)             
1914    11822-12047 (226)             
1915    12048-12209 (162)             
1916    12210-12390 (181)             
1917    12391-12988 (598)             
1918    12989-13450 (462)             
1919    13451-14512 (1062)            
1920    14513-15484 (972)           
1921    15485-16758 (909)             
1922    16759-17839 (1080)            
1923    17840-19891 (2051)            
1924    19892-22008 (2116)            
1925    22009-24116 (2107)            
1926    24117-28689 (4572)            
1927    28690-34435 (5745)            
1928    34436-37568 (3132)            
1929    37569-40843 (3274)            
1930    40844-45317 (4473)            
1931    45318-49589 (4271)
        
1932    49590-52590 (3000)            
1933    52591-55084 (2493)            
1934    55085-58679 (3594)            
1935    58680-61947 (3267)            
1936    61948-65176 (3228)            
1937    65177-68865 (3688)            
1938    68866-71866 (3000)            
1939    71867-74061 (2194)            
1940    74062-76734 (2672)            
1941    76735-80013 (3278)            
1942    80014-83107 (3093)            
1943    83108-86724 (3616)            
1944    86725-90149 (3424)            
1945    90150-93623 (3473)            
1946    93624-98158 (4534)            
1947    98159-103468 (5309)           
1948    103469-108269 (4800)          
1949    108270-112961 (4691)          
1950    112962-117961 (4999)
1951    117962-122799 (4837)
1952    122800-128436 (5636)
1953    128437-134501 (6064)
1954    134502-141345 (6843)
1955    141346-147328 (5982)
1956    147329-153225 (5896)
1957    153226-159061 (5835)
1958    159062-165576 (6514)
1959    165577-171047 (5470)
1960    171048-175689 (4641)
1961    175690-181297 (5607)
1962    181298-187384 (6086)
1963    187385-193327 (5942)
1964    193328-199626 (6298)
1965    199627-207030 (7403)
1966    207031-217215 (10184)
1967    217216-230095 (12879)
1968    230096-241925 (11829)
1969    241926-256003 (14077)
1970    256004-271633 (15629)
1971    271634-294270 (22636)
1972    294271-313302 (19031)
1973    313303-333873 (20570)
1974    333873-353387 (19513)
1975    353388-371828 (18440)
1976    371829-388800 (16971)
1977    388801-399625 (10824)
1978    399626-407800 (8174)
1979    407801-419900 (12099)
1980    419901-430300 (10399)
1981    430301-436474 (6173)
1982    436475-439627 (3152)
1983    439628-446101 (6473)
1984    446102-453300 (7198)
1985    453301-460575 (7274)
1986    460576-468175 (7599)
1987    468176-476216 (8040)
1988    476217-483952 (7735)
1989    483953-493279 (9323)
1990    493280-503309 (10032)
1991    503310-512487 (9177)
1992    512488-522655 (10167)
1993    522656-535223 (12567)
1994    535224-551696 (16472)
1995    551697-570434 (18737)
1996    570435-592930 (22495)
1997    592931-624799 (31868)
1998    624800-668796 (43996)
1999    668797-724077 (55280)
2000    724078-780500 (56422)
2001    780501-845644 (65143)


                                                                                                                  

Greg's Guitars  770-337-9679

Serial numbers for Martin Guitars and other Martin guitar information.