Guitar of the Month: Martin LE-HMSD 2015 Dreadnought

By David Stanton: June 1, 2016

Our Guitar of The Month in June 2016 is the Martin LE-HMSD 2015 Dreadnought. Why? Great bright sound, it’s loud, and it’s a beautiful collector’s piece. Great not just playing, but for admiring (!) – there aren’t any other guitars around quite like this one. Simply put, it’s special.

Without doubt the most famous name in the acoustic guitar world is the ‘Dreadnought’ – a name chosen by C.F. Martin & Co. in 1916 to represent it’s thunderous new large-bodied steel-strung acoustic.

HMS Dreadnought (built in nearby Portsmouth) was the pride of the Royal Navy between 1906 and 1919. This, the largest naval ship at the time, completely revolutionising warfare at sea and became the only battleship to sink a submarine when, on March 18th 1915, she rammed and sliced through a German SM U-29 that unexpectedly broke the surface after firing torpedoes at an allied ship. It is this dramatic scene that is depicted in the drawing printed on the solid Sitka spruce top of the LE-HMSD 2015 Dreadnought. The guitar itself is a recreation of one of the earliest incarnations of the Dreadnought with its 12th fret neck joint and slotted headstock. The spruce top has been put through Martin’s Vintage Tone System (VTS) which ‘ages’ the wood fibres to produce a mellow tone and appearance comparable to a guitar that has been played and cherished for decades. Genuine mahogany back and sides project the dynamic range of this instrument and deliver rich bass frequencies and sustain. The genuine mahogany neck has a Modified V profile providing a traditional and comfortable feel in the hand. A bone nut & saddle, black ebony fingerboard & bridge, and subtle inlays & binding finish off this exceptional joint tribute to naval and guitar history. A must-have for collectors of guitar and maritime memorabilia alike.

 


THE BALLAD OF THE DREADNOUGHT
Narrated by actor and Martin player Jeff Daniels, The Ballad of the Dreadnought traces the rise of the Martin Dreadnought from selling only a few dozen guitars for its first 20 years to becoming the musical companion played in almost every musical genre in every corner of the world.

For 100 years (1916-2016), the Martin Dreadnought has stood the test of time and survived endlessly evolving musical tastes becoming the musical companion for countless artists throughout music’s history. From Crosby, Stills and Nash on stage for the second time together at Woodstock with a D-45 to Seth Avett discovering countless songs waiting inside his Martin D-35, artists such as Rosanne Cash, Roger McGuinn, Steve Miller, Vince Gill, Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson and Del McCoury to name a few, will take you on a musical journey as they lovingly recall moments where they stood proudly alongside their trusted Martin Dreadnoughts. #DreadNot #MartinPride

 

Read more about the history of the Dreadnought guitar HERE.

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