The sweet tones of David Gilmour’s treasured 1969 Martin D-35 resonate through many classic Pink Floyd songs since the guitarist purchased the instrument from a musician while outside Manny’s Music in New York in the early ‘70s.
Now, Martin introduces two new David Gilmour Custom Signature Edition D-35 Guitars, which take inspiration from the original and adds a few new creative changes. The first model is a 6-string and the second, guaranteed to make “Wish You Were Here” fans happy, is a 12-string version.
Those interested in owning one of these guitars better move fast. Only 250 pieces will be produced, split between the two models, which are priced at $5,499 each. Through this partnership, Martin Guitar is also supporting the David Gilmour Charitable Foundation.
Martin Guitars learned of Gilmour’s interest in creating a signature model from their UK distributor Westside and designed three prototypes to present to Gilmour.
“My first thought was that David might want a replica of his 1969 D- 35,” Martin’s VP of Product Development Fred Greene said. “While that would be cool, it would not leave a lot of room for creativity. I was so excited to hear that he was more interested in creating something unique and special to this moment in time. I knew we could provide him with options and features that would allow this new instrument to exist on its own merits, while still drawing upon his original D-35 for inspiration. Much like David’s music, this guitar is a unique and inspirational piece of art that hopefully will inspire others to create their own art.”
Typically made with rosewood, this is the first time Martin has built a three-piece back “35” with sinker mahogany for the back, sides, neck, and neck block.
The 6-string and 12-string models are both finished in vintage gloss, a historic process normally available only on the Martin Authentic Series models. According to Martin, this delivers a soft sheen patina somewhere between full gloss and satin.
As you can expect, the Pink Floyd guitarist owns a few other vintage guitars, including an early ’40s vintage Martin D-18, which has an Adirondack spruce top and offers more complex overtones. Gilmour chose this stiffer spruce for the top of the 6-string model, which was then torrefied using the Martin Vintage Tone System® (VTS), a process that “ages” the wood, adding vintage sound characteristics without waiting years for it to happen naturally.
The top braces on the 6 string are 1/4-inch Adirondack spruce, for added support and resonance, and they are scalloped and forward-shifted. The top of the 12 string is Carpathian spruce, grown in the mountains of Romania and often prized for its “best of both worlds” properties. It has the stiffness found in Adirondack, while maintaining the lower density and lightness often seen in the traditional European spruce varieties (German, Swiss, and Italian).
The fingerboard inlay on both guitars is a special pattern created for this signature edition. It’s a standard 35 layout, but the dot size has been scaled down slightly and inlaid in abalone. The neck shape for the 6 string is unique and was created specifically for Gilmour. It began as a modified low oval but is now more rounded and slightly fuller below the 5th fret, creating a neck that is very comfortable and easy to play. The 6 string also features a carbon fiber bridge plate, as found on the recent Modern Deluxe Series, offering enhanced volume and clarity.
Both models have head stamps, as found on early Martin guitars. However, this is the first time in its history that Martin has created special head stamps for an artist signature edition.
Martin 6-string Dreadnoughts usually come equipped with 13-gauge strings (mediums), but in order to remain faithful to the artist, who uses MA540T strings for all of his Martin guitars, this guitar is strung with 12-gauge strings (lights)—specifically Martin Authentic Acoustic® Lifespan® 2.0.
Both guitars come in a slate blue case, a nod back to the blue case that David’s original D-35 would have left the factory in all those years ago. Finally, and as if all this isn’t already special enough, every guitar bears a custom internal paper label, each one individually signed by David himself.
These special guitars will be available for purchase at select Martin retailers. Visit www. martinguitar.com/gilmour for more information.