Martin Guitar to debut Jason Isbell model

Martin Guitar D-18 Jason Isbell
Martin Guitar D-18 Jason Isbell

Martin Guitar’s D-18 Jason Isbell: “I wanted to make the loudest D-18 we could make.”

The Grammy winning artist’s new signature D-18 will be revealed by C.F. Martin & Co. at the upcoming Summer NAMM

Martin Guitar will unveil Jason Isbell’s signature D-18, designed by the Grammy winning artist and the luthiers at Martin. The D-18 Jason Isbell Signature Edition will debut at Summer NAMM in Nashville, Tennessee on 13-15 July and is closely modeled after Martin’s Golden Era series. Isbell just released his new album The Nashville Sound, reuniting him with his band The 400 Unit, and the new record sits at No 1 on the Top Country Albums chart and at No 4 across all genres on the Billboard 200.

Isbell is no stranger to chart-topping albums or fine guitars – 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.”

The new signature D-18 model boasts a pre-aged Vintage Tone System (VTS) Adirondack spruce top, mahogany back and sides, and rear-shifted scalloped bracing. 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,” says Isbell. “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 planned list price for the D-18 Jason Isbell is $5,999 (approx. £4,638). Take a look at this and other new models from Martin Guitar at Summer NAMM next month, or visit

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