Sakes alive! It’s Style 35!!!
With its unique pedigree and impressive good looks, a guitar made in Style 35 stands out like a thoroughbred stallion from the impressive Martin herd, especially when it’s heard. A rich and robust rosewood voice of exceptional complexity attracts admirers from all styles of music, and with good reason.
If you’ve listened to much popular music the past 50 years, you’ve heard the most famous 35 model, the D-35, as it was favored by Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley, David Gilmour and Bruce Springsteen, Neil Diamond and Jim Croce, Steve Miller and Van Morrison, Seth Avett and John Mayer, to name but a few. Like the venerable D-28, the D-35 is made with a traditional hand-fitted dovetail neck joint and features all-solid tonewoods including the same gorgeous Indian rosewood topped by straight-grain Sitka spruce as found on the D-28. But the D-35 has lighter, thinner 1/4” non-scalloped braces that frees up the top for greater flexibility, resulting in a deeper, rounder bottom end and a treble of precisely defined notes and wide open harmonic overtones. Here is a rundown of the Style 35 Martins currently or soon to be back in stock at Maury’s Music, many of them available in the left-handed version.
Born in the heart of the 1960s, the D-35 was Martin’s answer to calls for an instrument that was more upscale from the D-28, which was the top of the line at that time. The most obvious difference was the three-piece back with a center wedge that had wood grain of an alternate pattern to the outside wedges. Each back is noticeably unique from all others because of this contrasting grain. They are truly a wood lovers delight!
Martin also added a bound fingerboard, which has been the hallmark of luxury models since the days of C. F. Martin Sr. And that makes the D-35 instantly recognizable from the last row in the house, without ever having to see the beautiful back.
But Martin went further than just enhancing the aesthetic appearance of the D-35. They also gave it the lighter bracing. Their original intension was to create a voice similar to their pre-war instruments, which were already growing in nostalgic popularity. What they ended up doing was creating a whole new Martin sound, which took the world by storm.
Lots of people still love the sound of a traditional D-28 or pearly D-41, understandably enough. But for many, those clear fundamental notes supported by that deep, deep D-35 bass is just too good a combination to pass up. It is downright addictive. So, if you meet a D-35 player, they often own more than one. And that is partly due to how the model has changed over the years.
Today’s D-35 is made with forward-shifted bracing, which increases the sympathetic resonance across all tonal registers, while increasing bass response, for a voice that is nothing less than marvelous. It is a lot like having the sports car version of classic rosewood Martin Dreadnought, with the extra power, performance, and prestige that comes with it.
The classic D-35 styling has also been updated to Antique White bindings, a tortoise pickguard, and aging top toner, which give the impression of a vintage D-35 from the 1960s. And while the solid ebony fretboard still has the original domino dots position markers made of genuine Mother-of-pearl, it now has Martin’s High Performance taper, which works in combination with Martin’s contemporary Modified Low Oval profile for a fast, easy-to-play neck that’s roomy at the 1-3/4” nut, but still sleek and effortless to play in the upper frets.
Chrome closed-back Grover tuning machines complete the one-of-a-kind Style 35 and its most iconic model, the D-35.
Maury’s Music carries the Martin D-35 with the natural spruce top, as well as super-cool D-35 Sunburst top and D-35 Amberburst top that was inspired by vintage Martins that had their sunburst top faded to a mellow glow over many decades.
The acoustic-electric rendition of the awesome D-35 brings plug-and-play electronics to your fingertips. Available with the L.R. Baggs Anthem pickup system and the Fishman Aura VT Enhance system, both versions are available for sale at Maury’s Music, so you can have the amplified sound you like most when playing your new acoustic-electric Martin D-35E.
The H in the model name of the HD-35 stands for the beautiful herringbone trim that is inlaid around the edge of the top. But what really sets it apart from the standard D-35 is the scalloped bracing underneath that high-quality Sitka spruce soundboard. While the D-35 has a bigger, rounder bass than a D-28, the scalloped forward-shifted 1/4" bracing of the HD-35 frees up the top even more, for one of the most lush and full-bodied voices ever heard from a Martin Dreadnought. If the D-35 is the Martin sports car of rosewood Dreadnoughts, the HD-35 has a fuel-injected engine that is supercharged by the scalloped braces, for a throaty roar from a cavernous bottom end full of echoing reverberation. This powerful guitar still has that Style 35 clarity to glittering treble notes, with an even greater complexity to the wavering harmonic overtones. In a word – magnificent!
D-35 Johnny Cash
When living legend and D-35 fan Johnny Cash approached Martin about making a special version of his favorite Martin in an all-black finish, they broke their long-standing policy against such custom celebrity orders and agreed. The Man in Black toured the world with that one-of-a-kind black Martin for decades afterwards. Today you can have your very own version of that fabled guitar in the D-35 Johnny Cash.
A truly unique Martin, this commemorative model has an Engelmann spruce top for added tonal coloring that increases in beauty and harmonic complexity as it ages. The Modified Low Oval neck profile has the same high gloss finish as the body, and the back has stunning Zig-zag pattern strips to delineate the three Indian rosewood wedges. The bindings are made from grained ivoroid, and the sound hole rosette is inlaid with high-color abalone shell.
An enduring legacy of Martin guitars and one of the most beloved Martin guitarists is celebrated in this wonderful heirloom instrument, the Martin D-35 Johnny Cash.
D-35 Woodstock 50th Anniversary
A D-35 was chosen for the Woodstock 50th Anniversary commemorative model because the D-35 was the considered the flagship Martin at the time the Woodstock Music and Art Fair took place in the summer of 1969.
Gorgeous all-solid tonewoods, including Indian rosewood with ribbons of contrasting grain on the side and stunning three-piece back, and straight, tight-grained Sitka spruce for the top and forward-shifted non-scalloped 1/4" bracing, offer the awesome power and projection of the standard D-35, with the same comfortable playability of the High Performance neck. But this special edition has the iconic artwork of the Woodstock dove of peace, love, and music inlaid on the pickguard and the headstock faceplate. Whether you are going up to the country or picking tunes on your own front porch, the D-35 Woodstock 50th Anniversary guitar is a wonderful way to remember and keep alive the spirt of Woodstock, one the seminal moments and movements in American music history.
Maury’s Music offers this special D-35 Woodstock 50th Anniversary model in both right-handed and left-handed versions!
Other Style 35 Instruments
At present C. F. Martin & Co. is only making guitars in Style 35 in the Dreadnought size. If you are interested in ordering a Custom Shop Martin made in Style 35 and built in Size 0, 00, 000, OM, GP, M, J, or Grand J, give us a call. Maury is an expert at working with his friends in the Martin Custom Shop to make such six and twelve string dreams come true!