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David Gilmour Martin D35 12-String Guitar

David Gilmour Martin D35

Who has not heard Pink Floyd’s most famous song “Wish You Were Here”? David Gilmour used his famous 12-string guitar, Martin D35 12 string, to play this song. Martin guitars only made 250 of these special guitars. And all those guitars represent the amazing teamwork between David Gilmour, Polly Samson, and Martin Guitar.

This unique David Gilmour Martin D35 12-string guitar is one of the most famous 12-string guitars ever produced.

Check out the list of 12-string guitars that have been marked in the history.

David Gilmour Martin D35
Image by: Martin Guitars

Martin D-35 12-String Guitar

Made InUSA
Colour: Dark Mahogany
Body: Sinker Mahogany
Soundboard: Carpathian spruce
Neck: Molded Hardshell
Scale: 24.9”
Nut Width: 1-13/16”
Weight: 4.97 lbs
Fretboard: Ebony
Frets: 14
Pickups: N/A
Electronics:N/A
Bracing: 5/16” 
Inlays:David Gilmour Dot Pattern
HardwareN/A
Model Number: D-35
Case: Moulded Hardshell
Design: Unique Design

How did Martin D-35 Become David Glimour’s Signature Guitar?

David Gilmour, the English genius behind Pink Floyd’s signature sound, purchased his Martin D-35 12-string guitar outside Manny’s Music in New York City in 1971. He also owns a vintage D-18 from 1945 and a D-18 Authentic 1939. 

He was mesmerized by the rich, deep sounds of the guitar and played it in a very creative way, making an indelible mark on some of Pink Floyd’s most famous songs. Including “The Dark Side of the Moon,” “Wish You Were Here,” and “Animals.” Gilmour’s 1969 D-35 became so famous that it was auctioned off for a million dollars in 2019.

The Rise of Martin D-35 12-String Guitar

The producer of Martin Guitar, Christian Frederick Martin, faced difficulties over the rights to craft guitars.

Martin migrated to America in 1833 when his father died and relocated the business to Nazareth, Pennsylvania. Martin company still thrives today in the same area. Legends like Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, and many more have played Martin guitars. The musical traditions of Martin from the 19th century. During the great depression, Martin Guitars invented famous guitar body styles like the dreadnought, orchestra model, and archtop to save their business. The body styles influenced rhythm and blues, classical music, folk songs, and many other types of music.

Body Type

This David Gilmour Martin D35 12-string guitar’s body is made of Sinker Mahogany. The guitar is one of the best Martin dreadnaughts. This sinker mahogany is considered one of the finest tonewoods for making a guitar. The body shape is inspired by the classic Martin vintage D-18 that comes with a vintage tone system.

The choice to use Sinker Mahogany for the body of this musical instrument makes it exceptional. Guitar makers highly seek Sinker Mahogany as a tonewood for its superior acoustic qualities. The guitar has an Adirondack spruce top.

David Gilmour Martin D35 12-String

It produces a rich, full-bodied sound with a roundness and sustains that is simply unparalleled. The tone is significantly more lively and insightful than other tonewoods, thanks to the unique properties of this fantastic material. Sinker Mahogany has a wider dynamic range, making it an ideal choice for musicians who want to produce a wide range of sounds and tonalities.

Fretboard

David Gilmour Martin D35 has an Ebony bridge plate and fretboard, which is prized for its durability, smoothness, and aesthetic appeal. The strength, thickness, and high bend power of ebony make it a durable option that decreases wear and tear, while its smooth finish and rigid grain provide a slick and smooth impression.

Its durability allows it to decrease wear and tear significantly, keeping your guitar looking excellent for years to come. It is also immune to rot and considered stable. As a result, Ebony’s finishes are always incredibly smooth.

Numerous people appreciate the slick and smooth impression of an ebony fretboard. This is due to the smooth finish and rigid grain of ebony, as well as the wood’s underlying oiliness. Ebony is a pleasure to play on and to the touch.

It is valued for its stunning features, which is one of the main reasons why people prefer an ebony fretboard on their guitar. It’s darker than rosewood and, doesn’t get dirty easily like maple fretboards.

It is also used to enhance the body of so many guitars, and because of its lavish and aesthetic appeal, it is regularly used on expensive guitars such as this one.

Soundboard

The soundboard of the Martin D-35 12-string guitar is made of Carpathian spruce. It belongs to the same species as the European spruce found on other Martin guitars, but it originates from a distinct Microclimate. 

Carpathian Spruce is native to Eastern Europe’s Carpathian Mountains. Despite its stiffer grain structure, it is constantly compared to Red Spruce. It is almost white and has a vibrant, glassy tone. Carpathian spruce has a nice medullary ray that is often referred to as silking.

The tonal quality of Carpathian spruce is the best. The tap tone is also excellent. For these reasons, Carpathian spruce is often used to make soundboards. It also has a carbon fiber bridge plate.

martin d-35
Image by: Martin Guitars

Weight

This David Gilmour Martin D35 12-string guitar weighs around 4.97 lbs. The average weight of a 12-string guitar is around 6-10 lbs. On the other hand, the average weight of a 6-string guitar is around 2.5 to 5 lbs. So, there is a huge difference, we can say.

The weight of a guitar significantly impacts both its sound and playability. Heavier guitars tend to offer better sustain and a denser, fuller tone, though they can be more challenging to play. 

Lighter guitars, on the other hand, are easier to wield and generate sharper sounds. The added weight of the Martin D-35 12-string guitar contributes to a deeper tone, but this makes it more difficult to play.

Design Reference

The design of the David Gilmour Martin D35 12-string guitar was inspired by a 1969 Martin D-35 that Gilmour found outside Manny’s Music on 48th Street in Times Square. This guitar was then modified with a unique edition of Martin’s renowned Style 35, resulting in a Dreadnought-size acoustic guitar with still strings that Gilmour used to create some of Pink Floyd’s most iconic songs.

The David Gilmour Martin D35 12 string is a Dreadnought-size acoustic guitar created with a strange edition of their highly esteemed Style 35. This is an elevated acoustic guitar with still strings. David Gilmour used this to create and record some of Pink Floyd’s greatest and long-lasting songs.

Martin-D35-12-String Headstock

For example, we can include the haunting ballad “Wish You Were Here” from the 1975 album that bears the same name. Along with that, there are more songs such as Comfortably Numb, money, etc.

David Gilmour has utilized this guitar on so many Pink Floyd albums and tours. Gilmour also used this on a track from his solo album. So, in the end, only David Gilmour himself had to design this new Martin D-35.

Learn about different guitar styles here.

Ideal Genres

The David Gilmour Martin D35 12-string guitar is versatile and suited for various genres like folk, rock, country, and more.

Folk music is an excellent genre for the Martin D-35 12-string guitar. It has a warm tone ideal for supporting vocals and synchronizing with some other instruments. Due to its versatility, musicians can use it in various genres of music. For example, we can include traditional, contemporary, and indie folk on the list.

Other than the folk and country music genre, this guitar also goes well with the rock genre. It adds some variety to the usual rock music as it has a fuller and more powerful sound. Besides the rock genre, musicians can also use this guitar in the country and pop music genres.

If we want to be more specific, then this guitar is perfect for the fingerpicking style of country music. The 12-string produces a harmonical, rich, and fuller sound, which is perfect for the country music industry.

Learn more about the fingerpicking guitar techniques here.

Pros & Cons of the Martin D-35 12-String Guitar

Pros 

High-quality craftsmanship: Produced in the United States, the commitment to high-quality craftsmanship is at the core of this instrument’s construction. 

Unique Tone: The Sinker Mahogany body stands out for its exceptional qualities, delivering a truly distinctive and resonant tone. Sinker Mahogany is known for its rich, warm, and unique acoustic properties, which make it a prized choice for those seeking a one-of-a-kind tonal experience.

Dynamic sound: The Carpathian spruce soundboard, another integral component, plays a crucial role in achieving a balanced and dynamic sound.

Cons 

Electronics: Lack of pickups and electronics may limit connectivity options for certain performance settings

FAQs of David Gilmour Martin D35

Evana Israt Isha
Latest posts by Evana Israt Isha (see all)

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