"Well, mine's was built in 2004 and bought in 2008 - I've had it just over two years.
Plenty scratches and flaky laquer now - nothing major, mostly pick marks and scratches from having great fun...
"Steven, cheers for the photo's very nice guitar you have! its nice to see another martin with the bearclaw marks.
I think the bearclaws add 'character' to the guitars as dents and scratches do, cant wait to get the 1st dent/scratch…"
Congrad's - the D-18 is a fine guitar :O)
A couple of years ago I was in a similar situation to you (same budget / one guitar opportunity) and managed to find a D-18V. Mind you, I had to travel all the way from Cornwall to Cardiff…"
"Hey Steven, yes I bought my Martin D18 early April, i couldnt be happier with it. I thought i had made a mistake due to the marks on the top, it took me a while to understand the marks on the top were 'bearclaw' markings after a wee bit of…"
"Hi Chris, you've maybe bought a guitar by now, so this might be too late, but...
For a one-in-a-lifetime Martin on your budget, I'd strongly recommend looking for a used guitar (better spec for less money than new).
Also, check out the…"
"I have had an Epiphone Elect/acous PRE 5, its 13 years old now. Its a slim bodied guitar great strumming guitar , plus its cutaway so good for those high solo notes. Its a great guitar well made and has nice tone. (maybe a wee bit thin due to the…"
"Cool. Given you price limitation, the straight D-18 should be a great choice, especially if you've had a chance to play it first. It will only get better with age. (With much research and trials you can probably find other guitars as good in…"
"I recently came across a steel string parlor guitar made by P. Benson, in Minneapolis. It's really a nice little instrument--well built, comfortable, very much like an old Martin 00-18 (mahogany, slotted headstock, pyramid bridge, ladder…"
"My gear is much better than my skill - for straight flatpickin', I play a Martin D-18 Authentic 1937. My go-to guitar for just about everything else (and it flatpicks just fine, thank you) is my Huss & Dalton D-RH with a Red Spruce top.…"
"Hey Craig. Thanks for the kind comment. The credit for this version should really go To Steve Kaufman who's arrangement it is. Good luck with your bluegrass studies, it's wonderful music and great fun to play. I look forward to…"
"Thanks Mike. I have to prove to myself that I can play the material as written but once I've done that I start to allow myself some leeway to have fun and drop in my own bits. There's not too much space to do that in SK's version of…"