Other Guitars

general Martin question


When did the conventional models, ie D 18 D 28, etc get adjustable truss rods?


I think 1984. Not positive.


Interestingly at guitar stores (at least here in Canada) they will NOT give you a truss rod wrench for a Martin. In fact they are not even allowed to adjust them themselves as I found out as I was testing out a new little Martin that needed it's truss rod adjusted. Put me off buying it. If you want to adjust the truss rod you have to take it to a special Martin accredited service person. Or you have to hunt down the proper key if you like to do things yourself

Ridiculous! I have a 76 D-28 no truss rod, never a problem and it's strung up all the time


You can buy them... I got one a while back. Ok it was mid 80s, anyway. Got my eye on a recent sunburst D 18. I prefer short scale but the short scale D-18s are rare and sunburst rare with in rare. So I might make a play for this one. Had seen a '76 sunburst D 18 but no adjustable truss rod is a no go for me.


I remember when Martin changed to adjustable truss rods. I was working in a guitar store which also happened to be the Martin wholesaler for a large area. We sold a lot of Martins!

The big thing about the adjustable truss rods for Martin was that it allowed them to make the necks a little slimmer. Throughout the 70s and early 80s the necks had grown to rather large proportions to avoid warrantee issues. We had some truss rod wrenches in the store - not enough to sell to people but enough so that we could adjust as necessary. If my memory serves correctly it was simply an over-size allen key.

Steel string Martins have always had truss rods. It's just that before they were adjustable they were simply a steel rod, and I think they were square in section. These days Martins tend to be easier to play because of adjustable truss rods. The slimmer necks feel great.


I had a 2000s OM for a number of years and I wrote Martin by email and they sent me the truss rod adjuster in the mail no cost.

It could also be purchased for a few dollars as a hex wrench, just get the right size millimeters.


I'm looking for a sunburst D-18 pretty soon. The short scale ones are rare, but killer rare in sunburst.

Register Sign in to join the conversation