Martin D16 Vs D18 [Difference & Which is Better Performing]

You must have heard how the Martin brand is progressing in making guitars. Two of its gems are the D18 and D16 series of guitars. But you would not believe what controversies they have created. Even though they are from the same brand, they differ from each other big time.

There are actually differences between Martin D16 Vs D18 both outwardly and inwardly. Don’t get confused by the almost similar look and make a complete fool out of yourself. The differences will reveal which is worth buying and which one is not.

Martin D16 Vs D18

The Primal Differences in Short –    

There is a good deal of difference in the sound quality between Martin D18 and D16. The former sounds crispier and brighter while the latter gives a punch vibe in the tone. Then again, the price difference between these two guitars is huge. The D16 is cost-effective and you have to cost a lot to buy a D18. Most importantly these two guitars have two different types of neck-joint. They also have different neck shapes, bracing, and texture on the back and sides of the two guitars.

You might think that the differences are complicated but these matter a lot to a serious player. That’s why we will be elaborating on the comparison part in the latter portion of our article.

Comparison Table:

For now, have a clear view from the comparison table we added for a quick understanding.

Features Martin D16 Martin D18
Sound Quality Cleaner and brighterProvides punch effect
Neck-joint Mortise and TenonDovetail
Construction GreatHigh-end
Fingerboard MicartaWooden
Efficiency Bone nut, saddleDoesn’t have any
Finishing SatinPolished
Price AffordablePricey

Martin D18 Vs D16 Guitar Review –

Even though Martin is a distinguished brand for guitars, their acoustic guitars are the best deal till now. It is an acoustic guitar that a player begins with to conduct his musical career in most cases. Among the Martin D18 series and the D16 series, the Martin brand put its tremendous features to glorify them.

About Martin D16:

About Martin D16

You would not believe what a magnificent guitar is the D16 one. This guitar comes with a great sense of sound and design quality. Martin brand mostly provides Mahogany for the making of the body. Because of this material and the sound of the guitar is snappier and brighter.

Also, because the fingerboard is of Micarta, it sounds more clinical than other guitars of the Martin brand. It is the construction that makes a series of Martin guitars different from the other series of Martin Guitars. Likewise, the Mortise and Tenon neck joint of this guitar adds spice to the method of playing the guitar.

You can get along with the neck joint easily. With the hybrid A-type frame scalloped in the bracing, the D16 guitar has a lot to show off. Besides, Martin offers this guitar within a reasonable price range. However, in terms of finishing, you can blame a D16.

The sides and back are merely done with satin and do not provide a smooth texture. People suggest D16GT for practicing fingerstyles for its easy-playing quality.

Things We Liked About / Pros:

  • Comes with reliable construction and an affordable price range.
  • Micarta fingerboards, bracing, and top-notch neck-joint add an extra quality to the personality.
  • Sounds brighter and clearer and you can play bluegrass, country, and many more genres.
  • Perfect for fingerstyles and you can hold it easily for its slightly smaller size.

Things We Didn’t Like About / Cons:

  • Doesn’t come with a polished back and sides.

About Martin D18:

About Martin D18


Martin’s D18 guitars are absolutely for players who are passionate and serious about music. Like other Martin guitars, a D18 guitar’s body is also made of Mahogany. The sound quality provides a punchier texture in the tone and has a mute effect.

This quality is great because it makes the D18 guitar different than other ordinary guitars of the Martin brand. Therefore, singers like Bob Dylan, Kurt Cobain, and many more played this guitar with a truthful passion. The D18 carries a Dovetail neck joint and its bracing is pretty standard.

You will see the fingerboard of this guitar is wooden and many people prefer it. What makes the D18 guitar special is its saddle and bone nut. Also, the tuners of this guitar are more reliable. Besides, the guitar has got a better case which most other Martin guitars lack.

So, you can already assume that a high-end guitar is a D18. But what is depressing about the guitar is that you have to pay a hefty sum of money for it.

Things We Liked About / Pros:

  • Comes with a traditional Martin guitar look but also has a high-end construction.
  • The punchier vibe in the tone is preferable to many famous musicians.
  • Comes with a saddle, fine tuners, bone nut, saddle, and other many facilitate features.
  • You will get an extra strong top of the guitar for its top-graded material.

Things We Didn’t Like About / Cons:

  • Charges double money for a single D18 guitar of Martin brand.

Difference Between Martin D16 vs D18 Acoustic Guitar:

There is a serious debate that Martin D16 is not very different from Martin D18 and they come with almost the same tone. But you need to be agreed with the fact that they don’t provide the same tone entirely. There is this slight change and this makes a huge difference between these two guitars. Explore the other differences with us.

1) Sound Quality –

Sound Quality

There is this little difference in the tone which most players takes into their account seriously. Martin D16 guitars offer clearer and brighter sounds. Because of their clearer tone, you will be satisfied playing blues, and country-type music genres with them.

What the D18 makes different in the sound quality from the D16 is their punchier effect in the tone. Because of this unique effect, many people cannot cope with it and again many people can.

2) Construction –

As some people think, there is not much difference in the tone, they assume that it is in their construction that makes a D18 different from a D16 guitar. And this assumption is true. A D18 comes with this traditional look but maintains this high-end look.

On the other hand, a D16 guitar has a construction difference in the case that it has features that are cost-effective. But you can rely on the construction. But in the case of strength, the D18 wins over the D16 Martin guitar.

3) Neck-Joint –

Neck Joint

It is an important feature because many players check out the neck joint and determine the durability of the guitar. And D16 and D18 guitars have different neck joints. The latter has a Dovetail joint which is a little complicated and the former has an easy-fitted Mortise and Tenon neck joint.

4) Fingerboard –

While D16 has a Micarta fingerboard, the D18 guitars have a wooden fingerboard. Because of the different materials, the comfort depends on the player. Some prefer Micarta as it is an ergonomic material, and some prefer wooden fingerboards. This feature is important for fingerstyles.

5) Extra Features –

In the case of extra features, the D18 guitar wins. It comes with a bone nut and saddle. Also, a D18 offers fine tuners than a D16 can offer. The latter also lacks a better case.

6) Finishing –

Finishing the guitar matters because it is related to comfort and ease. Martin D16 guitars are great but their finishing lacks to some extent. The sides and back of the guitars are satin and not polished. On the other hand, D18 guitars have polished back which is a great deal indeed.

7) Price –

The price difference is huge in the case of both martin guitars. The former charges extra 1000 USD only because it comes with its bridge, bone nut, end pins, high-graded wood, and other many things.

So, Which Guitar is Better?

Yet after these numerous differences, it is tough to label any Martin guitar as the best. It’s because most people choose a guitar of sound quality and ensure comfort from a guitar. From these perspectives, you can buy both D16 and D18 and examine which one gives you more pleasure.

If you want to buy a D16, you will get a clearer sound within an affordable price range. And if you buy a D18, you will need an extra penny to buy it. But you will high-end flavors from the guitar.

FAQs –

Question: Is Martin D16 a good guitar?

Answer: Martin D16 comes with a very precise look with a cleaner sound. Besides, you will get an extra brighter sound which will cover a wide range of music genres.

Question: Is a D18 or D-28 better?

Answer: We would say that both D18 and D28 are great guitars because they both have separate fan bases. While D18 deals with players who require crispiness and punchiness in the sound, D28 deals with those who require a little bass and deepness in the tone.

Question: What is a Martin D16 worth?

Answer: A Martin D16 comes within an affordable price range than the Martin D18 or other high-end acoustic guitars of the Martin brand. You will need to have almost 2000 USD in your pocket to have a Martin D16 and it’s worth it.

Question: Why is the Martin D-28 so popular?

Answer: The Martin D-28 is worth the hype because when it was first launched it attracted players with its tremendous treble and outstanding bass-like sound. Besides, the guitar offers great projection.

Last Updated on March 31, 2023 by Perry Garner

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