Martin’s naming system can be a little mysterious at times. Take this 1970s D12-20 for example. At first glance it looks like an 18 style. Like an 18 from 1970 it has a spruce top, mahogany sides and back, dark binding, rosewood bridge and fretboard and a black pickguard. So what makes it a 20? It has black bridge pins with white dots, a style 28 checkered back strip and an extra white line on the back binding. That’s it. Three extra cosmetic feature two of which nobody can see when you’re playing the guitar. And where did the 20 designation come from? Again, that is mysterious.
So, apart from it’s peculiar naming history, what is the D12-20 like as a guitar? Personally, I think they sound really nice. Martin introduced the model in 1964, and opted to use their 12-fret dreadnought body shape, a decision that I think makes this guitar sound so good. On a 12-fret dreadnought the string length is the same as on a 14-fret guitar, but the bridge is moved closer to the center of the top, where the strings can drive the top more efficiently. Martin also opted to use a slotted headstock, which i think is aethetically pleasing.
This guitar is in overall good shape. It shows some signs or normal wear and tear through the years. It has two bigger more noticable blemishes on the top (pictured). It was brought to us by the original owner. Comes with the original hardshell case.