The M-36 is one of the less known guitars in the Martin line. It is literally a Jumbo Orchestra version of the D-35. What does that mean? It’s wide across the hips like the Martin J-40 Jumbo. But in some ways it feels smaller than a dreadnought because the body is thin from front to back like an OM or 000 model. And the 3 piece rosewood back borrows from the D-35.
Tonally it’s one of Martin’s best acoustic guitars. And this one has a leg up on many we’ve seen due to the fact that it’s approaching its 40th birthday.
Martin produced the M-36 from 1978-1996. They were discontinued and eventually brought back into production around 2006.
The Martin M-36 has an M-size (0000) body, Indian rosewood back and sides, Sitka spruce top, white binding, 28-style sound hole rosette, rosewood bridge, bound ebony fingerboard and tortoiseshell pickguard.
The body is gloss body finished with a vintage toner on top.
The tone projects well and is balanced, somewhat between an OM and a dreadnought. The bass is full and punchy, and there is nice headroom for flat picking.
Model: 1980 M-36
Construction: Dovetail Neck Joint
Body Size: M-14 Fret (0000-14 Fret)
Top Material: Sitka Spruce
Brace Shape: Scalloped
Brace Material: Sitka Spruce
Brace Size: 5/16”
Back Material: East Indian Rosewood
Back Purfling/Strip: Style 35
Side Material: East Indian Rosewood
Endpiece: Antique White
Endpiece Inlay: Multi-Stripe
Binding: Antique White
Top Inlay Material: Multi-Stripe
Side Inlay Material: Multi-Stripe
Back Inlay Material: Multi-Stripe
Neck Material: Select Hardwood
Neck Shape: Low Profile
Neck Taper: Standard Taper
Nut Material: Bone
Headstock Shape: Solid with Square Taper
Headplate Material: East Indian Rosewood
Headplate Logo Style: Script Old Style Overlay
Heelcap: Antique White with Multi-Stripe
Fingerboard Material: Ebony
Scale Length: 25.4”
Neck Joins Body: at 14th Fret
Number of Frets Total: 20
Fingerboard Width at Nut: 1 11/16”
Fingerboard Width at 12th Fret: 2 1/8”
Fingerboard Inlay Material: Mother of Pearl
Fingerboard Inlay Style: Style 38
Fingerboard Binding Material: Antique White
Side Dots: Black
Back and Side Finish: Gloss
Finish Top: Gloss
Top Colour: Aging Toner
Finish Neck: Satin
Neck Colour: Dark Mahogany
Bridge Material: East Indian Rosewood
Bridge Style: Modern Belly with Drop-in Saddle
Bridge String Spacing: 2 1/8”
Saddle: Compensated Bone
Saddle Radius: 16 inches
Tuning Machines: Chrome Enclosed Gear
Bridge Pin Material: White Plastic
Bridge Pin Dots: Faux Tortoise
This guitar was played semi professionally for many years, but has been somewhat dormant for a while. We recently had it looked over and determined it needed a neck reset. This was carried out by Luke Parry of Northern Beaches Guitar Repair in Sydney. Luke did a great job, and there are certainly no structural issues now.
Luke also provide a new saddle, adjusted the nut slots and gave it light fret dress and overall setup. It is now playing beautifully.
This one has Martin’s square tube truss rod from the period. It now plays comfortably right up the neck with a medium low action.
It is in fine condition for an “almost vintage” guitar. There are a few marks expected of a 40 year old instrument, but nothing offensive. There’s a little fret wear on the lower neck, but plenty of years to go before a refret is required. The tuners are solid and adjust with accuracy, and the intonation is good.
Most importantly, this M-36 sounds great, with a rich, complex midrange, clarity in the top end, and some lower mid punch that does not get too boomy.
All in all, a very nice example of a lesser known Martin model with lots of character and many years left on the clock.
Comes in its original Martin hard shell case in very good condition.