Martin D16M


Just wondering if anyone on the forum has heard of or played a Martin D16M ? I picked one up recently in a music store in Dublin, Ireland, a 1987 model which was bought in Seattle USA in '87…I have no idea how it got to Dublin, but I do have its original purchase papers. Its an absolutely fab sounding guitar, and it has not yet been played all that much, ( well I have it just a year and have played it non stop since I got it but it was very under played when I got it. Its got a sitka spruce top and mahogany back and sides. Its a very light and very loud guitar, has a nice mid-rangey type of voice when you play it hard. If anyone owns one, or has played one I would love to hear from you.
I was on the look out for a D28 and this shop had a lovely HD 28 for sale for not much more money but the D16M just knocked it out of the water … From what I can make out, it was a limited run which Martin did in the eighties and the guitar is more akin to a D18 than a D16 .Lets know if you have any knowledge on these Martins.


I know nothing about the D16M. A little searching and came across this thread:
theunofficialmartinguitarforum.y … RUInh071WI

It sounds like an interesting instrument. Some of the searching results indicated it is very similar to a D-18V, and all of those I have played have been fantastic guitars. Nice find!


Yes I did see that ref to the D16M on that site and there are a couple of ref to the model on YouTube also. There’s sure to be quite a few of them out there somewhere but not much is known of their actual history, and Martin themselves don’t say that much about them either. I play in a bluegrass band and while we are not a true Triad style band in that some of us D.I our guitars… To compete with the 5 string when we take solos, but I always use a small diaphragm Neumann 184 as my boost on solos in order to get the mix of the true acoustic sound, and the D16m is a very loud little Dreadnought and its nice mid - range tone helps it cut through the mix also.
Many thanks for your reply to my thread and its nice to hear other peoples opinions.
Any other input would be gratefully received. And mreisz , thank you for your reply, was nice to hear from you. Many thanks,


That sure looks to be in great shape. I wondered when I reading about it, what made it a 16 and not an 18. I guess I still don’t know. Perhaps they wanted to do forward shifted bracing on the model, so they didn’t want to call it an 18? There was a D-16T listed that had a satin finish. Are your back and sides satin? That might describe why they called it something other than a D-18 variant. I did think it interesting that they also made koa (D-16K), walnut (D-16W) and ash (D-16A)versions. They also made a related D-16TR which had rosewood.


Been looking thru the site you mentioned and it sure does seem like there is very little difference between the D16m and the D18. So its a bit confusing as to why they brought it out as a 16 instead of an 18. When I bought it, it had black plastic end pins which I changed for ebony pins, I also changed the black plastic strap button for a nice little mahogany one which looks far nicer. The only other change I intend making is to change the current tuners for a set of vintage style Waverlys. I want the guitar to be the way I want it, not as a collectors guitar so whatever improvements I can do to make it a better player, I will do. Its a great sounding, but a strange, quirky instrument which I love a lot and its one of the best sounding martins I have ever played.


Here’s a little info I found. The D-16M (mahogany) was made from 1986-1990 with a total production of 2,120 guitars. Within that time frame they also made the A, K, and W models as Mike mentioned. Production numbers for them were 818, 390, and 138 respectively. The D-16T came along in 1995 with the TR joining in 1996. Last year of production for them was 1998.