I received the D-18GE for exactly one week now and wanted to share my take on this beast.
Bought it unsighted/unplayed with absolutely no disappointment. The guitar looks gorgeous. The sunburst finish is the best I’ve ever seen (triumphing Gibson’s). Fit and finish are top rated (gotta be for this price).
The modified V neck is very comfortable and I disagreed that it’s chunky as others suggested. I found the shape provides better support for my thumb than Taylor’s low profile neck.
Don’t know the factory set up but my seller has done a great job to set it up at 6.5/64 and 4.5/64. It plays effortlessly with virtually no buzzing (exact on the low E when I attack it very aggressively, almost plucking the string inward towards the sound hole, which I don’t do anyway).
The sound, that’s where it shines. It’s loud, louder than all my existing ones (Larrivee OO-03 12 fret, Martin OOO-28VS and Taylor 814ce) and those that had gone (Larrivee L-03r and Taylor 816ce). It sustains long and projects well. The tone is crystal clear, crisp but also sweet. Very different from OOO-28VS/816ce/814ce that have rosewood back and sides. The fewer overtones make a more clean sound. The Adirondack top is great as I see it has a lot potential when fully broken-in. I strum it hard and it does not break-up. The headroom is huge. I’m not sure if I need amp when strumming it in a small venue.
Note separation is excellent. Surprisingly, it responds very well for fingerstyle. I thought I would play it mainly for strumming or rhythm. Now I think I will not hesitate to pick it up for fingerstyle guitar solo.
I have the dealer to install a K&K Pure Mini but haven’t really audition it. As I said earlier, do I need amp when strumming it in a small to medium size venue? Let me wait and see.
However, I have two complaints. First, the size. I knew it would not be as comfortable as the OOO and OO bodies. I’m still trying to get used to it. But the sound quality alone is enough for me to tolerate. Second, it’s brand new. I wish it was a 5 years plus model so the top would be fully opened up. Okay, these could not be users’ complaints indeed. Just kidding.
No regret on the purchase. Kudos to Martin and the seller.
BTW, the Adirondack/mahogany sound is so attractive, I have now been infected by another GAS, a OOO-18GE! Anyone compares the D and OOO albeit dreadnaught vs OOO body shapes?