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Martin Jimmy Buffet HD-18JB (1998)

Martin Jimmy Buffet Signature Model
Martin HD-18JB (1998)
#403 of 424
(Photos courtesy of

Very limited run Jimmy Buffet Signature HD-18 Dreadnoughts.  This guitar was purchased new in 1998 and stored until now. Herringbone adorns the solid spruce top and back seem between the mahogany back.  From my experiences of playing these and others, these limited edition guitars of are superior quality than typical production models.  Everyone is 100% unique as each of the 424 are personally signed in ink by Jimmy Buffet and Christine Martin III.  #403 of 424 has a vintage tinted laquer for a slightly darker look.  All details about this guitar are best told in the 1998 Official Martin Guitar Press Release found below.

Many Reasons To LOVE The Martin HD-18JB

Weight:  16.5 lbs in the case
Exterior Dimensions:  19" W  x  7" D  x  46" H

Serial Number:  673902   #403 of 424
Weight:  4.0 lbs
Condition:  Near mint, shows little to no wear.  Original tweed hardshell case and paperwork included.
Body Size: D-14 Fret

Top: Solid Sitka Spruce

Rosette: Style 45

Top Bracing Pattern: Standard X Scalloped, Forward Shifted, Solid Sitka Spruce 5/16

Back and Side Material: Solid Genuine Mahogany

Back Purfling: Fine Herringbone

Endpiece: Grained Ivoroid

Binding: Grained Ivoroid

Top Inlay Style: Fine Herringbone

Side and Back Inlay: Black/White Boltaron

Neck Material: Solid Mahogany

Neck Shape: Low Profile
Nut Material: Bone

Headstock: Solid/Square Taper

Headplate: Solid Indian Rosewood w/ Gold Foil Decal

Heelcap: Solid Black Ebony

Fingerboard Material: Solid Black Ebony

Scale Length: 25.4

Number Of Frets Clear: 14

Number Of Frets Total: 20

Fingerboard Width At Nut: 1-11/16
Fingerboard Width At 12th Fret: 2-1/8

Fingerboard Position Inlays: Style 42 Snowflake, Jimmy Buffett Signature Between 19th & 20th Frets

Finish Back & Sides: Polished Gloss

Finish Top: Polished Gloss w/ Vintage Toner

Finish Neck: Satin w/ Polished Headplate

Bridge Material: Solid Black Ebony

Saddle: 16 Radius/Compensated/Bone

Tuning Machines: Gotoh Chrome w/ Butterbean Knobs

Bridge & End Pins: Black w/ Pearl Dots

Pickguard: Tortoise Color

Case: 545 Tweed Geib style

Interior Label: Signed By CFM IV & Jimmy Buffet

Press Release Dated: 01/01/98
Source: Sounding Board Newsletter Vol 4 - January 1998

"C. F. Martin & Co. Honors Multi-Talented
Jimmy Buffett with Signature Edition

C. F. Martin & Co., in collaboration with renowned Gulf Coast singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett, is proud to announce the HD-18JB Limited Edition Signature Model guitar. In honor of Buffett's classic hit "Margaritaville," and the subsequently famous Margaritaville Store & Cafe located at 424 Fleming Street in Key West, Florida, just 424 of these guitars will be made. Guitar enthusiasts (as well as Parrotheads) can purchase a HD-18JB from authorized Martin dealers throughout the world.

The HD-18JB Jimmy Buffett Limited Edition Signature Model derives its inspiration from Martin's legendary HD-28 "Herringbone" Dreadnought guitar. The back and sides of the HD-18JB are crafted from solid genuine mahogany instead of East Indian rosewood that normally appears on herringbone models. The result is an instrument with power, brilliance, clarity and punch. These tonal characteristics, personally specified by Buffett, a long time Martin collector and player, and make this model perfectly suited for both stage and performance and studio recording. Inspired by his fondness for the Florida Keys, Buffett chose a graceful windswept palm tree for the headstock of his signature model. The palm leaves are delicately cut with Paua shell. Green rippled abalone pearl is used for the trunk, and the cluster of five coconuts is cut from brown lip mother of pearl. The assembled palm tree inlay is tastefully nested below the Martin gold foil logo.

The soundboard, bookmatched from select solid spruce, features delicately scalloped bracing in the forward shifted pre-war style. The binding is grained ivoroid with fine pattern herringbone top trim and back inlay strip. An abalone pearl rosette, selected for exceptional color, adorns the soundhole, and a tortoise colored pickguard, carefully beveled and polished, protects the playing area of the top.

The ebony fingerboard is adorned with the Martin 42 Style snowflake inlay pattern with Jimmy Buffett's signature inlaid in pearl between the 19th and 20th frets. Each instrument will bear an internal edition label individually numbered in sequence (i.e. #1 of 424, #2 of 424, etc.) and personally signed by Jimmy Buffett and C. F. Martin IV, Martin's chairman and CEO.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each Jimmy Buffett Signature Model will be donated to one of Jimmy Buffett's favorite charities - The W. O. Smith Nashville Community Music School. The school provides music instruction to low income children from the Nashville area for a mere 50 cents per lesson. The staff of 90 is comprised entirely of volunteer teachers from within the community. The school also provides all of the instruments and learning materials at no additional cost to the students.

Jimmy Buffett started his recording career in Nashville in the late 1960s. One album, "Down to Earth," was released before Buffett moved to Key West, Florida, signed to ABC-Dunhill Records and began to achieve notoriety for his unusual tropical folk/rock albums, "White Sport Coat & a Pink Crustacean" (1973) and "Living & Dying in 3/4 Time" (1974). Although he gradually built a solid base of fans (Parrotheads), it wasn't until 1977, when the LP "Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes" with the top ten hit "Margaritaville" was released, that Buffett became a major star with millions of fans wildly enthusiastic about his beach bum character and tropical style. Buffett's "Boats, Beaches, Bars & Ballads" is one of the best-selling box sets ever.

Buffett later launched a Margaritaville line of clothing and opened the first of his Margaritaville clubs in Key West. Buffett has signed with Walt Disney's Touchstone Pictures for a movie version of his best-selling novel, "Where is Joe Merchant?" In addition, the musical adaptation of the Herman Wouk novel, "Don't Stop the Carnival," which Buffett and Wouk have been working on for the past four years, is finished and slated for a debut this winter in South Florida.

Martin Guitar dealers will take orders for the Jimmy Buffett HD-18JB Limited Edition Guitars immediately, though due to demand for Martin instruments, this edition will not be available in music stores until the late summer of 1998."

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