1985 MARTIN J12-40M


- +

Stunning 12-string Martin J12-40M from 1985, in excellent original and playing condition.

With the J for Jumbo series, Martin’s nomenclature starts to become somewhat muddled, so one has to follow carefully: the shape finds its origins in the F series high-end archtop models produced between 1935 and 1942, with a body 16 inches wide and 4 1/8 inches deep. In 1977, Martin launched a new flat-top guitar dubbed M, following the same format as these archtops but with a flat soundboard instead  – this series came in reaction to the fact that many musicians had already converted their F archtops into flat-tops, recognizing the acoustic potential of a wide body but slightly less deep than that of a dreadnought, offering an ideal compromise between sound power and a bass register less invasive than that of the D-18, D-28 and their kind.

The circle will finally be completed in 1985, the year of production of the guitar presented here, with the introduction of the J models, for Jumbo. The shape is identical to that of the M, but with the sides being of depth equal to those of a dreadnought, i.e. 4 7/8 inches. Since the new model is based on the M body shape, Martin initially named it “Jumbo M” and added the suffix M to the code to highlight its origin. Here we find a J12-40M, in plainer terms a Jumbo-sized 12 string guitar in style 40, in almost new condition. The style 40, long unused since the early 1940s, is reintroduced with the Jumbo series with the following characteristics: spruce top, Indian rosewood back and sides, mahogany neck with an ebony fingerboard featuring hexagonal mother-of-pearl inlays, ebony bridge. It should also be noted that the 12-string variant is extremely rare, with only 556 examples produced between 1985 and 1997!

As evidenced by its condition, this guitar has seen very little use over the last 40 years and remains in remarkable cosmetic condition, but we have nevertheless strived to restore 100% of its playability (which is easier said than done on guitars 12 string guitars!). We carried out a neck-reset allowing us to restore a low action with sufficient angle of the strings at the bridge sale, crafted a new bone saddle, refretted the instrument and adjusted all of its set-up elements to recover an instrument that is perfectly comfortable to play, and in-tune.

Sold in its original Martin hardshell case, with its original warranty card which completes this beautiful lot.

Additional information



Sillet de tête



Fond et eclisses


Back to Top