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The Most Expensive Acoustic Guitar (In 2022: Can You Guess?)

Looking for the Most Expensive Acoustic Guitar?

What is the Most Expensive Acoustic Guitar out there?
Can you guess which one it is?

Keep reading as we have gathered exactly the information that you need!

Let me tell you all about the Most Expensive Acoustic Guitar!

Are you ready?

Let’s get started!

Most Expensive Acoustic Guitar Overview

Music is essential to our lives, whether you’re a musician or just like to sing your favorite songs. It can be found in every place on the planet, from big stages to community-closed rituals in which different instruments play a key role in its performance.

Guitars are perhaps the most famous musical instrument found to this day, which is why this article might interest more than one. 

If you want to know everything about the most expensive acoustic guitar ever sold, this post is for you. 

Below you can find interesting information about this famous guitar, including who manufactured it, why it became famous as well as the reason behind its price and the people who’ve tasted the company to play their songs with.

What Is The Most Expensive Acoustic Guitar

Currently, the most expensive acoustic guitar ever sold is the 1959 Martin D-18E acoustic made famous by Kurt Cobain after playing it on MTV Unplugged in November of 1993. 

The guitar and the case were customized prior to the show and were sold in 2020 for $6 million by an Australian entrepreneur called Peter Freedman.

Nirvana’s MTV session was performed just five months before Cobain’s death and the man who bought his guitar made it with the mission to expose what really happens behind an artist and its music, referencing Cobain’s and other musicians’ situations. 

Here is the guitar in the hands of the legendary Kurt Cobain:


About The Most Expensive Acoustic Guitar

There are different opinions about why the 1959 Martin D-18E acoustic is the most expensive acoustic guitar, in which a battle between the guitar itself and the artist that played it came into a debate. 

Let’s analyze both arguments carefully.

To begin, we have the guitar specifications. 

The 1959 Martin D-18E has a dreadnought body style and a wood composition consisting of a mahogany back and sides, an Adirondack spruce top, and a one-piece mahogany neck. 

As for the design elements, this guitar includes two DeArmond pickups, three control knobs, a pickup selector switch, and a tortoiseshell pickguard.

Cobain made some modifications before the Unplugged session, where the nut was recut so he would be able to play with his left hand (by Voltage Guitars), the bridge was filled and a new slot was routed for the saddle (made by John Saba), and a Bartolini 3AV pickup was added to the soundhole. 

These modifications marked one of the first of Martin Guitar’s electric pieces that initiated a new route for the brand in the electric guitar field. 

Why Is It So Expensive

The 1959 Martin D-18E is so expensive due to its unique modifications and the artists that used to play it. 

The guitar itself did not include electric pickups, which Kurt Cobain added, impressively increased its value and attention during that and posterior times. 

Apart from this, the 2020 auction that sold this instrument for $6 million, making it the most expensive acoustic guitar ever sold, Julien’s Auctions, also included the customized guitar case the singer carried around. 

It featured fragile stickers of airlines and Poison Idea as well as guitar picks, guitar strings, and a small black velvet pouch containing silvertone knife, fork, and spoon lapel pins each with pinbacks. 

Of course, the main attraction is the guitar itself and the one-of-a-kind additions the musician made that elevated the price. 

Kurt Cobain played with the 1959 Martin D-18E in other shows across the US, Canada, and Italy.

About The Manufacturer

The famous 1959 Martin D-18E acoustic was made by Martin Guitars, a family-owned and operated company established in 1883.

They provided Civil War soldiers with instruments that were played in campfires and began their well-known careers across the world thanks to incredible artists and musicians. 

The Martin family has led the enterprise through numerous changes in the world and in music through six generations. 

Each generation has passed down the values that are most important to them: commitment to craftsmanship, working with care and patience, maintaining the highest quality standards, taking the long view, and environmental protection.

Martins were used by artists such as Hank Williams, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Neil Young, Ed Sheeran, John Mayer, Seth Avett, and many others, who helped to create much of the twentieth-century soundtrack.

Songs Played With This Acoustic Guitar

In 1993 Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged, the setlist chosen made quite the contribution to the guitar’s expensive price. 

The band included hits like About a Girl, Come as You Are, On a Plain, and Something in the Way. Some covers were played, such as Where Did You Sleep Last Night? and Lake of Fire.

The setlist was not meant for the crowd but rather for Cobain’s interests, prioritizing songs he and the band wanted to play instead of what the mainstream expected to hear.


The most expensive acoustic guitar sold to this day is the 1959 Martin D-18E acoustic that Kurt Cobain played in 1993 Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged session. 

This specific piece was sold in 2020 for $6 million in an auction in Beverly Hills whose buyer is an Australian entrepreneur called Peter Freedman.

Not only does the guitar look just like Cobain left it, but also remains with its unique modifications specifically requested by the singer. 

The guitar case is also a one-of-a-kind piece that included a few guitar strings and picks. 

The company that made this guitar is Martin Guitars, a family-owned and operated business that was established almost 200 years ago. 

According to Kurt’s technician, he purchased his 1959 Martin D-18E in a guitar shop in San Diego.

It might come as a surprise for many the final price this guitar was sold at, but due to the history and musical weight it holds thanks to Nirvana’s singer, the money seems rarely anything compared to it. 

Of course, for those who can actually spare that amount on a guitar.

Now that you know what is the most expensive acoustic guitar, good luck with your research!

Editorial Staff
Hello Nation! My name is Amir and I'm the founder of this blog. I started this blog as I love writing about fun, entertaining, motivating, and inspiring things. I'm looking forward to having you regularly visit this site! Stay strong, stay positive, have fun, and enjoy life to its fullest!


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