I've been playing guitar for over 30 years. My first guitar lesson was when I was 10 years old. I play guitar and mandolin. Currently i'm playing in a folk/bluegrass trio, and a four-piece rock band. My musical tastes range from rock, folk, blues, jazz.
I purchased my one year old Marting HD28 used through Guitar Center for $1500. I wanted a quality acoustic for playing in my band.
The Martin HD28 is a fantastic guitar! Martin quality, all solid woods, great tone. It has beautiful rosewood sides and back, mahogany neck, and an ebony fretboard. The herringbone trim really sets this guitar apart! The Gotoh chrome tuners are tight, and it comes with a nice hardshell case to protect your investment. This guitar sounds wonderful! It has that ringing Martin tone, deep lows and sparkly highs. And boy does it cut through the mix! You don't have to worry about getting drowned out by the banjos! A great guitar for a great price.
I have to admit, I haven't found anything I don't like about this guitar!
Martin quality! Need I say more? Quality fit and finish, beautiful tone woods, a guitar that looks great and sounds fantastic!
This is really a nice instrument. Martin has a great reputation for putting out quality instruments. They are pricey, but there's something about the Martin tone that makes this guitar a good value!
I purchased this guitar used from Music Craft (S. Carolina) for $3,200. After 17 years of playing, I decided it was buy a guitar that would last a lifetime, and get something special. I bought this specific guitar because it had exactly what I wanted: a Martin, the D-28 history, herringbone trim, rare Brazilian rosewood and an adjustable truss-rod to save on repair costs. To top it off, the guitar is a left-handed model. Don't see many of these.
Tone, tone, tone. This guitar will sustain for a full 30 seconds, and if you hold your ear up to the side of it and strum a chord, it sounds like the inside of a piano. The harmonics produced by the rosewood have to be experienced to be understood. Put simply, the guitar sounds as if it always has a new set of strings on it--it doesn't go 'flat' like a cheap guitar will. The herringbone trim and reddish Brazilian rosewood grain are beautiful. A friend said the guitar looks like a jewelbox.
The nitrocellulose finish tends to crack (this is lacquer checking) if the guitar is exposed to humidity below 35% for extended periods of time. I invested in a hygrometer (humidity sensor) to monitor humidity levels in the house. I keep the guitar in a case to prevent further checking.
This guitar is about 18 years old and except for the lacquer checking and need of a neck reset, the guitar is in excellent shape. The finish is still mirrorlike on the guitar. As for quality, the guitar is excellent. Close joint tolerances, excellent tuners. The intonation is off a bit, but this is because of the need for a neck reset (normal for a guitar of this age). Most importantly, the looks and tone of the guitar are excellent. This guitar has aged well and sounds better than newer HD-28's I've compared it to in guitar stores. Good aging is the sign of a well built guitar.
I started out looking at Martin DX-1's and didn't like the looks or the tone. I then tried a solid wood Martin (J-16GT) and liked the tone and looks, but didn't like the workmanship (glue drops on the inside of the soundbox-the sign of a novice). With the HD-28, I finally found a Martin that had everything I wanted. Martin usually has the veterans build the Standard series models, so the workmanship is top-of-the-line.
If you can find a good HD-28, by all means you won't be disappointed. However, try other models and brands to determine what type of tone you like. I like rosewood HD-28's, hence the purchase. If you like more treble, consider a Martin D-28 instead--it doesn't have the scalloped interior braces.
It is my opinion that the Martin HD28 is one of the best vintage style acoustic guitars made in production today in the $2,500 price point. Martin has a long history of quality and innovation, and these guitars have stood the test of time by all means. The original D28s and HD28s are highly coveted and expensive so this affordable reissue allows a wider market to acquire one of these venerable guitars. They're still made in the USA by CF Martin IV and his wonderful team.
It features a spruce top, East Indian rosewood back, sides and neck, and the coveted scalloped X bracing pattern that has become legend for acoustic guitars over time. Here is the full list of specs:
CONSTRUCTION: Mahogany Blocks/Dovetail Neck Joint
BODY SIZE: D-14 Fret
TOP: Solid Sitka Spruce
ROSETTE: Style 28
TOP BRACING PATTERN: Standard ''X'' Scalloped
TOP BRACES: Solid Sitka Spruce 5/16''
BACK MATERIAL: Solid East Indian Rosewood
BACK PURFLING: HD Zig-Zag
SIDE MATERIAL: Solid East Indian Rosewood
ENDPIECE: White Boltaron
ENDPIECE INLAY: Black/White Boltaron
BINDING: White Boltaron
TOP INLAY STYLE: Bold Herringbone
SIDE INLAY: none
BACK INLAY: Black/White Boltaron
NECK MATERIAL: Select Hardwood
NECK SHAPE: Low Profile
NUT MATERIAL: Bone
HEADSTOCK: Solid/Diamond/Square Taper
HEADPLATE: Solid East Indian Rosewood /Raised Gold Foil
HEELCAP: White Boltaron
FINGERBOARD MATERIAL: Solid Black Ebony
SCALE LENGTH: 25.4''
# OF FRETS CLEAR: 14
# OF FRETS TOTAL: 20
FINGERBOARD WIDTH AT NUT: 1-11/16''
FINGERBOARD WIDTH AT 12TH FRET: 2-1/8''
FINGERBOARD POSITION INLAYS: Style 28
FINGERBOARD BINDING: none
FINISH BACK & SIDES: Polished Gloss
FINISH TOP: Polished Gloss ; Sunburst available at additional cost.
FINISH NECK: Satin
BRIDGE MATERIAL: Solid Black Ebony
BRIDGE STYLE: Belly
BRIDGE STRING SPACING: 2-1/8''
SADDLE: 16'' Radius/Compensated/Bone
TUNING MACHINES: Chrome Enclosed w/ Large Buttons
RECOMMENDED STRINGS: Martin SP Lifespan Phosphor Bronze Medium Gauge (MSP7200)
BRIDGE & END PINS: White w/ Black Dots
PICKGUARD: Tortoise Color
CASE: 640 Molded
INTERIOR LABEL: none
The design of the HD28 is quite good for bluegrass and country players who want a crisper, more vintage sounding version of the D28 that sings for both strummed patterns as well as faster flatpicked lead lines. The ones I have tried are usually quite light for an acoustic and they sit very well on the body overall, which is great for a smaller person such as myself. These HD28s sound great right out of the box and only get better as time goes on so getting a good sound is not an issue whatsoever. The upper fret access is not bad, but it doesn't have a cutaway, nor enough frets for it to be considered stellar.
The sound of the D28 is really an amazing thing. It is a very rich and punchy instrument that I find to have a crisp bass, subdued midrange and a sparkling top end. This is excellent for lead lines and more of a modern tone overall I find. It's punchier sounding than the D-28, but it lacks a little bit of that midrange boom as well. I found that I preferred the D28 over the HD28 in a shootout, even though the HD28 was more expensive and was built to more of a vintage specification. If you're a serious acoustic player and HAVEN'T tried one of these... I'm not really sure how to respond. They're a must try for any guitarist because of their pure Martin sound!
All in all I think the HD28 is just an amazing acoustic guitar with a wonderful vintage vibe. It does many styles well and the craftsmanship is second to none. I compared it with the D18 and D28 and found it to be a stellar sounding guitar overall. There is a reason that so many of the great players have used a D28 or HD28... to me it just embodies the dreadnought acoustic guitar at its best.
The Martin & Co HD-28 is made in the USA and has 20 frets total. It is not an acoustic/electric guitar so it doesn't have any pick ups or controls. The neck is made out of dark mahogany and feels very good on the fingers.
The neck of the Martin HD-28 feels very fluid and is really easy to play. Compared to other acoustic guitars, the HD-28 feels like water and the action is just about perfect. It is easy to play all around the neck and while it has a pretty standard shape and weight, this guitar is anything but standard. Its pretty easy to get a good sound from this guitar, as it is honestly one of the best sounding guitars I've ever played.
The Martin HD-28 is a great acoustic guitar for any type of music, but I use it mostly for rock and folk music. The tone is extremely rich and vibrant and is an extreme pleasure to listen to. Each note radiates in a special light that is seldom seen in most guitars. There isn't too much that can really be said - one you try it out for yourself you will know what I am talking about...it just sounds that great.
I first used the Martin HD-28 about two years ago and whenever I get the chance it record with it, it is really a pleasure to work with because getting a good recorded sound is incredibly simple with this guitar. While there are a few other Martin guitars that sound as good as the HD-28, but there really aren't that many. If you are looking for one of the best guitars that money can buy, and a lot of money that is, the Martin HD-28 is a great choice and is truly one of the best guitars I've ever had the pleasure of using.