Martin & Co HD-28
Martin & Co HD-28

HD-28, Dreadnought Steel String Guitar from Martin & Co in the Standard series.

MGR/Anonymous 07/28/2004

Martin & Co HD-28 : MGR/Anonymous's user review

« Martin HD-28 »

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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.

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