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

King Loudness 08/09/2011

Martin & Co D-28 : King Loudness's user review

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It is my opinion that the Martin D28 is one of the best acoustic guitars made in production today in the $2,000 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 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 common X bracing pattern that has become the standard for acoustic guitars over time. Here is the full list of specs:

MODEL D-28
CONSTRUCTION: Mahogany Blocks/Dovetail Neck Joint
BODY SIZE: D-14 Fret
TOP: Solid Sitka Spruce
ROSETTE: Style 28
TOP BRACING PATTERN: Standard ''X''
TOP BRACES: Solid Sitka Spruce 5/16''
BACK MATERIAL: Solid East Indian Rosewood
BACK PURFLING: Style 28
SIDE MATERIAL: Solid East Indian Rosewood
ENDPIECE: White Boltaron
ENDPIECE INLAY: Black/White Boltaron
BINDING: White Boltaron
TOP INLAY STYLE: Multiple Black/White Boltaron
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: Black
CASE: 640 Molded
ELECTRONICS: Optional

UTILIZATION

The design of the D28 is quite good for bluegrass and country players who want a full and rich sounding dreadnought 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 D28s 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.

SOUNDS

The sound of the D28 is really an amazing thing. It is a very rich and full bodied instrument that I find to be very heavy in the midrange. This is excellent for lead lines and more of a modern tone overall I find. It's a little bit fuller sounding than the HD-28, but it lacks a little bit of that top end sparkle 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 a D28... I'm not really sure how to respond. They're a must try for any guitarist because of their pure Martin sound!

OVERALL OPINION

All in all I think the D28 is just an amazing acoustic guitar. It does many styles well and the craftsmanship is second to none. I compared it with the D18 and HD28 and found it to be my favourite sounding model. There is a reason that so many of the great players have used a D28... to me it just embodies the dreadnought acoustic guitar at its best.