Introduced by Martin in 1931, the D-28 is prized for its booming projection and high quality tone. The first batch went wholly to the Chicago Musical Instrument Company, although this “exclusive” deal didn’t last for long. Originally built around the Martin D-14 Fret platform, early examples included exotic tone woods, such as Brazilian Rosewood, which is no longer available in large quantities due to deforestation and subsequent treaty controls.
This instrument conforms to the standard description for this Martin classic.
It features East Indian rosewood on the back, sides and headstock overlay, and a Sitka spruce top that has, over time, become a medium orange colour. It has the “rounded corner” headstock common to this era, and retains its Grover “Pat. Pend. U.S.A.” stamped sealed-gear tuning machines with large D-shaped chrome plated buttons.
Around each capstan on the headstock is a large nickel or chrome-plated grommet or ferrule. The headstock logo is the old style “C F Martin & Co., Est. 1833” in gold script with a black border and said logo has become darker with time. The unbound black ebony fingerboard is inlaid with 8 mother of pearl dotmarkers of decreasing size in 6 fret positions, with double dot at frets 7 and 12.
The top is trimmed with black-ivoroid-black-ivoroid purfling; the soundhole in three concentric rings of multi-ply fibre purflings and the back in just two plies of ivoroid and black. The bridge is carved of black ebony and hosts six bridge cream coloured bridge pins with black dots, and the end pin matches this.
The sides are bound in single-ply cream plastic (ivoroid). It has the beautiful geometric design mosaic back stripe, a series of rectangles in dark and light, which travels 19 ¾” down the centre of the back. It has a a yellowed ivoroid heel cap and a yellowed ivoroid end graft .
Construction: Mahogany Blocks/Dovetail Neck Joint
Body Size: D-14 Fret
Top: Solid Sitka Spruce
Rosette: Style 28
Back Material: Solid East Indian Rosewood
Back Purfling: Style 28
Side Material: Solid East Indian Rosewood
Neck Material: Select Hardwood
Neck Shape: Low Profile
Nut Material: Bone
Headstock: Solid/Diamond/Square Taper
Headplate: Solid East Indian Rosewood /Raised Gold Foil
Fingerboard Material: Solid Black Ebony
Scale Length: 25.4″
Number Of Frets Clear: 14
Number 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
Bridge Material: Solid Black Ebony
Bridge Style: Belly
Bridge String Spacing: 2-1/8″
Saddle: 16″ Radius/Compensated/Bone
Tuning Machines: Grover Chrome Enclosed w/ Large Buttons
Over the past 100 + years, the Martin dreadnought has helped define what an acoustic guitar can and should be, and subsequently, it has become one of the most popular acoustic guitar designs in the world.
And the D-28 is a certified classic – one of the great Martin models, popularised and used by a long list of big name artists in very genre of music.
This one shows some player wear, including indentations, scratches and marks consistent with a 45+ year old instrument which has been well used. But our theory is that a well used guitar has been well used simply because it actually is a good guitar that makes you want to play it. And that is the case with this one.
It has a small crack in the top just above the bridge which has been professionally repaired. It has a correct replacement Martin pickguard because the original suffered from some natural shrinkage and curled up at the edges. It has some natural lacquer crazing not uncommon on a guitar of this age.
The frets are in good shape, the neck is straight, the guitar is structurally sound, and it has that big spacious D-28 sound – well balanced with warm low end, punchy midrange and articulate treble.
Also, it has been fitted with a quality Fishman humbucking pickup which fits into the soundhole and can be easily removed.
Comes as is – ie no case.