The C.F. Martin D-28 is one the oldest of Martin’s designs, with the ’28’ style dating to 1870, and the ‘D’ body coming into general production in 1931.
As the banjo declined in popularity and the guitar rose to prominence, the Rosewood-bodied Martin D-28 became very popular and has continued to be, along with the Mahogany-bodied D-18, one of the most sought after guitars in USA.
In 1966, Brazilian Rosewood was the standard material used for these guitars, used for the back, sides, and headplate. However, it was increasingly subject to import restrictions and by 1969 Martin discontinued its use.
Only a very few examples were built into the early 1970’s, with some D-35 backs having Brazilian centre panels in order to use up remaining undersize stock.
Here we have a beautiful D-28 built during 1966 at the Martin plant in Nazareth, Pennsylvania.
The top is Sitka spruce, with rear shifted X bracing. The body blocks and neck are mahogany, with ebony used for the fingerboard and bridge.
This guitar has been with its current owner since 2002. Before purchasing it from a high profile Sydney dealer, he had its originality and overall condition assessed by a well regarded independent expert, who verified at the time that it was in fine shape and had not had a neck reset.
This guitar presents in exactly the same condition today with two exceptions –
- The original closed back Grover Roto Sound machine heads have been replaced with a set of exactly the same tuners.
- A Fishman pickup has been installed.
This C.F. Martin D-28 guitar is in great shape, with superb playability and a wonderful sound. Its neck is very comfortable with a medium low action, and we think a neck reset is still quite a way off.
There are a few small scuffs, dings and dents, but no cracks or repairs that we can see. The finish has some expected natural lacquer checking. The original frets are present with very little wear showing.
Many Martins of this era have a crack between the soundhole and bridge due to the pickguard being glued directly to the top. The pickguard material and the top expand and contract at different rates, with predictable results. Somewhat amazingly this guitar does not suffer from that problem. The soundhole area is clean apart from some pick wear, and no crack looks like appearing any time soon.
This guitar sounds mature and has real character. It’s also powerful and delivers a big sound that only the combination of select Sitka spruce and genuine aged Brazilian rosewood can deliver.
Relatively original vintage Martins from the Brazilian era almost never come up for sale, particularly in Australia. This one is in excellent condition and it is an exquisite instrument in every way.
Comes in its Martin hard shell case in good condition.