I just played a Martin D28

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Preacher, Mar 22, 2019.

  1. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

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    Took a new job so I am working with my new coworkers this week. So on the last day the new boss wants to go by his daughter's apartment (she is out of town) to take out the trash and check in on the place before he drops me at the airport.

    He invites me up to a cute little loft overlooking the city. He tells me it is his apartment that they use for weekend getaways and such when the daughter is not going to school. I walk around and happen to notice a couple of guitars hanging on a wall like art.

    One is a nice Ovation with a minty green finished face. I ask if I can look at it and he tells me sure and then tells me that it needs some repair (not that I can see). I go to strum it and notice that the high E is missing. So I give him a brief history of the guitar and how I loved them when they first came out.

    He then points to the other guitar on the wall and says, "I am surprised you did not go for the Martin first". Now I have to admit. I knew it was a Martin (Headstock gave it away) but I did not want to "be that guy" so I asked if I could take it down off the wall and he agreed. It had all six strings and the low E was close to pitch so I tuned the rest of the strings and strummed a bit. Then I sat down and played a little while as he collected the trash. I played "Hall of the Mountain King", "Autumn Leaves", "Hotel California" and for good effect played "Outlaw" and Cash's "Folsum Prison Blues".
    Boss came back and is impressed. He then tells me he doesn't play and bought the guitars for his kids to learn on. He plays piano and never really took up the guitar. Some guy recommended he buy the Mrtin a few years back for his kids to learn on since it was a good deal on Ebay.

    So the boss has a D28 hanging on a wall in a loft in the city and no one plays it....




    Oh and it sounded lovely but I bet you knew that ;-)
     
  2. Buckocaster51

    Buckocaster51 Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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  3. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Cool story.
     
  4. raysachs

    raysachs Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I smell an Easter bonus!
     
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  5. bblumentritt

    bblumentritt Tele-Afflicted Platinum Supporter

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    You picked up a D-28 and the first thing you played was Hall of the Mountain King???
     
  6. Harry Styron

    Harry Styron Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I guess you think this selection was egriegious.

    I'm impressed by the variety of the tunes that Preacher played.
     
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  7. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

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    I may be one of the few people who got a dead D-28 years ago, directly from martin on order at an A.D.

    It was a beautifully made guitar, understated with nice wood and perfect aesthetics, but just dark and quiet and with the nut filed a bit high.

    But I'd have kept a good one. Lesson in that is that when you buy something like a D-28 or HD-28, do what you can to play one first before buying.

    Their reputation made it so that I was able to sell the guitar pretty easily (without lying and saying "oh, it's a boomer!" or something) and the buyer was happy because he got a basically new guitar for 2/3rds of new.

    As far as purchasing of nice guitars, dentists and doctors buying office decor have to be the biggest offenders. My now retired maker friend who made this guitar:
    https://reverb.com/item/1596063-wilson-pre-war-martin-d-28-brazilian-replica
    (that's not a D-28 replica, either, but he didn't list it and mislabel it like that)

    ..has an R4 from a dentists office. With bigsby from gibson (which isn't common). He said he didn't think it had been played by the dentist who bought it, and he must've gotten it for a good price as he asked if I wanted it for some amount slightly under $3K (I told him that he should look harder as there are plenty of people who will pay more).

    The dentist had it as a wall ornament, I don't even think in the reception area, just in one of the patient rooms. It wasn't the only guitar, either. Could've bought something cheaper to hang on the wall, but maybe he didn't like to pay taxes.
     
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  8. beninma

    beninma Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I bet there are a lot of nice guitars like that hanging on walls that never get the play time they deserve.

    Steinway pianos sound like they get that treatment a lot too!
     
  9. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

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    Everything expensive seems to. Really expensive tools, really nice guitars. Local seller of I'd say $4-5k and up guitars and banjos suggested when I was in his shop that his typical customer is not much of a player. Maybe that's changed over the last decade, but I'm not surprised.
     
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  10. dickey

    dickey Tele-Afflicted

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    "Oh and it sounded lovely but I bet you knew that ;-)"

    Dunno if you're a guy or not, but real men should NOT use the word "lovely".
     
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  11. oatsoda

    oatsoda Tele-Meister

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    My dad has played the same D28 for decades. Looks worse every time I see it but still sounds great, at least with dad playing. I pick it up, sounds flat an lifeless, but my triple-O28, amazing!
     
  12. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Almost all of the D-28, and most of the other Martin Dreds I've played have had high action. I almost always have to adjust the nut and saddle, and now that they have adjustable truss rods, take some of the relief out of the neck before I find them playable. It's easy to take the excess away, but not as easy to add it. I played a D-45 at a festival once, that one of the guys appearing in the show had just bought. It had ridiculously high action, but he was a bluegrass guy, and that's how he liked it. I don't see how they can play as fast and as hard as they do without going out of tune, with that kind of action, but they manage some how.

    Martin guitars having to have time to open up is not just something that people say, they sometimes take a long time, but they eventually do. The D-28 seems to be one of the ones that take longer to open up. When they gain their voice though, hardly anything else can equal their tone and volume. My old D-18 was really an example of opening up, it became one of those bluegrass "cannons" people talk about but it took it a long time to get there.
     
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  13. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Now of course, play it cool, never mention it again. Let him bring it up. Hell, don’t even talk music around him.

    Let the wheels turn on their own...
     
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  14. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

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    Well, MY boss has my scalp on his wall. And his diploma from So Far Offshore That Even Dentists' Drunken Sons Can't Find It University (formerly Sailors' Lost Caps Island).

    Glad you have so nice and well-resourced a boss!
     
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  15. P Thought

    P Thought Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Real men use whatever words they want to. Gentlemen choose their words carefully.






    Cool story, Preacher.
     
  16. rjtwangs

    rjtwangs Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    This thing about Martin guitars needing time to " open up " should be explained a bit better. Martins that have sitka spruce tops are not going to open up a great deal. The sitka tops are heavier( thicker ), after their initial break in, the aging process pretty much ends. Sitka also turns a kind of dull dark orange hue as it ages. It's the guitars with tops of red spruce that really do open up after a couple of years of use. Because red spruce is stiffer, it is a thinner top giving those earlier Martins their depth and tone. Guitars with red spruce tops take on a beautiful golden hue as they age. Red spruce was the wood used for airplane wings during WW II, because of its lighter weight and stiffness, the same attributes desired for guitar tops. It was because of this increased usage that red spruce logs large enough for two or even 3-4 piece tops disappeared by 1946 when Martin went to sitka for their tops. Commonly referred to as Adirondack spruce, its reference is to the location, as in the Adirondack mountain range. But red spruce is also found in the Smokies as well.


    RJ
     
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  17. kplamann

    kplamann Tele-Holic

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    I am a real man and I use the word "lovely" regularly. Particularly with respect to the lovely sound emanating from a D-28 guitar.

    See my avatar.

    OP, cool story, thanks for sharing.
     
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  18. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

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    I had a maker once tell me that if a guitar starts sort of closed and dull, it'll always be behind one that starts stronger. He was probably right. My now retired friend who makes everything strong, well, pretty much everything starts strong (but a one off maker like him needs to not hand over a weak guitar, or a customer isn't going to have any clue what they're paying for). The D-28 is a nice guitar, but at the time, they had little or no scalloping to their bracing, so you're, I guess, at the mercy of the wood on them. They aren't particularly expensive for how good they looked, so it's not like some little old man with a gray beard is sitting over them poring over their specs to make them good.

    You're right about the action that the blue grassers like - at least that's what dealers have told me. If my martin had sounded great, the action on it up the neck wasn't bad, just the nut height (but almost 20 years ago, I didn't really know what made certain guitars play well, and I haven't had the luck of great setup men - and didn't know enough to know that i didn't, either. pay your $30, get a setup, marginally better than it was, no extra services and no suggestions for any.

    Separate story, my friend george (who made a brazilian guitar - he made hundreds of guitars, but the one I posted in another thread is one of the few examples that circulated through public listings on reverb or ebay) said that the strongest or one of the strongest guitars he ever heard was a D-18 that had been backed over and repaired by martin. I didn't ask him why he thought it was so strong, but he said martin had basically reassembled it, made it look damage free on the outside and it was reinforced inside with glue and tape. Not sure if the glue and tape actually made it good, or what. Someone begged it off of him for an absurd price (given what it was) that he couldn't resist, and he still regrets it.

    There are some things that definitely make for a good guitar (bourgeois thicknessing tops for stiffness and then all voicing going through one person one guitar at a time helps), but with the rest of them - going back to my beautiful but dead sounding guitar, whatever the reason may be, it's easier just to see if something is good - whether the reason is known or not. For that reason, I won't buy another expensive acoustic guitar without playing it in person.
     
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  19. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

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    Ha!!
    I actually got a classical nylon string guitar a year or so ago so I have been working on my finger picking and that song was "saved" on my hard drive I guess. In defense I only played the first couple of runs up the fingerboard... lol
     
  20. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

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    Would it help if I said it with an Irish or British accent? LOL
     
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