Looking to buy a D28

myfenderissues

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I'm finding myself in a position to buy a Martin D-28. I have a’76 D-18 that I gave to my son. I have felt the need for a D size Martin ever since. I’m looking for opinions. My D-18 was a wonderful guitar despite the bad rap seventies Martins have. The question is do I buy new or look for a good used one. And what era is the best value?
Try a guild d 55 used. I preferred it over my 2000 d 28, regret I sold it. A D 18 just doesn't sound as robust as a d 28. With acoustic you get what you pay for most times but the guild used d 55 is overlooked and is still reasonably priced. These are top of line and are all made in USA martins got thick tops in 70s due to lifetime warranty and I would buy one w adjustable truss rod unless you want real vintage but that's Brazil rosewood up to early 1960's and those are $$$ even as d 28's go. I had 2 70s martins and found they didn't sound as good as 2000s ones, so older is not always better martin improved quality of top Plate wood in 2000s to compete w Taylor. Better grain spacing and quarter sawn. My opinions
 

rand z

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Another thought - and a shorter trip - would be to head to Nazareth and try them at the factory. IIRC, they have a couple playing rooms in their showroom where you can just sit down and play about anything they have available to play. Now, these will be fairly new instruments and not vintage, which could be found in Nashville. But it would be a good first stop on the trip! And you can take the tour to boot.

CAVEAT: Since "that which cannot be mentioned" started a couple years ago, this policy may have changed. I would call the Martin Store/Showroom first and verify that customers can still do this.

Yeah...

I've been there many times over the years, but not since you-know.

They have a playing area just off the lobby and a more "private" room behind the gift shop.

The guitars on display, in both areas, to demo, seem to vary.

I don't believe that you can play "anything you want."

However, I think that they recently started selling guitars out of the factory, again.

So, if you call and let them know that you're coming, and are interested in specific guitar(s), they may have them brought out to you for a demo.

They're pretty accommodating.

Good Luck!!
 

BlueGillGreg

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I'm finding myself in a position to buy a Martin D-28. I have a’76 D-18 that I gave to my son. I have felt the need for a D size Martin ever since. I’m looking for opinions. My D-18 was a wonderful guitar despite the bad rap seventies Martins have. The question is do I buy new or look for a good used one. And what era is the best value?
22 years ago I bought a brand new mahogany 000-15 Auditorium with a TKL case for $700 and a used Sigma (Japanese Martin) Dreadnought 12. The brand new guitar has been pure joy, my most reliable guitar, and did need a separating seam closed up between the top and the side, no charge. The used 12 string sounds big, but is a bit unstable. I've never regretted buying a brand new Martin, and have played it a lot. I don't regret buying the Sigma, but it's not nearly as satisfying as having had the Auditorium from its infancy.
 

mrmtele

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After playing 5 HD28 Martins in 2010 I picked the cream of the crop which I still have. I got it from a Martin dealer the day before they went out of business for their cost and since they were a dealer I got the lifetime warranty. It's a cannon and looks as good as the day I got it since I rarely play it. They even installed an LR Baggs pickup that fits under the bridge so it sounds like an acoustic even when plugged in for only the cost of the pickup. I have compared this HD28 to lots of older ones and it really holds it's own against any of them. I also have a newer Blueridge guitar which are basically Martin copies but nothing sounds exactly like a Martin but the real thing.
 

goonie

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After playing 5 HD28 Martins in 2010 I picked the cream of the crop which I still have. I got it from a Martin dealer the day before they went out of business for their cost and since they were a dealer I got the lifetime warranty.

Lucky you! Martin doesn't extend its (Limited) Lifetime Warranty outside the US. Though I'm not sure we miss out on much -- looking at the warranty document online, there's such a long list of limitations and exclusions I'm not sure what it actually covers.
 

Charlie Bernstein

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Try a guild d 55 used. I preferred it over my 2000 d 28, regret I sold it. A D 18 just doesn't sound as robust as a d 28. With acoustic you get what you pay for most times but the guild used d 55 is overlooked and is still reasonably priced. These are top of line and are all made in USA martins got thick tops in 70s due to lifetime warranty and I would buy one w adjustable truss rod unless you want real vintage but that's Brazil rosewood up to early 1960's and those are $$$ even as d 28's go. I had 2 70s martins and found they didn't sound as good as 2000s ones, so older is not always better martin improved quality of top Plate wood in 2000s to compete w Taylor. Better grain spacing and quarter sawn. My opinions
Yup, I like recommending D-55s for anyone who likes the rosewood sound. Kind of blingy, but not in a cloying way. More of a Les Paul Standard attitude.

And if you live for that rosewood bloom, the D-55 sound is to kill and die for.

But Guilds are not Martins or Gibsons, which is what Bob has in his sights. Let's face it, most of us are branded, right? Guild hooked me a long time ago. (I've had two good Martins and a few mez-a-mez Gibsons, and they just didn't do it for me the way my two Guilds have. Wouldn't rule 'em out, but wouldn't seek 'em out, either.)

Note to Bob:

But if you are, in fact curious about Guild possibilities, check in with the good people at www.letstalkguild.com. A wealth of friendly info there (like Tele info here). One advantage: no bad decades!
 

RCinMempho

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The new Martins are excellent. My luthier said to sell my 1976 D28 and buy a new one rather than get a neck reset. He was quite adamant that the newer Martins are some of the best they have ever made. Now. That was right before COVID. Is it still true? I don't know.
 

rand z

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The new Martins are excellent. My luthier said to sell my 1976 D28 and buy a new one rather than get a neck reset. He was quite adamant that the newer Martins are some of the best they have ever made. Now. That was right before COVID. Is it still true? I don't know.
Maybe.

I have a 2018 D 18 that is a very great sounding/playing guitar.

It does have some binding issues, but I've been dragging it around the country in an RV and exposing it to various environments.

I also have an OM 21 from 1995 that is also a lovely and wonderful sounding/playing guitar.

Now, I've played some friends Martins from the 60's, 70's and 80's.

They're fine, but just don't seem to have the same vibe as the guitars built from the 90's, up to the present.

Ok, as far as I know, Dick Boak and C F IV are pretty much retired from daily activities at the factory.

In many ways, they both seem to have lead to the (positive) changes at Martin over the last 25-30 years.

I'm not sure who is in charge at this juncture.

There appears to have been one or two, who have already left and been replaced.

Also, Chris IV is recovering from losing his wife.

Their daughter, from what I've read, is coming of age and just starting to show interest in the family business.

(They had no sons.)

My point here is that C F Martin & Co. is going through some changes.

There have been good, and bad, eras for the company.

The 90's to the present, seems to have been a pretty good era.

The future, due to availability of materials, and work force/management environments, may hold some changes?

Buy as you see/hear fit...

imo.
 

sad99

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I usually go used for guitar purchases, but I went new a few years ago for my D-28 because I prefer the 1 3/4" nut. Haven't regretted it for a second.
 

63telemaster

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Was going to write a long account but cut to the chase...... have a good look at mid 90's D28s.
 

willyb

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omaha, ne
I'm finding myself in a position to buy a Martin D-28. I have a’76 D-18 that I gave to my son. I have felt the need for a D size Martin ever since. I’m looking for opinions. My D-18 was a wonderful guitar despite the bad rap seventies Martins have. The question is do I buy new or look for a good used one. And what era is the best value?
I bought a 2018 HD-28 new and have not had any problems and it sounds great....no buyers remorse here.
 

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Rick Lanahan

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Have owned a few. One, Pre 67 Braz and newer ones. Worked for a Martin dealer in the 90's and played a bunch. My Fav was my 67 Braz. Having played every new one that came into the shop where I worked part time. You can have 4 identical D-28's and they will all be different. Have since moved on to Collings as I think they make a better Martin than Martin. The consistency of Collings and not having to deal with the eventual neck re-set is a bonus for me but that's just me. Try a bunch, new and used and get the one that speaks to you.
 




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