Martin D18 or D28 for drop and open tunings?

zombywoof

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No rule book for such things. I probably spend more time in Open G6 tuning than any other these days. Nary a 6 string Martin of any kind to be found in the house. Gibsons from the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, a 1950s Epi FT79, Harmony Sovereigns and such. Does not mean that Martin is a bad choice but it sure ain't the only way to fly. I guess the only advice I have to offer is to not pay attention to the wood but how the guitar sounds and feels. You ever played a birch body guitar? You might find yourself pleasantly surprised (nor not).
 

JamesAM

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Regluar or dropped, you name it, give me a good D-18 over a D-28 any day of the week. I do think that at some times, Martin has treated its 18 series as a deliberately "budget" version rather than building to the virtues and capabilities of good mahogany B&S, but a decent 18 model is to my ears a wonderful thing. I may be an outlier, but to my ears the resonance and clarity of a good D-18 is freferable to the busy, jacked-up harmonics and boomy bass of a D-28. Most of us do not need, and I for one do not even want the sound that was once necessary for guitar players working either fully acoustically or going through a single mike with the rest of the band. Who needs to "cut" anymore? I like the clear brightness and strong, tight fundamentals (of mahogany B&S) more than the classic D-28 sound, though both are terrific, of course.
True that. All of this is why I kept my d-18 and went with a Gibson AJ for a rosewood dread. All of the pluses of a d-28 - bass, depth, volume - but with the clarity, mids, and emphasis on fundamental of a d-18. Plus, not boomy.
 

Dirtybluegene

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True that. All of this is why I kept my d-18 and went with a Gibson AJ for a rosewood dread. All of the pluses of a d-28 - bass, depth, volume - but with the clarity, mids, and emphasis on fundamental of a d-18. Plus, not

True that. All of this is why I kept my d-18 and went with a Gibson AJ for a rosewood dread. All of the pluses of a d-28 - bass, depth, volume - but with the clarity, mids, and emphasis on fundamental of a d-18. Plus, not boomy.
Nice. Wasn't familiar with the AJ, but that sounds like the best of both.
I'll contact a luthier in a month or so and see if I can visit him to hear some different models and get his opinion. I'll go in with an open mind (and ears)- not hung up on any particular woods etc. Just want the sound in my head, but some of the descriptions here are helpful from and technical stand point.
 

JamesAM

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Nice. Wasn't familiar with the AJ, but that sounds like the best of both.
I'll contact a luthier in a month or so and see if I can visit him to hear some different models and get his opinion. I'll go in with an open mind (and ears)- not hung up on any particular woods etc. Just want the sound in my head, but some of the descriptions here are helpful from and technical stand point.
AJs are great- only gibson I really like, because it’s so Martin-ish. Here’s a great reference for you.



Good luck, and have fun
 

985plowboy

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The thing to bear in mind when choosing between the 18 and 28 series Martin guitars is that you can’t go wrong.
I ended my Martin search with an
HD-28V. Zero regrets, and I mean ZERO.
The only alternate tuning I use is dropped D. The bass is present and full in the very best way. I find this particular guitar has sustain almost like natural reverb.
But I’d like to have a D-18 as well.
Just because it is awesome in its own way.
 




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