Martin D28 or 00 28 for jazz

Which is best flat top acoustic for jazz: Martin D28 or Martin 00 28

  • Martin D28

    Votes: 4 28.6%
  • Martin 00 28

    Votes: 10 71.4%

  • Total voters
    14

Resojazznblues

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Hello. I am looking at flat top acoustic guitars to play jazz/jam band music. I am a "quality over quantity" type and only own one guitar, a Mule steel tricone. My Mule covers all the bases for me and then some. I would like to own a wood flat top to play jazz and jam on. I will state I am a Martin fan. The two models I am interested in are the D28 and the 00 28. I think the D28 is a better instrument for jazz with its deeper, bass tone, but I am more familiar with the 00 body shape. Any suggestions or opinions of which you think would be a better jazz acoustic? FWIW the guitar will be acoustic only, no pick ups. Thanks.
 

Chiogtr4x

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Hello. I am looking at flat top acoustic guitars to play jazz/jam band music. I am a "quality over quantity" type and only own one guitar, a Mule steel tricone. My Mule covers all the bases for me and then some. I would like to own a wood flat top to play jazz and jam on. I will state I am a Martin fan. The two models I am interested in are the D28 and the 00 28. I think the D28 is a better instrument for jazz with its deeper, bass tone, but I am more familiar with the 00 body shape. Any suggestions or opinions of which you think would be a better jazz acoustic? FWIW the guitar will be acoustic only, no pick ups. Thanks.
I don't think there's a bad answer!
I play all kinds of music ( folk, swing, Dead, blues, R&R, bluegrass, acoustic instrumentals) with either a D-18 style, Martin D-1, or a Blueridge 0M/000-28 style acoustics.
They both sound very good, and despite different body sizes, are really comfortable.
Get the Martin you like, can afford. The mahogany-body D-18's and 00/000-18's may not be as beautiful as the 28's but they are clear across the bass/mids/treble and are great 'lead guitars' IMO

( my first guitar was a Japanese D-28 copy, back in 1975, and then, you just just played what you had- we never thought
" You need this kind of guitar for this kind of music!", so that has always stuck with me. You can play ANYTHING with a guitar you love!
 

telepraise

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I think scale length may also be a consideration, I'm assuming the 00 is a short scale guitar. If you like the higher tension and pop of a full scale guitar, an OM would be a worthy consideration, having a full scale length but shallower body. Grant Gordy of Mr. Sun uses one well as does James Nash of The Waybacks. Also Julian Lage's custom Collings is an OM.

I play dreads and a 17" L-5ish archtop. Being short, the dreads really change my posture (love that sound though). The L-5 is totally comfortable to play in any position.
 

Boreas

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I voted 00-28, but would actually recommend a 000-18. Easier to find, less expensive, great sound balance. If you go with a dread, I would look for a D-35 which has a more lightly-braced top than a D28.

 

Resojazznblues

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I voted 00-28, but would actually recommend a 000-18. Easier to find, less expensive, great sound balance. If you go with a dread, I would look for a D-35 which has a more lightly-braced top than a D28.

Thanks for the recommendation. I will certainly try a D35 out.
 

Vocalion

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Are you going to be playing solo or with the occasional combo, and what sort of jazz would you be playing? My first thought would be that a smaller-bodied acoustic with its more limited dynamic range would be better suited for jazz, especially if you're playing solo. If playing unmiked and unplugged with other instruments, you might need the relatively louder voice to cut through.
 

Resojazznblues

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Are you going to be playing solo or with the occasional combo, and what sort of jazz would you be playing? My first thought would be that a smaller-bodied acoustic with its more limited dynamic range would be better suited for jazz, especially if you're playing solo. If playing unmiked and unplugged with other instruments, you might need the relatively louder voice to cut through.
I gig solo and with groups. All acoustic. Swing, modal, blues, and free jazz. I am leaning toward the D28 for dynamics and tonal color.
 

Bryan A

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I have an HD28, and I don’t play jazz, but imo a D28 would be an absolutely TERRIBLE guitar for jazz. They are very much “boom” guitars, meaning if you need an acoustic to be overpowering, like in bluegrass or heavy strumming, great guitar. But for nuanced note articulation like jazz? No way. Maybe a 00-28 would work. I’d look at OM style guitars too. Maybe those arch top styles like the Gibson L- whatever. But of all the acoustic guitars to play jazz on, I’d say any Martin dreadnought would be the worst possible choice.
 
Last edited:

bottlenecker

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Hello. I am looking at flat top acoustic guitars to play jazz/jam band music. I am a "quality over quantity" type and only own one guitar, a Mule steel tricone. My Mule covers all the bases for me and then some. I would like to own a wood flat top to play jazz and jam on. I will state I am a Martin fan. The two models I am interested in are the D28 and the 00 28. I think the D28 is a better instrument for jazz with its deeper, bass tone, but I am more familiar with the 00 body shape. Any suggestions or opinions of which you think would be a better jazz acoustic? FWIW the guitar will be acoustic only, no pick ups. Thanks.

Jazz can mean very different things to different people, but most versions of jazz guitar are played on a guitar with a lot of midrange. A D28 doesn't normally have a lot of midrange, it has bass and treble. The mid scoop makes it great for accompaniment. Obviously, bluegrass players play lots of lead on them, and it sounds great. But it really depends what you mean by jazz. Hot hawaiian, maybe? I'd go for the 00-28, if those two were my only choices, and I were trying to play my own idea of jazz.
 

loopfinding

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you don't want an archtop?

an archtop will cut through a band better acoustically than a flat top. plus it's a cool sound for older styles anyway. since the only flat top acoustic music i really play is fahey-ish, ragtime, or the odd travis-picking stuff, an archtop suffices for that and i'll probably never own a flat top again.

there are a number of affordable (but still above cheapo harmony) ones like the gibson l-50 or guild ca-100 or epiphone devon around.

not saying it’s the law to play jazz on an archtop, but archtops are very versatile (i probably play just as much non-jazz as jazz on one) and maybe it’s an opportunity to explore. cheaper than a Martin too.
 
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rand z

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Check out the Martin M 36.

It's very well balanced sonically and comfortable to play.

A guitar that's, apparently, used a lot for recording because of it's great, open and clear sound.

(And it mic's, well.)

They're pricey, but if you're only looking for 1 guitar to own, this one covers more ground than most Martin's.

BTW, I have 4 Martin's and eventually want to slim it down to 2 or 3.

I'm seriously checking out the Martin M 36.

imo.
 

brookdalebill

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Hmmm.
My cynical side says neither.
Flat top Martin guitars, while admittedly great sounding instruments, have the “wrong” tonality, IMO.
They also have somewhat limited upper fret access.
Between the two options, I’d choose the OO-28.
 

vgallagher

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Check out the Martin M 36.

It's very well balanced sonically and comfortable to play.

A guitar that's, apparently, used a lot for recording because of it's great, open and clear sound.

(And it mic's, well.)

They're pricey, but if you're only looking for 1 guitar to own, this one covers more ground than most Martin's.

BTW, I have 4 Martin's and eventually want to slim it down to 2 or 3.

I'm seriously checking out the Martin M 36.

imo.
I have a 000028 - (it's an M36 without the three piece back or binding on the fingerboard.) Really nice picking guitar but I would still reach for one of my D18's for jazzy stuff.
 

KC

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I think the only real answer is to find a place where you can try a couple out, see what sounds good in your hands. I knew my 000-18 was the right guitar for me within ten minutes of touching it for the first time -- and yeah, if you're in a place where you can try out Martins, take the 000-18 down off the wall, too. Comfortable, well-balanced sound, plenty of volume and it records like a dream. Also -- and I'm just guessing here, because of the tricone -- just a wonderful slide guitar. I've had a Martin dread before and this 000 just suits my playing so much better.
 

teleman1

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I think the only real answer is to find a place where you can try a couple out, see what sounds good in your hands. I knew my 000-18 was the right guitar for me within ten minutes of touching it for the first time -- and yeah, if you're in a place where you can try out Martins, take the 000-18 down off the wall, too. Comfortable, well-balanced sound, plenty of volume and it records like a dream. Also -- and I'm just guessing here, because of the tricone -- just a wonderful slide guitar. I've had a Martin dread before and this 000 just suits my playing so much better.
I have a 00-18 & a D-28. DOUBLE OOH hands down. Very different playing guitars. The 00 is made for fingerpicking.
 

rand z

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I have a 000028 - (it's an M36 without the three piece back or binding on the fingerboard.) Really nice picking guitar but I would still reach for one of my D18's for jazzy stuff.


I have a D 18 and an OM 21.

I would go with the OM 21 before the D 18 for Jazz.

The OM 21 has more of an "intimate" sound suited for fingerstyle or subdued playing.

And, like a M 36, is better for recording.

The D 18 has too big of a sound for my idea of a good Jazz guitar.

You can play quietly on it; but that's not really what most folk's want out of them.

(It's a proverbial "banjo killer.")

imo.
 

Resojazznblues

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you don't want an archtop?

an archtop will cut through a band better acoustically than a flat top. plus it's a cool sound for older styles anyway. since the only flat top acoustic music i really play is fahey-ish, ragtime, or the odd travis-picking stuff, an archtop suffices for that and i'll probably never own a flat top again.

there are a number of affordable (but still above cheapo harmony) ones like the gibson l-50 or guild ca-100 or epiphone devon around.

not saying it’s the law to play jazz on an archtop, but archtops are very versatile (i probably play just as much non-jazz as jazz on one) and maybe it’s an opportunity to explore. cheaper than a Martin too.
I have a 00-18 & a D-28. DOUBLE OOH hands down. Very different playing guitars. The 00 is made for fingerpicking.
Check out the Martin M 36.

It's very well balanced sonically and comfortable to play.

A guitar that's, apparently, used a lot for recording because of it's great, open and clear sound.

(And it mic's, well.)

They're pricey, but if you're only looking for 1 guitar to own, this one covers more ground than most Martin's.

BTW, I have 4 Martin's and eventually want to slim it down to 2 or 3.

I'm seriously checking out the Martin M 36.

imo.
I have an HD28, and I don’t play jazz, but imo a D28 would be an absolutely TERRIBLE guitar for jazz. They are very much “boom” guitars, meaning if you need an acoustic to be overpowering, like in bluegrass or heavy strumming, great guitar. But for nuanced note articulation like jazz? No way. Maybe a 00-28 would work. I’d look at OM style guitars too. Maybe those arch top styles like the Gibson L- whatever. But of all the acoustic guitars to play jazz on, I’d say any Martin dreadnought would be the worst possible choice.
Thank you all for your replies. There was alot to consider. The Gibson L-50 idea is very good, the only drawback is there are none near me for sale to try. In the last few months I have been able to try the Martin D28, 00 28, 000 18, and today the 00 18. I have to say, the 00 18 is the winner so far. Great tones, and the body size and feel are very close to my Mule. Think I may go up to Martin guitars this summer, try out a few 00 18's and bring one home. Lord willing and the creek doesn't rise.
 




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