Used Acoustic Guitars
Martin, C.F.: USED D-28S(Item ID: USED D-28S Serial#: 291554)
As of 2016, Martin had produced its iconic dreadnought body for over 100 years. At the outset, however, Martin did not make dreadnoughts under their own brand. Instead, the dreadnought was initially built exclusively for the Oliver Ditson Company, beginning with the model 222, which, based on recent extrapolation on the part of Martin’s archivists, was likely a fan-braced 12-fret body. Following the sale of the Diston Company in 1931, Martin was able to officially introduce the dreadnought body into their own line. Just two years prior, Martin had introduced the “OM” or Orchestra Model option, whereby any model could be ordered with a neck that was 14-frets clear of the body. As history tells us, this was a very good move, in that 14-fret models became immensely popular and would soon dominate Martin’s production. Yet, despite less demand in the marketplace, the 12-fret version of the dreadnought endured, perhaps due to its enhanced resonating chamber (i.e., bigger body) and the wider fingerboard. Interestingly, Martin still regards the 12-fret body as “Standard,” which is indicated by the “S” designation applied to 12-fret models, such as this D-28S.
Martin introduced the D-28S in 1954, producing just one example in that year. Production remained quite low for the first few years with only fourteen made in the first decade. However, demand began to pick up soon thereafter, such that Martin had made 574 examples by the beginning of 1971 when this guitar was made. 1971 would also prove to be the year of peak production for this model with 251 made that year. All in all, Martin would make a total of 1791 D-28S’s before the model was discontinued in 1994 (two were made that year). Thus, relative to the production numbers of other dreadnoughts, the D-28S is fairly uncommon, to the point of being considered rare.
The relative scarcity of the model aside, this single-owner D-28S is in very good condition for its age and is a lovely guitar! It does show some signs of age and use: the back has some scratches (nothing deep or through the finish); there are several errant dings, light scuffs, and dents; and there are a few points of finish crazing/checking adjacent to the fingerboard tongue. We also note some light scuffs and scratches surrounding the bridge which likely point to the bridge having been removed at some point in the past. Like any instrument we sell, this guitar was thoroughly evaluated prior to being accepted for sale and then put into best condition. Upon its arrival, we noted that the guitar did need a couple minor repairs. As is typical of Martins of this era, the pickguard had curled up and was distorted beyond the point of being salvageable. Fortunately, there were no top cracks associated with this, so all that was required was to seal the exposed wood below the original pickguard and then apply an oversized Martin pickguard. The guitar was also missing its heel cap, which we replaced. The only other repair of note was to address a crack in the bridge between the bridge pin holes. On a final note, the neck angle of this guitar is borderline, and it would probably benefit from a neck re-set in the near future. Even so, we have optimized the setup as-is to 7/64” for the low E at the 12th fret and 5/64” for the high E—incidentally, the frets are in excellent condition with plenty of material, though they did need a light leveling, re-crowning, and polishing. This D-28S is otherwise free of cracks or any other structural issues.
Condition aside, this is a great sounding guitar! As is true of 12-fret guitars in general, the additional cubic displacement of the body and the increased surface area of the top translates to a touch more horsepower and depth of tone. Moreover, in order to preserve the scale, the bridge is moved back relative to the soundhole such that it is more centrally placed on the sounboard, which translates to more efficient transfer of string energy. As a result, 12-fret guitars tend to have an inherent openness, powerful presence, and an easy response, not to mention innate warmth. This D-28S is no exception, having all the wonderful earthy voicing and power that one would expect from a Martin.
• Solid Sitka spruce top
• Solid Indian rosewood back and sides
• Mahogany neck with slotted headstock
• Ebony fingerboard and bridge
• Checkered back strip
• 25 ˝” scale
• 1 7/8” nut width
• Bone saddle
• Original individual chrome Grover tuners
• Original thermoplastic Martin case (used)
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