Martin HD-28V - Rate and Review 
Rate the Martin HD-28V
 5 - Best Martin I ever played
 4 - Highly recommend the Martin HD-28V
 3 - Good Martin, give it a try
 2 - Did the job, nothing special
 1 - Save your money, forget the HD28V


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Martin HD 28V Reviews

Name: Randy Mallory
Date: 1-09-14
Review: Martin HD-28V
Rating you give the Martin HD28V: 5 - Best thing I ever played

Likes: Plenty of volume with a nice, full bass. Beautiful wood, nice finish.

Dislikes: The butterbean tuners seem a little flimsy. Wood have preferred a bone nut.

Additional Comments: I've had my HD-28V 10 years now and it improves with age. This is, without a doubt, the best sounding acoustic guitar I've ever owned....and I bought my first acoustic guitar in 1970. Excellent setup and finish...it even smells good. I've read some negative reviews about how the 28V doesn't stand out in the mix, but I'm not seeing it. I played a handful of D-28's and HD-28V's before I bought this guitar and none could touch it. Don't believe the naysayers - this is a great guitar!

 

Forum username: WahWah
Date: 01/09/2014
Review: Martin HD-28 V
Rating you give the Martin HD28V: 5 - Best thing I ever played

Likes: everything about this guitar is very fine,no mistakes,really well done work and in my opinion worth any cent you have to pay for it
great unique sound in all the ways you can play it,picking,strumming,rock and blues,very versitale,
never muddy,always each note "sings" along with a unbelievebal sustain

Dislikes: should have bought it 20 years earlier...

Additional Comments: i may be not the best guitarplayer in the world, but i know,now i sound the best :)

 

Name: Hank
Date: May 30, 2013
Review: HD-28V
Rating you give the Martin HD28V: 1 - Save your money

Likes: Tries to honor the original D-28 and replicate the old bones.

Dislikes: Pretty much a worthless upgrade from a HD-28. If you want to pretend you have a real vintage guitar be my guest.... The bluegrass band boys where I play hate this model thinking it is fake and for posers. I became the ugly ducking in the band with the HD-28V. Personally I think the HD-28V is lacking in cutting power and strength to a good HD-28 as others noted in forums and reviews. Though this guitar has forward shifted bracing it can get really boring to play if you play it for a marathon jam I think rear shifted or standard X bracing sounds better to forward shifted bracing on East Indian as others noticed.

Additional Comments: I bought the guitar from my neighborhood store and they lied to me. The old salesman told me the HD-28V has red spruce on it. But that is a LIE!!! I was not as impressed with the guitar as I thought I would and looked up the specs and it has Sitka Spruce and same wood quality/grade as the standard HD-28. So I tried to return the guitar since the guitar was not what I was told what I was getting. Make sure you know that this guitar is pretty much a Standard HD-28 with the bracing moved only about half an inch! Also a few minor cosmetic changes that the majority of the world does not care about. Okay cool old logo... There are people that freak out if they don't have this logo........ I don't see the big deal and can justify a big price increase for that logo. I personally think the modern Martin logo looks better and it catches the light better and shows everyone you are the king of the stage and you got a Martin! Even the ladies love the new logos better. The HD-28V's logo is not flashy and cannot be read from a distance. Personally i don't care what the logo is. I wouldn't even mind if the new martin logo was of CF Martin IV's moustache. I only bought this guitar thinking I was getting red spruce and was getting a big upgrade from the HD-28 but I am mighty disappointed and I am now plotting a way to get rid of this guitar. Next guitar for me is coming from Maury though.
 

 

Forum username: Magic Tone
Date: May 26, 2013
Review: HD-28V
Rating you give the Martin HD28V: 2 - Did the job nothing special

Likes: It has a very dark tone that is like dark woody chocolate. It is like splinters of dark magic. Not a bright guitar at all. The highs are turned down for a more bassy dark sound. I say most guitarist would be turned off by the neck or the dark sound, but I sure liked it and bought it I loved the smell of this thing, vintage appointments, and the HERRINGBONE!

Dislikes: I do a lot of alternate tunings. I left the guitar in alternate tuning for a week. When I can back from Dallas and played the guitar. I then heard a crack and now I have a broken HD-28V.(Hopefully warranty covers the repairs) I am the original owner so hopefully everything works out

Additional Comments: It is a good guitar but I don't think it is very versatile now. My friend has the HD-28 and he does fine with alternate tunings and it sounds magical on that model with sparkly highs and dark punchy bass. The HD-28V though not as loud as the HD-28 and probably not as versatile is a great guitar but really nothing special for me now since I feel the guitar limits what I can do musically. When a guitar breaks with alternate tuning its not for me because I like having those options available. Though those few minutes of alternate tuning with my HD-28V were quite enjoyable it did not last long. Maybe the forward shifted bracing had too much pressure with the addition of extra pressure with this alternate tuning. Though I love forward shifted bracing I feel now it is a leash to my creativity. I doubt humidity or temperature caused the damage to the guitar because my house has humidity and temperature in the range recommended by Martin. I am just crossing my fingers my baby gets repaired with the warranty honored, but this time I am staying in standard tuning with it. No fancy tunings for her now.

 

Name: Gerald
Date: May 15, 2013
Review: Martin HD-28V
Rating you give the Martin HD28V: 1 - Save your money

Likes: Nice way to honor the D-28 series with a vintage look. Case is nice.

Dislikes: Hate the neck on this guitar!  I HATE it with a passion.  It is okay for cowboy chords, but more technically difficult chords are a pain in the... Well you know.  I have had this guitar for a year and play 2 or more hours every day, but that neck is terrible.  My hand begins to cramp playing this. Wish this had the low profile neck.  Sounds good like a Martin should.  Just the playability sucks.  If you just plan on staying below the first five frets for basic playing well this is for you.  If you are a little more sophisticated I recommend a low profile neck.

Additional Comments: Better neck would make this a better guitar.

 

Name or Forum username: JJ
Date: 5-12-2013
Review: HD-28V
Rating you give the Martin HD-28V:
1 - Save your money

Likes: It's a Martin Dread!

Dislikes: Tone is kind of dull and lacks liveliness. The HD-28V is bland mashed potatoes and a HD-28 is a spicy chicken full with flavor and soul. HD-28V sounds lifeless sadly. I would actually pick a D-28 or a HD-28 over this guitar if I bought again.

Additional Comments: Don't buy into the perception that forward scalloped braces are the ultimate guitar tone. It is not true especially with this design.

 

Name: Pete
Date: May 11. 2013
Review: HD-28V
Rating you give the Martin HD28V: 1 - Save your money

Likes: Vintage appointments (why I bought it)

Dislikes: Sound is off. Has the pre-war design (kind of), but forward scalloped bracing with only East Indian rosewood does not sound good to my ear now that I have had the guitar for a month I'm sick of this sound. Sounds too dark and muddy and I'm a martin fanboy. Martin advertises this guitar as a replica of a pre-war guitar but it really is not... The bracing is still wrong, wrong herringbone used, wrong backstrip, and the wrong sound. One word summarized the 28V "disappointing", but it has potential if Martin allowed the 28V to get better resonant wood because East Indian and a Sitka top with forward braces lacks excitement especially with a price tag this high.

Additional Comments: I would rather spend my money on a HD-28 since the bracing for that model allows the guitar to be more articulate and focused without over{blocked} muddy sound. Or maybe even a Madagascar guitar would be a more necessary thing to have if seeking a pre-war design since this design was developed originally and still works best with more resonant woods like Brazilian. The East Indian is already a warm wood and paired with this forward bracing sounds too muddy and lacks definition. Gets lost in mixes very easily. Spend your money elsewhere. This guitar is for you if you like strumming a guitar that sounds dirty and really is a guitar you do not plan to record with or if you just like having a guitar that looks old, but still looks new since the details don't add up to a finished product... HD-28V and my producer do not get along with one another. I recommend moving up to the Authentic models made by Martin for a better sound or even moving down to a HD-28 for a closer pre-war sound compared to these mud monster 28v guitars. HD-28V lacks complexity. People just buy these thinking they have a pre-war instrument with this.

 

Forum username: Old Cowboy
Date: 4/16/2013
Review: HD-28V
Rating you give the Martin HD28V: 1 - Save your money

Likes: That it is a Martin 28 and has herringbone. The case is cool, but not a real Geib case just to make that clear because I have the real ones for my vintage acoustics.

Dislikes: I despise the aged toner on this guitar. Looks FAKE and makes the guitar seem like it is trying to be something that it cannot be. If this is a vintage Martin why does Martin not use the correct binding of the period and trim. The zigzag is totally off after comparing my 44 D-28 to this bugger. This guitar sounds dull and boring it would put me to sleep on the couch since no exciting tones were being created. Neck is not as good as other models. Traded in my HD-28V for the HD-28. Now I am a happy Man. HD-28V sounds too reserved and lifeless. Definitely is just an attempt to just throw vintage appointments onto a guitar and try to sell it for people trying to pose as a long traveled musician. Forward scalloped braces with Indian Rosewood in this configuration is just a NO NO. I would recommend the HD-28 to a real musician that is not self-conscious that there guitar does not have diamonds and old features. This dread would be cool if Martin actually used period correct appointments after charging this much. I guess I was a fool for letting that kid convince me the HD-28V is superior and NO one likes the other "cheaper" models. He probably did all that to get more commission out of me to drop the extra money for the HD-28V......... Yeah that's the reason. OH I almost Forgot the Tuners on this guitar are HORRIBLE!!!! Martins should ship these with good waverly tuners for this price. The D-28 and HD-28 have better reliable tuners than this pitiful butter bean "old jelly bean" tuners.

Additional Comments: Go buy the HD-28 and avoid the V unless you need to play a guitar that has been on the road right away. I just hate the fake look of this HD-28V bought just bought it because the salesman was pushing me to buy this model over the D-28 and HD-28s. Glad I went with my heart and went with the HD-28. I hope the HD-28V finds a nice home, but I have found the perfect dread with the HD-28. Try one you will be hooked on Martins.

 

Name: Paul
Date: 4/14/2013
Review: HD-28V
Rating you give the Martin HD28V: 2 - Did the job nothing special

Likes: The aged look. Traditional look and original Martin logo. Vintage look

Dislikes: This guitar is modeled after the pre-war Martins that guitar geeks myself hunger for. I have played an original herringbone 28 and that guitar was amazing with a 3D sound that was just amazing with such strong grrrrr and rumble! I made an audio copy of that 28 original herringbone and compared it to my own standard HD-28 and HD-28V. I had my friends try to compare the guitars. 8/10 of my friends that are awesome bluegrass players, Folk, Chet Atkins type guitarist thought the HD-28 standard sounded most closely to the HD-28V. I found that interesting. We also did a test at a bluegrass jam between the 28 series guitars I have. The 28V was not audible at all in the jam. The D-28 standard cut through, but the HD-28 standard was the star of the show. The HD-28 is tone perfection. The 28V is not comparable to a pre-war Martin my friends and I believe the HD-28 probably gets closer to that sound. You have to remember the 28V has East Indian rosewood and the original prewars had the Brazilian. The Brazilian sound is most replicated by the standard HD-28 since the 28V may have forward shifted braces, but the chemistry of that bracing with the East Indian rosewood does not sound right (just sounds different). The 28V also is a guitar that really is not used by professionals. Bluegrass, rock, or folk professional players never reach for the 28V because the standard D-28 and HD-28 are much better suited for creating the music for tomorrow's top charting songs and have a perfect chemistry between wood and bracing which the 28V lacks. I think the HD-28 Standard is the dread all others should be measured by now because it creates sonic perfection if you find the right one. Also the HD-28 was designed specifically for creating the best sound possible using East Indian rosewood. The standard D-28's design was leftovers from the transition in the late 60's from Brazilian. The HD-28V is just created to fill an urge that we can own a pre-war D-28. People were just budging martin to reintroduce the forward shifted bracing even though the current wood type does not create the best sound with that variety of rosewood. Also, no major recording have been made with a 28V yet. I know the HD-28 and D-28 are in the studios where I am in Nashville all the time. I strongly recommend if you want to be a great player and not just try to pretend to have a pre-war then avoid this model. The D-28 and HD-28 are guitars for changing music. The 28V kind of sounds like the guitar I would use if I was performing at a funeral it just has a depressing vibe that it fails to be what it set out to be.

Additional Comments: 45 years of playing guitar and 27 years as a studio guitarist in Nashville.

Maury has better prices than other stores (just email him) you will be glad you did :)

Current gear I use:
HD-28 2011 * highly recommend this model best East Indian Martin in production
HD-28V 2009
D-28 1966
000-18GE 2010
000-28EC 2007

 
Name or Forum username: Nol
Date: 11-3-2012
Review: Martin HD28V
Rating you give the Martin HD28V:
4 - Highly recommend it

Likes:
Touch sensitive. Plays soft up to loud nicely.  All around guitar. Great looks.

Dislikes: Tuners. Bridge. Set mine up with Waverly tuners and slotted the bridge. Increased sustain and tightness. Very nice.
 
Forum username: hd28vplayer
Date: feb 17 2012
Review: Martin HD28V
Rating you give the Martin HD-28V: 5 - Best thing I ever played

Likes: absolutely everything right down to the case it comes with.

Dislikes: absolutely nothing, actually used light gauge elixers, nanoweb on it for a while then tried mediums and boom wow incredible sound.

Additional Comments: hershel whatever your name is your full of crap, the j200 doesnt even belong in the same sentence with the martin family.
 
Name or Forum username: nemo
Date: 1/4/14
Review: Martin HD-28v
Rating you give the Martin HD28V: 4 - Highly recommend it

Likes: Deep growling bass but still has clarity. That classic Martin tone. Beautiful finish. And number 1....its not all show like a Gibson - this thing looks classic and sounds better then it looks.

Dislikes: Should come with Waverly tuners. Also should have a gloss neck and headstock. Kind of lame Martin doesn't do this but - with only a couple of months playing the neck glossed up well. I had to polish the headstock though. An really - that is all.

Additional Comments: Got to play it with Medium strings - Martin MSP 4200 really compliment this thing.
 
Name: Jeremy
Date: 7/7/2011
Review: Martin HD28v
Rating you give the Martin HD-28V: 5 - Best thing I ever played

Likes: Rich, full sound, lots of depth, really bassy but also full trebles.  Every note seems to resonate like there are 2 guitars playing at the same time.

Dislikes: price, but well worth it.

Additional Comments: This is the best dred I've ever played and the only guitar that comes close in my mind is the Taylor 816ce. The Martin beats the taylor in resonance, depth and volume, but the Taylor is more crisp and balanced. Overall I'd pick the Martin but the taylor comes close.
 
Name: Orison Rollins
Date: 2/5/2011
Review: Martin HD-28V
Rating you give the HD28V: 5 - Best thing I ever played

Likes: Powerful, bassy tone, mingled with solid highs. An HD-28 on steroids! It is just as much a cannon as an HD-28, but has a certain smoothness in tone. A fine looking classic Martin!

Dislikes: "Nadda"
 
Name: David McDowell
Date: 11/14/2010
Review: Martin HD28V
Rating you give the Martin HD-28V: 4 - Highly recommend it

Likes: Powerful full sound both highs and lows. Each time I string it up the sound is amazing. Beautiful fit and finish. Would not put anything BUT medium string on this to release the punch that this guitar has. Have had mine for about 5 years.

Dislikes: None yet

Additional Comments: My HD28V is actually a HD28VE.  Had mine hand picked by Dick Boak at the Martin factory and at the last minute, has the Fishman ellipse electronics installed.  Some howling, but a friend who got his at the same time went back to the factory, they adjusted something on the electronics, and they work great!!
 
Name: Chuck Charlebois
Date: July 14 2010
Review: Martin HD28V
Rating you give the Martin HD-28V: 5 - Best thing I ever played

Likes: I love the tone and volume of this guitar.I have been a pro player for almost 40 years, and I have yet to play a better guitar.  This is the last acoustic you will ever need!

Dislikes:
Not much to dislike

Additional Comments: Don't settle for less!
 
Name or Forum username: Fullait
Date: 6-30-2010
Review: Martin HD28V
Rating you give the HD-28V: 4 - Highly recommend it

Likes: Great neck Super tones clear and magnum volume!

Dislikes: Paid $50.00 extra to get a clear bookmatched exquist top.  Back came with flawed finish. Can't mount an under saddle pickup in this guitar with the glued in saddle.

Additional Comments: I have a completely flawless finish on my $99.00 Oscar Schmidt 3/4 Chinese guitar. Surely a $3000.00 Martin should have a flawless finish!
 
Name: Beth Ferrier
Date: 08/15/2009
Review: Martin HD 28v
Rating you give the Martin HD28V: 5 - Best thing I ever played

Likes: Immediately upon picking up this gorgeous instrument, I felt at "one" with it.  The deep beautiful bass is incredible.  I have only been playing for just over a year, and this guitar is worth every penny.  The other trait I notice is how much easier I find it is to play, as I believe the fretboard is slightly smaller at the top, I have small hands, and have NO trouble using my thumb on certain chords. 

Beautiful clear sound , deep beautiful bass.  This has to be the treasure of the Martin Company.  This guitar will be left to someone who had better deserve it!!

Dislikes: Absolutely NOTHING.

Additional Comments: Forget the rest , just go for this , if pure acoustic is in your heart, you will not crave another guitar after using this beauty.
 
Forum username: Terry GTRPLR
Date: 2-25-09
Review: Martin HD-28 V
Rating you give the Martin HD28V: 5 - Best thing I ever played

Likes: The Best volume, tone,and voice of ANY new guitar I've ever played. period

Dislikes: Factory tuning machines.

Additional Comments: Having a bluegrass band, I would NOT use anything else,other than my D-18v.  I use them both on stage, and in the studio.
Name:  gary
Date:  01/29/07
Review:  martin hd28v
Rating you give the Martin HD-28V:  5 - Best thing I ever played

Like about the Martin HD28V:  the look the feel the smell the sound - broad spectrum with volume

Dislike about the Martin HD-28V:  nothing to dislike

Additional Comments:  I'm from uk & I've been playing for 33 years and teach at a local music centre.  I've had my martin hd28v for 2 years & it is used for all my classes (except metal!) as it is warm responsive & loud without being boomy.  The intonation is very accurate at all positions.  I also use it for recording with a fishman rare earth.  I've bought & sold loads of guitars but this one's going in the coffin with me!
 
Name:  Matt
Date:  7/15
Review:  Martin HD-28V
Rating you gave the Martin HD28V:  5 - Best thing I ever bought

Like about the Martin HD28V:  The HD-28V is the hidden treasure of the Martin lineup.  It packs a ton of volume, sustain, and that big bottom bass that only a Martin could produce...but not just any Martin, a raw and powerful forward-shifted and scalloped braced HD-28V!  If you are looking for a guitar that can be driven, strummed like crazy, and produce a plethora of sound to paint the sonic landscape, this guitar is for you.

Dislike about the Martin HD-28V:  I waited a solid month to write this since I really wanted to phase out the "new guitar" bliss.  Well, the bliss hasn't fully ended, but my HD-28V is sounding better and better everyday.  I will admit,
I HATED the stock Martin dot-matrix pickguard.  I asked Maury to hand-pick me a Greven 50's style pickguard.  He not only picked it out, but he installed it as well.

Additional Comments:  Purchasing my HD-28V from Maury was an ABSOLUTE PLEASURE.  Maury outshines the other dealers with his knowledge of the Martin line, while giving fair and objective advice to steer you in the right direction.  Heck, he DROVE to the Martin factory and picked up my HD-28V for me!  When you couple these wonderful attributes of Maury's Music with his 10-point inspection, expert set-up and a no-hassle, low-pressure buying experience...well, you simply are given the best.  For some, buying a guitar sight-unseen and sound-unheard could be troubling.  Not with Maury's!...I would not hesitate to purchase another guitar from Maury and appreciate his devotion to customer service.  The choices are simple:  there is Maury and there is "the rest".
 
UMGF username:  Ruetherpro
Date:  3/18/06
Review:  Martin HD-28V (2005)

Like about the Martin HD28V:  Having had litterally hundreds of acoustics this is among the best barring none.

Dislike about the Martin HD-28V:  Nothing!

Additional Comments:  Worth every penny
 
Name:  cj daniels
Date:  2/7/2006
Review:  Martin HD-28V
Rating you give the Martin HD28V:
  5 - Best thing I ever bought

Like about the Martin HD-28V:  I have owned this guitar for about six or seven months.  It just gets better the more I play it.  It handles every style and I can play it hard.  I have zero problems tuning and keeping this guitar in tune.

Additional Comments:  I have been playing professionally since 1974 and I agree that this is one of the best acoustic guitars that I have ever played.
 
Name:  hershel brown
Date:  12/24/2005
Review:  Martin HD28V
Rating you give the Martin HD-28V:
  1 - Save your money

Like about the Martin HD-28V:  The appearance and workmanship of the wood

Dislike about the Martin HD-28V:  This guitar sounds like crap with light gauge strings..in order to get a decent sound I have to use medeum gauge strings.  I found the tuners to be inferior.  I had to do an upgrade and changed the tuners out to the Waverlys, which you would think  for the price of the guitar, that's what should have been on it.

Additional Comments:  If I had it to do over I woild definatly gone with a Gibson J200, which is very superior in my oppinion.
 
Name:  Shane McCrae
City/State:  Calgary/Alberta/Canada
Date:  Aug 25, 2004
Review:  Martin HD-28V
Rating:  5 - Best thing I ever bought

Like about the Martin HD-28V:
I love everything about this guitar.  I've been playing professionally since 1979 and I can honestly say that I have never played a better acoustic guitar.  I bought it in the United States and brought it home to Canada. I was concerned about the change in climate and humidity possibly causing problems but it made the trip with flying colours and, if anything, sounds even better in the dryer climate.

Additional Comments:
Don't waste your money on imitations and mass production instruments.  They always wear out there welcome over time.  A guitar like this improves the more you play it and keeps getting better.  Save your money, buy one guitar and have a friend for life.
 
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