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Martin D-28 - Rate and Review

At Maury's Music, we're dedicated to educating our customers before they buy their new Martin guitar.  That's why we've recorded this in-depth Martin D-28 video review for your viewing pleasure.  You will also find many helpful customer reivews below to help you make an informative buying decision about the Martin D-28.  As always, we're here to help before, during, and after the sale.  We offer free shipping, free returns, and a 14 day trial period for this guitar.  Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about the Martin D-28.

Martin D-28 Reviews

Name: John
Review Date: 07/21/14
Purchase Date: 05/02/2012
Review: Martin D28
Rating you give the Martin D-28: 2 - Did the job nothing special

Likes: Plays great, & looks great.

Dislikes: Does not sound good at all. Sounds like it's inside a box. Or has a pillow inside of it.

Additional Comments: I just dealt with the sound for the last couple of years.  I got sick of it and tried a Walrus Ivory Saddle and some Bone bridge pins.  Did not hear any difference.  Took it to different Luthiers and they say it's just a dud.  Should sound a lot better.

Comments from Maury's Music:  We're very sorry to hear you are disappointed with your D-28's tone.  To be honest, when we received it from Martin it sounded like a good example of a D-28 to me, fresh from the factory.  Can you comment on this guitar's humidity environment, which strings you play and how often they were changed, since you've owned it?  There are many variables that can contribute to a guitar's tone, even things that may seem insignificant like the guitar pick you use.  Maybe a setup can help?  Please feel free to contact us and maybe we can trouble shoot your issue together.


 

Name: Fran
Date: May 12, 2013
Review: D-28
Rating you give the Martin D28: 5 - Best thing I ever played

Likes: The guitar all others are measured by...

Dislikes: Bought a D-28 thought it had an unbeatable sound.  Went to my local guitar store tried a HD-28..... now my D-28 Sounds like it is stuffed with socks and underwear and covered with a blanket when compared to a HD-28.  The D-28's have been downhill since the 70's luckily Martin is making guitars that kick the current D-28s behind with pre-war features. Personally the D-28 lacks compared to its scalloped brothers.  Also the current D-28 is made with lower grade wood compared to the HD-28

Additional Comments: Spend more GET more!  Personally I think the D-28 can only sound good if you get a hammer and hit the inside of the braces to chip away that extra bracing that holds these D-28s back from pure Martin scalloped tone.  The tone of pure heaven * don't recommend you doing that yourself get a respectable luthier to do that jk.


Name: Greg
Date: May 7, 2013
Review: D-28
Rating you give the Martin D28: 2 - Did the job nothing special

Likes: I agree with the previous reviews that the D-28 is an icon in the acoustic world.

Dislikes: It is too quiet and stiff sounding. Has this annoying sound when strummed. It sound too high pitched and weak. I hate to say it that the guitar sounds like someone scraping their nails on a chalkboard. Just has a lack of depth for an instrument at this price.

Additional Comments: Bought this guitar online and returned it. I am planning to buy the 000-28EC or a HD-28 now since they have the standard scalloped bracing that sounds so much better than the D-28. Scalloped bracing = REAL martin tone.
 


Name: Marlon "Hoss"
Date: 4/16/2013
Review: D-28
Rating you give the Martin D28: 2 - Did the job nothing special

Likes: The history of the model. Has a nice simple look on it and not overdressed like other Martins *cough cough* D-40 models

Dislikes: D-28 "was" the standard but too many features have been taken away that made this the dread all others are judged on or the most coveted guitar. All those signature quotes are nice, but the current D-28 just is not why the 28 became the guitarists favorite guitar. Moving up to the HD-28 is a no brainer for me and my friends. It is the D-28 on steroids and the features that made people want to buy the guitar that is called the D-28 now. You have to understand this model has evolved a lot and the HD-28 is the flagship of the Martin line. One of my friends at Martin said that most people prefer scalloped bracing, but just get caught up on th name D-28 and buy the cheaper D-28.

Additional Comments: D-28 is good, but an upgrade to the HD-28 is a must.
 


Name: Ana
Date: 2013
Review: D-28
Rating you give the Martin D28: 3 - Good product give it a try

Likes: Bought a D-28 because I thought it would be a great guitar. I loved the sound but then I played a HD-28, which is a more dressed up D-28. Herringbone and upgraded wood quality is stunning. I am in the process of selling my D-28 for a HD-28. I tried the HD-28V, but sounds kinda dull and old-fashion and V neck is painful to play.

Dislikes: Wish this guitar had scalloped bracing

Additional Comments: In the process of selling my 2 month old D-28 to finance an upgrade to the HD-28 :)

 
Name: Paul
Date: 02/07/2012
Review: Martin D-28
Rating you give the Martin D28: 4 - Highly recommend it

Likes: Sound, Craftsmanship, and History

Dislikes: None as of yet.

Additional Comments: I have played my fathers Martin D-28 since I was eight years old, and I have yet to find its equal. However my father explained to me that his D-28 did not always sound as it did when I played it but developed over time. I recently purchased a New Martin D-28 from Maury's Music. I know that the best sound is yet to come. I do not understand some of the ignorant comments about the D-28 on this forum, clearly these people have never owned one and are trying to make themselves feel better about owning inferior guitars.
 

 

Name: Will
Date: 1/10/12
Review: Martin D28
Rating you give the Martin D-28: 1 - Save your money

Likes: Looks?

Dislikes: Sound, fret board, guitar as a whole.

Additional Comments: This was the biggest waste of money. It sounds mute compared to other guitars I've bought. I too bought a Guild GAD-50 as another poster mentioned. The Martin sounds like my Guild if I had stuffed it full of socks :( Just muted and muffled. My Guild and Larrivee run circles around my D28.  Wish I could return it for a refund.

Comments from Maury's Music:  Maury's Music has a 7 day return period.  If the above poster had purchased it from us, he certainly would have been able to return the guitar, no questions asked.

 

 
Name: Dwayne
Date: 8/13/11
Review: Martin D-28
Rating you give the Martin D28: 5 - Best thing I ever played

Likes: I like absolutely EVERYTHING about this guitar! The sound amazes me every time I take it out of the case!

Dislikes: I have no dislikes at all other than the D-28 is a bit pricey... but worth every cent!!!

Additional Comments: Regardless of your musical ability, the Martin D-28 WILL make your playing sound better. I promise!
 
Name: Larry
Date: 7-28-2011
Review: Martin D-28
Rating you give the Martin D28: 3 - Good product give it a try

Likes: Very nice sound

Dislikes: Does not stay tuned, could be easier to play.  I had to switch to light gauge strings.

Additional Comments: I also have a Gibson DOVE that i like.  It stays in tune better than the D-28.
 
Name or Forum username: Shawneekots
Date: 5/26/2011
Review: D-28
Rating you give the Martin D28: 4 - Highly recommend it

Likes: The D-28 is considered by many to be the standard by which acoustic guitars are measured. The D-28 is consistently excellent in the categories by which acoustic guitars are judged: tone, workmanship and cost.  They are not cheap, but quality always has a cost.  For the money, they are very hard to beat, and some of the pre-WWII examples are legendary and considered the best in the world.

Dislikes: I find nothing to dislike in the D-28.

Additional Comments: The D-28 is built to be played with medium gauge strings for maximum volume and tone, but I find Martin Silk & Steel strings to be very satisfactory for fingerstyle play.
 
Forum username: flatpicker
Date: april 5, 2011
Review: martin d 28
Rating you give the Martin D28: 5 - Best thing I ever played

Likes: EVERYTHING

Additional Comments: I play on a 1947 d-28 and it blows GUILD, Yamaha ha ha's, and every other non-martin of the golden era away!  PERIOD if you are lucky enough to get one of these beasts do so and you will never look back.
 
Name: Benny
Date: 3-31-11
Review: Martin d 28
Rating you give the Martin D-28: 5 - Best thing I ever played

Likes: Playing a 28 that was bought for me when I was 10 yrs.old.  Had to graduate high school for it to be mine.  Raised in a blugrass band and have played it now for 39 yrs.  Don Reno has played it on stage and tried to buy it.Has three sets of frets replaced by Martin.  Will put it up against anything. Cant go wrong.

Dislikes: none
 
Forum username: punkin
Date: March 11 - 2011
Review: D28
Rating you give the Martin D-28: 5 - Best thing I ever played

Likes: Everthing about it

Dislikes: Nothing

Additional Comments: My D28 has everything beat in every catagory.  I have a little Yahmaha FG180 that also plays well.
 
Forum username: capt.tim
Date: 2/10/11
Review: 1969 Martin D 28
Rating you give the Martin D28: 5 - Best thing I ever played

Likes: My 1969 Martin D-28 is not only the best guitar I've ever played, it was the most treasured gift I received from my old man who suddenly fell ill to cancer and passed in 2004. The instrument had been neglected for years. It was cracked all over and the bridge was coming off but still blew away anything I had ever played. The older models made with brizillian rosewood sound amazing. I just dropped off at the Martin factory for repairs. I have made my own memories with it as well as many of my father playing it wearing bell bottoms and sporting mutten chops!  Anyone who thinks a D-28 is not a supperior instrument should have their hearing further examined.

Dislikes: None
 
Name: Bill
Date: 12/30/2009
Review: Martin D-28
Rating you give the Martin D28: 5 - Best thing I ever played

Likes: Tone, Volume, Playability

Dislikes: None
 
Forum username: TEE
Date: 03/09/2010
Review: D-28
Rating you give the Martin D28: 4 - Highly recommend it

Likes: Everything, well made.

Dislikes: Nothing

Additional Comments: To the joker who states that the GAD 50 is better. I think your tone deaf big boy! That being said, i would recommend a GAD for a "beater" it is overly braced and rugged. sounds okay but muted . I own a nice GAD but it ain't even close none of em...
 
Forum username: Fuzzlover
Date: 4-9-2010
Review: Martin d28
Rating you give the Martin D-28: 2 - Did the job nothing special

Likes: Nothing realy

Dislikes:
Not very stable not mind blowing sound for over 2 grand, just a name

Additional Comments: Just a name yes there are people that know about guitars besides just u martin snobs, I agree with the other guy I bought a guild gad50 way better who says it's not as good? Matter of fact I'll only blow this much money on another guild martin is just a yuppy thing to show off, and for old men with midlife crisis, I realy wish I'd like it but no.
 
Forum username: Pa Hunter
Date: Feb. 2, 2010
Review: Martin D-28
Rating you give the Martin D28: 5 - Best thing I ever played

Likes: There are a hundred different words to describe the sound of a guitar, but nothing else sounds like a Martin. The D28 is a true classic acoustic guitar. The feel of the guitar is great, especially if you have smaller hands. The fit and finish of mine is flawless.

Dislikes: Martin strings are a bit tough to play. I switched to Elixirs.

Additional Comments: I bought my D-28 from Maury. He had the best price of all the on-line sellers.
 

Name or Forum username: Terawatt
Date: 5-25-09
Review: Martin D-28
Rating you give the Martin D28: 5 - Best thing I ever played

Likes: Sound/Tone across the spectrum is unequalled by anything I've played-Taylor and even Collings included

Dislikes: N/A - however the newer necks with truss rods and lower profiles may be easier for some folks to play.

Additional Comments: I have a 1976. Martin's Lifetime Warranty got me a free setup/tuneup recently by a certified Martin luthier. This thing is incredible to play! I don't know what the secret is, but these are 'magical' guitars. The D-28 just won the best acoustic guitar gold award in Acoustic Guitar Magazine's Reader's Poll (again). Forget what the previous poster said about buying Chinese guitars! He obviously knows nothing about fine instruments! A well set-up Martin still beats everything out there (Taylor, Gibson, Collings too!) I would love to play an older Brazilian rosewood version to appraise the tonal nuances I read about. Mine is plenty loud with Elixir Light to Medium Light guage strings although I just got some D'Addario EXP's to try out.

 
Name: Stu
Date: 01/05/09
Review: D28 Martin
Rating you give the Martin D-28: 1 - Save your money

Likes: The way it looks.

Dislikes: Everything else...what a waste of money!  The guitar doesn't sound nor play better than my chinese made Guild GAD-50.  In fact the GAD-50 blows the doors off of the D28 in every category.  Did I mention the build quality of the Martin is not even as good as the chinese made pieces I own?  What makes Martin think they can build crap and sale it for soooo much money?

Additional Comments: Please save your money and buy chinese... I own a Yamaha 720 that sounds and plays better than the D28.  The D28's reputation is just an urban legend... just American made junk!
 
Name: james
Date: 05/12/2008
Review: D28
Rating you give the Martin D-28: 5 - Best thing I ever played

Likes: Big, bold, bright and true sound anywhere on the fret board.
  • I previously owned a DR which was nice, but when i first played the D28, it made the DR sound like an Argos guitar.
  • I have installed a fishman pickup which produces a brilliant sound.
  • Gigs are made easy as the guitar just satys in tune.

Dislikes:
Funny smell when new which takes about a year to go.

Additional Comments: No matter what standard you play at, if you have the money, there is only one giutar you should buy.  Played by Elvis and Paul McCartney!
 

Forum username: mjg
Date: 09/28/08
Review: martin d28
Rating you give the Martin D-28: 5 - Best thing I ever played

Likes: I play a 1968 d28, so it has the benefit of 40 years playing in.  It has a lovely crisp well balanced tone with lots of weight to it.  The bass is perhaps not quite as apparent as the modern marquis or hd28v with the scalloped bracing but it is more distinctive in my eyes.  Plus it is just so damn pretty.  I use a martin dr on the road which is a great guitar but coming home to this and in the studio, well... nothing beats it.

Dislikes: Nothing.

Additional Comments: If you get something vintage as it lacks the truss of modern models case the thing, the intonation on it is still lovely and i think its because it sat in its tight case when not being played.

 
Name:  Kevin
Date:  May 1, 2008
Review:  Martin d28
Rating you give the Martin D-28:  5 - Best guitar I ever played

Likes:  Awesome sound.  Looks better with age

Dislikes:  None

Additional Comments:  I have owned Gibsons etc.  The Martin smokes em.  Mine is a 1975 model that looks older (very dark face) because it spent most of it's life outside a case in a closet.  Sounds very deep with lots of volume.  If I was going to buy a new one I'd go for an HD28, but I recommend getting a D28 thats at least 20 years old (you wont have to wait for it to develop that deep sound).
 
Name:  Jan Willems
Date:  12 feb 2008
Review:  Martin  D28
Rating you give the Martin D-28:  5 - Best thing I ever played
Like about the Martin D28:  Tone, sound, warmth, stability, just about everything

Dislikes:  tuners

Additional Comments:  I own my D28 for some 40 years now and never played on a better one.  Still very much in love with it.
 

Name:  Seth Miller
Date:  November 9, 2007
Review:  Martin D-28 (1965)
Rating you give the Martin D28:  4 - Highly recommend it

Like about the Martin D-28:  Outstanding clarity & a big sound; not as deep as the pre-war or replica scalloped models but definitely clearer-sounding & more balanced across the tonal spectrum.

Dislike about the Martin D28:  Being pretty much 'handmade' (as compared to 'hand-assembled' from CNC-generated parts as in nowadays), the older Martins often lacked the consistancy of saddle heigth now offered by today's production models. The older Martins appear to have been built & then the saddle heigth adjusted to meet basic specs. As a result & during my search for a good used model, I discovered that a variety of the used, older Martin D-28s had varying saddle heights regardless of their age & relative proximity to being made about the same timeframeas one another. While mine has remained somewhat constant over the past 30 years (about 3/32"), its saddle heigth was never as high as many of the newer Martins & though not complaining, I suspect that this guitar might have even more projection if Martin had been a tad more consistant in the manner or process in which they attached necks & measured angle during the 'old days'. The newer Martins are very standardized in this area & it speaks volumes for the specification consistancies offered by modern engineering & the assemblage latitude it now allows for what might be less skilled production labor due to the demands of higher output levels & manufacturing cost factors.

Additional Comments:  Around the turn of the decade (60s-early 70s) & after playing primarily electric guitar (mostly used Telecasters & Stratocasters + a new Jaguar which was total crap BTW), I ventured into the world of acoustic guitar having been somewhat fascinated by the emerging folk-rock sound of CSNY & others. I went out & bought a brand new 1972 D-28 for about $400 plus $50 or so for the case. After getting together with some old-time folkies to jam, I began to realize that their Martins not only looked better but sounded better as well. Careful inspection revealed that they were playing older Brazillian Roesewood Martins from the late 1940s to mid 1950s. Mine paled in comparison. Not only did it lack the 'depth' that comes from age but the East Indian Rosewood that made up its sides & back looked incredibly mundane. I then decided to look for an older model. By the early 1970s, used Brazilian D-28s were selling for about $100 more than a brand new one & the majority that I encountered were pretty beat-up. Finally after about four years & having ditched my 1972 D-28, I saw an ad for a 1965 D-28. The owner had never found the time or interest to pursue guitar-playing & had stored it away in his closet for a decade or so. I demo'd it & in addition to having stunning bookmatched sides & back, the guitar had a natural resonance that begged to be heard. I bought this D-28 on the spot & have never looked back. Unfortunately quality Brazilian Rosewood as a guitar tonewood is now long depeleted & the current used offerings are seemingly overpriced or in the case of the newer models, made from drabber (as well as overpriced) Brazillian Rosewood that has a tendency to resemble stained plywood. An acquaintance explained that the wood is now milled differently because the remaing trees are smaller & no longer large enough to yield the classic appearance(s) of the older rosewood Martins.

 
Name or Forum username:  GaryJ
Date:  10/31/2007
Review:  Martin D-28
Rating you give the Martin D28:  5 - Best guitar I ever played

Like about the Martin D-28:  I play a 58 D-28.  The bass is crisp, not muddy.  Treble loud and sweet.  A wonderful robust tone.

Dislikes:  NONE

Additional Comments:  I have had several old, vintage acoustics (Gibson J-50 and others), non could come close to this guitar.
 

Forum username:  Ol' Bob
Date:  8/4/07
Review:  D-28
Rating you give the Martin D28:  5 - Best thing I ever played

Like about the Martin D-28:  Very strong bass, but balanced across all 6 strings

Dislike about the Martin D28:  Nothing

Additional Comments:  I bought my 1954 D-28 in the mid-60s and have taken it everywhere.  It is by far the best-sounding D-28 I have ever heard, let alone played.

 
Name:  Peter Wolz
Date:  06/21/07
Review:  D-28
Rating you give the Martin D28:  5 - Best thing I ever played

Like about the Martin D-28:  I've waited since I was 14 years old for my first Martin (I'm 52 now) and I can honestly say that it has been worth the wait.  My new Martin not only plays like a dream, it looks, sounds & smells (yes smells)heavenly!  The factory set-up was surprisingly good.

Thanks Maury. You hooked me up with a beauty.

Dislike about the Martin D28:  Nothing

Additional Comments:  I was torn between the D-16RGT (great price) and the D-28 (a legendary guitar), I'm glad I went the extra mile and purchased the D-28.  I Couldn't be happier.
 
Name or Forum username:   okie
Date:   10-20-06
Review:   Martin  D-28

Like about the Martin D28:    I play a 1958 D-28, In all my years playing bluegrass music, My 28 topes them all

Dislike about the Martin D-28:    No dislikes

Additional Comments:    Want a good guitar,,, D-28 Martin
 
Name:  Lee
Date:  7-20-06
Review:  Martin 1973 D-28
Rating you gave the Martin D28:  5 - Best thing I ever played

Like about the Martin D-28:  I love the volume this guitar gives, along with the bass that every bluegrasser loves.  Sound is unmatched even after 33 years.

Dislike about the Martin D28:  The ONLY thing I dislike is prior to 1985 all pickguards were sealed under the laquer, limiting any pickguard modifications

Additional Comments:  If you want great sound, buy one with some age to it. If you gotta have the warranty then get a new one.
 
Name or UMGF_username:  Timbo
Date:  April 6 2006
Review:  Martin D28
Rating you gave the Martin D-28:  5 - Best thing I ever bought

Like about the Martin D28:  Amazing guitar. Makes even a not so great player sound lots better. If you seriously want to play guitar and be rewarded for everything you learn....don't look at any other guitar. Spend the extra money and get a Martin D28. Mine is a 1973 and I love it!

Dislike about the Martin D-28:  Nothing
 

Name: Art Goetchius
Date: 09/06/2005
Review: Martin D-28
Rating you give the Martin D-28: 5 - Best thing I ever bought

Liked about the Martin D-28: I played electric guitar in a rock band when I was younger and was never into acoustic guitars even though I always listened to and liked James Taylor, Joni Mitchell and Judy Collins and other acoustic performers (maybe it was their voices?). I have started to get back into the guitar and figured I would get the best since I could afford it, so I decided on a Martin. I played a number of different Martins but decided on a D-28 as it seemed to be the best sounding and feeling (and looking)guitar at this price. It's a year later and I feel even better about my decision. It's a great guitar, period.

Disliked about the Martin D-28:  Nothing

 
UMGF Username:  dwagoner
Date:  06/13/2005
Review: Martin D28
Rating: 5 - Best thing I ever bought

Liked about the Martin D28: The Martin D28 is the best sounding guitar on the market. The sound that everyone tries to copy is still without equal. The guitar has to be played with medium strings. Lights won't bring out the sound.

Disliked about the Martin D28: Nothing. How could you improve perfection. Martin got it right on this one.
 
Date:  jan 25/o5
Review:  Martin D-28
Rating:  4 - Highly recommend it

Liked about the Martin D-28:  sound

Disliked about the Martin D-28:  price
 
UMGF Username:  edmondlau
Date:  11-14-04
Review:  Martin D28
Rating:  5 - Best thing I ever bought

Liked about the Martin D28:  This is the best guitar that I have ever bought.  The tone is excellent and the sustain and volume will drown out most guitars. 

Maury gave it a very nice setup with a bone saddle, bone nut and ebony pins.  I'm very pleased with it and have been playing it a lot since I got it in January.  The guitar is so easy to play and the rosewood smell is intoxicating.

I didn't think that a guitar could get better than my D-15 but I was wrong.

The rosewood combo with ebony pins gives this guitar so much bass and volume. 

Light strings aren't for the D28 with it's heavier bracing.  Light/medium or medium strings are best for bringing out the volume and boom that D28's are known for. 

Disliked about the Martin D28:  I honestly don't dislike anything about this guitar.  Maybe except that I don't like the tops so light, I like my tops to be dark.  But that will come in time with any guitar if it is played.

Additional Comments:  Maury provided great service and set the guitar up perfectly for me.  He was prompt in answering e-mails and returning phone calls.  He notified me when the guitar came in from Martin and when he set it up and when he shipped it.

I will definitely buy my next Martin from Maury and I recommend anyone who is looking for a Martin to give him a call.  He is highly regarded on the Unofficial Martin Guitar Forum for a reason.
Rate the Martin D-28
 5 - Best Martin I ever played
 4 - Highly recommend the Martin D28
 3 - Good Martin, give it a try
 2 - Did the job, nothing special
 1 - Save your money, forget the D-28


This guitar has been discontinued and replaced with the Martin D-28 (2017).

 

This guitar has been discontinued and replaced with the Martin D-28 Ambertone (2017).

 

This guitar has been discontinued, and replaced with the Martin D-28 Sunburst (2017).

 

Martin D-28 Vintage Sunburst
Reg. Price:
$3,851.00
Sale Price:
$2,449.00
Save:
$1,402.00
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