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Rating and Reviews: Martin D-28 Dreadnought

When you hear "dreadnought," you picture the Martin D-28. First introduced in 1931, this Sitka spruce, Indian rosewood, and ebony beauty remains a classic.

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"My Martin D-28 is a perfect 10!" submitted November 20, 2004

By a customer from wmconnect.com
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Musical Background: Played in public for years, now mostly for personal enjoyment.
Music Style: Folk, blues and "Island Junk".
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
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Sound: I do a lot of bass pick/strum or bass pick/pluck, (and some really elementry finger picking), and none of the sound gets lost in the process. The bass is strong, the mids ring and the tops strings are crisp and clean. Feature: The only "accessory" was the factory hard shell case. It is most adequate for the protection of this fine instrument. The materials, (Indian rosewood/spruce/mahogany/ebony) are well selected and perfectly matched. The binding is perfect. The tuners hold their tune much beter than my older Seagull. Quality: It seems fashionable in some circles to "Martin bash" on quality issues. I think this is due to the fact that the difference between the top names, (Martin, Gibson, Guild) and the competition is very much smaller than it used to be. Also because these top names have brought out popular priced models to compete. Suffice it to say that I have found the D-28 to be flawless. It is better than I expected, and more thanI hoped for. Value: I certainly haven't played every brand and model guitar available, but I've played a bunch of them, and the only one I would hold out against my D-28 is my neighbor's Schoenberg. (At a $400 or $500 price premium.) So, yes, I rate the D-28 as a huge value. Manufacturer Support: This is a brand new instrument with no "out of the box" issues, so I can only expect that my support will be there if I ever need it. Martin has de-centralized their support to a network of factory approved luthiers, one of which is very conviently located, so I anticipate no problems in this regard. (Back when support was rendered in Pennsylvania, my friend sent his D-35 in for some major adjustments, and received it back in perfect condition, with a note chastising him for his neglect, and suggesting that he take better care of his instrument in the future!) The Wow Factor: Acoustic guitars in general are a pretty generic lot in the "sex appeal" department. Gloss vs. matte, rosewood vs. mahogany, full body vs. cutaway- these are really personal preference issues. I can only say that of all the "Plain Jane" dreadnauts out there, I've fallen for mine! The inlays are very conservative, but perfectly executed. The finish has no blemishes I can see, (with my poor old eyes). The bindings, as previously stated, are beautifully done. Sexy? Yeah, to me it's very sexy. Overall: This is almost certainly my "run out" guitar. For one thing, I'm getting up there. For another, I could get much, much better that I am, and still not outpace the D-28. I expect this fine instrument to give me 25 years or so of pure enjoyment, and then I'll pass it on to some lucky kid.
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"Martin D-28" submitted May 27, 2012

By William Sechrest in Chadbourn, NC
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Musical Background: I have been playing nearly 50 years. Guitar is all I play with any proficiency. I have played with some groups. Jammed a lot.
Music Style: Bluegrass. Bluegrass/country gospel. Real country.
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Overall: I have a 1970 D-28. From the day I bought it I have said show me one that sounds better and plays better. Has better tone and quality and I will buy it. I still have my 170 D-28. It is the best guitar I have evr played and I have played hundreds.
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"American quality craftsmanship at its best."

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Music Style: Rock
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Sound: Full and rich. Feature: The only reason this gets an 8 is becuase it isn't an ornate instrument. I like the clean lines of it, but Martin offers more inlay on some other products. It doesn't lack in itself, but in comparison to others in the Martin premium line, it cannot be a 10. Quality: Not a blemish on it. Value: Quality American craftsmanship at an affordable price. If it's worth having, it's worth saving for. This is a guitar that will last a lifetime and is worth every penny. Manufacturer Support: Have never needed repairs, but questions have always been answered promptly and courteously. The Wow Factor: I love the feel of it. Overall: I've owned 2 Martin D-28's in the past 11 years. My standards for a guitar have been raised since owning these. It has become the benchmark for every acoustic I try.
18 of 19 people (94.74%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Very satisfied!" submitted December 8, 2007

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Musical Background: Hobbyist
Music Style: Rock and folk
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Sound: Very crisp, full ranging sound Feature: Composition case is protective, and lighter than those with my other Martins. Ease of Use: Remember it is a dreadnought; a smaller body is more comfortable to play, but you will sacrifice sound depth and presence. Quality: A fine instrument. Value: You get what you pay for. I prefer the more subtle instrument. The higher end Martins add a lot of abalone I don't care for. Manufacturer Support: My local dealer, Bentley Guitars, has been terrific. The Wow Factor: If you like quality materials and craftsmanship, rather than inlays and other gimmicks, this is your guitar. Overall: I am very careful with it and expect to keep it for a lifetime.
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"like fine wine ages with time" submitted December 20, 2006

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: active amt. musician
Music Style: folk blues
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Sound: the old guys that lament the loss of sound in new martins are wood heads. The new instruments will age with time and care to be coveted 20 years from now. They are still the best and if you care for it and allow it to age well, will be the best rig you can play. They are mostly handcrafted and have a custom sound. you pay 2000 for a real musicians tool. You want flowers and crap all over your guitar then you probably cant play anyway. Feature: straight forward, made to play by people who play for people who play. Ease of Use: great action, wish that they would support heavy strings, but mediums are cool. Quality: exceptional workmanship Value: well it is 2ooo clams Manufacturer Support: i havent dealt with them, the thing works. The Wow Factor: uhhhh sex appeal?...you guys are weird man..... Overall: gonna be buried with it
32 of 36 people (88.89%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Martin D-28 " submitted May 27, 2014

By Richard M
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Musical Background: 40+ years exp
Music Style: Bluegrass, country, Rockabilly and Classic Rock
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Overall: Cant beat the sound of this beautiful guitar, i have owned many acoustic guitars and the Martin dreadnought is what all guitars are modeled after in my opinion, i have owned Gibson, Taylors and others but always go back to Martin, and Zzounds shipped super fast, will purchase through them again.
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"Great product" submitted December 16, 2014

By Patrick I in Fallbrook, CA
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Musical Background: been playing twelve years. strictly amateur.
Music Style: Folk rock
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Overall: Everything a Martin should be. Clear bright tone and immaculate appearance. And zZounds did everything they said they would. No hassle and no double talk.
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"the best smart money can buy,with a good investment to boot" submitted December 12, 2006

By a customer from rock.com
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Musical Background: active musician
Music Style: alt country
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Sound: the d28 has a nicer sound than the d18, but i have played other model martins where the mohogany sounds better than the rosewood. the d18vs sounded beter than the rosewood version whose # escapes me. try before you buy side by side . each guitar is different.you may get a crappy one in this model, or you may get a stupendus one in the very same model. they have to talk to you, if your paying big bucks it pays to be happy with your purchese . PLAY THEM!!! Feature: this is a great guitar. crafted beautifuly. it is not flashy but alot goes into making a guitar this good. a guitar made in china or some other asian country is probably more likley to have or develope neck problems. good investment -moneywise and youll play much more with an enjoyable guitar. Ease of Use: if it needs it get it set up by a pro pay the extra money. Quality: you cant beat a martin or a gibson for the money. i prefer martin because the gibsons have tastless decore (like the dove). Value: very good for the money, you would have to goto a custom luthier for better and then you would get exotic woods that don't nessesaryally make the guitar sound beter Manufacturer Support: i didn't have to deal with the co. so i can't go either way The Wow Factor: why are they asking about the sex appeal of a guitar. thats just plain weird Overall: forever,and maybe even into the afterlife.
5 of 6 people (83.33%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Shaymus plays a D-28 in" submitted June 10, 2004

By a customer from shaymus.org
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Music Style: Boston Folk, Pop, R & B
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Sound: Shaymus: "I really like the tonal range of this instrument. I've played so many acoustics over the years, but this is the one I keep coming back to. It's very sensitive to soft and expressive finger-picking but it also really lights up when strummed. It's chimey, mid-range rich, and bass-boomy all at the same time. Probably the best tonally balanced guitar of all time." Feature: Shaymus: "Nice workmanship - you'd expect that for the price - not over done or too flashy...just my style." Quality: Shaymus: "You can tell the guitar is well-made just by picking it up. It feels lighter than you'd expect, but that airy quality is what gives the D-28 its resonance and volume." Value: Shaymus: "...yeah, it's expensive all right...maybe not quite worth all the money, but people who buy Martins (mine was a gift) are the same people who want to own performance cars and other top of the line gear regardless of price. I think they could be offered at a lower cost, but some folks just believe that if it costs a lot it must be good - in this case it works out - but I still think it could be offered at a lower price to real musicians who want the sound but can't afford such a high price tag." Overall: Shaymus: "It's a great guitar...really - like a good friend of mine, which I guess you can't put a price on. Nevertheless, if I were to put a price on a friend, I'd probably make it a little lower so that other folks could get one too."
4 of 6 people (66.67%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"The Father of Dreadnoughts!" submitted June 22, 2014

By Bryan C in Silerton, TN
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Musical Background: Have been playing guitar for 25 years. I jam at home and church.
Music Style: Country, Rockabilly, Classic Rock, Gospel Hymns
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Overall: I purchased my D-28 in 2011. It was love at first strum! This is a beautiful instrument, although not anything fancy to its looks. The tone and craftsmanship is what really counts anyway. In my opinion, nothing sounds better than Sitka Spruce and Rosewood! Some prefer Mahogany back and sides, but not me. I will keep this instrument with me for the rest of my life. Heck, I may have it buried with me! Lol. I definately highly recommend this guitar. You wont ever be disappointed with your purchase!
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"Quintessential Guitar" submitted February 3, 2014

By Ronald Bushnell in Ware, MA
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Musical Background: Playing guitar for forty years.
Music Style: I play bare finger, finger-picking. I like to compose my own music and songs to sing.
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Overall: This is the perfect guitar; that has raised my standards of awareness, being a perfect instrument for the objective of personal growth. This is like a wholesome, beautiful woman that does not need makeup.
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"Martin D28 is Amazing" submitted May 15, 2012

By Joshua P
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Musical Background: 15 years professional guitarist
Music Style: country, blues, southern rock
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Overall: This guitar is freaking amazing. I owned a Taylor 614ce for 5 years and it was a great guitar, but the D28 is my guitar. Love the responsive top with or without a pick. Also. the customer service at zZounds is great too. I had an issue with the first guitar they sent me. I told them I wanted another one and the return precedure was fast and easy. I'm so pleased with my purchase.
2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Great but consider how you'll use it..." submitted September 14, 2005

By a customer from nycap.rr.com
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Musical Background: Hobbyist getting more serious...
Music Style: Mostly folk and blues
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VERIFIED BUYER
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Sound: There are those who lament that today's Martins don't compare to the Martins of old and there might be some validity to that argument; but, this guitar does not sound like a cheap $150 guitar as some traditionalists have claimed. This guitar, simple in appearance, has a full rich tone that is distinctly Martin. It is a tone that can be downright intoxicating. Play a chord on it and the sound will linger with you forever. [I first heard one played in the 60's and wanted one from that time on.]The guitar is best strummed or flat picked-it is adequate but not great for finger picking. When I started learning finger picking styles I bought a 1967 Martin 0-16 New Yorker. The New Yorker's projection and intonation is far superior when finger picked. I should add though, that I don't use finger picks or cultivate long nails. That said, this is a beautiful instrument worth every penny. Feature: Spruce and rosewood- great combination. Quality: Solid and clean with no defects. Value: As I said, worth every penny. Manufacturer Support: I talked to Martin on the phone regarding a variety of issues. Their support has always been excellent. The Wow Factor: It is a simple no frills guitar with a great sound. I personally don't care about frills and embellishments. Overall: I expect this guitar to improve with age [I have owned it a little over a year]. Even though I'll probably buy other guitars, I'll never part with this one.
7 of 13 people (53.85%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"My Martin D-28, My all in one acoustic guitar."

By a customer from cameron.net
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Music Style: Bluegrass, Country Gospel, & Contemporary Gospel
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Sound: The Martin D-28 has a rich, strong and loud bass without sacrificing it's crisp sharp treble. It has the ability to give the needed sound quality when it is the only instrument being played when my wife and I perform live as a gospel duet. It has the ability to stand alone when it is the only instrument being played. I have played with other musicians and it blends well with other instruments. My D-28 is equipped with a thinline gold plus active pickup. It delivers great high quality sound no matter if I'm amped up in a recording or sitting out in my back yard. When we are performing I am usually plugged into my P.A. system or some times patched into a church's system. The best way I know of to improve sound on my Martin is to keep a fresh set of strings on it when needed. Feature: The only features I had installed on my D-28 is a strap pin, and a Martin thinline gold+ active pickup. The materials, design, and craftsmanship used in making it, are what make it one of the superior guitars still made today. Quality: I believe the Martin Guitar Co. has a very high standard for quality control. I have a guitar that not only looks great, but as long as I take reasonable care of it, will be able to go on the road and last my life time. Value: The quality of the guitar, which should last a lifetime compared to the retail price makes it s great value. Manufacturer Support: I have had no dealings with the Martin Guitar Co. directly, but the retailer that I bought mine and my wife's Martin Guitars from, and the authorised repair shop both were very helpful and easy to work with. The Wow Factor: The guitar looks great. It carries also the name and model that is widely known and sought after. Putting this together with the rich sound it creates gives it a great sex appeal. It took me from I want it, I want it, I want it, to I GOT IT! Overall: I don't ever expect to replace it. Before getting my Martin I already had a 6 string acoustic cut away, a 12 string acoustic and a back packer. I have made the purchase of the guitar that I always wanted so I do not desire to replace it.
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"Martin no longer makes quality musical instruments." submitted April 22, 2005

By a customer from bellsouth.net
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Musical Background: active
Music Style: variety
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Sound: I am sad to say the 'new' (if built during the last decade or two)Martin Guitars just don't have it any more! I had a 73 D-35 that was very nice...but not as nice as the 60's Martins....and so on. I realize that much tone is gained as the guitar is properly aged...but the new Martin's sound like cheap imitations of the original Martin sound. I have picked up at least a hundred over the last decade and every single one sounded dead, uneven, and most sadly very little 'bottom'. That deep bottom was the siren that drove the company's fame. They don't have that 'sound' any more! Feature: Nothing great, just a case and some tags. Quality: They are not awfully made.......they tend to be neat and without too many obvious flaws.....but the quality must be poor somewhere because they sound like a guitar you would purchase for $150.00....not $2000.00 and up. (Don't go near ANY of the 'affordable' Martins or the 'Cowboy pictures' etc......they are garbage as a musical instrument. Value: Martin no longer 'cuts it'! Manufacturer Support: They can provide support if you have a manufacturing defect....but no one knows or can answer why they don't sound good any more. The Wow Factor: An old Martin is worth a lot of money because it sounds GREAT! A new Martin is simply a poor investment and sounds like a $150.00 guitar. Overall: Would not purchase a new Martin..........
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