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J200 vs D28 honest opinions please.


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Id like you all to listen and tell me what you honestly think of this shootout. the reason i posted here instead of the gibson acoustic is many here in the lounge do not own any gibson acoustics so 1. it may win some of you over to buy one and 2. id like to hear from some of you martin owners on your take of this d28 or the hd-28. Personally, i love the sound of both, but the 200 really seems to boom and is my fav, what say you? btw there is no wrong answer here, they are both wonderful instruments which i would be very privileged to own someday and im certain i will in time, own both. Jus for giggles i put in another martin vs gibson shootout also. What say you my friends?

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Frankly, the choice of material, recording technique, and playing style don't do much to show off either guitar. Both of these guitars excel at being driven hard, particularly with a flat pick.

 

Maple vs. rosewood complicates things as well.

 

I probably wouldn't buy either one based on that particular comparison.

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Not really realistic to compare guitars of such different woods and builds........these are two entirely different animals. I have owned both in the past and both were fine instruments. The 28 I had perhaps 30 years ago when I was mostly an electric guitar player and did not have a grip on what was right in an acoustic for me. In the interim I have learned that rosewood is not for me and mahogany Gibsons are........

 

The J200 in this clip has much more presence and clarity than the 28, and that's attributable to the maple.......always a clear voice and, in my ears, always a clear choice, given no mahogany is around. The 40 Martin sounds somehow muddy and harsh at the same time.......must be my old ears.

 

The only thing they really have in common is 6 strings. Are you trying to decide what to buy?

 

EDIT: You might consider a 000 Martin in rosewood if you're wanting the variety. The smaller body tends to tighten up the bottom and reduce overtones in general. I had a 000-28 some years back and it was a very good guitar, not warm and throaty like mahogany but pretty tight and punchy.

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As others have noted, the comparison seems invalid. It's like comparing a BMW to a Jaguar. Yeah, they're both cars and they will both get you from Point A to Point B, but beyond that, they are quite different. And neither one is shabby.

 

My inclination is to say that in the long run, the D-28 will prove to be the more versatile guitar.

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Knowing both guitars I can hear the huge difference between them though the recording might diffuse this a little.

In real life they actually are so different that they would make sense side by side in the herd.

Ask Neil Y. who has played them both on stage and in studio since the early 70's. I've personally heard the pair live in one and the same gig.

 

Though liking them a lot, these two wouldn't be on the top of my private list. Yes, maybe a HD-28 (have a HD-28V), but not the straight non-scalloped 28.

In all respect, it's a bit too plain.

Regarding the 200, I prefer the square maple fliers (Dove and F-bird), which have more power than the most 200 I'd played.*

Then again the right J-200 is irresistible - like the tune-o-matic saddled yellow 68'er I met in London some years ago. Hmmmm, , , seems I'll never get over that one - even with its narrow nut.

 

Keep groovin'

 

 

 

*must be said 200-volume varies quite a lot

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Just to echo was everyone has already said (and from someone who has owned both of these guitars) the only thing they have in common is they are both guitars. If it was me I'd go for the J200. I've owned a D28 and it was just ok, but didn't seem to work well for my application (singer/songwriter type stuff) while the J200 was a better fit for me. I got rid of the D28 for an HD28, and man that is one amazing sounding guitar. Still apples to oranges, but I'd have a tougher time deciding between an HD-28 and a J200.

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I didn't think it was a fair fight for a lot of reasons. I'll start by saying I liked the J200 and if I ever get enough wall space that would be the next acoustic on my list.

 

When the OP switched to the D28 I could hear a difference in the overall ambience before he played a note. The sound that came from his D28 doesn't sound like anything I recollect a D28 sounding like and I have to wonder how consistent the recording technique was for both instruments. I think part of the issue would be a string mis-match. So many overtones were missing that I am used to hearing in D28's. Old strings perhaps. Not having owned a J200 I can't say how it reacts to strings, but I think that a D28 (and most Martins) always sounds best with brand new strings. In any event I think different strings would turn it into a different instrument that what we heard.

 

I would be interested in hearing a comparison of the J200 vs a Taylor 814/814/614.

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I didn't think it was a fair fight for a lot of reasons. I'll start by saying I liked the J200 and if I ever get enough wall space that would be the next acoustic on my list.

 

When the OP switched to the D28 I could hear a difference in the overall ambience before he played a note. The sound that came from his D28 doesn't sound like anything I recollect a D28 sounding like and I have to wonder how consistent the recording technique was for both instruments. I think part of the issue would be a string mis-match. So many overtones were missing that I am used to hearing in D28's. Old strings perhaps. Not having owned a J200 I can't say how it reacts to strings, but I think that a D28 (and most Martins) always sounds best with brand new strings. In any event I think different strings would turn it into a different instrument that what we heard.

 

I would be interested in hearing a comparison of the J200 vs a Taylor 814/814/614.

 

This would be another comparison that makes no sense. If you want to play both guitars to see which one you like okay, but sound wise you're doing apples and oranges.

 

P.S. I have both of the guitars you mentioned but would never do a comparison of the two.

 

 

 

 

 

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The muddy Martin sound, when it's present, has always been a turn-off for me. A good J-200 will always suit me better. A 0000 rosewood Martin would be more in line, too.

 

Anomalies of any guitar model can happen, but I'm afraid I had one of those guitars that exhibited "the Martin mud". Not the Gibson "stuffed with socks" sound- that's another ball of anomaly. The guitar was a D-42 that was heading out the door at the same time an Epiphone EJ-200 super jumbo was here on a trial basis (an affordable enough trial to have, and easy enough to move along). The thuddy sound of the expensive Martin was bested by a cheap import model costing one-tenth it's price. But that was not only square shoulder rosewood vs super jumbo maple, but the back/sides of the Epi was laminate.

 

When considering which of the two to get first; consider what would provide some breadth to the guitars you currently have. No, the two guitars in the above comparo's aren't similar, but maybe you're just interested in having two great guitars that provide you with a broad range of available sounds and playing styles.

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Speaking generally, J200s have impressive bass-treble separation for us fingerpickers and a satisfying boom-chuck for strummers. I wouldnt one so handy for single-string runs. Clarity is going to be the weak point of any Rw martin dread. That said, they accommodate a lot of styles and are THE guitar for bluegrass.

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I have a new Western Classic, which is an early SJ-200 in rosewood. I have played a new SJ-200 Standard in maple for 1 week before returning it for the Western Classic. I have had a 1998 HD-28 since new. I have been A an Bing all my new guitars very methodically this past 2 months. I always change strings when I get a new guitar so all the guitars will be able to be compared accurately. The Maple SJ-200 was clear sounding, but lacked the punch and volume of the rosewood Western Classic. Playing bar chords up the neck was especially dead. My HD-28 is very loud with lots of midrange and treble. The Western Classic is very loud with lots of midrange and bass. It is a tough decision.

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I enjoyed that, especially the second vid

 

I thought in the first vid the strings sounded dead on both guitars, especialy the D-28. Or the quality of the audio was really poor. But it reminds me of how I hear the D-28, which has a fundamental, classic tone, but its very single dimensional to my ears. As soon as he picked up the Gibson i could hear more going on there and a bit more mojo.

 

The second vid was interesting as i also on a 2002 J-40 and a J-150. The J-40 is a really intersting Martin, it is very balanced which is what I like and the tones come through real, real juicy, which can be heard here. It does not strum well when strumming right through it. It excels in hybrid strumming where you sort of focus on a couple strings or do a lot of bass line like this guy did. Its an excellent finger picker and an oustanding flatpicker, along with the LG-2 that i own its my favourite for thick, juicy flatpicking that cuts really through.

 

The J-200 in that clip shows why its the king of the flatops - it just does it all, so well ! [thumbup]

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First of all nothing compares to a D-28. I own one. It is hands down one of the best sounding acoustics ever. IMO. There is a reason everyone wants to copy it.

I should have said moreso in my header that i was contemplating both, am also contemplating higher end models. It irks me when people keep regurting the same oh you cant compare them, sure i can if i am interested in both and want an honest opinion. I wanted to ask you because you had talked about both gits before. Was also wondering if you tried an hd28? The GC i went to didnt have an hd for sale, but im dying to try one. The hd28 holds more appeal, not really into the 35 and its 3 piece back.

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Very different beasts, as others have said. The straight-braced D-28 is a classic Swiss Army knife of guitars. It excels at accompaniment or soloing, with pick or fingers or just about anything else you throw at it. Very balanced and quite loud. I agree the first vid doesn't do it justice in any way. It sounds dead like a J-45 with really old strings. Not at all a Martin tone.

 

The J-200 is cool looking and I've always wanted one, but I've never found one with much tone to it. I've heard it called the Whispering Giant and I think that's a good description. A good strummer for backing vocals, but that's about it. I've always wanted to like them though, so I recently bought a J-100 Walnut, which is much louder and has a distinctive tone of its own. A lot cheaper too.

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Very different beasts, as others have said. The straight-braced D-28 is a classic Swiss Army knife of guitars. It excels at accompaniment or soloing, with pick or fingers or just about anything else you throw at it. Very balanced and quite loud. I agree the first vid doesn't do it justice in any way. It sounds dead like a J-45 with really old strings. Not at all a Martin tone.

 

The J-200 is cool looking and I've always wanted one, but I've never found one with much tone to it. I've heard it called the Whispering Giant and I think that's a good description. A good strummer for backing vocals, but that's about it. I've always wanted to like them though, so I recently bought a J-100 Walnut, which is much louder and has a distinctive tone of its own. A lot cheaper too.

i had a Walnut j15 it sounded amazing, i just didnt care for the wider frets, i usually like the slimmer neck models which is why the 28 holds a lil more appeal. Not sure if they even make slim neck 200s, but the only 200 i tried the neck actually felt ok. My j-15 by contrast was big, wide and clunky for my 5'8 hands, im short i need the slimmer neck or i have to try to stretch. Conversely, i can see why a big guy 6'3 over would want big frets, they prob dont want their big fingers jammed in a small fret.

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Well if you use that logic can you compare a Strat vs.LP. They are both electric guitars. I go to a store that always has tons of Maritin's and I have played a lot, in the store they even a 1939 D-18. It is all personal opinion. That is why I said IMO. There is no right or wrong. Go to a store play everything you intend to buy and decide for your self. HD-28's are great as well. If you want high end go with a D-45, Stephen Still's would approve. And if you have the cash get both. I will tell you when I got my D-28 I played and E chord on it and I knew it was coming home. It sounds fantastic. I have played alot of Gibson Acoustics and to me Martin has an egde.

 

And one more thing if you want peoples opinions and then complain about them, next time don't ask. I gave my honest opinion. I would take a Martin Acoustic over a Gibson Acoustic any day of the week and there are many on this forum who feel the same way. And I would love a D-35 and the 3 piece back is what makes it special. I played a D-28 side by side with a D-35 when I got my D-28. And to me the D-28 sounded better and was a little less expensive.

i wasnt complaining about you, was merely making a point about people and their blowhard comments which are not honest opinions, they are just trolling with that. Saying they are completely different beasts is true, but i wanted to hear why fans of each like each one. its like when i was a kid and i asked a photography store owner what he liked more, the eos 1 or a nikon f3, totally different beasts, but i wanted his pros and cons of each and sometimes compare things that are very different. The 200 is a little more for show, im leaning towards a hd-28, but i just love the look of the 200, so iconic and badass.

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i wasnt complaining about you, was merely making a point about people and their blowhard comments which are not honest opinions, they are just trolling with that. Saying they are completely different beasts is true, but i wanted to hear why fans of each like each one. its like when i was a kid and i asked a photography store owner what he liked more, the eos 1 or a nikon f3, totally different beasts, but i wanted his pros and cons of each and sometimes compare things that are very different. The 200 is a little more for show, im leaning towards a hd-28, but i just love the look of the 200, so iconic and badass.

 

Acutually.. leaning towards a HD28 is a good choice.. I think in my opinion.. a lot more versatile.. I like sj200s.. clarity is far and few between on those.. good luck on your choice.. both are fine guitars..

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Well if you use that logic can you compare a Strat vs.LP. They are both electric guitars. I go to a store that always has tons of Maritin's and I have played a lot, in the store they even a 1939 D-18. It is all personal opinion. That is why I said IMO. There is no right or wrong. Go to a store play everything you intend to buy and decide for your self. HD-28's are great as well. If you want high end go with a D-45, Stephen Still's would approve. And if you have the cash get both. I will tell you when I got my D-28 I played and E chord on it and I knew it was coming home. It sounds fantastic. I have played alot of Gibson Acoustics and to me Martin has an egde.

 

And one more thing if you want peoples opinions and then complain about them, next time don't ask. I gave my honest opinion. I would take a Martin Acoustic over a Gibson Acoustic any day of the week and there are many on this forum who feel the same way. And I would love a D-35 and the 3 piece back is what makes it special. I played a D-28 side by side with a D-35 when I got my D-28. And to me the D-28 sounded better and was a little less expensive.

"I would take a Martin Acoustic over a Gibson Acoustic any day of the week"

 

1974 Gibson j50 deluxe, mahogany back n sides, slim neck, one of the best gibsons ive ever played and i liked it more than the omcpa4 and dcpa4 martins.

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