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Like alot of you, I love Gibson acoustics, but I feel the need to get a Martin for sometning different. Im looking at a HD28 model. What do you guys think of the HD28 model?

 

The HD28 is a great guitar; if you're looking for the D28 sound, check out the HD28V. To me, even a better guitar, both in looks and sound. The only hang-up could be if you didn't like the V neck, which I find to be very comfortable. Definitely worth the extra money.

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I really like Martin mahogany models but have a strong dislike for their rosewood counterparts.

 

Personally I find the HD-28 far too dark and unbalanced, together with poor note seperation and bass focus is deal breaker for me.

 

If I was to buy a rosewood Martin I would look towards Collings instead, as to my ears they take the best of Martin and provide balance, note seperation and responsiveness, together with the Martin inspired power. I would get a Collings D2H personally if I wanted a HD-28 'territory' tone.

 

But I do understand the desire to have a 'change up' from Gibson, and thats where my Furch comes in which sounds a lot like a OM18-v but with more balance.

 

My 2cents worth.

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I was heavily considering an HD28 when I recently purchased my Advanced Jumbo. I just couldn't fall in love with one, and I played several. I agree with the above statement about the balance. The low mids seemed off. I did like the openness though. I was about to pull the trigger on the J-45 over the HD28 when I tried the AJ and it had all the balance of the HD28 with better centering of tone overall. If I were you, I'd try an AJ vs. the HD28 and see what you think.

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Martin makes a really fine guitar. The only guitar I have ever considered trading one of my favorite Gibsons for was a 1950s Martin D-18. One of the best Martins I have ever played. In the end I chickened out but still wonder if I should have made the move.

 

When it comes to a big box guitar, like EuroAussie I tend to prefer a mahogany body over rosewood. And I love chunky soft V necks.

 

The Martin that I am interested in checking out is the 00-28VS - 12 fret slothead with a 1 3/4" nut. Sounds downright yummy.

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I have it's little brother, the 0-28VS.

 

DSC00873.jpg

 

DSC00875.jpg

 

Man that is sweet, Parlourman. Does that have the advanced prewar bracing?

 

I've owned a couple Martins and thought they were nice. A D-35 I once owned was a real sweetheart but not up to par with my J-45r. If I were to buy another Martin dred, it would be a D-18V; a more preferable choice, an 000-18 since I'm into Mahogany as my tonewood-of-choice. Smaller bodies feel much more comfy these days...

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Man that is sweet, Parlourman. Does that have the advanced prewar bracing?

 

I believe so.... but I've never checked with a mirror or anything. Sounds great, but definitely more of a picker than a strummer.

 

I've owned a couple Martins and thought they were nice. A D-35 I once owned was a real sweetheart but not up to par with my J-45r. If I were to buy another Martin dred, it would be a D-18V; a more preferable choice, an 000-18 since I'm into Mahogany as my tonewood-of-choice. Smaller bodies feel much more comfy these days...

 

They do make some lovely guitars. ;)

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I prefer mahogany guitars too. I owned three Martins a GC custom built to there specs, A HD -28 (herringbone) and an Eric Clapton signature small body. All of them had good tone, but I could never get used to that 'V' neck. They also did not lend themselves to sing alongs like my Birds. Eventually over time I got rid of all of them. Something about rosewood guitars sound kind of Janglely (just invented that word). But all three guitars had very good projection.

 

Story: Was in a GC in the acoustic room, there were three men in there passing around guitars. I said you want to hear a good guitar? They said yes, I played a HD 28 for them which sounded pretty darn good, then I took a Bird off the wall and played it, all three said the Hummer was better sounding to them, not a valid poll I know, but I ended up buying the Hummingbird, even though I had no intention of buying a guitar when I went in there.

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While I don't own any Martins, a good number of vintage Martins do come through my home and, as is obvious, Martin makes a great guitar. Here's my comparison of a 1925 00-18 with my 1931 Gibson L-2:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMlXoPoKKgg

 

Those are both mahogany guitars. Here's a comparison of two rosewood guitars: my 1920 Maurer 551 with a 1929 000-28:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30Ee6vN9nIE

 

The Martin rosewood dreads are bass heavy by design and that serves well when playing that classic G run in bluegrass. In other contexts, Martin rosewood 00s and 000s can be perfect.

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Every D-18GE I've ever played sounded astounding.

 

I prefer mahogany guitars, too, but if you're going to go with rosewood, I think something like a D-28 or D-28V is a surer bet. That said, I once owned a Larrivee D-60 that sounded really fine.

 

Fortunately, there are a lot of great guitars out there. Unfortunately, there are only so many hours in a day and only so much money....

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While I don't own any Martins, a good number of vintage Martins do come through my home and, as is obvious, Martin makes a great guitar. Here's my comparison of a 1925 00-18 with my 1931 Gibson L-2:

 

 

 

Those are both mahogany guitars. Here's a comparison of two rosewood guitars: my 1920 Maurer 551 with a 1929 000-28:

 

 

 

The Martin rosewood dreads are bass heavy by design and that serves well when playing that classic G run in bluegrass. In other contexts, Martin rosewood 00s and 000s can be perfect.

 

JT, I watched these before, but had to do it again. To my ear, the L-2 is a clear favorite between the small mahogany guitars. Not so simple with the rosewood guitars--the Maurer really has a unique voice--but it's hard to beat that 000-28.

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JT, I watched these before, but had to do it again. To my ear, the L-2 is a clear favorite between the small mahogany guitars. Not so simple with the rosewood guitars--the Maurer really has a unique voice--but it's hard to beat that 000-28.

 

Nick, you've got good ears (which is to say that your ears agree with my ears). I don't think anyone has ever made a finer mahogany fingerstyle guitar than the 1931 L-2.

 

Regarding Larsons, I wish that every picker could play one. By my estimate, the Larson brothers made fewer total instruments -- guitars, mandolins, mandolas, mandocellos -- than Martin made prewar D-18s. Of those approximately 1,500 instruments, only 500 to 750 survive today (my guess). These are sublime instruments that, to my ears, split the difference between Martins and Gibsons.

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The general sense I have about Martin's is that they tend to be very articulate. Each note a little gem. But they don't always sing pretty together (chords). A gang of solo singers vs a choir. The effect varies, depending on build: less evident on RW (sustain covers it up), quite evident on the hogs. And the smaller the box, the more pronounced the separation.

 

(Funny, I keep looking for ways to justify having a Martin in the fold, but very time I talk about 'em...)

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Rambler, you comments are right on, the solo vs choir thing is a good way of saying it.

 

I've owned two D28s, two HD28s, and currently have a 2002 HD28V. The hybrid braced HD28 has a almost baritone deep tone at times and can get muddy when played hard. The forward braced HD28v is the best of both worlds, the v neck can be an issue. They are like the classic Gibsons, when you find a good one its special.

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I've found that I love Gibson dreads and Martin small bodies (Gibson small bodies do nothing for me).

 

Here's my favorite Martin:

 

DSC_0010.jpg

 

DSC_0007.jpg

 

It's basically a 000 28, except with an Italian Spruce top (Clapton Bellezza Nera). Great guitar with exceptional playability and sound.

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I love Gibson dreads and Martin small bodies (Gibson smalls do nothing for me). My favorite Martin=00028:

 

That's cool, SF, except I wouldnt call a grand concert a small body. About concert-size Gibsons, it's true they dont have a lot of resonance. What they do have a funky bite that works for old time music, but that's not everyone's cup of tea. R

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