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FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / Here we go again - Martin HD-28 or HD-28V? - two year update 12/28/16

Previous 20 Messages  
Hammond101
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So. Cal. USA

Oct 26th, 2017 01:48 PM   Edit   Profile  

I've been checking out every guitar store in SoCal checking out Martin dreads. So far the only one I would have considered buying was a D-18E at The Fret House in Covina.

I just don't like they way they come out of the box. They sound like cardboard to me. The action is not at all correct. This would include 28s, 35s, herringbones and vintage series. I guess I want instant gratification and not have to wait for the top to break in. I'm not so concerned about set up as I can do that myself.

I've A/B'd them with offerings from the T company and my personal T guitars and I'm not convinced.

Why do I still want one? The GAS continues until I find the "one" that speaks to me. (or thru me)

stratcowboy
Contributing Member
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USA/Taos, NM

Oct 26th, 2017 03:08 PM   Edit   Profile  

"I just don't like they way they come out of the box. They sound like cardboard to me."

I agree--or at least in my limited experience.

The other day I had a chance to head to the "big city." I don't get out of the woods much up here. But I went into a very good shop/dealer that carries Martin, Taylor, Eastman, etc. Some beautiful guitars to look at. My frame of reference is my Guild F47RC...a high-end Guild with excellent richness and projection and very balanced tone. I played several Martins (HD-28, D-35, and another). Played an Eastman as well as strummed a few Taylors (that's as far as I got). They all had that boxy/cardboard-y tone to them. Really disappointing. I was stunned actually. My Guild was so far-and-away superior in tonality it just wasn't even a valid comparison. I guess I should have tried the Martin D-42 they had; maybe that was better. But I was so dismayed at what I had heard to that point in time, that I didn't have the patience to try any more.

I just figured it was me...

Chris Greene
FDP Host

Idaho, USA

Nine mile skid on a ten mile ride
Oct 26th, 2017 03:21 PM   Edit   Profile  

I think it is just you guys. New Martins sound like "cardboard"? Well, I'd played a bunch that were sent to me when I started this thread. There were none I didn't like but the two I bought were the two I thought sounded best (and were lookers as well). But, as they say, horses for courses. Not everyone likes Martin guitars. Personally, for acoustics, it's hard for me to like anything else, especially the oft loved Taylors.

Hammond101
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So. Cal. USA

Oct 26th, 2017 03:52 PM   Edit   Profile  

That's exactly it Chris. I was sitting in the acoustic quiet room playing that D-18E. I really liked it. Strum, finger style. I plugged it in and liked it even more. I pulled down a Taylor 914ce that was hanging right in front of me and wow. It had clarity the Martin lacked, it had better projection and was louder it still had great bottom. Granted, it a more expensive guitar. I came back on another day with my personal 814ce and compared to all the Martin dreads in stock. I was happy with what I already own. Other than bling it sounded like the 914ce.

Still in search of a Martin I really enjoy. The D35 of all D35s got away from me. I want "that" tone.

Chris Greene
FDP Host

Idaho, USA

Nine mile skid on a ten mile ride
Oct 26th, 2017 04:41 PM   Edit   Profile  

Well, good luck but you might want to be looking for an old Martin instead of a new one. There's a quality to the '72 D-18 I recently got that is different than my two modern rosewood Martins but I attribute it to 45 year old wood and mahogany. It's a guitar without the typical rosewood overtones which is neither good or bad, just different.

The 70's D-18's (and 28's and 35's) have the age but not the prices.

Hammond101
Contributing Member
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So. Cal. USA

Oct 26th, 2017 05:46 PM   Edit   Profile  

I am certainly open to any Martin dread that pleases my ears and is fairly priced. It doesn't have to be new. Honestly a well cared for used instrument would be preferred. There seems to be many 18-35 offerings on the bay and reverb but I need to play them. Maybe I should start asking at local pawn shops. You just never know what got away from some tweeker and is hidden in the back.

I think I'm going to give JR a call up in Utah and have him keep an eye out. I trust his judgment and know I could do much worse elsewhere. The D-35 that got away and really tripped my trigger was mid 80s, go figure. That was the guitar that started the journey a couple of years back.

To be fair, my 814ce is now over 10 years old, a mid '07. It has been the last 3-4 years I have really enjoyed the tone. I always liked it but now it is outstanding. It has a smoothness it never had before. The GC6e is a 2011 and is just as good but better at finger style and being a concert body not as bold. The 312ce is meh but a good traveler and sailboat box.

6L6
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San Francisco, CA

Oct 30th, 2017 12:28 PM   Edit   Profile  

I recently bought a one-owner, pristine condition 1970 Martin D-28 off my local CL for just $1500. It sounds so good I took it to Gryphon for a total tuneup. New stainless steel frets, neck reset, and K & K pup.

The quality of the wood is just outstanding. While my ears usually favor dreads with FSSB, this sounds terrific too.

There IS a difference in 70’s wood and It’s all good.

6

Hammond101
Contributing Member
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So. Cal. USA

Oct 30th, 2017 12:59 PM   Edit   Profile  

I played a brand new HD-28 last Friday at a GC in San Bernadino. It was knocked out of the running as it had display damage and they were not willing to deal much at all. It had a pretty big "worm" mark in the top between the pickguard and the lower waist, a good 4-5 inches long. It also had scratches on the side on the lower waist area as if someone played it resting on a pile of keys in their pocket.

Really too bad it was tore up. It really sounded good. I will most likely find something used. I'm in no hurry.

Chris Greene
FDP Host

Idaho, USA

Nine mile skid on a ten mile ride
Oct 30th, 2017 01:06 PM   Edit   Profile  

I liked the HD-28's a lot. I only wish they'd use ivoroid binding vs. the cheapish looking Bolatron. I'm not completely sold on FSSB bracing as it emphasizes the bass at the exclusion of the trebles.

(This message was last edited by Chris Greene at 08:47 PM, Oct 30th, 2017)

Hammond101
Contributing Member
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So. Cal. USA

Oct 30th, 2017 03:47 PM   Edit   Profile  

I liked the guitar. It was very balanced and was one of the few new Martins I have played that had a better set up. Maybe I liked it because of the lows it had but it didn't seem bottom heavy. With the damage this one had it would have to be a $1500 guitar for me to bite. The store was like well we can take $100 off. Ha!

It's going to be a used one I guess. A few bumps here and there would only add character on something 30-40 years old. Hopefully I can find one at a local store or pawn shop. I'd really like to play before I buy. It would be neat to find a nice used one that has already aged like 6 has above.

Chris Greene
FDP Host

Idaho, USA

Nine mile skid on a ten mile ride
Oct 30th, 2017 06:51 PM   Edit   Profile  

That's the main reason I bit on the '72 D18. I'll be into it a grand to $1100 when all is said and done but will have a beautifully aged guitar to keep me company. I won't live long enough for my HD28V or D42 to become that aged.

Gene from Tampa
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Tampa, FL

Live! From God's Waiting Room ....
Oct 31st, 2017 06:00 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have one great acoustic - my D-35 which I bought used 8 years ago. I played it and it immediately called to me. I also had the same experience with a Martin 000-MMV. It had been pleked and was just perfect... and I hesitated because it was $1,300. I really regret that when I went back to buy it it was gone.

The moral of the story is if it calls to you, don't hesitate. (The same thing happened with my tele but that's another story).


Hammond101
Contributing Member
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So. Cal. USA

Nov 1st, 2017 10:00 AM   Edit   Profile  

"I won't live long enough for my HD28V or D42 to become that aged."

My thoughts exactly on a new guitar. This is why I have gotten really picky with the new ones not wanting to wait 5+ years for it to open up with occasional play. Instant gratification I guess.

I've been checking out used stuff but have been real busy with the office and repairs to really "visit" the used market in LA/Orange County.


Chris Greene
FDP Host

Idaho, USA

Buy your virtue signal here
Oct 15th, 2018 11:04 PM   Edit   Profile  

Well, that D18 is gone. Even after the work, I just didn't bond with it like I hoped. Nothing wrong with it but I guess I was too used to the rosewood sound.

Anyway, coming up on four years with the HD-28V and D-42. Can't remember the last time I plugged in one of my Fenders. I am so in love with playing acoustic these past years that I don't think I'd miss my electrics at all. Anyone want to buy FDP LE #1 and last of the run #68? ;o)

budg
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ohio

Home of the Goodyear blimp
Oct 16th, 2018 04:04 AM   Edit   Profile  

I went thru a period of a year and a half that I played nothing but acoustic. I went through 4 Martins until I settled on my D18 . The perfect acoustic for me. I thought it would be the D35. Always wanted one , but when I finally got one , I realised I wanted something with more cut . My first Martin was a 93 D1 and was looking for something that sounded similar.

Today I rarely play my acoustic . I just prefer my electrics , at least thats how it is right now.

reverend mikey
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N of I-90, E of I-29

You're old. Then vintage. Then good!
Oct 16th, 2018 09:51 AM   Edit   Profile  

Chris, if I were right-handed, I'd make you an offer on one of those Fenders...

I also play a lot more acoustic these days - and have two more Martins coming my way at the end of this month/early November. I'll soon be playing a Martin J-40 and a Custom Shop J-18. I also have a 2015 D-35 which sounds/plays excellent, and a 2018 000-15sm I just received recently (long story).

I play mostly electric for our church worship team, but at home, I'm mostly picking up acoustics these days.

Love both - wouldn't want to choose just one.

Viera
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Boycott Amazon

Thank you FDP sponsors
Oct 16th, 2018 07:07 PM   Edit   Profile  

I had a feeling that the D-18 might not work out. At least you resurrected it. Now someone might eventually have a nice Martin that works for them.

Your HD-28V and D-42 had to be tough competition for a straight braced D-18, especially for someone that leans toward the rosewood B/S sound.

If you ever find a deal on a used D-18GE (or similar) maybe give it a look. I had one that was amazing. Yeah, I sold it. Stupid me. Long story, blah blah blah.....

budg
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ohio

Home of the Goodyear blimp
Oct 17th, 2018 03:56 AM   Edit   Profile  

To be honest , I never cared for the tone of the straight braced D18 that had. Just not my cup o tea.

Leftee
Contributing Member
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VA

Oct 17th, 2018 08:25 AM   Edit   Profile  

Mike,

You buy #1 and I’ll buy #68. We can “Hendrix” them.

reverend mikey
Contributing Member
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N of I-90, E of I-29

You're old. Then vintage. Then good!
Oct 17th, 2018 10:42 AM   Edit   Profile  

Eric,

LOL. Been there, done that. Won't do it again.

Sorry, Jimi - no offense.

Previous 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / Here we go again - Martin HD-28 or HD-28V? - two year update 12/28/16




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