1984 Martin MC-28 Jumbo Flattop Guitar

Oval soundholes and jumbo bodies -- it must be a thing because Guild, as well as several other makers, made the same choice when making their own jumbos. This respectable Martin MC-28 (M for deep 0000 body size, C for cutaway) has both and, despite wear and tear, sounds excellent. It'd been a gigging workhorse for its owner since new, apparently, and provided many years of good service.

Lately it'd been stowed away and when it came to me the pickup that was installed was non-functional, the neck needed a reset, the bridge needed a glue, the frets were needing to be leveled and dressed, and all the other minor kinks ironed-out. I first glued the bridge for the owner and then he wavered about having the rest done -- he thought about sending it back to Martin -- but as he was about to leave to do that, he came right back in the door and left it for me to do. I'm thankful for that, as it's nice to see a "patient" recover completely.

It's now back in good health, patched-up, and playing beautifully. Action is spot-on strung with 54w-12 lights and the neck is almost perfect, with only 1/64" deflection under tension. The neck is interesting, too, in that Martin was transitioning to adjustable truss rods at the time and this is one of the last batches of guitars made with the non-adjustable rods. I prefer non-adjustable rods, so it's nice to see such a "modern" Martin with one.

The top is solid spruce, x-braced, and the back and sides are solid rosewood. The neck is mahogany and the board and bridge are both ebony. This has a 16" wide body that's like an "expanded 000-size" shape, though the depth is 4" which is why this is a "true jumbo."

The nut is 1 11/16" and the neck has a soft, quick, C-shaped profile. The board has a very shallow radius -- somewhere between 16-18" -- and the original nut is synthetic.

I have no idea what the patched holes were for. The new saddle is a little over 1/16" tall, so adjustment room is available. It's just past summer, so this guitar has the year's "most humidity" in it right now. I'm expecting it'll need a 1/32" to 1/16" shim in winter, which will push the saddle up.

Check out the pearl-inlaid brass bridge pins -- totally a '90s thing.

I like the coloration on this set of Indian rosewood -- it's nice stuff.

The remnants of the old pickup system show themselves at the clipped endpin-jack.