1970 Martin D-28 Dreadnought Guitar

A local customer brought this nice old D-28 in for consignment. It's got a big voice for its era, with a lot of forward volume and punch and a good clean bass. This is a great sound for bluegrass or old-fashioned chordal backup. I sort-of think it's a bit like a hybrid between a D-18 and D-28 sound. It's had a few changes over time -- the large rosewood bridge plate was removed and a large maple bridge plate installed -- and the bridge, saddle, and pins are replaced. Otherwise it's all-original.

Work included: filling and recutting the saddle slot and bridge-pin holes (the saddle was incorrectly located), a fret level/dress, mild cleaning, and a setup with 54w-12 gauges. It plays spot-on with 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE action at the 12th fret and the neck is straight. While this has a great voice as-is, players looking for a little more bass and boom (like a '50s Martin) might consider a mild shave of the lower-bout braces, which I'd do on the house.

Scale length: 25 3/8"
Nut width: 1 11/16"
String spacing at nut: 1 7/16"
String spacing at bridge: 2 3/16"
Body length: 19 7/8"
Lower bout width: 15 3/4"
Upper bout width: 11 1/2"
Side depth at endpin: 5"
Top wood: solid spruce
Back/sides wood: solid Indian rosewood
Bracing type: x-braced
Fretboard: ebony
Bridge: ebony, replaced
Neck feel: medium soft C/V shape, ~14-16" radius board

Condition notes: replaced bridge plate (upgrade to maple), general usewear with small dings and scratches throughout, mild pickwear to the top, and a replaced bridge and saddle. The original pickguard is still there but it's starting to curl (and resists gluing-down) at the edges, though it's not time to replace it, yet. It seems to have been refretted in the past, too.

It comes with: an older (presumably-original?) Ess & Ess hard case.

The owner was wondering if the back was Brazilian rosewood, but I'm pretty certain it's Indian rosewood.


Andrew M said…
June 2nd is, forever more, Martin day.
Jake Wildwood said…
Andrew: Right?! They always come in batches. It's weird.
Thesoundword said…
Nice! Did you replace the bridge plate? If so, how?
Jake Wildwood said…
Nope, someone else did some time ago. Kind-of a standard mod to '70s guitars back in the day from what I've heard... I imagine it was just pried-off carefully with a chisel or separator. It's possible someone heated it up but that seems very risky. I've seen bridge plate irons for just that, but this one's so big! I've removed old bridge plates that were ill with chisels, before. Just gotta take it slow...