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  #1  
Old 02-21-2009, 01:07 PM
yammieplaya yammieplaya is offline
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Default Martin: D-35 vs D-28??

Guys - I'm just idly curious.
Are there substantial differences
in tone or playability between these two models?
Leaving aside variance from individual guitar to guitar.
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  #2  
Old 02-21-2009, 01:19 PM
66strummer 66strummer is offline
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Mainly in tone. The D-35 has a more bass heavy tone. The D-28 is more balanced. Anyone who describes real bassy guitars as "muddy" would be happier with a D-28 IMO. The top bracing is lighter on the D-35......

EDIT:3 piece back on the D-35. Another big difference.

Ryan

Last edited by 66strummer; 02-21-2009 at 01:54 PM.
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  #3  
Old 02-21-2009, 01:32 PM
kaffeen kaffeen is offline
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Finger pickers like the D-35 (think Johnny Cash). Strummers and others like the D-28. This is a huge generalization, I'm sure there is appeal from all camps. In the end, each to his own. Personally, I really like the HD-35 series.
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Old 02-21-2009, 01:49 PM
surfoxy surfoxy is offline
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D-35 has 1/4" straight braces, the D-28 has 5/16". The D-35 has a three-piece back and is back-braced accordingly, with 2 angled "center" strips. The D-28 is of course a 2-piece back with one center strip.

This tends to give the D-35 a darker tone, but as for which one is better for singing, strumming, or fingerpicking...well, that's up to the player.

I find the D-35 a great guitar for singing and strumming, and a wonderful flatpicker as well. I don't find either optimized for light fingerpicking, but both can do that as well of course.
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Old 02-21-2009, 04:52 PM
danilefinegan danilefinegan is offline
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Another difference is that the D-35 has a bound fingerboard.

I've owned both over the years. Of the many guitars that have passed through my hands, the D-35 was probably overall the best sounding guitar I have owned, but it was a '70's model, and I just couldn't handle the baseball bat neck - barre chords were killing me. I also owned a 80's D-28. I can't quite put my finger on why, but I just never bonded with that guitar. I traded it for Gibson J-45.

Dan
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  #6  
Old 02-21-2009, 06:02 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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I have played many, many D-28's and have owned a 1968 D-35 (Braz. RW & Sitka top) since I got it new in 1969. From my viewpoint, my D-35 has both more bass AND more treble than a D-28. I have found the D-35 a very good all-around guitar for both strumming and for finger picking. This was my ONLY 6-string guitar while I played professionally, ending about 20 years ago. These days I play mostly fingerstyle and still find it to be one of the best sounding guitars I've ever played.

However, my D-35 is unusually good and my luthier who has refretted it twice agrees. I have played brand new D-35's in my favorite local store and I thought they sounded thin in comparison. Of the more current variety, I prefer the HD-35, as it sounds closer to my old D-35.

Maybe I was just incredibly lucky... However, I heard Eric Johnson perform an all-acoustic show at the University of Washington a few years ago, and he used on old D-35 like mine, and it also sounded amazing.

Regards, Glenn
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Old 02-21-2009, 06:34 PM
yammieplaya yammieplaya is offline
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The Braz ones seem to sell for a lot
more than the EIRs from only a few
years later.
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  #8  
Old 02-21-2009, 06:41 PM
L20A L20A is offline
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In 1981, I bought my D-35 because it had the best sound and the most bass response.

I still have the D-35 and it just keeps getting better.

You will have to play both and decide for yourself.
The good thing is that both are great guitars.
Pick the one you like.
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  #9  
Old 02-21-2009, 07:52 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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People who play mostly by themselves tend to like the D-35's more than those who play mostly in groups. The lighter top bracing of the D-35 makes for a fatter tone, which is great when playing solo, but in a group setting they typically do not "cut" or project over the other instruments as well as a D-28.

In turn, because of its rosewood back and sides, the harmonically richer tone of a D-28 doesn't "cut" as well as the mahogany D-18.

You'll see plenty both D-28's and D-18's in use in bluegrass bands, but D-35's are a lot less common. It's not because of some odd, inexplicable snobbery or (as I've seen suggested) "bluegrass tradition," but because D-35's typically can't be heard as well over the clatter of a fullbore bluegrass band as those other two models.

Hope that makes sense.


Wade Hampton Miller
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  #10  
Old 02-21-2009, 08:01 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Wade,

Your comments absolutely make sense. I completely agree. For my style of playing, basically solo or small folky kinds of groups or performing with my family, my old D-35 worked well.

I can understand the D-18 for bluegrass.

Thanks, Glenn
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  #11  
Old 02-22-2009, 12:17 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yammieplaya View Post
Guys - I'm just idly curious.
Are there substantial differences
in tone or playability between these two models?
Leaving aside variance from individual guitar to guitar.
Hi yammieplaya,

Being primarily a flatpicker, playing bluegrass, folk and country, and having owned both a Martin D-35 and many Martin D-28 and Martin HD-28s, I'd summarize the differences as being:

a Martin D-35 is a balanced but dark-sounding guitar and would lend itself to singer-songwriter applications but it can still be a decent flatpicking guitar;

a Martin D-28 is a clearer-sounding guitar with a well-pronounced bass tonality that when played hard will yield a clearer tone and better melody note-within-chords articulation than will a Martin D-35. For this reason a Martin D-28 is favored by bluegrass guitarists because of its ablilty to deliver loud, pronounced alternating bass notes and clear melody single notes and runs.

For my music, if I had to choose between a Martin D-35 and a Martin D-28 as an only guitar, without hesitation, it would be a Martin D-28!

Regards,

SpruceTop
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Old 02-22-2009, 05:48 PM
Bltprf502 Bltprf502 is offline
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Out of the ones I have played, I like the HD-35's better. I didn't buy either when it came down to it... I wanted more mid range, so I bought an H&D dread. Come to find out it ended up being louder as well.
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  #13  
Old 02-22-2009, 05:59 PM
rosewoodsteel rosewoodsteel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade Hampton View Post
People who play mostly by themselves tend to like the D-35's more than those who play mostly in groups. The lighter top bracing of the D-35 makes for a fatter tone, which is great when playing solo, but in a group setting they typically do not "cut" or project over the other instruments as well as a D-28.

In turn, because of its rosewood back and sides, the harmonically richer tone of a D-28 doesn't "cut" as well as the mahogany D-18.

You'll see plenty both D-28's and D-18's in use in bluegrass bands, but D-35's are a lot less common. It's not because of some odd, inexplicable snobbery or (as I've seen suggested) "bluegrass tradition," but because D-35's typically can't be heard as well over the clatter of a fullbore bluegrass band as those other two models.
Hope that makes sense.
Wade Hampton Miller
Well put!

I've had my D35 for 35 years now and I still love it!
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  #14  
Old 02-22-2009, 06:02 PM
Chazmo Chazmo is offline
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I haven't played many D-35s, but I've played a slew of different D-28 models. There's so much variation in the D-28s, HD-28, HD-28V, etc... It's a little mind-boggling.

I've always been a sucker for a nice 3-piece back, though. Love that about the -35s.
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  #15  
Old 02-23-2009, 02:34 AM
brianmay brianmay is offline
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I played both in the shop and left with the D-28.

BUT it was only a choice between those models that were there on the day, set up how they were with the strings that they came with.

As in all things, it's subjective and thank God for choice eh? We would be SOoo boring if we all thought the same.

And if you're happy with your equipment, does it matter what anyone else thinks?
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