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Old 10-15-2009, 06:31 AM
jackstrat jackstrat is offline
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Default Martin D-16R vs Martin D-28

The D-16R and D-28 share the same basic specs (woods, dimensions) except for scalloped bracing on the D16R, is there really much difference in sound?

If anything, you would think the D-16R is more lively sounding given the scalloped bracing...

Unfortunately, I have yet to see these two guitars in the same location for back to back testing.

Anyway, any comments?

JackL
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Old 10-15-2009, 06:50 AM
rbbambino rbbambino is offline
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I can't answer your question, but you peaked my interest and I noticed there is a LSH version of that guitar which has a wider fretboard at the nut (1 3/4) which is much better form me.. The LSH stands for large sound hole if those like myself who are largely ignorant about martin model designations. Anyway... the 16 series martins sound like they are good value guitars. Good luck.
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Old 10-15-2009, 06:54 AM
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rmyAddison rmyAddison is offline
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Jack,

A mortise/tenon neck versus dovetail and hybrid X scallop braces versus standard X braces is enough to me personally to not call them the same basic specs, and the 28 series get a wood upgrade over the 16.

It is amazing to me how much a difference all those bracing styles make to models having the signature Martins sound but still their own voicing.

So, two things, no they do not sound the same, and absolutely some folks may prefer the 16 over the 28. With the scalloped braces the 16 could indeed be more "lively", but to me they are also less complex than the 28's.

I don't like new D-28's, I love them with some years on them. I feel those standard braces make the new guitars tight, they need some break-in time, and in general scalloped braced Martins to me have a better new sound fresh from the factory. But down the road standard braces produce a more balanced sound which some folks want, I still prefer forward shifted scalloped braces and that thump your chest bass as long as it is tight and clean.

The D-28 is a little more guitar than the D-16R but only you can decide which sound you prefer. I would say the 28 is more evenly balanced, and the 16R has a little more growl, equal in volume, and a less complex sound (harmonics and overtones).

There are also Adi tops 16's which are neat little guitars, food for thought.
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Old 10-15-2009, 08:05 AM
Play2PraiseHim Play2PraiseHim is offline
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As usual, I totally agree with Rich on this one. 16's have a brighter, less complex, more modern tone. They just dont capture that full, rich, chiming Martin tone to the fullest. Don't get me wrong, the do sound like a Martin, and they sound good. The 28 will have everything that the 16 has and more. Alot more.

For the $, I would always go with a used 28 rather than a new 16.
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Old 10-15-2009, 08:06 AM
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I played a D-16 Rosewood SHL and D-28 back-to-back. And I've compared a D-16 to the LSH version. I felt like the D-16 had a fuller, richer sound - a very sweet sounding guitar. I would take this over any Martin I've played so far - but for now, I'm very happy with my Taylor DN8.

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Old 10-15-2009, 08:32 AM
surfoxy surfoxy is offline
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Rich's comments seem spot on to me! Additionally, in another thread I just linked this article from frets.com which gives a good overview of Martin bracing styles--you may find it useful.

Non-scalloped straight braces:



Hybrid bracing:

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Old 10-15-2009, 09:07 AM
sunvalleylaw sunvalleylaw is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmyAddison View Post
Jack,

A mortise/tenon neck versus dovetail and hybrid X scallop braces versus standard X braces is enough to me personally to not call them the same basic specs, and the 28 series get a wood upgrade over the 16.

It is amazing to me how much a difference all those bracing styles make to models having the signature Martins sound but still their own voicing.

So, two things, no they do not sound the same, and absolutely some folks may prefer the 16 over the 28. With the scalloped braces the 16 could indeed be more "lively", but to me they are also less complex than the 28's.

I don't like new D-28's, I love them with some years on them. I feel those standard braces make the new guitars tight, they need some break-in time, and in general scalloped braced Martins to me have a better new sound fresh from the factory. But down the road standard braces produce a more balanced sound which some folks want, I still prefer forward shifted scalloped braces and that thump your chest bass as long as it is tight and clean.

The D-28 is a little more guitar than the D-16R but only you can decide which sound you prefer. I would say the 28 is more evenly balanced, and the 16R has a little more growl, equal in volume, and a less complex sound (harmonics and overtones).

There are also Adi tops 16's which are neat little guitars, food for thought.

Thanks Rich. I am querying this topic over on my "Shopping for sound of HD28V" thread. I tend to like Adi top guitar Martins and like the large sound hole D16R I played once. But the D16RGT that was in the local store (that has since closed) did not have some low end complexity or just a certain something as compared to the D28 and HD28V, and frankly, I liked the Larrivee D-03R he had in stock better than that D-16RGT. I have heard others, though, that seemed better. It seemed to me those D-16RGTs could maybe vary in sound a bit. But back to this question, I do not think D-16Rs and D-28s necessarily sound the same. At least the ones I had access to.
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Old 10-15-2009, 11:11 AM
BigRed51 BigRed51 is offline
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First, a few disclaimers and confessions. I am not very scientific about guitars, and obviously not as smart as many folks. I don't worry about all of the different bracing patterns, and I really don't know what all of the sound descriptions mean ... modern, complex, dark, light, full, empty ... and so on. I am sure others would find it a little silly, but it has been called to my attention in some recent threads that I did not know if my guitars had a stripe down the back, or where the dots were on the fretboard. But I do know when I play a guitar if I like the way it sounds, plays and projects, and when I don't ... and that's enough for me. And I realize that just because I don't prefer a certain guitar, that does not make it bad, or mean that someone else won't like it. I play with a flatpick ... primarily bluegrass and some old country ...

OK ... I am not a big fan of the 16 series guitars. I prefer the sound of the 18, 28, and 40 series, and yes, all of the different models within those series play differently, and sound somewhat different. BUT, I have played two HD-16R-LSH's, and have really liked them both! I found the neck very comfortable, and the tone and projection much more to my liking than any other 16 series I have played. In my opinion, it is certainly worthy of consideration and comparison ...
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Old 10-15-2009, 11:23 AM
sunvalleylaw sunvalleylaw is offline
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BigRed, we are on exactly the same track, and I agree with your assessment of the LSH 16Rs. I also like your approach to finding what you like. I go with my ear and my gut. I may be able to find out later what scientific/mechanical things go into making a sound, but I prefer my ear when selecting the sound I want.

I first fell in love with that scooped, R/S Martin sound watching old BBC recordings of Neal and his D-45 in 1971. Then played a D-45 Marquis at a Martin rep presentation at the local store. Well, suffice it to say I am not getting a D-45 Marquis. But maybe I can land in that family of sounds.
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Old 10-15-2009, 11:55 AM
Fungus Kahn Fungus Kahn is offline
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Hi,
There is about $1000 difference (100%) in the price for the D-28 and the D-16RGT (likewise for the D-18 and D-16GT). It seems very difficult to compare two similar guitars, one that costs twice as much as the other, and not conclude that the more expensive guitar was "more complex" sounding or whatever. (Not that it isn't, just we assume $ should equal quality, and that assumption should shape preception right?) Is the upgrade of wood in the 18 and 28 over the 16 just visual or should there be sound differences too?

Of course I would like the 16 to be as good as the 18 because I own a 16.
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Rob
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