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Old 01-06-2011, 12:02 PM
bluegrasswannab bluegrasswannab is offline
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Default Martin HD28 vs Martin HD28v for Bluegrass

Hey gang, I just purchased a Martin HD28 (scalloped standard bracing position) and I am pretty happy with it. However, after reading some of the reviews online, many spoke to the sound od the HD28v, which features the FORWARD shifted scalloped bracing and the v neck with open tuners. Okay, I am sure many will say that both are good guitars which I know is true. However, I have been pursuing bluegrass guitar with the intention of having an instrument that will excell in the area of bluegrass. Anyone have opinions as to which guitar would be a better bluegrass instrument? Or, is it a "toss up." My local music store has one on order and I could trade in my HD28 and pay $700 to get the HD28v. Which instrument will be able to handle playing unplugged with other instruments and also be able to cut through the others when soloing...I have heard some posts that say the HD28v is too bassy to cut through the other instruments when soloing. Anyone have experieince in this area? Thanks in advance....
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Old 01-06-2011, 12:09 PM
scdreger scdreger is offline
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I don't know about too bassy to cut when soloing. I personally think they are both suited to that style. One important thing to consider is the neck. Have you played a Martin modified V neck? I personally love them, I have one on my OM-28V. Others dislike them, it's not a good or a bad thing, it's a personal preference thing. Also an aesthetic thing, I personally love the fret markers and open back tuners on the vintage series, but again your taste may differ.
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Old 01-06-2011, 12:22 PM
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My opinion, but for traditional Bluegrass in a band you still can't beat the standard D-18 and D-28, simple clean voicings.

I have owned pretty much the entire 28 line through the Marquis and they all have their strengths and weaknesses. Ensemble the D-18 (mahogany, leads) and D-28 (rhythm, rosewood) are hard to beat, solo the "variants" ( D-18V, D-18GE, HD-28, HD-28V and D-28 Marquis) add some complexity but that is not necessarily what you want in a Bluegrass band where clean note separation and each instrument not stepping on the other is important.

I have a GE and a terrific Adi/Madi America's Guitar in my little herd but if I joined a serious Bluegrass band I would get a standard D-28. Of course you can play anything on anything, but pro Bluegrass players don't buy HD's, Authentics or Madagascars, they buy older D-18 and 28's.

My .02, from someone who has owned a LOT of Martins.
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Old 01-06-2011, 12:26 PM
warfrat73 warfrat73 is online now
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If you're happy with your HD28 there's really no reason to trade up; it's an excellent bluegrass guitar. The "v" may be marginally louder and bassier but it kind of depends on the individual specimen. Your HD28 should cut just fine, especially if you have bright strings on it and play near the bridge.

See if that local shop will give you "right of first refusal" on the "v" that they've got coming in, or at least have them give you a call when it shows up. Then A/B the two guitars and decide if it's worth the extra money to you.
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Old 01-06-2011, 12:47 PM
kente777 kente777 is offline
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I've got an HD-28V. I think either guitar is fine to suit your purposes, though I may lean more towards the HD-28 because of a little less bass.
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Old 01-06-2011, 01:20 PM
bluegrasswannab bluegrasswannab is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmyAddison View Post
if I joined a serious Bluegrass band I would get a standard D-28. Of course you can play anything on anything, but pro Bluegrass players don't buy HD's, Authentics or Madagascars, they buy older D-18 and 28's.

My .02, from someone who has owned a LOT of Martins.
Why the D28 over HD28? Why do they like the standard bracing over the scalloped?
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Old 01-06-2011, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluegrasswannab View Post
Why the D28 over HD28? Why do they like the standard bracing over the scalloped?
Again, you can play anything on anything or in any situation, but..........

when you play in a band you need to consider more than yourself, the sound of the group is more important. D-28s are in most folks opinions the most balanced Martin dreads, HD's have more low end, HD-28V's (I love them) are warm and smokey, and Marquis are HD's on steroids. All great guitars, and you have the 35s and 40 series, and GE/Authentics , but the good old 18/28s "fit" in a Bluegrass mix the easiest.

You don't need strong bass when you have a bass player, you don't need a lush sound when you have the fill of many instruments. And you certainly can play any dread in a Bluegrass band, some just blend better and there certainly are groups with different dreads and non-Martins. But the majority of traditional Bluegrass down home bands use D-18 and 28's, some of that is just traditional, BG is very conservative, and some is because folks have figured out over the years what just works.

Nobody is going to kick you out with a Merrill or Henderson or Dudenbostel or Blazer & Henkes either, just giving an observation on the most common Martin choices historically for Bluegrass. Happy shopping.
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Old 01-06-2011, 02:37 PM
bluegrasswannab bluegrasswannab is offline
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So, if you were to choose, you would prefer the hd28v vs the hd28?
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Old 01-06-2011, 03:30 PM
catdaddy catdaddy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluegrasswannab View Post
So, if you were to choose, you would prefer the hd28v vs the hd28?
There have been some great responses to this thread, elucidating the potential and very nuanced differences between the two Martin models. It seems to me that the answer to your question would be similar to the answer to this bluegrass conundrum:

Who would you rather have playing in your bluegrass band, Tony Rice or Bryan Sutton?
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Old 01-06-2011, 03:41 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Hi BluegrassWannaB,

I really think Rich has hit the proverbial nail on the head. Bluegrass players tend to buy older D-18 and D-28 guitars.

That said, if you own an HD-28, I'd say that you already own a stellar guitar, it's perfectly suitable for bluegrass and all kinds of other music, too, and you have the advantage of not having to spend more money on the HD-28V.

When the HD-28V comes in to your local music store, try it out and see if you like it and if it's worth more money to you. If it were me, I'd use the HD-28 you already have and concentrate on getting good. Some bluegrass players like the HD-28. I have not heard of many BG players using the HD-28V, but that doesn't mean they are not out there.

I can guarantee you that a good BG player could make your HD-28 sound terrific. If you learn to play that well, nobody will care what model you have.

Best regards,
Glenn
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Old 01-07-2011, 10:08 AM
rockinrebel rockinrebel is offline
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Man, does that sum it up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glennwillow View Post
Hi BluegrassWannaB,

I really think Rich has hit the proverbial nail on the head. Bluegrass players tend to buy older D-18 and D-28 guitars.

That said, if you own an HD-28, I'd say that you already own a stellar guitar, it's perfectly suitable for bluegrass and all kinds of other music, too, and you have the advantage of not having to spend more money on the HD-28V.

When the HD-28V comes in to your local music store, try it out and see if you like it and if it's worth more money to you. If it were me, I'd use the HD-28 you already have and concentrate on getting good. Some bluegrass players like the HD-28. I have not heard of many BG players using the HD-28V, but that doesn't mean they are not out there.

I can guarantee you that a good BG player could make your HD-28 sound terrific.
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If you learn to play that well, nobody will care what model you have.
Best regards,
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Old 01-07-2011, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glennwillow View Post
Hi BluegrassWannaB,

<snip>

I can guarantee you that a good BG player could make your HD-28 sound terrific. If you learn to play that well, nobody will care what model you have.

Best regards,
Glenn
Exactly! Shopping from scratch I would lean towards a D-28 if playing in a Bluegrass band, but if you already have a HD-28, hey it's a great guitar, and you certainly can make it work. Have fun...............!!!!
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Old 01-07-2011, 11:02 AM
L20A L20A is offline
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Isn't an HD-28 built to copy the older D-28's that had scalloped bracing?
The other thing missing on the HD-28 is an Adi top.

A newer D-28 isn't scalloped so I would think that the HD-28 would be a closer match to an old D-28.

Keep your money and play the HD-28.
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Old 01-07-2011, 12:07 PM
Tony Burns Tony Burns is offline
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no brainer- HD-28
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Old 01-07-2011, 12:20 PM
taylerpaw taylerpaw is offline
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I too recently bought an HD-28 and I have to say it is certainly a Bluegrass guitar! Mine has the sweetist "G" chord I have ever heard. Also since the HD-28 does have quite a bit of bass, I would think the HD-28v would have more bass than I would want. If your HD-28 sounds anything like mine, you are surely set-up for bluegrass. Like another poster said keep and play the HD-28 and gain Bluegrass experience.
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