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  #16  
Old 02-20-2019, 04:27 AM
rokdog49 rokdog49 is offline
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Originally Posted by AndrewG View Post
Yes, there are good, bad and mediocre Martins just like any other mass-produced guitar.
Unfortunately, there are but a "bad" Martin may not mean the same as a bad
something else. Once upon a time at Wildwood Music, Martin came to town on a road show. There were two D28's brought in among the many different Martin's for folks to play. One was a John Lennon autograph model, the other just a plain old D28. I played them both and to my surprise (I guess), the plain old D28 was clearly the better sounding of the two. That is not to say the other guitar sounded bad because it didn't. If I were buying one, the regular D28 would have been my choice and it was a lot less money. Interestingly, a lot of other folks felt the same.

In any case, if a guitar sounds good, buy it. It's not going to be anyone else's guitar and "opinions vary."
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  #17  
Old 02-20-2019, 04:34 AM
Kerbie Kerbie is offline
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Welcome Alluvius... hope you enjoy the forum. Whether there are bad D-28s is solely a personal opinion. It is certainly an iconic guitar and is a lifetime instrument for a large number of guitarists. I'd trust your instincts, play it a lot and enjoy it!
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  #18  
Old 02-20-2019, 04:42 AM
AndrewG AndrewG is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rokdog49 View Post
Unfortunately, there are but a "bad" Martin may not mean the same as a bad
something else. Once upon a time at Wildwood Music, Martin came to town on a road show. There were two D28's brought in among the many different Martin's for folks to play. One was a John Lennon autograph model, the other just a plain old D28. I played them both and to my surprise (I guess), the plain old D28 was clearly the better sounding of the two. That is not to say the other guitar sounded bad because it didn't. If I were buying one, the regular D28 would have been my choice and it was a lot less money. Interestingly, a lot of other folks felt the same.

In any case, if a guitar sounds good, buy it. It's not going to be anyone else's guitar and "opinions vary."
I agree; a 'bad' sounding D-28 is likely to sound a whole lot better than a great cheapie. I've owned a couple; an '84 which was very bright, and an early 2000s example which had much of the lushness associated with a rosewood Martin, so they will differ quite a bit in my experience.
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  #19  
Old 02-20-2019, 05:27 AM
Gmountain Gmountain is offline
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Originally Posted by Alluvius View Post
Tldr: how do I tell a good d-28 from a bad one? Am I throwing pearls for swine if I get one as my second guitar?

Hey,

I haven't played the acoustic guitar for very long, about 3-4 years experience with my Yamaha C40. I play almost every day and I love it.

Music has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember and I have a history of playing other instruments.

Now I'm looking to upgrade to a good quality, steel stringed guitar. I started looking at a budget of 500-1000$, which I thought was reasonable considering my lack of experience and proficiency.
You have plenty of experience. You won't go wrong with a D-28.

And forget this part about you not having enough experience or proficiency
to have a nice guitar.

Do you say that you are not handsome enough for nice clothes?

Do you say you are not a professional chef so you shouldn't enjoy good food?

Do you say you are not race car driver so you shouldn't have a nice car?

Get the D-28. You won't regret it.
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  #20  
Old 02-20-2019, 05:39 AM
musicman1951 musicman1951 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gmountain View Post
You have plenty of experience. You won't go wrong with a D-28.

And forget this part about you not having enough experience or proficiency
to have a nice guitar.

Do you say that you are not handsome enough for nice clothes?

Do you say you are not a professional chef so you shouldn't enjoy good food?

Do you say you are not race car driver so you shouldn't have a nice car?

Get the D-28. You won't regret it.
Well said. I'd take it to a luthier for a sep-up, but I vote buy.
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  #21  
Old 02-20-2019, 05:53 AM
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Mbroady Mbroady is offline
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Sounds like you liked the guitar so get it. Just don’t be afraid to shop around for prices and wheel and deal (within reason) with the shop. 40% MSRP is what to expect.
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  #22  
Old 02-20-2019, 06:06 AM
The Bard Rocks The Bard Rocks is offline
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I am envious of you. In my experience, finding one that blows me away is rare. Go back, maybe take your Yammie with you so you have a basis of comparison. And play if for a long while to make sure it is - literally - a good fit and you won't develop physical problems with it. If that works, find your checkbook.
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  #23  
Old 02-20-2019, 06:19 AM
Deisun Deisun is offline
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I myself just took the plunge on a D-28 just only 7 weeks ago.

Like you, I too was worried that I didn't feel worthy of such a great guitar. If I had known how much it would inspire me to play by simply wanting to hear it's beautiful voice, I would never have questioned the purchase. Now, 7 weeks later I have played SO much and my play has improved significantly.

This has only had a crazy snowball effect where 2 things are happening: 1) Since I've improved I can make the guitar make even more beautiful sounds and 2) The guitar itself is sounding absolutely better by playing it so much for the past 7 weeks. Both these things make me want to play it more and more and more...

I simply cannot put the thing down. Get the D-28, you will not regret it.

If you're worried about picking a "bad" one, just simply play a few of them. Your ear will guide you better than we can. In my experience it's rare to find a bad D-28. Most are good, some are VERY good.
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  #24  
Old 02-20-2019, 06:22 AM
leew3 leew3 is offline
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I'll add to GMountain's well stated encouragement. After playing a nice Alvarez for over 30 years I took the plunge to buy my first Taylor (an 814 ce I still love). I initially felt similarly that I didn't play well enough to own this nice a guitar but found that I liked playing it so much that I've become a much better guitar player. Be careful though-I now own 4 Taylors, 3 Martins and a Larrivee!

In short, buy it and love it!
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  #25  
Old 02-20-2019, 06:38 AM
Paddy1951 Paddy1951 is offline
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I don't think there are many truly "bad" 28s out there. Different from one another? yes.
You can ask others opinions but this is going to be your guitar, correct?
Trust your ears. You only have to please yourself.

If you can play the guitar in question against other 28s, great. Even if you can play other 28s by themselves, you will gain a bit of perspective.

To a degree, you can tweak most guitars to please yourself. Strings, saddle materials, pins, nut materials, picks used.

Don't stress to much about this. If you like it, go for it.
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  #26  
Old 02-20-2019, 06:39 AM
Goodallboy Goodallboy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewG View Post
Yes, there are good, bad and mediocre Martins just like any other mass-produced guitar.
Absolutely true and why this isn’t acknowledged by some I’m not quite sure. I guess we have different definitions of “bad”, although when talking about a great D-28, anything mediocre and lifeless I place in the “bad” column. And there are plenty of those out there if you have a reference point to begin with.

If you’ve found a guitar (by playing it) and can afford it easily, then buy it.
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  #27  
Old 02-20-2019, 06:58 AM
Paddy1951 Paddy1951 is offline
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Originally Posted by Goodallboy View Post
Absolutely true and why this isn’t acknowledged by some I’m not quite sure. I guess we have different definitions of “bad”, although when talking about a great D-28, anything mediocre and lifeless I place in the “bad” column. And there are plenty of those out there if you have a reference point to begin with.



If you’ve found a guitar (by playing it) and can afford it easily, then buy it.
If there are mediocre 28s out there they can be tweaked for better performance by a good luthier. If we are talking build mistakes such a poor bridge placement or neck irregularities, thats a different story.

As we all know, sound is subjective, based on "on our internal hard drive expectations."

You may have a guitar you think is to die for and I might yawn. It could go the other way, too.

There is no perfect guitar. Only ones we like or don't like.
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  #28  
Old 02-20-2019, 09:15 AM
Steadfastly Steadfastly is offline
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Originally Posted by Alluvius View Post
Thank you all for your great advice and encouraging words. I feel much more confident in my choice now.



I did some research and apparently I should check intonation, inspect the neck for bending or twisting and look for signs of hits where the head joins the neck. Obviously also look for cracks in the body.
While this is important, these things are more important to check in a used guitar. They seldom come up in a new guitar except for the really cheap ones. That said, it doesn't hurt to check but it shouldn't be a problem.

If you can take someone along to play, have them do so and you listen to the guitar while sitting or standing in front of it. You get a better idea of the true sound of it that way.
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  #29  
Old 02-20-2019, 09:27 AM
Woolbury Woolbury is offline
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This is exactly how you buy a guitar, play as many as you can, and when one speaks to you, where you can't stop thinking abut it, you've found your match. Realize that is a classic guitar, it won't lose value, probably appreciate if you own it long enough. You haven't spent any money, you're just tying it up in a guitar

I own a Martin M36, bought used, and was able to play 2 different ones when I got it. There was a world of difference between the 2. Im assuming you want to buy this guitar because you played it and like it, not because of some idea you have about d28's. I think you have to connect with the particular guitar you buy. And realize your tastes change over time. My M36 is a 1 11/16 neck, and as I moved more into finger style playing, I found the neck too narrow and bought my wider neck Collings which I prefer. But it's a solid investment, you'll have room to move in the future if you ever want to.

I can't ever remember regretting a purchase when Ive stepped up to a higher level, but I have regretted setting for less. Enjoy your new guitar!
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Last edited by Woolbury; 02-20-2019 at 09:34 AM.
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  #30  
Old 02-20-2019, 10:45 AM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Hi Alluvius,

First, welcome to the AGF! I hope you like it here!

Second, I am a longtime Martin owner. I have a 1967 Martin D-35 I obtained when I turned 21 in 1969. I still love this guitar and am so glad I was able to get it way back over 50 years ago.

Regarding your doubts about trusting your ears, if you like acoustic guitar music, you are very likely more of an expert on the sound of a good acoustic guitar than you realize. The reason for that is that you have been listening to the sound of good guitars on recordings for years. Your brain already knows what a good acoustic guitar sounds like.

So in short, I would trust your ears. You've just picked out a Martin D-28 -- a real classic model -- as the sound and response that you like. It seems to me that your ears are pretty good!

I would talk to your wife before buying, but hopefully she will encourage you. Have fun!

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