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Old 01-21-2021, 05:44 AM
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SalFromChatham SalFromChatham is offline
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I have owned many of each. I am predominantly a singer, so the two HD28s I used to own ultimately proved too boomy with my voice. I have also used the terms "muddy". By the way the new redesigned standard D-28 I found to be an improvement. If you do go the D-28 route, nickel bronze strings, or nickel/monel, will balance the sound out some.

I own a J-45-TV and I find that guitar heaven. Since you have a rosewood backed nice guitar, I would go that route.
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Old 01-21-2021, 05:48 AM
palolowarrior palolowarrior is offline
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I recently picked up a Custom HD28 Marquis/GE Adi/EIR sunburst from Reno’s Music. It is a winner.

A couple weeks on the Tonerite did it some good I might add. But, out of the box it was and is amazing.

Better than a stock D28.
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Old 01-21-2021, 06:03 AM
Laughingboy68 Laughingboy68 is offline
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Traditionally, the J-45 has the combination of mahogany and short-scale. For many, this makes for a comfortable playing, clear voice with that Gibson thump that ticks all the boxes. I've only played one that really spoke to me and it was out of my price range at the time.

I prefer long scale instruments, so for me in their traditional form, the D28 would win out.If I had the choice, it'd be an HD28. I like both rosewood and mahogany, so that's not the decider for me. There is always the option of the Advanced Jumbo if you want the Gibson brand with 25" scale and rosewood back and sides.

Try the D18 if you prefer mahogany, but still want a Martin.

Then again you could cover all your bases and get one of each. Still, then you've only got your Dreadnaught options covered, so you'd still need an OM and a Jumbo. It really is endless.

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Old 01-21-2021, 07:00 AM
llew llew is online now
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Originally Posted by palolowarrior View Post
I recently picked up a Custom HD28 Marquis/GE Adi/EIR sunburst from Reno’s Music. It is a winner.

A couple weeks on the Tonerite did it some good I might add. But, out of the box it was and is amazing.

Better than a stock D28.
I looked at those guitars as well. Mark does a good job with his CS Martin's. I have to believe it's a fine guitar!
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Old 01-21-2021, 07:27 AM
poopsidoo poopsidoo is offline
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Originally Posted by eljay View Post
J-45 all the way for me. Short scale and mahogany b/s. Not to mention buckets of mojo.

I've never played a D-28 that did much for me. Obviously, many good folk love their D-28s.

My hd-28 is loud...good for busking, anytime I’m not amplified. The J45 gets all the attention otherwise. Good for songwriting. Good for folk/country. Both play very well
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Old 01-21-2021, 07:29 AM
MickZ MickZ is offline
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I would choose an HD-28 over the D-28. The J45 is a joy to play, with a Goldilocks neck carve, nut width and short scale, and is more comfortable when seated, given its slope design. The Martin tone is all there with the HD-28, and they are fairly consistent. With the J45, there’s a lot more variability.
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Old 01-21-2021, 09:40 AM
JTFoote JTFoote is offline
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I've owned several Gibson guitars over the years, the most recent being a Kristofferson SJ. And I've played dozens more, looking for one with an inspiring voice. But alas, that particular guitar has managed to elude me. And so, I am currently Gibson-less. What the future holds ....

Interestingly enough, I managed to find myself in a similar situation with Martin guitars. The similarity ends in the comparison when talking about money, as I have found a couple of Martins in the past that were truly astounding, but simply way out of my budget. I live to play good guitars, but have no intention of taking out a mortgage to pay for one. Common sense sometimes has to prevail.

Today, I own a recent Martin D-28. I wanted to find a guitar with a focused voice, and good balance, with plenty of resonance. I needed the guitar for standard tuning, as opposed to my other guitars that live in alternate tunings, and I wanted strong trebles, a defined, distinct bass, and a rich mid-range, primarily for recording.

Of course, I had played many other D-28s, time and again, but none that had caused me to haul out my wallet, or shift gears right into debtor's prison.

But this new one, with the forward-shifted straight bracing - this one managed to put me on a payment plan. It ticks all the boxes. It has a very playable neck and fretboard, with the 1-3/4 nut, which I prefer. I like custom light strings, and yet, it projects unusually well. I work 90/10% fingerpicking and flatpicking, and it handles both without complaint. And yes, it is a guitar with an inspiring sound, one that feeds the old creative juices, and as a songwriter and musician, that is a very important consideration. And it doesn't hurt my feelings, strictly as a visual reference, that it has one of the nicest tops I've ever seen. Martin must have had some really exceptional spruce in the stack that day.

I'll also note that, with old, repetitive injuries that sometimes plague me, I need a guitar that just plain feels good in my hands, and doesn't require me to ice down my fretting hand after a session. So far, the ice bags have stayed in the freezer.

To end --- it has songs in it, with just enough fight to make the experience thoroughly enjoyable. Whether a delicate piece, or digging in with intent, it performs admirably.

My vote should be obvious.

... JT
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Old 01-21-2021, 11:13 AM
PassingThru PassingThru is offline
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I have also owned both at one time or another. My muscle memory is in tune with the D28. It's a good thing I like the Martin sound.
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Old 01-21-2021, 11:26 AM
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cliff_the_stiff cliff_the_stiff is online now
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I am a Martin guy- But I liked the Martins that aren’t dreads. The 000, or the Jumbos.
I recently bought a used Gibson J-29.
The J-29 is an all solid wood Gibson rosewood dread that can be had for under 2K-Also short scale as is the J-45
I don’t have any guitar as loud as the J-29. Just a huge voice.
So, nothing against my beloved Martins-
But I would go J-45 and a J-29.

The J-29 is rare. There is one f/s on the forum today.
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Old 01-21-2021, 11:37 AM
musicman1951 musicman1951 is offline
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Either, depending on your preferred style of music. Gibson guitars rarely have enough sustain for me.
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Old 01-21-2021, 12:12 PM
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Charmed Life Picks Charmed Life Picks is offline
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I confess I've played but never owned a J-45. However, if my Eastmas E-10SS is any indication, I'd lean toward the J-45 over the Martin. I find it to be a more versatile design, esp in the fingerstyle department. I've owned a very fine HD-28 for over twenty years, but my vote is for the Gibson.

This would have made an interesting poll question.

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Old 01-21-2021, 04:09 PM
jrb715 jrb715 is offline
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Originally Posted by brencat View Post
The D-28 if you are a flatpicker.

The J-45 for everything else. (It's not a great flatpicker)
This is what I've found as well. But my experience is that you are a little more likely to run into a disappointing J45 than a disappointing Martin dread. I've a local store, Grayson's TuneTown, that carries both. Over the years, the Martin dreads have been more consistent--though occasionally a less compelling one does surface. The J45s have varied a little more from instrument to instrument. J45s are not booming guitars, and a couple of times I've picked up one (with good strings) that was relatively muffled and dead to the touch.

But in the best of worlds my choice as a singer who relies on hybrid picking and supportive strumming and fills would be a good J45 before either a good D28 or D18.

Last edited by jrb715; 01-22-2021 at 01:34 AM.
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Old 01-21-2021, 08:01 PM
highvibrational highvibrational is offline
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I have good representative samples of each and have to say that I prefer the D-28 slightly because it's finer, lighter, more playable and the resonant rosewood tone is so amazing. But, I would record and gig with my J-45 because it's a tank, very versatile, plus it has electronics. For a singer, the J-45 may be a better choice for its balanced tone. But, I've played both that haven't spoken to me, so it's important to play before you buy.

I've been playing my J45 today and love that it is a perfect singer's accompaniment. Not too much tone and just enough. The short scale gives it a fun snap too. Not to mention it is beautiful - the best sunburst I've seen.
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Old 01-21-2021, 10:36 PM
Mark Stone Mark Stone is offline
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Default Which guitar do you like more... Martin D-28 or Gibson J-45?

When I bought my Taylor 814ce last March, I A/B'd it against both the Martin D28 and the Gibson J-45. (I played them for about 90 minutes or so in the high end room at my local GC). Of course, the Taylor came home with me - the 814ce is that good.. Compared to each other, however, in build quality and tone I would rank the D28 and the J-45 dead even. Both were outstanding instruments, and both had their own strengths (which others have already highlighted), but choosing one over the other would have been nearly impossible. Most of my previous stage guitars were Gibson, however (J-45, Hummingbird Pro, J-50 and a B-25 many moons ago) so for emotional reasons I probably would have gone with the J-45. But, really, you would not regret either choice.
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Old 01-21-2021, 11:09 PM
joebloggs joebloggs is offline
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J45 all day, every day for me.
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