Any downsides to HD 28?

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by '63-Strat, Mar 18, 2019.

  1. '63-Strat

    '63-Strat Member

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    I have had a Taylor 812CE for like 20 years and it is great for almost everything, but looking to finally get a Martin in the mix. My brother has an HD 28 and I was very impressed. I would likely be buying used for what it is worth.
     
  2. guitararmy

    guitararmy Member

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    I think it would be a great addition to your stable. As with most larger companies, some Martins will be better than others. I had an H28V that was slightly lacking in presence and midrange, so I sold it...
     
  3. kludge

    kludge The droid you're looking for Silver Supporting Member

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    As long as you try before you buy. Make sure you like the sound and the feel of the exact instrument you're purchasing - not the same model, but that specific guitar. When you play one and you just know... that's the one to buy.
     
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  4. Tony Done

    Tony Done Member

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    I agree. They vary, so buy the particular one that you like. I would be checking the neck angle on any prospective purchase, to make sure that it isn't in need of a neck reset now or in the near future.
     
  5. cap217

    cap217 Member

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    Ch dk neck angle. The old hd28 (pre 2018) is different that the new spec hd28. I think martins have the Sound for a dread butbthr lack mids and I like mids. They get muddy too which is normal. None of this is bad, just a character of a Martin.
     
  6. aiq

    aiq Supporting Member

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    I have a D2R. Basically a 28 with laminate rosewood back and sides. Great value used if you can find.
     
  7. 71strat

    71strat Member

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    Pre 75 Mossman Flint Hills. They had a fire in 75, though the post fire guitars are great, the wood he bought from Martin was all burned up.

    Mossman was a luthier for Martin in the 50s, and decided to go his own way in the early 60s, and started building Prototype guitars. He gave 1 to Norman Blake to play in 1968, and asked what needed to be made better. So Blake told him, and Mossman gave him the updated guitar at a Bluegrass Festival in 1969. Blake told him it was the 2nd best guitar he ever played. 1st was his Prewar Martin D45.
    In 1970 Mossman Guitars was born.


    Mossman bought a Whole Warehouse Full of Martins Best Wood around 63-65. Brazilian Included.
    Dan Erlewine is/was married to Mossmans Daughter, and almost went to work for him at startup in 1970.


    Model Lineup
    The company specialized in production of dreadnought-sized guitars, likely due to Mossman’s background as a flatpicker, and offered four basic models at the beginning. All featured Sitka spruce top, Grover Rotomatic tuners, 25 3/4-inch scale length, and ebony fingerboard and bridge except where noted. An early catalog from 1972 shows the following models:

    Tennessee Flat Top was constructed with mahogany back and sides, rosewood fingerboard and bridge, dot inlay, and black plastic binding on top and back of body. Suggested retail $350 in 1972.

    Flint Hills used East Indian Rosewood back and sides with white plastic binding and herringbone inlay around soundhole, $450 retail. Also available was the Flint Hills Custom, which featured bound neck and peghead, abalone snowflake position markers, abalone inlay around body perimeter and soundhole, and gold Grovers, for $650.

    Great Plains was essentially the Flint Hills with Brazilian rosewood back and sides, and herringbone inlay around the body perimeter, $525. The Great Plains Custom offered the addition of bound neck and peghead, gold Grovers, and abalone binding, $725.
    Golden Era was Mossman’s top-line instrument and featured select Brazilian rosewood back and sides, German spruce top, abalone inlay around the top, three-piece back with abalone back strip inlay, bound neck and headstock, gold Grovers, and an intricate abalone vine inlay up the length of the fingerboard. Suggested retail was $875. A Golden Era Custom added an advanced Maurer abalone inlay on the neck and headstock.
     
  8. kludge

    kludge The droid you're looking for Silver Supporting Member

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    I recently acquired a 1985 Mossman - made shortly after the sale of the company to Scott Baxendale. It's glorious, just an incredible sounding guitar. Indian rosewood. Looks like a D28, but sounds more like a D18 (although it has its own thing going, for sure). I find most D28 types sound boomy and many are downright muddy, but this guitar has that crisp attack and midrange strength I usually associate with mahogany bodies. I played 10+ vintage Martins in the same room, and imho the Mossman spanked them all. I'd love to find a good 1970s Mossman someday.

    OTOH, the older Mossman guitars had a nasty combination of a bracing design flaw and a totally overbuilt neck joint that was both screwed and glued. So they often need an "Agony of De Feet" repair to reset the neck and fix the top bracing, and that should definitely be done by someone who has experience with the procedure, rather than some local luthier who looks at it and thinks "Oh, that's just a Martin copy". It's not.
     
  9. Kiwi

    Kiwi Silver Supporting Member

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    Well, the HD-28 is the industry standard, the classic booming dreadnought, no? What's not to love, for that sound?

    As noted above: Play the one you're considering buying. Does it call you by your secret name?

    I also loved my HD-28 a lot more when I ditched phosphor bronze strings for silk-and-steel, and Martin Monel strings. That reduced the sometimes clangy top end and calmed down the whole tonality, while keeping the essential sound.

    =K
     
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  10. gibson3798

    gibson3798 Member

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    There’s another popular forum that needs this information. They can’t grasp this truism.
     
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  11. hw2nw

    hw2nw Member

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    I don't think i've played what i'd consider a BAD HD-28. Really, really well-balanced guitars.
     
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  12. DanR

    DanR Member

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    I have had my HD-28 for 4 1/2 years. I love it. If I could only keep 1 out of the 5 acoustics I have, I'd keep the HD-28. Downside??? I would rather use a different guitar for finger picking. I like a smaller bodied guitar for that, which I have. I flat pick more than finger pick which is why the HD-28 would be the keeper of the bunch.
     
  13. DRS

    DRS Member

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    No down side other than it's a larger acoustic guitar but still manageable.
    I love Martins.
     
  14. Frozen Rat

    Frozen Rat Gold Supporting Member

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    The only downsides can think of are: it's long scale, it's big, it has 14 frets to the body. But these are my issues. If you don't mind a big, long scale guitar with a long neck, there's nothing else you need to worry about except how to get a good price on one. A D-28 is only about the most iconic guitar ever made. Hard to go wrong.

    If I were playing in a loud band, on stage, standing, I'd strongly consider one. But I sit, on my couch, at home, playing in the classical position (which juts the neck up high and to the left) where that kind of a guitar is a terrible choice. So it's a situational type of thing to consider too. Is this the right guitar for what you will be doing with it? That's one thing to ask yourself.
     
  15. FloyDZeD

    FloyDZeD Member

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    I haven't played an HD-28 unfortunately, but my 2017 model D-28 is amazing. Feels like a step up from my Gibson J-45 and makes me wonder why I didn't buy a Martin sooner.
     
  16. aldocello

    aldocello Member

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    Just find the right one. I searched for over a year for the sound I was looking for which was bass heavy for playing bluegrass without a real standup bass. I found that sound in a D-35. The HD 28 is the standard for all acoustics in my opinion.
     
  17. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel Silver Supporting Member

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    I would decide first if If I wanted a Martin dread (which seems you have) Than I would play a bunch and figure which spec feels and sound right to you. (Long scale? 1 3/4 nut vs 1 11/16th nut. Bracing spec etc) Once that is figured out I would play both rosewood and mahogany varients that have the specs that feel and sound comfortably. Then I would choose what works best.

    Or you can just pick something up and play it. If it plays how you want it to play great and it sounds how you want to sound and buy it.

    I have used both methods with great success.
     
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  18. hillin

    hillin Member

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    too much bass for me, I'd go for mahogany
     
  19. rowdyyates

    rowdyyates Supporting Member

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    I’ve not played a bad one either. All were good sounding guitars, but one, out of at least 50 I’ve played, was spectacular. I’ve played a good number of older Brazilian D-28’s, and this one was as good as any.

    I’ve beeb trying to buy it for 20 years.
     
  20. Bertiman

    Bertiman Member

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    One of the most versatile, sweetest sounding acoustic guitar model out there...
     

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