Martin D16R vs D 28

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by hockeyfan, Aug 31, 2006.

  1. hockeyfan

    hockeyfan Member

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    hi im considering buying a martin. im torn between a D 28 and a D16R. they both sound the same to me, the only differance that i see is the top bracing and the mortise tenon vs dovetail joint arguement. im not an expert so your info and expertise on this matter is greatly appreaceated, does the fact that the D 16R having a MT joint affect how the tone changes as it gets older. usually a D28 will get better with age but will the D19R do the same.
     
  2. Chops

    Chops Gold Supporting Member

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    I think Martin becomes more selective with wood, such as the spruce tops, as you move up the line. Although I am not sure of the difference between the specific guitars you are looking at. Here is a Forum where a lot of knowledgable people go to talk about Martins:

    http://p082.ezboard.com/btheunofficialmartinguitarforum

    Good luck either way; I have a couple of Martins (00-18V, D-18GE) that I really enjoy.
     
  3. Aahzz

    Aahzz Member

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    I've heard the D-28 will age better. I do know that my D-28 has opened up quite nicely in the 5 years I've owned it. I don't have a D-16R to compare, though. If resale down the road is a concern at all, I do know the D-28 is going to hold value better. Many people have issues with the micarta fingerboard and bridge on the 16 series. I don't - I'm considering a D-16GT to add some mahogany flavor to my acoustic stable. However, that's at least somewhat financial - if I could afford it, I'd grab a D-18.
     
  4. Aahzz

    Aahzz Member

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    I should add - while I don't have a D-16 series, I do have a DM that I use when my kids are around, as I don't mind them banging on it. Same neck joint, same bracing pattern, same grade top. It does have the laminated back and sides, though, which does make some difference. To get to the point, it does sounds great - but it still sounds mostly like it did when I first got it.
     
  5. smiert spionam

    smiert spionam Member

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    If you're able to swing the difference, the D-28 is a better investment and will likely age better. The D-16R is a great guitar (I had an earlier version, the SPD-16R), but it never had quite the tonal complexity and vibe of a standard series. It was always a little colder and harder sounding, though it had a big open voice. It was an excellent guitar, to be sure, but I would have given it up for a D-28. Doubly so for an HD-28, or even better, an HD-28V. Or a D-28 Marquis. Yeah, that's the ticket.

    What was the question?

    ;-)

    You can't really go wrong with either one.
     
  6. Strat-O

    Strat-O Member

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    Once you get it home and work with it some, you'll notice the difference between the two. The D28 is a different guitar. I went down that road once and returned the D16 after about a week.
     
  7. Cybercat

    Cybercat Member

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    Agree with what everyone else has said here so far; the D-28 is the better guitar in the long run & definitely the way to go if you can afford it.

    Got mine (a 2000 model, "new" but shop-soiled) in February - & really can't put it down - I've played my D-28 every single day I've had it (some days for several hours, others only 40 minutes or so) and can already hear subtle changes & improvements in tone & depth as it begins "opening up"...

    [​IMG]

    Good luck! :AOK
     
  8. K-Line

    K-Line Gold Supporting Member

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    It is all about the dinero. i have a 2000 D-16RGT which has the satin back/sides with the gloss top. It has opened up quite a bit since new. I paid $899 with hardshell at the time. The 28 was $2100. It was really what I was willing to spend. The D-16R has gone up in price quite a bit. Best bet is to find a used but loved D-28.
     
  9. usc96

    usc96 Member

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    I looked at the DC-16GTE v the HD-28 and went with the DC-16GTE for a few reasons. First, I was not ready to spend the extra thousand give or take for the higher model guitar. Second, I'm not that good so the money is better spent on lessons ;) . Third, for some reason I tend to like the sound of mahogany. Fourth, the 16 spoke to me. Fifth, if I bought the 28 now, what would I GAS over in the future?

    Plus, I'm with you, the sound difference wasn't there in the store. Actually, I liked the 16 better, but maybe the 28 in the store that day was a dud.
     
  10. hockeyfan

    hockeyfan Member

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    hi thanks for the responses, i decided to go with the D 26. thanks alot,i value your guys input.:RoCkIn
     
  11. bobaraba

    bobaraba Member

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    i realize they are just typos, but you've mentioned a D-16R, D-28,D-19R, and D-26. i was thinking martin has a couple of models i haven't heard of. :confused:
     
  12. Barron Wesley

    Barron Wesley Member

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    I love my D-16R. Got it for $1100 New from Sweetwater through ebay. It plays and sounds better than the D-42 and HD-28V I had. Might be because I found the right strings for it after a long time searching. :jo
     
  13. konavet

    konavet Member

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    I'd go with the D-28. it's the standard by which all other dreadnaughts are compared and a lifetime type of guitar (I've had mine since '66). If cost is a factor, look for a good used one. I think you'll be happier in the long run.
     
  14. davess23

    davess23 Member

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    The D-16 is mahogany back and sides, while the 28 is rosewood. That means that they're likely to sound different. If you're going to compare the 16 to a higher-end Martin, try a/b'ing it with a D-18. (Strange how a D-18 has somehow become regarded as a higher-end Martin, because of the emergence of all those cheaper entry level models.)

    Investment concerns aside, the real question is which tonality you prefer. The mahogany vs. rosewood debate has been going on for decades, so I'd advise just using your ears. Don't let the price differential bother you too much...Martin gets the kind of money they do for D-28's simply because they can. A D-28 isn't a major upgrade in build quality or materials over a D-16, aside from the mystique and history thing. Both were conceived as straightforward, unadorned workingman's guitars.

    I used to be seriously prejudiced in favor of a D-35 that I had for about 20 years and was addicted to, but even so, I've heard a couple of scary-good D-16's. I think they represent some of the best value Martin offers. They're built with a degree of care and precision that's missing from many of the lower-end Martins.
     
  15. Barron Wesley

    Barron Wesley Member

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    The D-16R is Rosewood back and sides, not mahogany. The regular d-16 is mahogany. The original poster is looking at the D-16R.
     
  16. davess23

    davess23 Member

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    Thanks for the correction...my bad. I was going on what I've seen of the D-16's, all of which were mahogany. I'll let the rest of the post stand, though: if the rosewood ones are built as well as the mahogany D-16's, they're pretty nice guitars. And I'm fussy about these things.
     
  17. Barron Wesley

    Barron Wesley Member

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    Ya, if I remeber correctly, I played a D-16 and D-16R for a good while before I chose between the 2. They both played equally as well. It was just a matter of which tone I wanted. Both are great instruments.
     
  18. Strat-O

    Strat-O Member

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    Are you sure you aren't referring to a D18 or something? A D16 (or the D16R) isn't even built like a D28 or D18. Different neck joint and bracing between the 16's and 28/18's.

    The ultimate D28 in my book is a HD-28V. Other than that, there are plenty of other competitors to Martin who make great Martin-like acoustic guitars. Larrivee has a good bargain with the D03 and D03R.
     
  19. jiml2.1

    jiml2.1 Member

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    FWIW ... Elderly Instuments (as well as others) give a 40% (approx) discount, but you have to call and speak to a salesperson. It's always better to play the guitar before you buy, but The staff at Elderly are very knowledgeable -- a d28 retails for $2849 so their discount should be $1710. I'm not associated with them ... except as a customer

    http://elderly.com/new_instruments/cats/MTD.html

    I have a d18ge (mahogany) and love it ... but nothin' wrong with either of guitars you're looking at ...
     
  20. FenderMartin

    FenderMartin Member

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    Sorry, a bit late to the game here.. long time lurker, but I thought I'd chime in here as I've owned a few Martins recently..

    The D16R here: http://homepage.mac.com/sjsamaha/PhotoAlbum51.html is in my view the best Martin (for that matter acoustic) guitar value on the market.. with prices easily in the 1500 range, you're hard pressed to get a better guitar in my view.. it's all natural woods, unlike most of the 16 series which have synthetic bridges and fretboards, and while it's top and side woods are not "graded" on Martin's 1-8 scale, they do tend to get some nice woods as you can see from the pics of mine above..

    HOWEVER, if you're serious about "that Martin tone", I would advise you get an HD-28V, which not only gets you into some better tonewoods, (grades 3/4), but more importantly gives you the pre-war style scalloped bracing and forwarded shifted X bracing.. this lends to the tone on a Dreadnought that millions of recordings were made over the years..

    I've got two models with the forward shifted bracing and scalloped bracing here if anyone is interested in seeing them, a D42 and my new D45V..

    http://web.mac.com/sjsamaha/iWeb/Site/Martin D45V.html

    BTW.. I've got a dealer also that gives great prices, PM me if you want more info.
     

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