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Not bonding with my HD-28...

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by Trego, May 18, 2011.

  1. Trego

    Trego Member

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    Hey guys,

    I have a Martin HD-28 that I picked up, loving the sound and look of it. That's what sold me. I've since realized, especially playing for 30 minutes or more, that the guitar feels really big. The biggest issue I am having is the neck. I don't know if it an issue of the nut, or that actual neck profile, but my hand gets tired really quickly, and that doesn't happen with any of my frequently played electrics (PRS Custom 24, Fender CS Strat, Guild Starfire III) or my main acoustic, Taylor 814CE. I'm a pretty short guy, 5' 6" with kinda small hands.

    Here's a video of me playing it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZ75XNFhp6I

    All this to say, that I'd love to own a Martin, and keep owning a Martin, but maybe they're just not for me? Do I have any other options?

    What do you think?

    Thanks, Matt
     
  2. frquent flyer

    frquent flyer Member

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    I love a good Martin and have owned two. If the martin doesn't feel right look at a taylor .Actually I saw a VERY NICE Larivee the other day.They sure are making some nice guitars these days.
     
  3. JP~)

    JP~) Member

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    what is the neck profile? If you like the guitar, you could always have the neck shaved down to match a profile that you like, but it sounds to me that you would probably like an OM style guitar with a flatter profile neck.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. guitardork

    guitardork Member

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    You can do it. I had the same problem with my HD-35. Play it every day, you will get there. Great guitar by the way.
     
  5. otterhound

    otterhound Senior Member

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    There are other sized Martins .
     
  6. HeeHaw

    HeeHaw Member

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    Try elevating the neck and placing your thumb on the back of the neck instead of wrapping it around. Good guitar playing posture is very important in combatting fatigue.:omg
     
  7. lamenlovinit

    lamenlovinit Member

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    Definitely voting for "sticking it out", unless you're getting persistent pain that follows you all the time after playing. You will most likely adapt. If the guitar is a keeper, and you've always dreamed of a martin, spend the time you need adapting to it. Just one opinion.
     
  8. facesfan

    facesfan Member

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    Might need nut slots put down to minimum height. Make sure the saddle isn't too high and neck is real straight. If those 3 things aren't just right for me especially on a Martin then it's hard to play.
     
  9. Trego

    Trego Member

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    I really want to love this one, for sure!

    I'll make it a point for the next couple weeks to play it everyday.

    I'll be sure to check back and let you guys know how well I bond.

    In fact, I think I'll play this one less than my 814CE every week, that way I don't get spoiled with that tiny, almost electric guitar-type neck.

    Good tip on the thumb wrap too...old habits die hard.

    TGP is great!
     
  10. Tidewater Custom Shop

    Tidewater Custom Shop Performance Enhancing Guitarworks Supporting Member

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    I bought a new HD-28 in 2005 because I always wanted one. It sounded great, and smelled even better! But, like you, I just couldn't bond.

    I sold it and got an older Santa Cruz Vintage Artist (1993 I think it was). Thinner neck, lighter, better tone (it's mahogany), and better action.

    The worst decision I ever made was to trade the SCVA for a Fender CS56. The CS56 great, but the SCVA was probably the best acoustic guitar I ever owned. I miss it, and would buy that very one again.
     
  11. Iago

    Iago Member

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    Really? I find Martin's low profile necks incredibly comfortable. Do you have really high action on the strings?
     
  12. Hangfire

    Hangfire Member

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    I tried and could not bond with a Martin early in my search. Tried Taylors to but ended up with three Larrivees. :hiP
     
  13. Hangfire

    Hangfire Member

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    I tried and could not bond with a Martin early in my search. I tried Taylors too but ended up with three Larrivees. :hiP
     
  14. JP~)

    JP~) Member

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    not all martins have low profile necks....especially when you start getting into vintage spec models
     
  15. AcousticDude

    AcousticDude Member

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    Just like one of the other posters noted, make sure the nut was cut to the correct height and the action is correct. I have owned three Martins and two of them required nut adjustments (an OM and my current favorite, a JC 16RE Aura). My first was a D-18 and that was perfect right out of the box. If a barred F chord is tiring to hold, then your nut is probably too high. I also have a Taylor which was used and previously set up very nicely. Once I had the other Martins set up, bingo. The necks are definitely different and the variety is actually good for your hand. BTW, I believe the nut width of your 814 is wider than on the HD-28.
     
  16. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    +2

    set-up is key, and there's no reason that martin should be especially harder to play than another acoustic.
     
  17. McStrats

    McStrats Member

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    Dreads are good for un-miced Bluegrass, or if you are 6' 4" and need a large guitar. I'll never understand why they are the default acoustic for so many though, when 000 guitars record and play so much better. My advice is to seek out a good 000, 0M, 00, etc.
     
  18. GuitarsFromMars

    GuitarsFromMars Member

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    Set-up is key. Acoustic is more work than electric.

    If it is well set-up, practice...a lot.
     
  19. Trego

    Trego Member

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    I don't want you to be right, but I think you might be.

    Ha
     
  20. mannish

    mannish Member

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    I am like you - I tried and Martins do not work for me. I like the Gibson tone, it works better for what I do - The Collings nailed the L-00 tone but still feels too fragile for me.
     

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