Tristan Johnson looks back at an icon
The Martin D28 is one of the most iconic acoustic guitars of all time. With its rich, full-bodied sound and stunning craftsmanship, it's been a favorite of musicians for generations. In this article, we'll explore the history of the Martin D28 and how it became the guitar that it is today.
The Beginnings of the Martin D28
The Martin D28 was first introduced in 1931 as part of the "D" series of guitars. These guitars were designed to be larger and louder than Martin's earlier guitars, which were primarily parlor-sized instruments. The D28 was designed as a dreadnought-style guitar, with a larger body and a wider waist than other guitars of the time.
The first D28 guitars featured Brazilian rosewood back and sides and Adirondack spruce tops. The neck was made from mahogany and featured a rosewood fingerboard. The D28 also featured Martin's X-bracing system, which helped to provide the guitar with its unique sound.
The Martin D28 quickly gained popularity among musicians, particularly country and bluegrass players. The guitar's large size and loud, full sound made it a favorite for players who needed to be heard over other instruments in a band.
One of the most famous early D28 players was Hank Williams Sr., who played a 1941 model. Other early adopters included Doc Watson and Clarence White.
Changes over the Years
Over the years, the Martin D28 has gone through a number of changes. During World War II, for example, the guitar's construction was altered due to restrictions on the use of certain materials. The Brazilian rosewood used for the back and sides was replaced with mahogany, and the Adirondack spruce top was replaced with Sitka spruce.
In the 1960s, Martin began experimenting with new materials and designs for the D28. This led to the introduction of the D35, which featured a three-piece back and sides made from Indian rosewood. Martin also began offering the D28 with a natural finish, which became popular among players who preferred the look of natural wood over the traditional sunburst finish.
In the 1970s, Martin began using Indian rosewood for the back and sides of the D28 due to concerns over the sustainability of Brazilian rosewood. Other changes included the introduction of a modified low oval neck profile and a new pickguard design.
The Modern Martin D28.
Today, the Martin D28 is still one of the most popular acoustic guitars in the world. It's available in a number of different models, including the D28 Standard, the D28 Authentic, and the D28 Modern Deluxe.
The modern D28 features a number of improvements over the earlier models. The top is made from Sitka spruce, and the back and sides are made from either East Indian rosewood or Madagascar rosewood. The neck is made from select hardwood and features a modified low oval profile for comfortable playing.
The Martin D28 has a long and storied history, and it's still one of the most beloved acoustic guitars of all time. From its early beginnings as a larger, louder guitar designed for country and bluegrass players to its modern incarnations with improved materials and construction techniques, the D28 remains a favorite of musicians around the world.
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