Museum: Martin Guitars

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2015 Martin Custom D-28, Guatemalan Rosewood & Red Spruce

Designed by Folkway's Mark Stutman at 2015's NAMM show, this custom D-28 was spec'd out with vintage features throughout and built with one of the most amazing sets of Guatemalan rosewood available at the show. Mark hand-selected the back and sides for this guitar from a pile of about 100 sets of wood; and as someone with a whole lot of experience restoring 30's Martins, he chose the most straight-grained, quartersawn set for the project.

The guitar is essentially akin to a D-28 GE, but with a few notable differences. The Adirondack spruce top features forward shifted scalloped braces, but Mark spec'd Sitka rather than red spruce for the brace wood, just as Martin did in the 1930's. The top features a D-28 Marquis rosette, a 1930's style belly bridge but with drop-in style saddle for easy action adjustment and under-saddle pickup readiness, and red-eye bridge pins, spaced 2-5/16" from E to e. Bevelled-edge tortoise pickguard, ivoroid bindings, post-war style top trim, and zig-zag back strip.

The guitar's neck is essentially the same as that of a Style 28 GE, with 1-3/4" width at the nut, modified V carve, gloss finish, bone nut, old-style logo and long volute. The fingerboard features diamonds and squares position markers, and a set of Waverly tuning machines finish off the headstock with a few touches of class.

As far as tone goes -- it pretty much doesn't get any better than this in a modern Martin Dreadnought. The guitar sounds huge, with a dark and open midrange, well defined and powerful bass response, and trebles that are very bold and even. It's a flatpicker's guitar at its best, and would handily keep up with the loudest guitars, mandolins, and banjos in a band setting. To say that we're smitten with this guitar's tone is a sizable understatement. And with only a couple of years under its hood, it's only going to get better as it ages and opens up.

A one of a kind D-28, and a very special guitar.

With deluxe hardshell case

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