Vintage Instruments: Martin Guitars

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1946 Martin D-28

A heavily played but largely crack-free late-period Herringbone D-28 with exceptional tone, great looks, and perfect playability. This is a guitar for a flatpicker who’s into tone and vibe above condition and originality, but still values a vintage Martin that looks and feels ‘right’. It’s had some pro-grade repair-work over its life, which time has made largely undetectable - even to us here in Folkway’s forensic investigations department.

A powerful and balanced guitar with excellent bass muscle and thick, meaty treble strength; and a poppy and responsive flatpicker that’s incredibly rewarding to play.

Brazilian rosewood back and sides, Sitka top, herringbone top purflings and zigzag backstrip. Nicely replaced bridge and bridgeplate, replaced fingerboard (with diamond and squares rather than dot inlays – a nice touch). Top braces have been slightly scalloped, plugged output jack hole in the side, one section of replaced binding on the top’s lower treble bout, and a section of the soundhole’s edge and inner rosette line have been replaced. The neck’s finish has been redone, and the body’s finish is quite hard to call. We suspect the top was very long ago refinished, and that the back and side finish may or may not be original. It’s near impossible to call. The back and sides measure within expected thickness spec, as does the top with the exception of the areas immediately adjacent to the pickguard. We encourage you to closely examine the photos provided and to get in touch with us on the phone for an in-hands Q and A session if you’re interested in this instrument. We can confirm that it is an exceptional guitar, and well worth the call.

Gotoh open-backed tuners, strap-button in heel, Antique acoustic bridge and endpins, excellent neck angle, full height saddle, and good frets that show light wear. Action is set at 5.5 to 7 64ths with a full 1/8” of saddle height showing above a full-height bridge. The guitar’s neck has a V carve and a nut width of 1-21/32”. String spacing at the bridge is a hair wider than 2-1/8”.

With a period Lifton hard shell case.

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