Vintage Instruments: Martin Guitars

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1950 Martin D-28

A stellar flatpicker, this 1950 D-28 has everything one looks for in a bluegrass dreadnought. The guitar has a strong voice, excellent fundamental presence, a dry snap, and a fairly clean pallet in the overtone department – pretty much all the ingredients of a top-notch lead instrument. It’s really a blast to play; the neck feel is fabulous, and the hammer-on and pull-off spring back is just right.

A very fine guitar, this D-28 has survived the years with only a pickguard-edge crack. There are no ‘real’ cracks, no loose, repaired, or otherwise compromised braces, and the instrument hasn’t ever had a neck reset – and still doesn’t need one. It’s been played, and there is pickwear around the pickguard and soundhole, some buckle-rash on the back, and the neck’s finish has been worn off in the first position. There are small dings, dents and scratches everywhere, but nothing worthy of specific reference.

Original Kluson Waffleback tuners, original nut, bridgepins and endpin. The bridge is a very well-made, proper-sized replacement, and there are two small filled holes in the original bridgeplate (left-overs from a bolted-down original bridge). Original finish throughout.

Set-up is excellent, with an action of 5-6 64ths at the 12th fret under medium-gauge string tension. The saddle is full height, too. The guitar’s frets have just been replaced by Folkway’s Mark Stutman. The neck carve is a nicely rounded subtle V, with a smallish first position feel that tapers evenly as your hand moves towards the body. Width at the nut is 1-11/16, scale is 25.4”, and string spread at the bridge is 2-1/8”.

With later 1950’s Hardshell case

Shipping into the USA?

Sending this guitar to a US address is easy to do, and there are no import fees, taxes, or duties to pay when it arrives. We take care of everything involved in shipping -- all you have to do unpackage the instrument when it arrives and play!

Questions? Email us anytime, or call us toll-free at 1-855-772-0424.


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