Martin (used, 1951) D28

Tag No 58-9608 Used

#120088, Brazilian rosewood and Sitka spruce, in very good condition with newer Martin blue thermoplastic hard case.

The end of the era of the Brazilian rosewood guitar as standard issue arrived in the fall of 1969.   Before that we complacently expected that all Martin rosewood back and sides guitar would forever be made from this magical, sonorous, clear and powerful voiced, outrageously beautiful stuff.    But no, it didn’t turn out that way.   Casting our minds back to the year 1951 – only four years after the discontinuation of herringbone top trim, you will find that C F Martin made only 476 D-28 guitars.  There is, however, no significant difference between this guitar, in terms of loveliness, refinement and sound, as there would be for a 1945 or 1946 herringbone-trimmed D-28.   It is most definitely, as Tom Paxton sang, a marvelous toy. 

This guitar, which had been owned by its last owner for the past 30 years, shows signs of normal use and wear, including belt buckling on the back, and a multitude of dings, nicks including three on the bass side of the top.  There is a hairline repaired crack below the bridge below the treble side, and an equally hairline pickguard crack on the treble side of the replaced tortoise un-beveled plastic ‘guard.  The headstock decal is faded and dark. Tuners are the original Grover “Pat. Pend. U.S.A.” sealed-backs with their large nickel-plated grommets on the headplate.   There is finish checking all over, including on the Brazilian rosewood headplate.  The fingerboard is unbound ebony with 8 mother of pearl dotmarkers, the first one (at the fifth fret) slightly larger and then of decreasing size.  The top is bordered in black-white-black-white, and the soundhole in three rings of the same.  

The Brazilian rosewood back is replete with two-ply binding and the traditional repeating geometric pattern of black and white in the traditional backstripe.  This Brazoolian Nosewood is what you call “old growth and straight-grain.”  Wood like this doesn’t grow on trees any more. At least not on trees we’ll ever have access to again.  At the same time, the burnished orange Sitka spruce top is exceedingly straight- and parallel-grain and beautiful.    We believe that this guitar once had a neck reset, so, although it displays the rigors of the road it plays just fine.  Each of the two sides shows the contrasting colors of light and dark brown, almost like a sunburst effect, that came from one particularly renowned early manufacturing procedure.  Back then, in C F Martin Guitar Company’s old factory, the sides were inserted into a steam pipe press – which was then physically engaged (presumably by pulling down a lever) in order to bend the sides into their famous dreadnought shape.  When this machine became too hot it sometimes burned the wood, causing a darker color in places.   This guitar is the poster child for that having happened. We sort’a like it, though – it reflects an era in which the instruments were made, if not entirely by hand then with the use of unsophisticated hand-operated machines.     

Interestingly, there are several areas of reinforcement (in the form of cleats and added wood) underlying the top in the area between the somewhat taller than standard replacement bridge (taller is good) and the top end of replaced tortoise color pickguard and also around the underside of the treble edge of the soundhole.   There is a cleat in the lower treble bout as well and there is a reinforcement strip on the bridge plate (because after a while the ball ends on the strings cut through the holes in which they are inserted when you change strings). A working Barcus Berry pickup has been introduced to the interior and, as expected, a jackpin-end pin added at bottom.     Just recently, this guitar had a replacement of the first five frets, but the job was done well – looking at the ‘board one would be hard pressed to tell that it was done.    The common wisdom is that a 1951 Martin D-28 can, in excellent condition, bring $10,000 to $13,000.    Since this guitar is in a somewhat lower rating of condition, but still extremely favorable to look at (this is a classy guitar) and one of the finest sounding 59-year-old Martin Brazilian rosewood dreadnoughts as you may ever have the pleasure to hear, we feel that it is a super good opportunity at 

Our Discount Price is $9,275.00 and Our Cash Discount Price is $8,995.00.

Sorry, this item has been sold.
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