The D-28 is the real deal, but you probably know that already. Thunderous bass response balanced with crystal-clear, articulate highs—the D-28 is the benchmark by which all other acoustics are judged. Hank Williams, Sr., The Beatles, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Jimmy Page, countless bluegrass greats—the list becomes a who’s who of guitarists and songwriters across pretty much every genre. Simply put, the D-28 does everything well. It is the quintessential workhorse guitar.
“The post-WWII D-28 had a slightly different look than its predecessor and became the centerpiece of the folk and folk rock movements at their pinnacle in the 1950s and 1960s,” current Martin CEO and owner Chris Martin said.
This 1951 Martin D-28 is an excellent example of the post-war D-28. It features Brazilian Rosewood back and sides, and as some Martin historians argue, this D-28 was produced during a short period of time when Martin used Red Spruce and/or Engelmann on many dreadnoughts. It’s hard to definitively prove what species of Spruce we see here, but the top shows tight, even grain and interesting character between the bridge and sound hole. With exceptionally refined tone like this, the specific species is not particularly important, anyway.
This ’51 D-28 is in excellent condition. It is crack-fee and remarkably clean cosmetically. There are the expected bumps and bruises from the last 68 years, and its rosette has broken apart somewhat (but remains in place and stable, of course). Apart from that, it shows no severe play wear, and it doesn't have the laundry list of repairs you'll see with similar guitars. It sports a professional refret and a non-original bridge. Its setup is on the medium side with .013s—this is a great flat-picker's guitar that plays true all the way up the fingerboard. Nevertheless, its tone is extremely versatile, and notes bloom evenly across the register when you play fingerstyle.
This '51 D-28 is bright and cutting with powerful low end. Like a good D-28 should, it does everything well. This is a guitar that will inspire you for many, many years. This is a workhorse that will keep on working as long as you need it to.