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Martin HD-28 - Natural Reviews

5.0 stars based on 29 customer reviews
Questions about the Martin HD-28 - Natural?

Questions about the Martin HD-28 - Natural?

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  • from North Carolina April 27, 2017Music Background:
    16 years experience

    Strong projecting bass, with balance

    I got a brand new HD-28 in 2011 and have been in love with it ever since. I researched several models and originally thought I'd go with an OM/000 model or D-18 if I went with a dreadnought because I play more fingerstyle than I do driving bluegrass style. After playing about 12-15 models from the 15 series all the way up to the D-35, I knew this was the one. It was the first one I played and ended up being the last one I played. It has an amazing projected bass quality but still allows the highs to cut through when you need them. It is the most balanced and playable guitar I have ever played and I'll never regret the day I got it.

  • from Mountain View, CA March 20, 2017

    Simply An Amazing Instrument

    I bought my HD-28 from Sweetwater in 2015. It is simply an amazing instrument. The look, feel, and sound of this instrument have simply blown me away since I bought it. Playing it seems to somehow transform me into a singer-songwriter. I have several fine guitars, but if I were left with just one. I would keep this one. It is very special to me.

    Chris Carter has been helping to make decisions about Sweetwater purchases for years, and he has never steered me wrong. Guiding me to this one, was particularly important to me, because I can use it for so many genres of music. This guitar is my bread, butter, potatoes, and meat. :-)

  • from June 13, 2016

    Martin HD 28 Natural

    First off I have never ordered a guitar online before. I have always purchased in person. So I was a bit nervous to see what I would get into. I have worked with two specific people. Sales Engineer Jon Amato, and Customer Service Rep Adam Vaughn. First off it was a breeze to work with these guys. Any questions about the guitar or its play ability they was with me every step of the way. I highly recommend these guys. I play Chet Atkins Fingerstyle, Flatpicking, Country, and Folk. This guitar is a beauty and it plays like a dream. Sounds good as it looks! The older it gets the sweeter it gets. I do session work and this guitar will get the job done. It's a Martin would you expect any less? Thank you Jon and Adam for being great at what you do. CEO of the company you need to do something great for these guys!

  • from Raleigh NC January 20, 2016Music Background:
    Intermediate strummer

    Worth every penny

    I bought my HD 28 from Sweetwater about a year and 3 months ago and I've played it virtually everyday since then. This was the first really nice guitar that I've ever owned, and I was amazed by the beautiful tone it makes. I just can''t put it down. If you play this guitar and sound bad, it is you, not the guitar!!

    The finish is flawless. It's not heavy - and in fact is pretty light. The fret board is super fast and easy to play. It sounds great loud or played delicately. I just love this guitar. This guitar has changed my whole way of playing - I've probably improved more over the past year than I have over the prior 10 years - simply because this guitar begs to be played.

    The service from Sweetwater is excellent as well. Overall a great experience.

  • from September 30, 2015

    HD 28 V

    I've owned this guitar since 2000. I bought it new and the tone has only improved over the years. It's a beautiful looking guitar and the tone is very balanced. I also own a Gibson J 45 and an Alvarez Jumbo Yari. Both are fine guitars but this is my "go to" acoustic. I've added an LR Baggs I Beam pickup and it has become a very versatile part of my arsenal. Highly recommend trying this guitar if you are considering a Martin. You won't be disappointed!

  • from Columbia, sc August 28, 2015

    My go to guitar

    I purchased my HD28 almost two years ago. It's a fantastic guitar. I own several other acoustics including some smaller bodied guitars, but this is my go to. It's great for strumming with a warm full sound. It punches when you put on a capo. It really is a guitar you have to have in your arsenal. It does everything well. The only thing I don't like is its big, but it's a dreadnaught, what do you expect. After two hours of playing I do bruise my chest because I'm not a big guy and I lean into it a lot. It's so worth it though. There is nothing like feeling your music. I debated on this or the standard 28, but you are spending a lot anyway, go the extra bit and get the appointments. If you are doing the three year financing it's only a little more per month and with it. It's a beauty and a joy.

  • from Modesto, CA February 6, 2015Music Background:
    50+ years of playing.

    The Real Deal

    I can actually feel the tone of this guitar! It has great string to string balance as well as a very "full" sound I associate with a great D28 style instrument. Intonation is superb all the way up the neck. My capo can be moved anywhere on the neck without touching the tuners. This is a big deal if you perform with the instrument. I have owned three D28s and played many others through the years - including a few of the venerated pre-war instruments. This guitar is one of the most inspirational Martins I have played. It has plenty of volume and holds its own in a bluegrass band. It is at its best with medium gauge strings but still sounds great with 12s. I also have an imported HD28 clone that is a very nice guitar - but it hides under the bed when I open the case to the real thing!

  • from Pennsylvania January 26, 2015Music Background:
    Long-time guitar player

    NEVER THOUGHT ANYTHING COULD BEAT MY D-35, BUT THIS ONE JUST MIGHT!

    My Martin D-35 has been my "cream of the crop" acoustic guitar since
    I bought it in 1980, & it has even enhanced its sound via the aging process, as all great guitars do. However, I was always itchin' to also buy an HD-28 (w/scalloped braces). I finally decided to make the move, & WOW...I was totally blown away by its cannon-like BOOM, rich, deep resonance, & overall tone & clarity. It's right up there with my D-35, but the HD-28 is a little more balanced in tone. What can I say, as I LOVE em' BOTH! As for Sweetwater personnel, Mike Soper (at ext.1342) is definitely the "go-to-guy". I just can't say enough about the all-around quality, professionalism, friendliness, & true concern from Mike for me as a customer! What a classic guitar, & what a classy salesman! So remember: Ask for Mike Soper, & you will receive total satisfaction all the way!

  • from Washington, D.C January 21, 2015Music Background:
    Semi-Professional Musician

    The Perfect Acoustic!

    I purchased this guitar about a year ago from sweetwater, and after playing it almost every day I still can't believe how great it sounds. I was looking at several different guitars, including Taylor and Gibson, before I decided on the Martin HD-28. I love the balanced tone and feel of the neck. If your a contemplating between this or something else I would highly recommend the Martin. I did also look at the Martin HD-28V, but found that tone wise the extra money for that model just wasn't worth it to me.

  • from Pinckney, MI December 28, 2014

    Awesome guitar

    I've always have known that Martin Guitars were awesome, but it only took a couple of strums to know this guitar was for me. The bass and balance is just incredible. Not only did I buy this guitar for myself but I plan on give it to my grandchildren to learn play and enjoy.

  • from Mount Gilead, OH December 16, 2014Music Background:
    Bluegrass Gospel

    Even Better Than I Thought!!!

    This guitar is what I have wanted since I was 14 years old. After many years of looking and dreaming I finally got it. The greatest thing about this purchase was that Chris Leonard personally helped me find the perfect Martin HD-28. I told him what I was looking for and he played what he had in stock and picked the one he thought I would like and when I received it, it was better than I thought. Sweetwater did an outstanding job of helping me find the guitar I've always wanted. Also guaranteed that I could return it within 30 for a full refund if I wasn't pleased. Let me say there is no need to return it. It is better and plays better than I could ever imagine. Thanks again Chris and Sweetwater!

  • from United States December 6, 2014

    Terrific Guitar and Even Better Service.

    I have had my Martin HD-28 for 3 weeks and I have fallen in love with it. It is well balanced with great low end clarity. It has a deep rich tone for both fingerpicking and strumming.
    It played well out of the box, but getting a professional setup from a local luthier has made a world of difference. THe more I play this guitar, the more I am enjoying it. I can't wait to hear this instrument after it breaks in a few years down the road.
    What I find even more amazing was the service from my salesperson, Ryan. I was extremely weary of buying an acoustic guitar online. Tone is a very personalized thing and each one of these guitars is going to have it's own unique character. Ryan has always treated me well, so I expressed my concern with him. He took the time to play every model of the D28 family they had in the stock and called back with, "None of these are the right one. Let's wait until the next shipment comes is." He even talked me out of buying a more expensive model. After the next shipment he once again played each of them and called to let me know he found the right one. He was friendly and professional through all of it and was never impatient or just wanted to make the sale.

  • from Forest City N.C. August 5, 2014Music Background:
    rythem guitar

    awesome!!!

    I love my new Martin HD-28 It was in tune and ready to play out of the case. I have a Washburn that I have played for years and I don't even pick it up no more. Also the guys at sweetwater are the best. Thanks again!!!

  • from Shelton, CT February 10, 2014Music Background:
    wanna be

    classic American acoustic guitar

    love my HD-28 - can't put it down - every note is crystal clear and the sustain goes on and on...great for flat picking - so easy to play up and down the neck - build is superb, a work of art - buy it, play it, you won't regret it

  • from Wilmington, NC USA February 8, 2014Music Background:
    Hobbyist--Playing with the boys on a Friday night

    My Bucket List Item

    As with most folks who learn how to play a few chords, owning a Martin, at some point, becomes a long term goal. Both my brother and a co-worker had purchased equipment from Sweetwater in the past and they had nothing but good things to say. So I decided to take their advice.

    I'm glad that I listened.....the support, the time they took and follow-up I received made the entire transaction a fantastic experience. It's nice to know that superior customer service still matters to some.

    I've now had my new guitar for a month and have enjoyed every second of it. The sound, the feel, the look of the Martin HD28, is in my eyes, second to none.

    Huge thanks to Sweetwater for making a dream come true!

  • from Geneva, Illinois January 14, 2014Music Background:
    Ex musician, more of a hobbyist and forever a student!

    Best purchase ever!

    Ive been pining for this Martin Guitar since I was in a band back in the 70"s. It is precisely the sound and quality i've been looking for and expect from a Martin!

  • from portland,oregon October 30, 2013Music Background:
    played as a hobby for more than 40 yrs

    martin hd 28

    love my new martin guitar. have many gibsons and the martin is one of my most played instruments, love its sound.

  • from Rupert, WV August 14, 2013Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Fantastic Guitar!!

    I bought this guitar second hand and I absolutely love it! With the price tag on it I wondered if it was really worth the money, and to be honest I got my moneys worth and more! I play this guitar everyday for atleast two hours and I have yet to find a flaw with this guitar. Martin did a great job with this guitar, and it's one that I will have for years to come. I plan on passing this guitar down to my chidren when the time is right just to show them what a great guitar is like!

  • from Hoopeston,Il July 3, 2013Music Background:
    Hobbiest

    Best Ever!!!

    I got my HD-28 in record time . Sound is perfect, I know now why they call it a cannon! My wife even loves it. She let me slide on buying anther guitar. Thanks to Bart The purchase was very outstanding.

  • from Waterloo, IN January 26, 2013Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    HD-28

    Blown away doesn't describe it. This guitar is out of this world. It took me nearly 30 years to get one, and now I own a Martin. And, this Martin is absolutely special

  • from Nashville September 9, 2011Music Background:
    Singer/songwriter

    Gets Better with age

    I ordered this guitar to be a companion to my J-45, and to add a rosewood guitar to my arsenal of acoustic guitars. I committed the ultimate guitar sin, and ordered one on-line. I received the best price and service from Sweetwater as usual. Mr. Josh Estock shipped this beauty directly to my door on February of 2011. I liked the guitar, but still preferred my J-45 tone; however, some time has now passed and this thing has taken on a life of its own. I now understand why the older pickers are holding Martin guitars. It continues to become louder and mellower with age. I play it everyday; as the great Guy Clark says: they are only tools. I foresee it lasting me a lifetime, and then passed along to my son.

  • from Back Home in Indiana December 4, 2009Music Background:
    Singer/Songwriter, Recording Artist, Performing Artist, and Collector

    Great Guitar

    One thing I've learned about all Martin Guitars are that they all sound a little different. When you go to a music shop to look for a guitar, DO NOT be afraid to ask the store to put a fresh set of strings on the guitar. After all, you are about to shell out well over $2000 dollars of your hard earned cash (if you're buying high end). High end guitars are made one at a time, so there will be ever so slight differences in there tone. I bought my HD-28 from GuitarCenter several years ago, and absolutely adore it. I went to Sam Ash first, and looked at them. I asked the sales person to put a fresh set of strings on the guitar and of course he had to ask the manager. The manager refused my request, so I went to GuitarCenter and once again explained my request. They were more than happy to restring the guitar. I couldn't believe the sound after new string were put on. PLEASE!!! The only way to really get a perfect listen to a high end guitar is to eliminate any element that could possibly take away for its sound. I have around 25 high end guitars (both electric and acoustic) and my Martin HD-28 is Most definitely on of my favorites.

  • from Den Ham January 8, 2009Music Background:
    Singer/songwriter

    More than a guitar .....

    For some years ago I had the privilege to buy a Martin-DM. I used this guitar wherever I went. I played it a lot and it gave me new inspiration for writing new songs and melodies.
    In the years after i played a second hand SPD-16R somewhere in a guitar shop. I didn't have enough money to buy this guitar but it sounded more brilliant than my DM and it had a beatifull sprucetop with vintage look.
    The last few years I saved some money and tried to buy a SPD model but they where all sold out. After reading some reviews and heard the sound of Neil Youngs HD-28 in his "Prairiewind-concert", I was impressed by the HD-28 and asked my Guitar-shop to importate one out of the USA. So in the summer of 2007 I begot my HD-28. It sounded real good right out of the bos. I admire this nice peace of wood. It has a humble finish with a beatifull herringbone inlay. I changed the standard white bridge-pins for black ebony pins with inlay. The sound only became better after changing.
    For me my HD-28 is more than a guitar. I'm very gratefull that I had enough money to buy one. It has become an instrument I play and care with respect. In the meantime it has given me new melodies for writing other songs.

  • from SW Mississippi August 19, 2007Music Background:
    Hobbyist, Student, Live Sound Engineer, Recording technician

    Next on my list...

    The Martin HD-28 is the next acoustic on my list. After shopping around in several large music stores with my Dad, and drooling over instruments only a pro can afford ($7-$12k), This is the next guitar on my wishlist.

    At the top of our list for priorities was tone, and boy does this Martin have tone! The highs were silky and bright, while the mids and bass were well rounded and mellow. My dad plays a garage sale guitar, and I play an Ovation super slim roundback, and one of the most noticeable things about this guitar was the amazingly full tone. We had played Gibsons, Taylors, and a really good little Fender, not to mention every other martin in the store, but this took the cake, and was much cheaper than many of the other models we had tried.

    The aesthetic isn't as great as some other models, asother reviewers have noted,but the smoothe sonics and playability, will more than make up for it. The neck is slim, but has enough surface area for a good grip, and is fast enough for the most demanding bluegrass runs.

    The intonation was spot on, and the fit and finish was top notch, even surpassing some of the gibsons we had played.

    If you want Rock 'n Roll, get an electric, but if you want clear ringing bluegrass tone, get the HD-28. Like the initials, the tone is indeed High-Definition!!

  • from Gilbert, Arizona February 9, 2007Music Background:
    Been playing since I was 12 or so and I will be 65 this year

    Martin HD-28

    I bought my HD-28 about 3 years ago. I went to a music store here in Phoenix and played every Martin they had. This particular instrument did not sound very good when I picked it up. It was flat almost one step.

    We brought it up to pitch and the instrument came alive! Beautiful overtones. I generally play in church so I wanted some amplification for the instrument.

    I settled on a Baggs I-Beam active. There is no drilling into the bridge plate and I did not want anything to alter the overtones in the guitar.

    I had a professional luthier install the pickup and the first thing I did when I got it back was play it unplugged listening for the overtones. They were still there.

    I run the instrument into a Baggs active direct box into the church sound system and take a send from the direct box into a Crate CA-125D amp for use as a monitor.

    Hands down this is the best acoustic guitar I have ever owned. Action, fit and finish were just right for me and I have had to make no adjustments.

    There is a reason you see so many Martins in bluegrass bands.........

  • from Chardon, Ohio October 5, 2006Music Background:
    Active Musician

    Herringbone Delight!

    The Martin HD28 is a fantastic guitar! Martin quality, all solid woods, great tone. It has beautiful rosewood sides and back, mahogany neck, and an ebony fretboard. The herringbone trim really sets this guitar apart! The Gotoh chrome tuners are tight, and it comes with a nice hardshell case to protect your investment. This guitar sounds wonderful! It has that ringing Martin tone, deep lows and sparkly highs. And boy does it cut through the mix! You don't have to worry about getting drowned out by the banjos! A great guitar for a great price.

  • from San Anselmo, CA September 28, 2006Music Background:
    Musicker

    Confesiona of a Martin Addict

    About a year ago, I acquired my first Martin – a steel string Backpacker – truly, the ‘bottom-of-the-line’ but, compared with the inexpensive and cumbersome guitars I had been toting around and playing for the 35 years or so previously (Harmony Sovereign and a Framus 6-string) I found it’s playability a pleasure – though it’s sound leaves quite a lot to be desired. It was, however, portable – and together with substantially adjusted expectations, it met many needs for me. But a seed had been planted. I had tasted (touched) something better than what I had touched before. If it helps to understand my point of view or experience, I am a devoted acoustic player - and have never owned or played an electric or amplified acoustic guitar of any kind.

    My addiction continued as I bought a D-15 Custom build (Mahogany) about 4 months ago. This was the first really ‘good’ guitar I ever owned. It was easy to play and had wonderful resonance and tone. It actually made me sound like a better guitarist. I was pleased – for a while. But, as with all addictive behaviors, it continued to grow.

    More recently, I began shopping around and stopping into local guitar stores to play other/better models of the Martin line and have recently settled on a new HD-28. Martin, arguably, made it's modern reputation with top quality acoustic guitars on the back of thee D28 series. Th "H" in the model number here refers primarily to trim elements on the front, edges and back of the instrument. I have moved from being a man who walked, to one who rode a horse, then a car – and now a Limo. Wow! What sound! What absolute playability! The appearance is a lot plainer than other brands – but it is pretty ornate for a mid-range Martin as the HD model includes the Herringbone trim and a tortoise shell pick guard (unlike the D28 which has a black one.) It is a lot heavier than the D-15 as it constructed of Rosewood (with a spruce top), is braced more heavily and has a lovely ebony fingerboard. The weight is no problem though, as it is light compared to my other axe, a 12 string Epiphone.

    It is loud, but can be played softly. It is dramatic but can be played with great subtlety.
    It can be played as the dominant presence in any venue – or as a reliable rhythm background instrument. I have played it with both flat picks (my preference) and fingerpicks. In each instance, the choice is that of the player. Everything seems possible. In any event, I feel that I have graduated to what I feel is a truly top-of-the-line musical experience. Perhaps I am kidding myself – but I feel as though this growing Martin addiction has, finally, been satisfied. At least that is what I'd like to believe and what I genuinely feel right now. On the other hand, am I kidding myself? Many addicts are when they say they're finished. There ARE other Martins ...
    but as other reviewers have noted, it is difficult to imagine wanting or needing anything more from a real 'player's guitar' than Martin offers in this wonderful model HD28.

  • from Altamont, TN April 29, 2011Music Background:
    Singer/songwriter

    Great guitar

    I fall in love with this guitar more each day. My other guitar is a Gibson J-45. I think the Martin has a more traditional sound; the strings seem to stay up longer on the HD as well. My only complaint is the money; however, price a used HD and you'll see the value only increases over time. I'm sure my son will play this guitar one day. The craftsmanship is great.

  • from WALDO, FL, USA February 4, 2007Music Background:
    BLUEGRASS RECORDING ARTIST

    MARTIN HD28--TRUE OR FALSE?

    AS A BLUEGRESS FLATPICKER, ONE HEARS ALOT ABOUT CERTAIN MAKES AND MODELS OF GUITARS. PERHAPS THE ONE MOST TALKED ABOUT IS MARTIN'S HD28. I PLAY MOSTLY A D-15 CUSTOM (SPRUCE AND MAHOGANY), SO I WAS SOMEWHAT EAGER TO PROVE WHAT I'D BEEN HEARING. I RECENTLY VISITED A LARGE MUSIC STORE WHERE I HAD THE CHANCE TO TRY OUT SEVERAL HIGH-END LEVEL GUITARS INCLUDING TAYLORS, GIBSONS, LARRIVEES, AND OF COURSE MARTINS. AT THE END OF SEVERAL HOURS I WAS DOWN TO 3 GUITARS I THOUGHT BEST SUITED MY PLAYING STYLE: MARTIN D35, GIBSON J45, MARTIN HD28. PLAYING THEM EACH EXTENSIVELY AND WITH FRESH STRINGS, I WAS READY TO SETTLE ON THE HD28, EVEN THOUGH THE SOUND OF THE OTHER TWO WAS COMPARABLE TO MY EAR. THEN THE MANAGER BROUGHT OUT HIS FAVORITE, A GIBSON J45 ROSEWOOD. AFTER JUST THE FIRST FEW LINES OF A SONG I WAS BLOWN AWAY BY THE CLEAR, CRISP, PUNCHY SOUND THAT A FLATPICKER DIGS. I PICKED UP THE HD28 AND PLAYED THE SAME SONG BUT I STILL THOUGHT THE GIBSON SOUNDED BETTER. MERELY A FEW DAYS BEFORE I WOULDN'T HAVE DREAMED OF BUYING ANYTHING BUT AN HD28 AND HERE I WAS READY TO TRADE IT FOR A GIBSON! MY ADVICE TO ANYONE BUYING AN HD28: PLAY AS MANY OTHER GUITARS IN THE SAME CLASS AS YOU CAN. YOU MAY FIND ONE YOU LIKE BETTER.

Questions about the Martin HD-28 - Natural?

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