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Martin HD-28E Sweetwater Edition, Fishman Ellipse - Natural Reviews

5.0 stars based on 14 customer reviews
  • from Rockville, Indiana April 10, 2015Music Background:
    amateur folk and country siner-songwriter

    Martin HD 28 Sweetwater

    Couldn't be happier with guitar and the Fishman Loudbox Mini I bought with it.

  • from Port Orchard, Wa February 26, 2015Music Background:
    Guitar Hobbyist

    Bucket List Checked

    I broke three of my simple guitar buying rules; nothing over 2500.00, must play it first, so that being said, never never buy on-line. So letting my bad half run wild, I bought this guitar, and, just like that, I'm a changed man.
    Trevor Clark, my sales engineer, walked me through the whole process. A Martin D-28, was the one guitar that I wanted to own. It is simply one of the best guitars I have ever played, and Sweetwater is ths best company that you could do business with. It took awhile but at least by 60 I checked the "guitar of my dreams" box off on my bucket list

  • from Salt Lake City, UT November 17, 2014Music Background:
    Audio Engineer, Guitar Hobbyist

    This is it.

    Let's just say that once upon a time I had the opportunity to play this guitar every day for a few months while in a room full of other great guitars by Taylor, Gibson, Takamine, and the other usual suspects. This was the model I kept coming back to time after time. I'm a Union Station disciple... really into the Tyminski/Block flatpicking sound. As far as new guitars go, this is the closest thing there is to that ideal, in my subjective opinion. The instrument is, quite simply, a joy to play, and stays out of your way like all good guitars should. This is the one to get.

  • from Georgia September 7, 2014Music Background:
    30 years playing and performing

    Martin and Sweetwater - Back to the future

    Let me start by saying ..I am A HUGE fan of Taylor and I still am...BUT.... this HD 28SE is THE best overall sounding guitar I have ever played or personally heard. It is basically an HD28V with Sweetwater appointments (like an ADIRONDACK top). One of the reasons I love Taylor is for its consistent high quality guitars. Martin has not had a reputation as being quite as consistent but when they get it right they knock it out of the park. This guitar has a deep resonant bass tone (no muddiness) with clear crisp highs. The "scoop" in tone that dreads tend to have is highlighted in this guitar with mids that serve as beautiful harmonics that bring the lows and highs together. This is the "pre war Martin" everyone talks about. The vintage forward shifted scalloped braces along with adirondack top and complimented by the Gotoh Butter Bean tuners make this Sweetwater Edition of the HD28 arguably one of the best sounding guitars on the market today.

  • from Montgomery al USA May 10, 2014Music Background:
    Pro Musician Hobbyist

    The Perfect Guitar

    Amazing sound! plays very easy with the low profile neck, hand doesn't tire out on those long late night gigs anymore, the Adirondack just keeps sounding better and better, ive tried several strings on here, im using the new elixr strings 12-54 nano web 80/20, they sound amazing on this guitar, very loud!! looking forward to the many many years to come with this sweetheart... I named her Jinnay

  • from Arkansas April 8, 2014Music Background:
    Hoppyist for over 50 years. Put myself through 2 years of college playing in a band.

    A Great Experience

    First of all, I want to thank Jake Longardner, my sales associate, for steering me in the right direction. I've bought a lot of guitars over the internet, but most sales associates are only interested in the sale. Jake has called several times for a follow-up to make sure that I like my purchase. As a result, I've bought another guitar from Jake for a travel guitar, and will continue to buy from Jake and Sweetwater. I've just never experienced this level of customer service.

    To the guitar. It is well worth the money to step up to the Sweetwater Edition. Getting an Adirondack Spruce top for a guitar is getting hard to find. Most companies don't even offer them. The guitar was exactly as pictured. The rosewood back was perfect, and the construction was near perfect. (There were a few glue spots I could see in the bracing on the back and the sides - and these were hard to see).

    Perhaps the biggest surprise was the playability of the guitar. I'm more used to electrics, and most of my acoustics are Taylors. In fact, I'd just bought a Taylor 814ce - the new one with the new bracing pattern. The Martin was just as playable as the Taylor. The neck is flawless and has the same playability at the 12th fret than in the first position - almost. Very admirable. You will not be unhappy with the set-up nor the sound.

    Sound - I'm not professional enough to really rate that. It sounds great to me, but you will have to hear it for yourself. Maybe someday in the future Sweetwater will have audio features so that you can hear the guitar before you buy. You just have to trust Martin and Sweetwater that they will not send you a "lemon".

    As to the amplified sound, I'm not the one to grade it. I used a Carvin acoustic amp, and it sounded fine to me, but I primarily use it acoustically as I am trying to teach myself finger style at the grand age of 65.

    Incidentally, I was told that the Adirondack top will sound better and better as it ages. I hope that I'm around to hear that change.

    If you can spare the bucks, step up from the HD-28 Martin to the Sweetwater Edition and you won't be disappointed. And ask for Jake - he'll really take good care of you.

  • from Upland, Ind USA. March 22, 2014Music Background:
    Gospel, folk and traditional country with a little bluegrass.

    Out standing !!!

    Played one of these up at Sweetwater and maded a close comparison with other Martins around same price range. This one simply touched my heart with the richness of it's tone quality and wonderful rosewood back and sides. I found that I am not the only picker that loves the smell of a fine C F Martin guitar. Smells like my times at the factory and the fine wood they use to build these fantastic guitars.

  • from AR March 17, 2014Music Background:
    Have played in bands in college, hobbyist since. Am 65 yrs old.

    Great Guitar

    I've had this guitar for less than a week and I've played it daily. I bought a Martin D28 in 1989 that played awful and never sounded great - only in the dealers store. I've been primarily a Taylor player because their guitars played closer to an electric. I own 4 of them. But I saw this Sweetwater Edition HD-28 and thought I'd give it a try. First of all, the service is excellent. The guitar arrived in 2 days. I waited overnight to let the guitar climatize to my house. The guitar looks excellent. The Adirondack top even smells great. I was surprised at the string action - it rivals the Taylor's that I own. This is the first Dreadnaught that I've owned - all of my Taylor's are Grand Acoustic size. Nice bottom and very nice projection of the sound. I think this guitar will only get better with age and the more that I play it. I plugged it into a Carvin acoustic amp and the amplified sound was great. I just messed with the controls on the Fishman and not the amp, and there is quite a difference between the blends of the pickups. Enough to satisfy the discriminating player. Overall this is an excellent guitar. And I've got to rate my satisfaction with Sweetwater as excellent as well. You will not be disappointed with both of these partners.

  • from Stratford, CT October 31, 2013Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Couldn't Be More Pleased

    I had played the standard HD28V in a local shop (Sitka Spruce Top with the chunkier stye V Shaped neck) and my knees went week from the tone. I had just purchased another guitar I but when I strummed the HD-28V I knew I had made a mistake. However, I did not warm to the V- neck as I have been along time taylor player. Then I saw this SE model made especially for Sweetwater with the low profile neck and was hooked. I can now honestly say that I now own the best sounding guitar I've ever heard. I thing the addy top even improves the tone over the standard 28V. I've heard some say that they found the tone to have too much base. For me however, that is what makes this guitar so amazing -- the mid range is scooped and the highs pierce through the base in an amazing way. Perfect for a singer song writer as the mids don't overpower the vocal range. The other outstanding quality is the forward shifted X-bracing which enables this guitar to respond to a very light touch -- which is unusual for a dreadnaught. As soon as I picked it up, I found myself lightly brushing the strings over and over just soaking in those crystal highs piercing through that rich low end. I am also very please with the Fishman Ellipse system which affords a very natural plugged in sound. Do your research well but when all is said and done, don't hesitate to pull the trigger on this baby. It's really quite an amazing instrument.

  • from MO USA July 25, 2012Music Background:
    Musician

    Sweet Sound

    I have had this guitar for one day now, just got it in. I have been playing it non-stop. I have been playing guitar for over 14 years now, and I used to play a $600 brand. I can tell you one thing, this Martin HD-28 is the last acoustic guitar I will ever play. There is no need to play anything else. This thing just has great tone and a great acoustic wood sound. I can literally pick my fingers up off a chord, and the sound will continue to ring on that chord while I go to the next. No more open strings as soon as I lift my fingers. The pick up system is top of the line, sounds great! Love the blend control between the pick up and mic. This guitar plays so easy, the neck is just the right width, and I barely have to hold the strings down on bar chords. I do notice a little bit of string buzz when I hit the low E really hard, but I will never play it that hard anyway. Great looks and great tone, make this your one and only purchase for an acoustic guitar. You wont need another one..... worth the $$$$.

  • from St. Louis, Missouri October 27, 2011Music Background:
    Home Studio

    It's the Best of Best and I've tried all the rest!

    I spent months researching and testing dozens of premium guitars in search of the one insturment that stood above all others and the one I just couldn't live without. The Martin HD-28 dominated in every head to head comparision with it's full rich sound, quality craftmanship, playability, and value. Here's the kicker! The Martin HD-28 SE turn out to be a step above even my high expectations! From day one, it has delighted me with a big rich full sound and the Fishman Blend Electronics are amazing! Truely one of a kind that makes me smile every time I pick it up. It would be a value at twice the price!!!

  • from Fond du Lac, WI October 27, 2011Music Background:
    Active Musician/Songwriter

    My First Martin

    Great guitar, arrived in perfect condition, I have a few Gibson acoustic/electrics and the Martin HD-28 Sweetwater Edition is a very nice compliment. Very easy to play, nice even tone up and down the neck. The tone wood pairing of Adirondack Spruce top and East Indian Rosewood back and sides along with the Fishman Ellipse Blend pick up system really sings. I've tried many of the lower price point Martin guitars which never were exciting to my ears, glad I held out for this model. It's a little pricey. Hope It holds it's value due to the fact that you pay a premium for the Adirondack Spruce top verses the Sitka Spruce top version (HD-28VE). But there is distinct a pleasant tone difference with Adirondack, the bass response is larger and warmer and the highs have more brilliance/sheen. Only complaint is that when playing hard unplugged there is a very faint buzz from the top vibrating the Fishman electronics which are sound hole mounted. Luckily it is inaudible while playing thru an amp and it didn't show up in any of the recordings I've made when miked. If you spend the extra bucks for this guitar you'll be very happy:)

  • from Wise, VA usa October 8, 2014Music Background:
    Worship Leader

    The Right Choice

    I am a worship leader in a small church and travel to other churches and play. I have a Taylor 916ce that is an absolutely wonderful guitar. I love the 916 but I wanted to add another guitar to my arsenal and was looking for one with a lot of bass to help match my voice. I had browsed the Sweetwater website every day for the past 2 years and watched a million videos on youtube.
    With bass and electronics being a necessity, I had my choices narrowed down to the Taylor 818e or Martin d35e retro. Then I ran across the HD28 Sweetwater Edition. Instantly fell in love with the vintage looks! This guitar had everything I wanted in one package. Adirondack top, electronics, and the fact that the vintage open geared tuners were Gotoh sold me. I wanted a guitar that sounded great, but was different than my 916ce. I called Sweetwater and Joseph Secu hooked me up. The guitar arrived promptly and I was amazed when I opened the case and strummed the first chord. It was perfectly in tune!
    I have had this awesome tone machine for a month now and played her everyday. the volume and projection is awesome! All my friends keep telling me that it sounds even better than my Taylor. The only problem I have is that the main reason I ordered from Sweetwater is that you get to see the exact guitar that you will receive and the pics are wonderful. The guitar arrived exactly as pictured and I am proud to now own a Custom Shop Martin. However, the case it arrived in is not the case that was shown in the pics. the pics showed a Custom Shop case as well, with an emblem the size of your hand near the headstock of the case. When I opened the box I was disappointed to see a plain black case. No problem with the quality of the case but I would have been much more pleased to have it stand out as well as the guitar itself does.

  • from corbin, ky June 3, 2013Music Background:
    hobbyist

    the guitar good, but the bat holder fell out

    the glue that holds the bat. for the fishman, gave way in a short time.
    realy puts you in a bad spot.

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