Martin HD-28 Review: An In-Depth Look at This Iconic Guitar

2023-05-08 15:55:46

The Martin HD-28 acoustic guitar is widely regarded as one of the most iconic and sought-after instruments in the world of music. With its rich history and unparalleled sound, the HD-28 has been a staple for countless musicians across many genres for over 80 years. In this article, we'll delve into the history of the martin 28 hd , explore its unique features and design, analyze its renowned sound, provide a buying guide for those in the market for an HD-28, and offer maintenance and care tips. Additionally, we'll answer frequently asked questions and provide reviews from experts and musicians to help you make an informed decision about this legendary instrument. Whether you're a seasoned musician or a beginner, the Martin HD-28 is a guitar that deserves your attention and appreciation.

History of Martin HD-28

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The Martin HD-28 acoustic guitar is a beloved model in the Martin guitar lineup, with a rich history that spans over 80 years. It was first introduced in 1931 as the D-28, and quickly gained popularity among musicians for its loud, powerful sound and excellent playability.

Over the years, the design of the D-28 continued to evolve, with various changes being made to the bracing, wood choices, and other aspects of the guitar. In 1976, Martin introduced the HD-28 model, which featured scalloped bracing for improved resonance and a slightly modified headstock design.

Since then, the martin 28 hd  has become one of the most sought-after acoustic guitars in the world, with its classic sound and timeless design winning over generations of musicians. It has been used by countless artists across a wide range of genres, from bluegrass to rock to folk, and has been featured on countless recordings and stages around the world.

In recent years, Martin has continued to refine the design of the HD-28, incorporating modern technology and materials while staying true to the guitar's classic roots. Today, the Martin HD-28 remains a top choice for discerning musicians who demand the very best in tone, playability, and craftsmanship.

Features and Design of Martin HD-28

The Martin HD-28 is known for its unique features and design that make it stand out among other guitars. Here are some of its key features:

  1. Solid Wood Construction: The martin 28 hd is made with solid wood construction, which means that the top, back, and sides of the guitar are made with solid pieces of wood, rather than laminates. This gives the guitar a fuller, more resonant sound.

  2. Scalloped Bracing: The HD-28 features Martin's scalloped bracing pattern, which is designed to allow the top of the guitar to vibrate more freely, resulting in a more dynamic and responsive sound.

  3. Herringbone Trim: The HD-28 is decorated with herringbone trim, a classic design element that adds to the guitar's overall aesthetic appeal.

  4. Ebony Fingerboard and Bridge: The fingerboard and bridge of the HD-28 are made from ebony, a durable and dense wood that contributes to the guitar's clear, articulate tone.

  5. Dreadnought Body Shape: The HD-28 has a dreadnought body shape, which is known for its powerful projection and deep bass response. This makes the guitar well-suited for strumming and flatpicking.

  6. Cutaway Design: Some models of the HD-28 feature a cutaway design, which allows for easier access to the higher frets on the guitar. This makes the guitar more versatile and well-suited for lead playing.

Overall, the Martin HD-28 is a guitar that is designed for musicians who are looking for a high-quality, versatile instrument that is capable of producing a wide range of tones and styles. Its solid wood construction, scalloped bracing, and herringbone trim give it a unique and distinctive look and sound that is highly sought after by players around the world.

Sound of Martin HD-28

The martin 28 hd is known for its exceptional sound quality, which is why it's one of the most sought-after acoustic guitars in the world. The guitar produces a rich and balanced sound that's perfect for a wide range of music genres. The unique sound of the HD-28 is the result of several design features that Martin has incorporated into the guitar.

One of the most important design features of the Martin HD-28 is its solid wood construction. The guitar's top, back, and sides are all made from solid wood, which gives the guitar a full and rich sound. The guitar's top is made from Sitka spruce, which is known for its strength and elasticity. The back and sides of the guitar are made from Indian rosewood, which is a dense and heavy wood that helps to produce a warm and well-rounded sound.

Another important design feature of the Martin HD-28 is its scalloped bracing. The guitar's bracing is carved in a way that allows the top to vibrate more freely, which results in a more responsive and resonant sound. This feature is particularly important for fingerstyle guitar playing, as it allows the notes to ring out more clearly.

The Martin HD-28 also features a dreadnought body shape, which is known for its powerful and balanced sound. The guitar's body shape allows for a large soundboard area, which helps to produce a loud and full sound. The guitar's larger size also provides a deeper and more resonant bass response.

Overall, the Martin HD-28 produces a rich and balanced sound that's perfect for a wide range of music genres. The guitar's solid wood construction, scalloped bracing, and dreadnought body shape all contribute to its exceptional sound quality. Whether you're a beginner or a professional musician, the Martin HD-28 is a great choice for anyone looking for a high-quality acoustic guitar.

Buying Guide for Martin HD-28


When it comes to buying a martin 28 hd, there are a few important factors to consider to ensure you get the right guitar for your needs. Here are some tips to help you make an informed decision:

  1. Determine your budget: Martin HD-28 guitars come in a range of prices, so it's important to establish your budget before you start shopping. This will help you narrow down your options and avoid overspending.

  2. Consider your playing style: The Martin HD-28 is known for its versatile sound, but it's still important to consider your playing style. If you're a fingerpicker, for example, you may prefer a guitar with a wider neck and lower action.

  3. Choose between standard and vintage models: Martin offers both standard and vintage models of the HD-28. Vintage models are designed to replicate the look and sound of guitars from the 1930s and 1940s, while standard models are more modern in design.

  4. Decide on electronics: If you plan to play your Martin HD-28 on stage or in a recording studio, you may want to consider a model with built-in electronics. This will allow you to amplify the sound of your guitar and make adjustments to the tone as needed.

  5. Try before you buy: It's always a good idea to play a Martin HD-28 before making a purchase. This will give you a better sense of the guitar's sound, feel, and overall quality. If you're not able to try the guitar in person, look for video or audio recordings of the guitar being played to get a sense of its sound.

  6. Look for a reputable dealer: When buying a martin 28 hd, it's important to purchase from a reputable dealer. This will ensure that you're getting an authentic guitar and that you'll be able to receive any necessary support or repairs in the future.

  7. Consider additional accessories: Finally, consider any additional accessories you may need, such as a case or a guitar stand. These items can help protect your investment and make it easier to store and transport your guitar.

Maintenance and Care of Martin HD-28

Owning a Martin HD-28 guitar is a significant investment, and it is crucial to take proper care of it to ensure it lasts for generations to come. Regular maintenance is essential to keep the guitar looking and sounding its best. Here are some tips for cleaning and storing your Martin HD-28 guitar.

Importance of Proper Maintenance

Regular maintenance is essential to keep your martin 28 hd guitar in top condition. Neglecting maintenance can lead to issues such as cracks, warping, or damage to the finish, affecting the guitar's playability and value. Taking care of your Martin HD-28 guitar ensures it retains its beauty and tonal quality, providing you with years of enjoyment.

Tips for Cleaning and Storing Martin HD-28 Guitars


  1. Wipe the guitar down with a soft, dry cloth after each use to remove any dust or debris.

  2. Use a damp cloth to remove any dirt or smudges from the guitar's finish.

  3. Use a specialized guitar cleaning solution to clean the fretboard, bridge, and other metal components.

  4. Avoid using household cleaners, as they can damage the guitar's finish and components.


  1. Store the guitar in a temperature and humidity-controlled environment, away from direct sunlight, heat sources, or moisture.

  2. Use a high-quality guitar case or gig bag to protect the guitar during transport or storage.

  3. Store the guitar on a guitar stand or hanger, ensuring it is not leaning against any other objects.

  4. Loosen the guitar strings before storing it to relieve tension on the neck and bridge.

How to Keep Martin HD-28 Guitars in Top Condition

Here are some additional tips for keeping your martin 28 hd guitar in top condition:

  1. Get regular checkups and maintenance from a professional guitar technician.

  2. Keep the guitar away from extreme temperatures, humidity, or changes in temperature and humidity.

  3. Use a humidifier in the guitar case or storage area during dry winter months to prevent the wood from drying out.

  4. Avoid exposing the guitar to sudden temperature or humidity changes, such as going from a cold car to a warm room.

By following these tips for cleaning, storing, and maintaining your Martin HD-28 guitar, you can keep it in top condition for years to come. Taking care of your guitar will not only ensure its longevity but also maintain its value and preserve its beautiful sound.

Frequently Asked Questions about Martin HD-28

As with any guitar, there are bound to be questions that arise when it comes to the Martin HD-28. In this section, we'll address some of the most commonly asked questions about this guitar.

  1. What is the difference between the Martin HD-28 and the D-28?

The martin 28 hd and D-28 are very similar guitars, with the main difference being the bracing pattern. The HD-28 features scalloped bracing, while the D-28 has non-scalloped bracing. This results in a slightly different sound between the two models, with the HD-28 having a more complex and nuanced tone.

  1. Is the Martin HD-28 good for fingerpicking?

Yes, the Martin HD-28 is an excellent guitar for fingerpicking. Its balanced tone and responsiveness make it well-suited for fingerstyle playing.

  1. What kind of strings should I use on my Martin HD-28?

The Martin HD-28 is typically strung with medium gauge strings, but the exact type of string you use is a matter of personal preference. Some players prefer to use lighter or heavier gauge strings depending on their playing style and the sound they are looking to achieve.

  1. How often should I change the strings on my Martin HD-28?

This will depend on how often you play and the condition of your strings. As a general rule, it's a good idea to change your strings every 3-6 months to maintain the best tone and playability.

  1. Can the Martin HD-28 be played acoustically and amplified?

Yes, the Martin HD-28 can be played both acoustically and amplified. It features a built-in pickup system, making it easy to plug in and play through an amplifier or PA system.

  1. Is the Martin HD-28 a good guitar for recording?

Yes, the Martin HD-28 is an excellent guitar for recording. Its balanced tone and clarity make it a popular choice for studio work.

  1. What is the price range for the Martin HD-28?

The price of a Martin HD-28 will vary depending on the year it was made, the specific model, and its condition. As of 2023, the price range for a new Martin HD-28 is typically between $3,000 and $4,000, while used models can range from $2,000 to $3,000.

  1. Can I customize my martin 28 hd?

Yes, Martin offers a variety of customization options for the HD-28, including different finishes, inlay designs, and pickup systems. You can also work with a luthier to make more extensive modifications to the guitar.

Reviews of Martin HD-28

When it comes to purchasing a guitar, reviews from other musicians and experts can be invaluable. Here, we've compiled a selection of in-depth reviews of different Martin HD-28 models to help you make an informed decision about your purchase.

  1. Guitar World Review of the Martin HD-28 Standard Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar

Guitar World praises the Martin HD-28 Standard Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar for its "resonant, woody tone and impressive volume," noting that it is "an excellent choice for fingerstyle players, flatpickers, and strummers alike." They also highlight the guitar's solid Sitka spruce top, East Indian rosewood back and sides, and forward-shifted scalloped X-bracing.

  1. MusicRadar Review of the Martin HD-28 Reimagined

MusicRadar notes that the Martin HD-28 Reimagined "retains the character and charm of the original HD-28," while also incorporating "a number of welcome modern refinements." They particularly praise the guitar's high-performance taper neck and aging toner top finish, which gives it a vintage aesthetic.

  1. Premier Guitar Review of the Martin HD-28E Retro

Premier Guitar describes the martin 28 hd Retro as "a stunning instrument with a lot to offer players of all styles." They note that the guitar's Fishman F1 Aura Plus pickup system provides "outstanding amplified tones," while also praising the guitar's vintage styling and solid wood construction.

  1. Acoustic Guitar Review of the Martin HD-28V

Acoustic Guitar Magazine gives high marks to the Martin HD-28V, noting that it "looks, feels, and sounds like an heirloom guitar." They highlight the guitar's Adirondack spruce top and vintage-inspired features, including its herringbone trim and aging toner finish. They also praise the guitar's warm and balanced tone, which they describe as "woody, yet clear and articulate."

  1. Reverb Review of the Martin HD-28 Retro

Reverb describes the Martin HD-28 Retro as "a classic Martin dreadnought with a modern twist." They praise the guitar's Fishman F1 Aura Plus pickup system, which they describe as "easy to use and sounds great." They also note that the guitar's vintage-style appointments, such as its aged toner finish and tortoise pickguard, add to its overall appeal.

Overall, reviews of the martin 28 hd are consistently positive, with many musicians and experts praising the guitar's solid wood construction, unique features, and rich, resonant tone. Whether you're a fingerstyle player, flatpicker, or strummer, the Martin HD-28 is a versatile and reliable choice for any musician looking for a high-quality acoustic guitar.