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Martin Guitars: D35 or HD28? Which is the best?

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Silas 02 Feb 11 - 09:48 AM
Cool Beans 02 Feb 11 - 10:08 AM
Backwoodsman 02 Feb 11 - 10:32 AM
Silas 02 Feb 11 - 10:32 AM
Backwoodsman 02 Feb 11 - 10:32 AM
GUEST,gabe 02 Feb 11 - 10:34 AM
GUEST,Ray 02 Feb 11 - 10:51 AM
Silas 02 Feb 11 - 10:56 AM
Leadfingers 02 Feb 11 - 11:05 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 02 Feb 11 - 11:44 AM
kendall 02 Feb 11 - 11:50 AM
Wesley S 02 Feb 11 - 12:13 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 02 Feb 11 - 12:21 PM
Will Fly 02 Feb 11 - 01:09 PM
Little Hawk 02 Feb 11 - 01:25 PM
kendall 02 Feb 11 - 01:37 PM
GUEST,jeff 02 Feb 11 - 01:59 PM
gnu 02 Feb 11 - 02:49 PM
Ebbie 02 Feb 11 - 11:27 PM
GUEST,DonMeixner 02 Feb 11 - 11:46 PM
Francy 03 Feb 11 - 12:12 AM
wordfella 03 Feb 11 - 09:35 AM
Cool Beans 03 Feb 11 - 11:24 AM
Brian May 03 Feb 11 - 01:44 PM
GUEST 03 Feb 11 - 04:22 PM
open mike 03 Feb 11 - 06:58 PM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 03 Feb 11 - 10:46 PM
Brian May 04 Feb 11 - 04:55 PM
Fortunato 04 Feb 11 - 07:52 PM
GUEST,Col F 05 Feb 11 - 09:22 AM
Amos 05 Feb 11 - 11:17 AM
GUEST 17 Feb 11 - 02:14 PM
GUEST,Roger 25 May 11 - 08:48 PM
PHJim 25 May 11 - 11:48 PM
Silas 15 Jun 11 - 06:30 AM
GUEST,Doug Saum 15 Jun 11 - 01:34 PM
GUEST 26 Nov 11 - 04:31 PM
Backwoodsman 27 Nov 11 - 01:40 AM
GUEST,gc 15 Dec 11 - 08:01 PM
kendall 15 Dec 11 - 08:08 PM
GUEST,gc 15 Dec 11 - 08:15 PM
GUEST 10 Aug 12 - 12:05 AM
GUEST,Indiana guest 10 Aug 12 - 02:02 AM
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Subject: D35 or HD28? Which is the best?
From: Silas
Date: 02 Feb 11 - 09:48 AM

Given the choice, which would you go for? Is there really that much difference between a HD28 and a D28?

Thanks


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Subject: RE: D35 or HD28? Which is the best?
From: Cool Beans
Date: 02 Feb 11 - 10:08 AM

As with strings, capos and, for that matter, underwear, there's no one-size-fits-all answer. It's always a matter of personal taste, and even within a single style and model each instrument is different. It doesn't matter which guitar is better for me. Which one sounds better to you? Which feels better to play?


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Subject: RE: D35 or HD28? Which is the best?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 02 Feb 11 - 10:32 AM

The main difference in construction between a D-28 and an HD-28 is that the D-28 is straight-braced, whereas the HD-28 is scalloped (gives more bass response).

Obvious cosmetic (i.e. not related to sound production) differences are the herringbone inlays, zig-zag backstrip and tortoise-style pickguard which are not present on the D-28 (it has a black pickguard).

As CB says, it's important to try the different types and select the one that feels, plays and sounds best to you. No-one else's opinion matters.


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Subject: RE: D35 or HD28? Which is the best?
From: Silas
Date: 02 Feb 11 - 10:32 AM

I know what you mean, however, it looks very much like I am not going to get the opportunity of trying before buying, so I am asking for a bit of advice really.


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Subject: RE: D35 or HD28? Which is the best?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 02 Feb 11 - 10:32 AM

FWIW, IMHO the HD-28V beats the lot.


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Subject: RE: D35 or HD28? Which is the best?
From: GUEST,gabe
Date: 02 Feb 11 - 10:34 AM

My experience around Martins has been that the D28 is a louder instrument generally. It could be the 3 piece back that affects the volume on the D35. I dunno which is best, that's a personal choice.


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Subject: RE: D35 or HD28? Which is the best?
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 02 Feb 11 - 10:51 AM

Are you asking about the difference between a D35 and a D28 (as per title) or between a D28 and an HD28 (as per text)?

Personally, I'd listen to them all and buy which I preferred but it might be appropriate to remember that all the more desirable (i.e. vintage) Martins date from before the D35 and the HD28 were first produced. (Yes I know that the early ones had herringbone binding but that was in the days before "designer marketing" and Martin didn't bother to make a big thing about it.)


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Subject: RE: D35 or HD28? Which is the best?
From: Silas
Date: 02 Feb 11 - 10:56 AM

I am looking at a couple of late used Martins. A D35 and a D28. They are a similar price. I am aware of the cosmetic and construction differences between them, just trying to get some feedback from owners. I would, out of choice, go for a HD28 I think, but question weather the scalloped bracing makes enough difference to the sound to justify the cost.


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Subject: RE: D35 or HD28? Which is the best?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 02 Feb 11 - 11:05 AM

A friend who's opinion I value reckons that the D35 is not as balanced (Bass Wise) as the D28 ,but als said he though MY D35 was one of the best he had played and "Nearly as good" as his D28 !
Despite the Cost they ALL vary slightly , so its case od Buy and Try !! Neither will be a disappointment I feel !!


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Subject: RE: D35 or HD28? Which is the best?
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 02 Feb 11 - 11:44 AM

Silas,
My advice is if you can't try it don't buy it. All instruments vary to some degree or another and the only way to decide what is best for you is to try several.

I have a D35 which I am very happy with and most of the people that I pick with like the sound. One of them went out and got a D35 because of the sound of mine but the one he got although not a bad instrument really dissapointed him when he compared the two.

If you are a lead picker I think the D28 might suit you best.
Hoot


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Subject: RE: D35 or HD28? Which is the best?
From: kendall
Date: 02 Feb 11 - 11:50 AM

I'd never buy a pig in a poke; you might get hosed.
I've seen a couple of really good D-35s but the rest were junk. I'd grab the D-28. (But I'd play it first)


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Subject: RE: D35 or HD28? Which is the best?
From: Wesley S
Date: 02 Feb 11 - 12:13 PM

Another vote for the D-28. And my guess is that in the long run the 28's have a better resale value if that is a consideration for you. Of course I'm the owner of a D-18. And you can have it when you pry it from my cold dead fingers { to paraphrase the NRA }.


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Subject: RE: D35 or HD28? Which is the best?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 02 Feb 11 - 12:21 PM

If you're talking about buying a new guitar, sight unseen (as in ordering from Elderly), I'd definitely go with the HD28. They do seem to have a more consistently excellent sound. Play three or four HD28s and you probably won't be able to tell one from the other. Play three or four D35s and you're likely to hear some substantial variability. That's not to say there aren't some D35s out there that sound as good or better than a typical HD28, but you'll probably need to play a few to find one of the really good ones.


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Subject: RE: D35 or HD28? Which is the best?
From: Will Fly
Date: 02 Feb 11 - 01:09 PM

I would never, never buy any guitar - whatever make, new or s/h - sight and sound unseen.


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Subject: RE: D35 or HD28? Which is the best?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 02 Feb 11 - 01:25 PM

I'd have to vote for the HD28. They are very consistently good in my experience. Some D-35s are very good and some of them are not so good. Plain D-28s vary a fair bit, though mostly they're very good, but the HD-28s are usually better in my opinion.

My favorite Martin so far is an HD28, and it's the guitar I play the most. I don't go for the V-neck, but that's a matter of personal taste. I prefer a slender C-neck design, as is found on the majority of Martins out there.


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Subject: RE: D35 or HD28? Which is the best?
From: kendall
Date: 02 Feb 11 - 01:37 PM

I had a beautiful HD-28, but I played this Taylor and bought it. I don't know where the HD 28 is.


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Subject: RE: D35 or HD28? Which is the best?
From: GUEST,jeff
Date: 02 Feb 11 - 01:59 PM

The 'quality guitar' market varies so much from instrument to instrument like the poster above I would NEVER drop my hard earned ducets on an unseen/unheard guitar.

Well, maybe a pre-war D-18S, but that's about it.

That being said given a choice between scalloped and unscalloped bracing I'd go/w the one w/scalloped. I bought a '79 D-35S and then spent another 200.00 to have the bracing scalloped by a local luthier. The difference was AMAZING.


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Subject: RE: D35 or HD28? Which is the best?
From: gnu
Date: 02 Feb 11 - 02:49 PM

Kendall... never heard a non-Canuck use the term "hosed". Is it common down south?


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Subject: RE: D35 or HD28? Which is the best?
From: Ebbie
Date: 02 Feb 11 - 11:27 PM

I have a couple of friends in Juneau who have ordered many an instrument from Elderly. Some they buy, others they send back. In Alaska you find yourself doing a lot of the equivalent of mail order.

I love my D35. And a guitar-playing friend once played mine and said, Oh, yes, I keep forgetting that this is how a Martin ought to sound...


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Subject: RE: D35 or HD28? Which is the best?
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 02 Feb 11 - 11:46 PM

Since you can't play them buy them based on resale value. I like the D 28 myself.

Don


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Subject: RE: D35 or HD28? Which is the best?
From: Francy
Date: 03 Feb 11 - 12:12 AM

I have a 1979 D35 and it's the best.....A rather win/win thread.......to each his own and to own a Martin is a blessing....Wow! Did I say that?..........Frank of Toledo


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Subject: RE: D35 or HD28? Which is the best?
From: wordfella
Date: 03 Feb 11 - 09:35 AM

I have an HD-35 and a D-35. They both sound great, but I prefer the HD's thinner neck.


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Subject: RE: D35 or HD28? Which is the best?
From: Cool Beans
Date: 03 Feb 11 - 11:24 AM

Gnu,
   Here along the border--I'm in Michigan, Kendall's in Maine--we've used the term "hosed" for decades. It even predates the movie "Great White North," which really popularized it in the States.
CB


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Subject: RE: D35 or HD28? Which is the best?
From: Brian May
Date: 03 Feb 11 - 01:44 PM

I have a D-28 and the 12 string too, the D12-28 in addition to a 000-28.

In the shop, I compared the D-28 with the HD-28 and (for me) the D-28 was the nicest. Tone-wise and action.

The fact of the matter is neither is a poor choice, they're both sublime instruments and the differences are just personal and subjective.

I don't think you'd regret either one. Best of luck and a great choice.


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Subject: RE: D35 or HD28? Which is the best?
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Feb 11 - 04:22 PM

The real answer is that you cannot tell which guitar sounds the best, or connects to your psyche the best, etc. without playing it. The Model number has nothing to do with it.

A friend who worked at Martin told me the D35s were made to use pieces of rosewood that were too small to make a two piece back, and that there sound is generally inferior. He also said that when the grain is right, the joins are just right, etc, a D35 could sound as good as anything alse, or better.

Go to a shop where you can spend a few hours playing - then buy the one that grafts to your heart - if none do, keep looking.

dw


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Subject: RE: D35 or HD28? Which is the best?
From: open mike
Date: 03 Feb 11 - 06:58 PM

how many out there have D-35-S martins? I just started a facebook group as i found several of us at the same event and we thought we'd start a club....if any others want to join, let me know...e-mail me
at veraloe@gotsky.com.


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Subject: RE: D35 or HD28? Which is the best?
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 03 Feb 11 - 10:46 PM

Look - this how it works. They're both brilliant guitars. the D35 is a bit bassier, but the HD is fabulous also - you can feel the sound waves of the HD tickle your tum - its so alive.

The noise emmitted depends on who's playing them.

However if you buy a Martin - bear in mind it comes from a factory. The holes that the pegs go into have been made by machines. The nut may not have the correct width grooves for the strings you wish to play. Get the holes and the nut right and it will stay in tune.

So get your guitar and then hie thee hence to a luthier who will set it up - put a strap button on for you, on the heel, as well.

The materials Martin use are first class. You should be fine, which ever way you jump.


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Subject: RE: D35 or HD28? Which is the best?
From: Brian May
Date: 04 Feb 11 - 04:55 PM

Rolls Royces, Mercedes, BMWs, Aston Martins etc also come from a factory.

Don't hold that against them . . . ;o)


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Subject: RE: D35 or HD28? Which is the best?
From: Fortunato
Date: 04 Feb 11 - 07:52 PM

Here is my opinion speaking in generalities:
General information:
Between 1966 and 1988 Martin used Rosewood bridge plates which were inferior to the Maple bridge plates used before and after. I would not buy a Martin guitar unseen from that period and likely not at all.

In the matter of scalloped braces the highly revered late-1938 to late-1944 guitars had deeper scalloped braces than the 1938 and prior forward or advanced braced guitars. This gives the late 1938 to late 1944 Martin guitars improved bass response and are highly prized. Scalloped bracing is a big deal. Gallaher calls this voiced bracing and it matters.

I presume you're primarily a flat picker or you'd be interested in a 000 or OM sized guitar as a finger picker. Given that, consider that a D18V has a Mahogany back and scalloped braces and may be clearer in tone than a rosewood guitar. If you're a singer songwriter and play few leads the rosewood maybe ideal. Now the bluegrass master players revere the rosewood D28 , they'll say it is incisive and yet mellow.

Now since 70 t0 80% of the sound comes from the Sitka spruce top on the 18s, 28s, and 35s (scholars differ)you may think the 3 piece back makes little difference, but in fact, in general I think the 35 is less clear and defined that the 28s and 18s. There's a reason why most guitars have two piece backs, in general it just works best.

best of luck,
Chance


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Subject: RE: Martin Guitars: D35 or HD28? Which is the best?
From: GUEST,Col F
Date: 05 Feb 11 - 09:22 AM

If you would like a few dozen additional opinions, you might like to post your question at The Unofficial Martin Guitar Forum


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Subject: RE: Martin Guitars: D35 or HD28? Which is the best?
From: Amos
Date: 05 Feb 11 - 11:17 AM

I'm in love with my D-35, but if Kendall offered me his H-28 I could cheat on her!! :D


A


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Subject: RE: Martin Guitars: D35 or HD28? Which is the best?
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Feb 11 - 02:14 PM

1968 was the year that Martin went to Rosewood bridgeplate. They also went from a t-bar reinforcement to a rectangular rod. All these make a difference in the mass of the instrument which: More mass given same dimensions equals less volume. Rosewood inhibits the spruces ability to transmit the higher resonances throughout the body compared to Maple.


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Subject: RE: Martin Guitars: D35 or HD28? Which is the best?
From: GUEST,Roger
Date: 25 May 11 - 08:48 PM

My first Martin was a D-35 and I play rhythm guitar in several bands with it. I bought a D-18VE last year and, while beautiful, just doesn't have the rich sound of the D-35. It is a little brassier. I like it for finger picking.


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Subject: RE: Martin Guitars: D35 or HD28? Which is the best?
From: PHJim
Date: 25 May 11 - 11:48 PM

Although there are minor differences in D-28s, D-21s and D35s, they are all rosewood guitars with spruce tops and you'll sometimes find more differences between two D-28s than between a D-28 and a D-21 or a D-35. Follow the advice of those who said,"Play both guitars, then choose."


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Subject: RE: Martin Guitars: D35 or HD28? Which is the best?
From: Silas
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 06:30 AM

Well, Just in case you are interested, I bought a Martin HD28V from Frailers at Runcorn and I am absoloutly delighted with it. The sound is truly amazing, however, the really funny thing is that for recording, my DX1 sounds much better - why is that do you think?


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Subject: RE: Martin Guitars: D35 or HD28? Which is the best?
From: GUEST,Doug Saum
Date: 15 Jun 11 - 01:34 PM

Dear Backwoodsman, I've owned two D-35's, both with black pickguards (early 70's vintage). For me the key difference between these models is the neck. Personal preference reigns supreme. Doug


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Subject: RE: Martin Guitars: D35 or HD28? Which is the best?
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Nov 11 - 04:31 PM

"Here is my opinion speaking in generalities:
General information:
Between 1966 and 1988 Martin used Rosewood bridge plates which were inferior to the Maple bridge plates used before and after. I would not buy a Martin guitar unseen from that period and likely not at all."



As a reference point to the posted statement; this is not always true.
Martin began production of the HD-28 in 1976 and it cured two of the biggest ills of Martin in this time period. The HD-28 has always had a Maple bridge plate in place since its beginning along with the scalloped bracing. Two things that Martins in the seventies had and have had their opponents say. The only things missing from the older HD-28s and could be considered "undesirable to some" is the T-bar truss rod. I have in fact played a few HD-28s from the 1976-79 period and they are one of the most resonant guitars I have had the priveledge to play.

Don't discount Martins from the seventies, besides the intonation issues that some could have in the earlier part of the decade which are easily set right; they can be great aged tone wood guitars at a great value. Just to keep things in perspective; Martins in the seventies are no where near what Fender and Gibson's woes were in the seventies and they are now beginning to see vintage status.


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Subject: RE: Martin Guitars: D35 or HD28? Which is the best?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 27 Nov 11 - 01:40 AM

"Dear Backwoodsman, I've owned two D-35's, both with black pickguards (early 70's vintage). For me the key difference between these models is the neck. Personal preference reigns supreme. Doug"

Only just seen the above comment. If you're still there Doug, I never mentioned a D-35. My post discussed the differences between the D-28 and HD-28 (and recommended the HD-28V).

The thread title asks about D-35 v. HD-28, but the OP then goes on to talk about D-28 v. HD-28, and I continued the discussion about the D-28 v. HD-28.

I had a D-35 for three weeks about 10 years ago. Traded it for a J-40 which, IMHO, is a vastly superior instrument.


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Subject: RE: Martin Guitars: D35 or HD28? Which is the best?
From: GUEST,gc
Date: 15 Dec 11 - 08:01 PM

from the late 60's i was privledged to acquire and play numerous manufaturer's acoustics and custom builts for rock stars without budgets, including 45 nashville darlin' (one of hank's) o, oo, ooo, all D & F, anything martin built from late 1800's till early 80's. from one serial number to the next sound is different, not just strings or player, my feeling was wood and how cared for and stored during life, and only playing can show difference. my '79 D 35 sounds side by side to my '32 D 45 except for look, pearl & shine of the 45, i like the 35 play/sound 1 notch better. play be 4 you pay, you can be surprised that a $1,500-$2,000 model plays /sounds better than $385,000 "collectible", unless resale is your thing.


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Subject: RE: Martin Guitars: D35 or HD28? Which is the best?
From: kendall
Date: 15 Dec 11 - 08:08 PM

Play it, then decide.


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Subject: RE: Martin Guitars: D35 or HD28? Which is the best?
From: GUEST,gc
Date: 15 Dec 11 - 08:15 PM

ooops forgot 2 preview, '37 not '32


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Subject: RE: Martin Guitars: D35 or HD28? Which is the best?
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 12:05 AM

I have a D-21, and my nephew has a D-35. He always uses heavy guage strings, and I use light. My guitar is louder and truer than his even with the light strings. Go for the -28... I would...


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Subject: RE: Martin Guitars: D35 or HD28? Which is the best?
From: GUEST,Indiana guest
Date: 10 Aug 12 - 02:02 AM

I live in the midewest US and get a chance to try out quite a few Martins at local guitar stores. The D35s I've played have amazed me with their deep, resonant bass. The sustained chords just seem to bloom with overtones and harmonics. The braces aren't scalloped, but are thinner than on the D28

The HD28 will have scalloped braces and a "boomier" response in the bass dept. It's generally considered a flatpicker/bluegrass guitar around here, and the D35 would be more of a "folkinger" guitar - better to accompany "singers" songs as opposed to the punch and drive needed for bluegrass.

Of course, a good player will make either guitar sound great, so as many have said, it's personal preference.


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