C. F. Martin D-28 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1959)

C. F. Martin  D-28 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1959)
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Item # 10380
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C. F. Martin D-28 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1959), made in Nazareth, PA, serial # 170795, natural lacquer finish, Brazilian rosewood back and sides, spruce top; mahogany neck with ebony fingerboard, black tolex hard shell case.

This superbly well preserved Martin D-28 dates to 1959, the year the runaway success of the Kingston Trio made ownership of this exact instrument a badge of honor for every aspiring folk guitarist. The Country & Western stars of the day had long also made the model a standard, and many would not be seen without one! After WWII the D-28 was the biggest, best and most expensive Martin guitar available. The elaborate pearl trimmed models were discontinued during the war and not revived, leaving this comparatively austere rosewood guitar as top of the line. Despite strong competition from Gibson's Jumbos, in the 1950s the D-28 was the final word in a flat-top instrument to most professional players.

This example was built towards the end of 1959, one of 476 sold that year. It shows all the classic period appointments: multi-layer celluloid binding on the back and top, a long-saddle ebony bridge, "Big-dot" graduated pearl inlaid ebony fingerboard, tortoise pattern Celluloid pickguard and Grover Rotomatic "patent pending" tuners. It features beautiful straight-grained Brazilian rosewood back and sides and a tight and even-grained spruce top that would also be considered premium wood today.

While this is a fabulous guitar to look at as with most old Martins the real beauty comes in the playing. The D-28 is one of the most respected of all Martin models, and this is a wonderful playing and fantastic sounding example. It offers a huge full-range sound with a brighter top end than many while still maintaining a powerful bass response. This guitar is perfectly suited to period styles including purely acoustic Bluegrass of folk, acoustic/electric Honky Tonk or to many more modern playing applications. This is a real gem of a "Folk-era" D-28, one of the nicer ones we have seen in a long time.
Overall length is 41 in. (104.1 cm.), 15 3/4 in. (40 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 5 in. (12.7 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 25 1/2 in. (648 mm.). Width of nut is 1 11/16 in. (43 mm.).
This guitar has seen only some fairly minor play time over the decades and has been extremely well-maintained, remaining original and showing far less wear than many after more than six decades. The all-original finish still shines and shows just small dings, dents and scrapes here and there but no major wear. There are a few scuffs and press marks on the top, and several more visible scratches on the back. The top has a bit of finish worn off the lower soundhole rim and one very small pointed ding deeper into the wood halfway between the bridge and the tail, these is the only spots where the top is worn beyond the superficial. The interior of the guitar is unmolested including the original small maple bridge plate, without any signs of repair.

There are a few other marks on the body, particularly on the back near the treble side rim, but it remains unusually clean throughout. Similarly, the neck, heel and headstock are quite clean with only a few light scuff and dent marks. The instrument has had a superb cleanly done neck set and the saddle has been replaced on the original bridge, which itself has been neatly reglued. It has been refretted with fret wire that matches the original Martin specifications, the frets have light wear but plenty of life left. There is a strap button added to the heel. This D-28 is a very fine player with a tremendous sound, looking more like 6 years old than 60! It is housed in a later TKL HSC. Overall Excellent + Condition.