C. F. Martin D-28 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1958)

C. F. Martin  D-28 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1958)
$14,500.00 + shipping
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Item # 10737
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C. F. Martin D-28 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1958), made in Nazareth, PA, serial # 159518, natural lacquer finish, Brazilian rosewood back and sides, spruce top; mahogany neck with ebony fingerboard, black tolex hard shell case.

This superb playing and fine sounding Martin D-28 dates to very early 1958, just before 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 also made the D-28 their standard, and many top artists would not be seen without one!

After WWII this was the biggest, best and most expensive guitar Martin made. The elaborate pearl trimmed models were discontinued during the war and not revived, leaving this comparatively austere rosewood Dreadnought as top of the line. Despite strong competition from Gibson's Jumbos, in the 1950s the D-28 was the final word in a serious flat-top instrument to most professional players.

This example was one of 677 sold in 1958 at the fairly stiff price of $270 (without case). It shows 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 the then brand new "patent pending" Grover Rotomatic tuners. It features a beautiful straight-grained Brazilian rosewood back with a dramatic bookmatched streak and a tight and even-grained spruce top that would also be considered premium wood today. The mahogany neck is slimmer than some with a noticeable "soft V" profile. A small "Made in USA" stamp on the back of the headstock indicates this was originally an export guitar, probably to Canada.

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 particularly easy playing example. It offers a powerful full-range sound and is more responsive than some while still maintaining the powerful bass response D-28's are prized for. This guitar is perfectly suited to period styles including purely acoustic Bluegrass of folk, acoustic/electric Honky Tonk or more modern playing applications; it even makes a good fingerpicker, which some do not particularly excel at. This is a real gem of an early "Folk-era" D-28, a very smooth player and just overall super friendly guitar.
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 clean old Martin has had a few repairs over the past 65 years, but very well cared for not appearing to have been actually played all that much. It really is a lovely instrument with the original lacquer finish well preserved overall, showing some light checking mostly to the top. The color has not ambered as much as many from this period, this guitar likely never saw any smokey bars. The top shows some light pick scratches above and behind the soundhole and wear to the wood on the lower soundhole rim. Beyond this there are a few small deeper dings in the top in the area below the bridge that were neatly touched up some time ago. The back and sides show only a few small dings and scratches in the finish.

Other than these superficial imperfections this D-28 is very nicely preserved, remaining amazingly completely crack-free, which is pretty unusual after more than 6 decades. The neck has been neatly reset and the ebony bridge is a well done later replica. There are some small pulls to the spruce around the perimeter from the old bridge lifting. Internally, the original small bridge plate and braces remain perfectly intact.

The original small frets show some light wear in the lower positions but still play well. This D-28 once had a larger set of tuners installed, but has been restored to original with a period correct set of the early "Pat Pend." Grover Rotomatics. Some small rings on the headstock face are the only evidence of this. This very fine Martin survivor is a fine player with a very comfortable action and a powerful deep sound. It currently resides in a modern Martin TKL hardshell case. Overall Excellent - Condition.