The Martin D-28 first appeared on the market in the form of the D-2 and later became the D-28 when it was eliminated for the regular production cycle. The D-28 model number denotes a dreadnought body style and 28 style features, which originally included Brazilian rosewood construction and a branded zipper pattern ribbon on the back.
In 1976, CF Martin introduced the HD-28, which was designed to replicate the pre-1947 D-28s by adding a herringbone cleaner and sculpted X-holder. As with many Martin models, the HD-28 was an instant hit with players looking for a balanced tone and a guitar that could stand up to great playing styles.
Since its inception in the early 1930s, the D-28 has been designed with X-style bracing, which provides a good tone and a responsive sound card. This style of bracing was developed by the CF Martin Company in the mid-19th century and became a building standard with the advent of steel guitar strings, which required stronger reinforcement than nylon or catgut strings. This bracing is often credited with creating the unique tone and sound of the D-28.
Martin introduced the HD-28 in 1976, which included a scalloped standard X-bracing system. By carving out parts of the standard reinforcement, Martin’s luthiers were able to fine-tune the tone and timbre of the guitar, resulting in subtle but clear sound differences between the D-28 and the HD-28.
Martin D-28 is constructed using solid East Indian rosewood for sides, back and main plate. The top is made of solid Sitka Spruce, which is finished in polished gloss and protected from scuffs by a black pickguard. It has a combination of white and black Boltaron inserts on the top and back of the guitar and white Boltaron binding.
With the 28-style as a base, the HD-28 also has a bold herringbone insert on top and a turtle color mirror, which replaces the standard black pickguard.
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price of the Martin D-28 is about $ 3,000, but the guitar usually sells for about $ 2,300. The HD-28 has a suggested retail price of $ 3,499, but can be found for around $ 2400 in major music stores or online.
Martin D-28 and HD-28 are both considered high quality guitars, suitable for most music styles. Although more ornate, the HD-28 usually sells for only a few hundred dollars more than the D-28, so the price should not be decisive for any purchase decision. Choosing between these two guitars should be a matter of personal taste, feel and tone preference. For more than 176 years, the CF Martin Guitar Company has built acoustic guitars that have become a symbol of excellence and quality. For much of this history, the Martin D-28 acoustic guitar has been one of the most popular models on the market and continues to gain new, loyal followers. Although almost identical, the subtle features between the D-28 and HD-28 allow each model to offer a distinct look and tone.