This instrument is currently owned by my good friend, who is the second owner
- it was truly a one-owner Martin when he bought it. A few years ago, he carefully
picked this guitar out after test-driving about 30 similar instruments over
the course of a few months (various trips to shops, purchasing instruments
on approval, etc.) and this is the one that sang. The owner's collection has
since ballooned in a very quality-intensive way, but this guitar still continues
to stand out as an incredible choice. The back and sides are of perfectly
quarter-sawn Brazilian Rosewood, and beautiful Sitka Spruce makes the top.
I previously stated that this guitar had an Adirondack top, but there is enough
uncertainty about this to make me wonder. 1947 D-28s are supposed to have
Sitka tops, but it has been the expressed opinion of two collector/experts
and a Martin repair tech that it was Adirondack. I was recently contacted
by another expert who has swayed my thinking, though, and so I contacted Martin
directly to see what I could find out. Their records are apparently not thorough
during this time period and they c0uld not find any further information. So
am going to modify the listed specifications of the instrument accordingly.
But regardless, this is one of the finest D-28's either I or the owner have
ever played, and it's 8.9 condition doesn't hurt for an instrument that is
57 years old!! No, it's not a herringbone (that option went away in 1946,
and this is an early 47), but the current owner could not find a herringbone
of this era that could hold its own against this guitar sonically.
This D-28 is in fantastic condition for its age. There is only one single
repaired crack on this instrument - about one centimeter long, in the area
between the base of the pick guard and the bridge. You can see it clearly
in the closeup picture toward the bottom of the listing. It did not go all
the way through. This is a common place for a crack like this to develop,
usually caused by shrinkage of the pick guard material over time. There are
no other body cracks or any other type of repaired damage anywhere on this
instrument. Everything appears to be original. Basically, overall condition
could be easily described as VG++. The only thing keeping this from being
EXc- is a bit of belt buckle rash on the back, on the bass side. This is the
worst of the damage on the guitar. There is some wear on the top. Both of
these are portrayed accurately in the close-up shots. The owner and I are
confident that the guitar has not been refinished. I asked my tech to render
his professional opinion on the matter. He said that he does not believe the
body has seen any refinishing. He did comment that the one place that does
look very subtly different is a small area of the neck heel - possibly some
touchup work was done a long time ago, perhaps even in tandem with a neck
reset. But this too could be original, standing out only because that area
would be subject to less wear than the rest of the neck.
This guitar has been clearly used and enjoyed over its lifetime, but it has
been taken care of. It is in superb playing condition, and it sounds just
fantastic - rich and complex, and a veritable cannon when you're putting out
a lead line or a full strum. It has the typical "old Martin" sound,
but with an even more incredible fullness of body, incredible sustain and
perfect setup. The frets are likely original, and have plenty of life left.
The tuners are smooth and work freely. It just came back from an inspection
and fret dress at my tech's shop - he also happens to be an authorized Martin
technician. He did a wonderful job.
The truth is that this guitar would still be sitting in my friend's collection
if it weren't for his need for cash to buy a 1930's-era D-45/D-18 package
deal... obviously those are not coming cheap. This might be one of the finest
guitars you will ever hear or play. It is an absolute joy, and you'll know
it from the first time you sit down to play it - a very special piece.