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Martin D-28, 1947

Sitka Spruce Top (prev. listed as Adirondack)
Brazilian Rosewood Back & Sides
VG++ Condition

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.

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