1956 Martin D-28 Guitar

1956 Martin D-28 Guitar

A chance to own a great sounding, great playing Brazilian Rosewood D-28, at a fraction of the cost of an all-original example. This D-28 has had some work, and a few issues, but it’s all repaired and ready to play. And the tone is incredible– tone you won’t find in any other mid-50’s D-28.

This guitar, has just been gone over head to end pin, repaired, restored, and set up, by two of the top luthiers/repairmen in Texas, and it’s good to go for decades. The bridge is perfect. Saddle is perfect height. Action is great– low but no buzzing. It won’t need a thing. Ready to play. The tone: the scalloped braces add roundness and clarity to the basses (A and D string in particular) and a bit more “ring” to the trebles.

Don’t try this at home– a scalloped braced mid 50’s D-28, but the result, set up by two of this country’s top luthiers, is a great sounding brazilian Martin dread, whose tone you won’t find in any Martin north of 1944– certainly not at this price.

Here’s the report:

  • sometime decades ago, the top braces were scalloped
  • probably as a result of a minor impact at the end pin (guitar dropped), there were cracks in the sides, and a slight crack to the neck block. So a previous luthier, long before we acquired the guitar, put in 4 small wood dowels, through the sides–near the heel, into the block (see photos). All is stable. Not the prettiest solution, but it works well.
  • Small crack in heel, repaired and stable
  • Original finish, on Sitka Spruce top; Oversprayed back, sides, and neck (but back of neck finish has worn, giving a natural, comfortable feel)
  • A bit of damage to one corner of the headstock. But there are no cracks in headstock.
  • Pickup jack installed years ago at end pin; no pickup inside; Also, an old pickup jack on bass side of guitar, filled.
  • Some pickwear loss, bottom edge of soundhole
  • Top of guitar has no serious cracks. No “B string” pickguard crack. Tiny crack along the treble edge of the pick guard. A couple more finish type of cracks that do not go through the wood to inside.
  • Several side cracks, all addressed.
  • Back of guitar has no cracks through the wood. A couple of finish cracks.

The good news: recently, the following work was done on the guitar, making it 100% stable, and ready to play:

  • neck set, by John Allison
  • Refret, by John Allison
  • New, 100% period correct, ebony bridge, made and installed by John Allison. Bridge is made to the exact specs, footprint, etc, of an original 1956 Martin bridge. A small area of finish around an older oversized bridge was addressed by John (you can see this in the photos).
  • New, period correct Maple bridge plate, installed by Tony Nobles
  • Old pickup jack on bass side of guitar, filled by Tony Nobles.
  • The wonderful, original gold-plated Kluson waffle-back tuners, are original, and work perfectly.
  • Original pickguard
  • Original Martin logo on headstock