Martin D-28 (2017) Review

Full-bodied tone is at the heart of Martin’s new D-28

Vintage looks and a modern neck combine with forward-shifted bracing to create an even higher standard for the classic rosewood dreadnought




“It is an invigorated version of the classic D-28. When a player wants to dig in and drives the top, it can get quite throaty and even growly. And yet, light fingerpicking sounds buoyant and cheerfully expressive. On the whole, the D-28 (2017) is one particularly versatile Martin, with a new kind of dreadnought voice, even if it is made to look more like a vintage D-28 than its predecessor.”

Martin D-28 2017 Style 28 trim

Full Review With Video

“With its retro styling and ultra-modern neck, the new 2017 model is a souped up enhancement of the straight-braced D-28, given a more powerful engine, with a roomier interior.”

4 thoughts on “Martin D-28 (2017) Review

  1. Spoon,

    Thank you so much for your amazing review of this guitar. Your attention to detail is impeccable and I love your use of descriptive language. The words you use evoke sounds and that is immensely helpful in getting your point across. I also watched your comparison video and the HD version was greatly helpful in hearing some of the differences.

    I am about to purchase my first Martin and have been researching and test driving many guitars over the last 9 months (and I will even admit to creating a spreadsheet comparison!). I have to say, this review was extremely helpful, almost as good as having one in my own hands.

    Many thanks,
    Jim Olson

  2. I enjoyed this excellent review of the Martin D-28 (2017), particularly the technical details and your playing. The 1-3/4 inch nut would suit me.

    I would love to see side by side the undersides of the tops of all the D-28 variants (2016, 2017, HD-28, HD-28V and Golden Era) just to compare the differences. For mass production, Martin must have specific jigs for all these models for attaching the bracing to the tops to ensure consistent placement, standard and tone.

    I suspect that the arching of the back towards the neck also plays a part in achieving that great Martin tone. Hopefully Martin will come out with a D-28 (2017) with an Adirondack top as an extra option.

    • Thanks for your comment, Mike, and kind words.

      The arching, along with the specific silhouette of the dreadnought and 000/OM are not exactly the same as they were in the 1930s, which are both considered suspects for why those guitars cannot be replicated in terms of tone, even if the Authentic Series comes a lot closer in all other respects than any guitars made since those days.

      Should you take the factory tour you would see workers laying out the braces, in a jug that is made of see through plastic and metal, that then gets a top, and then some sort of vacuum press insures they are glued in place with equal pressure.

      I like your idea of the bracing. At the Unofficial Martin Guitar Forum, there is a second called the Bracing Library, where many people have contributed photos. Unfortunately many used PhotoBucket to host their photos so you can no longer see them, since that site is demanding $400 annual payments suddenly.

      I will see if I can compile some examples of the different bracing on Martins being sold today.

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