1969 Martin D-28S Brazilian Rosewood
This 1969 Brazilian rosewood Martin D-28S is essentially a one-owner guitar and except for the original black acetate pickguard, which was replaced here at Gryphon as it had come loose and curled dramatically, all the parts and finish are as it left the factory in Nazareth 49 years ago. The interior bracing and bridgeplate are also original with no sign of repairs. You can see some pickwear to the top just beyond the outer edge of the pickguard, and there are a few small nicks and dings, but there are no cracks anywhere. There is some fine-pattern lacquer crazing to the top, not much sign of it anywhere else. This guitar has seen very little use in recent years.
This Martin D-28S is probably the loudest guitar in the store, but it is very well balanced sonically and is equally at home driving a bluegrass band or negotiating some delicately fingerpicked melodies. Norman Blake is a big fan of 12-fret Dreadnoughts and has recorded extensively with various versions over the years.
We all know that dreadnoughts are big guitars, and thanks to their shallow curve at the waist and deep sides the D body has a greater internal air volume than many guitars that are wider and appear larger. But the earliest Martin Dreadnoughts were even larger than most modern D models, as the 12-fret neck version had a longer body. Although nobody talks about it today, Martin dreadnoughts started out as Hawaiian guitars (so they were played with a bar, lying on your lap like a Dobro). For the contemporary player, however, what matters is that when you put the bridge further down into the center of the lower bout, as seen on these reissue models, you get an even bigger and deeper tone.