Martin really refined their definition of a Vintage Reissue with this model. This guitar is not just a reissue of a 1954 D-28, it’s a recreation of the specific 1954 D-28 that was played on the Grand Ole Opry by Rich Robinson's father, who then handed it down to his son. Rich Robinson used the original for both songwriting and studio recordings with his band The Black Crows for many years. How does it differ from stock Martin D-28 models and other vintage reissues of that iconic acoustic? More than you might think, because instead of being focused on pre-WWII models, as many reissues are, this example borrows the internal bracing specs and neck shape of a classic mid-'50s D-28 from Martin's old North Street Factory.
The first thing you'll notice is the neck profile, which is deeper and more beefy, but still 1 11/16" wide at the nut (Gibson fans will recognize this neck's feel as more like that of Gibson models from the same era). Martin has also captured the sound of an old D-28 without resorting to the usual features we're used to: the top bracing isn't "scalloped "or "forward shifted"; the top isn't Adirondack spruce; and it isn't torrefied (VTS). Instead, Martin relied on aged spruce and Indian rosewood, a thin lacquer finish, hot hide glue construction, and the more steeply tapered X bracing. Does this mean scalloped bracing, Adirondack spruce, and VTS don't matter? Of course not, as this '54 Reissue doesn't sound like those pre-WWII models, but it sounds great in its own way with lots of punch and power plus trebles that will cut through any jam session mix. One thing is for sure, this is a very loud D-28, with sustain and headroom you can't miss in just a few minutes of playing it. And the nicks, dings and scuff? They are based on the playing wear found on Rich Robinson's '54 original.