6/30/2015

1972 Martin D-28 Dreadnought Guitar


This is a customer's sturdy old workhorse that's been in a few times for adjustments and whatnot and came back this time for light setup, bridge pin-hole work, and a new K&K pickup install. It's already had recent work done by another shop which included a pretty steep neck reset, refret, and new bridge and saddle. This had the action decent but it still needed some going-through when I first saw this guitar (a few months ago).

Since it was "staying over" for the last few days, this is the first time I got to snag some photos. It's a nice instrument and despite being 70s (and thus built a bit more "stoutly"), it has plenty of that old Martin charm: it's a rosewood D. It's a definite sound... and any old 40s/50s "country chorder" would be proud of the way this one handles and sounds.




One of the first things that got replacement after my customer got this guitar was the tuners. I convinced him on the nice 18:1 Grover Sta-Tites and they certainly lightens and "30s up" this guitar in the looks department. They're a heck of a lot nicer than the unstable Grover "Broke-O-Matics" that seem to be pretty standard-issue on 70s Martins...


The old neck reset was done at a pretty steep angle (good for having a tall saddle) and the fret work was accurate and well-done. Unfortunately, the neck side-to-side angle is off a bit which means the low E rides nearer the edge of the neck than the high E. It's easy enough to muck this up when doing repairs -- especially if your test-fit turns out to be different from your actual "glued-fit!"



New ebony pins swapped-out the usual white plastic ones this came with.

Also: check out the dramatic compensation! I'm used to seeing that on Gibsons but not so much on Martins. It works, though, and means I didn't need to fuss about with trying to keep a nice compensated back edge on the E, A, and D string areas of the saddle.







I'll admit it: you simply can't knock rosewood.


The owner and I agree: these 18:1 Sta-Tites wipe the floor with anything else at their price point... and look snazzy, too.





The steep neck reset gave this a giant, tall saddle. Personally, I prefer my saddles to be half or less of this height, but that's what's popular these days... despite the fact that these guitars never had anything that tall to begin with.

As long as there's 30-45 degrees of back-angle, I find that very tall saddle height is generally an overrated thing to have... and the leverage of a taller saddle seems (to me) to just mean more top distortion from tension.


There's that handsome style 28 endstrip... plus a brand new K&K "Pure" pickup jack.

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