How long does it take for a D-28 to open up?

Discussion in 'Acoustic Soundboard' started by EC Strat, Mar 4, 2020.

  1. EC Strat

    EC Strat Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

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    I played one yesterday off the rack and came away disappointed honestly. I’m a huge Martin fan as I have a D 15m and love it - have been daydreaming about a D28 but man it had zero resonance and muffled projection. Just didn’t sound good at all to me. The top wasn’t vibrating too much

    I chalked it up to that the guitar just hasn’t been broken in yet and would probably improve dramatically over about 6 months of play time
     
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  2. Agtronic

    Agtronic Strat-O-Master

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    How were the strings on it? I never played a real Martin, but I know that my dreadnought only really sounds good with minty strings.
     
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  3. Johnny Danger

    Johnny Danger Senior Stratmaster

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    For sure it could be the strings. It could also just be a dud build. It can happen at any price point. No sense in buying something that you hope will get better. Like buying nice boots a half size too small expecting them to stretch and then they just hurt your feet forever. If you are really on the hunt, find a place that has 2 or 3 so you can play them back to back.

    I really lucked out on my 000-15M brand new off the rack. If it doesn't wow you from the get go, it's a gamble.
     
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  4. Buzzgrowl

    Buzzgrowl Strat-Talker

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    The truss rod may also not be taught.

    I did a set up on an acoustic junker the other day (Samik factory, destined for the dumpster) which I gifted to a friend. Clean up and string change improved things somewhat. But when I tightened the truss rod to reduce the excessive bow, the mid upper range just came out of nowhere, a very apparent difference.

    I had read about this and heard Erlwine suggest so, but was not convinced it was anything more than cork sniffing. Until now.
     
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  5. Buzzgrowl

    Buzzgrowl Strat-Talker

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    ... and another thing.

    I've played two D28 built in the last 10 years that have bent necks and are therefore candidates for a neck reset. The bridge sadles barely stick out if the bridge plates.

    Great sweet sound though and they play better than you would think after eyeballing the neck geometry.
     
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  6. Fatmaninthebath

    Fatmaninthebath Strat-Talker

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    Someone here will tell me I'm full of s**t. But I have an HD 28V that I've had for years. If it hasn't been played in a while you have to play it for about 5 minutes and then it will wake up and sound quite a bit better. It's almost like all the pieces of wood have to remember they are a guitar
     
  7. henderman

    henderman Most Honored Senior Member

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    when i played four taylor 414's 2 of them were the biggest pieces of junk i may have ever tried, but the other 2 were major wow.

    i played the one i bought for 2 years straight so i am sure it is open now, it sounds way great with my choice of fresh strings. it's ability to produce nuance of sound is far above mine !

    if i put lower gauge strings on it and it sounds real bad. when my favorite strings go dead it sounds real bad.

    the last set of cheap strings i tried sounded real bad from the start.

    if the guitar does not wow you now walk away there are many to choose from.

    if you think you really like one and it is expensive, ask the dealer if they would invest in a new set of strings to see if it pushes you into the happy sale zone.
     
  8. EC Strat

    EC Strat Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

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    I’ve read where the new production D28’s have straight bracing now instead of scalloped. The HD has the scalloped now and that’s why they don’t sound so good any longer.

    true?
     
  9. RL21980

    RL21980 Strat-O-Master

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    Duds happen. Finding a good acoustic can be real challenge. Good ones and bad ones out there. Just like strats!
     
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  10. mikej89

    mikej89 Senior Stratmaster

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    The Martin D-28 is the best dreadnaught acoustic ever made. Not as much bass as a D-35, not as much trebble as a D-18.
     
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  11. Engine Swap

    Engine Swap Strat-Talker

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    It's like shoes - if they aren't comfortable when you try them on, they probably won't get much better.
     
  12. Nadnitram

    Nadnitram Most Honored Senior Member

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    "My girlfriend is super crazy and possessive right now, but I think once I marry her, she'll probably calm down in about six months."
     
  13. Stratoman10

    Stratoman10 Dr. Stratster Silver Member

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    A couple of years ago my local shop had a Martin Day. Martin reps there and all kinds of new guitars. I was looking at something at some other stuff when I saw one, amazing neck inlays, just beautiful all around. Then I saw the 15,000 price tag so i gave it plenty of room. The rep told me to pick it up so i did . I wanted to be in love with it but it really didn't sound very alive. I figure in another 10 years it might
     
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  14. BlacknBlue

    BlacknBlue Strat-O-Master

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    I've played some brand new Martin's that sounded fantastic, and I've played some that sounded dull and stiff. I almost walked out of the store with a brand new D-35 several years ago, it sounded just amazing, blew the doors off all the Taylor's that were in the store, even my wife commented on how good it sounded. Sometimes I wish I did buy it but now I have a 1978 D-28 that sounds amazing that I got for less than half the price.

    When shopping for an acoustic, take your time, don't be in a hurry, and shop around. Acoustics, at least IMHO vary GREATLY. Don't buy it until you find the right one, you will know it when you play it.

    Most Martin acoustics will probably improve with age, but how long that will take who knows. For the price you are paying you might as well find one that sounds good right from the start, keep looking, they are out there.
     
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  15. EC Strat

    EC Strat Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

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    Appreciate the advice
     
  16. RPKennedy

    RPKennedy Senior Stratmaster Platinum Supporting Member

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    I'm mostly an acoustic player right now and own a Santa Cruz D/PW (Dreadnaught Pre-War) which I feel is an amazing guitar. Martin makes 300 guitars per day; Santa Cruz makes 300 guitars per year.
    A couple of months ago, I spent an entire weekend driving around 3 counties playing all of the high-end acoustics in my area.
    I was disappointed in everything I played except for one: A Santa Cruz Tony Rice model.
    I've since gone back to play it maybe a dozen times, and it truly speaks to me.
    However, I cannot bring myself to cough up the necessary dollars to own it.
    If you have any Santa Cruz dealers nearby, you may want to compare.
     
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  17. EC Strat

    EC Strat Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

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    I took fingerstyle for 2 years and my instructor had a Santa Cruz - man that thing just sang.
     
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  18. EC Strat

    EC Strat Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

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    Wanted to follow up - yesterday I went to Guitar store that has lots of high end stuff - played 3 different D 28’s and Only liked 1 of them. You’re right they all sounded different. I have a D 15M that is amazing and honestly I much preferred it over those 28’s. But I’ve also played other 15’s in stores and expected them to sound the same as mine and they didn’t. I’ve always wondered about that

    Also played a 35 and while it was really good - wasn’t my cup of tea.

    I’d probably go for an 18 as it’s close to my 15 with the mahogany.

    BUT - I picked up an OM 28 and I was in heaven. My god that guitar projected, had fantastic tone and sounded great with both fingerstyle and chords. It was a modern deluxe and of course like 3500$.

    also had the joy of playing a vintage 1931 OM 28. They have it hanging right there for you to play with the other guitars. Couldn’t believe it. While I loved it, the modern deluxe sounded better - stronger projection and more prominent tones.

    the variability of how acoustics sound from guitar to guitar is something to get used to for sure - with electrics you know pretty much how they’re going to sound. Acoustics - not so much
     
  19. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Senior Stratmaster

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    The crisp high end of Martins is best exploited with fresh strings. Its part of the characteristic sound. Highly controversial, but I don't subscribe to the opening up theory. My 1934 goes dead, when the strings go dead. It stays alive, when I keep the strings from going dead. Or, I can spend $7 and replace the dead strings.
     
  20. oatsoda

    oatsoda Puck of Paradox

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    All those D28s can sing purty if you know the right spots to tickle. As far as opening up, a good set up can help pull a lot out of it.
     
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