Replacement photos coming soon.
This consignment 1934 Martin D-28 (569xx) retains all of the early neck features from the first 8 months of production, but it was retopped by Martin with a Sitka spruce top and the then current brace position about 1948-49. A professionally done and conservatively approached top brace revoicing to scalloped configuration was performed some time later. The late January through late September 1934 features of 6:1 Grover clipped plate G-98 tuners, ebony neck reinforcement, bar frets, and 2 3/8″ string spacing at the bridge are in evidence here. The herringbone in the replaced top is larger than the mid-1930s herringbone purling, more like that size used in the wartime era instruments. The bridge is likely a stock Martin repair blank that the shop might have kept on hand in the late 1940s for working on the earier guitars, though the compensation angle is much more dramatic (and better tuning!). The blistering of the finish over the pickguard in the darkest part of the shading pattern is typical of Martin sunburst finishes from the 1930s and 1940s. This guitar has had some other repairs, including 3 repaired back cracks at the widest part of the treble side lower bout and two more longer back cracks between that area and the center strip. The entire neck and the back have been refinished, but the sides are questionable.
The guitar is a fantastic performance instrument, combining many of my favorite Martin features all in one instrument. The wide neck profile feels like home base in my left hand and the ebony neck reinforcement keeps the feel light and easy. The bar frets have a tone and feel all their own, which I have enjoyed on several earlier OOO-28s and OM-28s in the past. The slightly thicker top, modern X-brace position and angle, and the very conservatively performed top brace revoicing all combine to make a large and powerful voice that is great for playing in acoustic groups, such as a bluegrass band. I have enjoyed both nickel and 80/20 brass strings in medium gauge on this guitar.
The period case is a 16″ Gibson shape that does the job, but is a little ragged from years of use as a performance instrument’s protection from the world.
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