Over the years we have had the pleasure to make many comparisons of the “Venerable" Dreadnought, whether it be Mahogany or Brazilian Rosewood. When C.F. Martin first produced a version of the Dreadnought in 1932, for “Arkie the Arkansas Woodchopper,” little did he know the impact he was making on the musical world, as well as the world in general. The best Martin “Pre-War” Dreads are often imitated, rarely if ever duplicated. Most people have never even had the chance to play a true pre- war Martin, in unaltered condition. As an early example of the post-war instruments, this one comes close.
We are pleased to have an exceptional version of the very guitar that we all make reference to, a true 1945 D-28! -- 67 years after this instrument’s birth we are privileged to receive this wonderful example of an early Martin. This is the old growth spruce we all dream of. Adirondack spruce top, to be sure, which has a golden patina that looks a bit like Tupelo Honey. The vintage Brazilian Rosewood is beautifully straight and true, which is a feature that you just don’t see in newer instruments. While we are on the subject of old growth tone woods, let us discuss the weight of said guitar. Airy comes to mind... At a mere 4.2 pounds, we’ll let you be the judge. The neck welcomes you like an old friend, its larger V not daunting, but rather enjoyable, with large shoulders on which to rest your hands, turning to a softer “C” shape further up the neck.
Its sound is impressive in both depth and breadth. Clear, poignant, defined, rich, yet able to shout down any whippersnappers with its authoritative voice. Banjo killer?... serial Banjo killer comes to mind! Notes are clear and precise anywhere on the neck, chords are simply massive, and your G runs will be heard from here to the heavens. Many make claims, yet few can deliver the goods of said battle axe. Friends, you are looking at it. This is the one you take to war, the one you grab 1st if the house is burning. Marriages have been wrecked for these, play one and you might understand the hushed, reverent tones associated with these and their brethren.
Let us be clear, just because this is an early post-war Dread does not automatically make this a “Holy Grail” instrument. We have played numerous old Dreadnoughts, and age is not kind to some. This particular D- 28 has weathered the years marvelously! One strum of this instrument and you can instantly hear the sound all of our guitar heroes have made famous over the years. This guitar is nearly impossible to put down once you start playing it. Not only does the sound live up to the legendary mystique, it feels very comfortable in your hands as well.
We all know Brazilian Rosewood is an extremely rare tone-wood with deep bass and brilliant trebles that was used on the famous vintage guitars that we have all grown to love. An international trade embargo on Brazilian rosewood products guarantees that the relatively few sets remaining in this country will continue to spiral in price as the supply dwindles. Brazilian brings remarkable darkness, depth, and warmth; while exhibiting glorious overtones across the entire tonal spectrum.
The Brazilian Rosewood is complimented by an a true "Old Growth" Adirondack Spruce top. Adirondack is the stiffest of the spruce tone-woods and was used on all of the early guitars we love. After the war, supplies had dwindled and Sitka Spruce became the standard. While a great tone-wood in itself, Sitka simply can't reproduce the clarity and lightening fast attack that Adirondack is famous for... not to mention the sheer power it is capable of when you need it.
This 1945 D-28 includes tapered bracing. This stopped in the late 1940s, and was a progressive change made to Martin guitars. So, unlike scalloped bracing that had a definite endpoint, tapered braces evolved into "straight" braces by 1949. This is why 1945-1949 Martins are still highly regarded as "better" than their 1950s counterparts, however different from their early brethren. The sound produced is still massive in bass response, however much more balanced, with a more prominent mid-range EQ "bump" than you would normally associate with a Dreadnought.
This vintage D-28 package is completed with herringbone top purfling, white ivoroid body binding, tortoise pick guard , zigzag back strip and wartime style tuners with no bushings on the front of the peg-head and white oval plastic buttons.
This 1945 Martin D-28 is in wonderful working order and absolutely excellent sounding condition! We cannot be sure, however, it may have been re-fretted at some point in it's lifetime, however if it was, it was done professionally! There is some wear, scratches and dents as expected from a vintage instrument including 2 cracks on the top which have been professionally repaired. Additionally there are numerous surface scratches to the top, back, sides and neck. Please review all the wear in the detailed photos below. We have also included the Gruhn's inspection report for viewing. There is very, very minor fret wear, if any at all. This includes a non original molded plastic Martin hard shell case.