This illustrious Martin 1949 D-28 tower of power, will, based on the judicious and even meticulous skills of our world renowned workshop, be brought into “very good” condition. It is housed in a mid-1960s Martin hard shell case with green lining. Although photographed with a string handle, we will replace that with a leather one, and although photographed in the last picture with a Barcus Berry pickup on the face, that pickup is now gone.
What can one say about a 63-year-old Martin Brazilian rosewood and Sitka spruce deafening, thunderous, irresistible force - similar in dynamism and velocity to a runaway locomotive - of a fretted instrument, which has been, shall we say, treated with less than the obsessive respect and altruistic selfless caring that befits a tone monster of this level of venerability. When one owns an instrument of this caliber the most important credo one can cleave to is that honored implication derived from the Hippocratic Corpus that reads “First, do no harm.”
When this guitar came to us it had (and still has) a replaced bridge and bridge saddle, replaced nut, replaced Schaller tuners (still has the tuners) but we have made and installed a new bone nut and saddle. It had plastic or putty filled into worn areas on the face - now it has less of that but there's still some. It had a Barcus Berry pickup now removed and the tiny holes filled. There was and remains wood erosion around the soundhole – especially on the bass side at 3 o’clock but in other places as well. The least of it its issues was a tiny break in the plastic body binding - all fixed. Overall it shows chips, nicks, scratches, dings, scrapes, scuffs and playing wear. There is little finish left on the back of the neck – most of it having been worn away from the slow erosion of the continual palm contact and there is similarly sourced arm wear on the lower bass side and edge of the top.
There was a metal strap button drilled into the heel of the neck, not centered, but somebody might want to play the guitar while standing and it works fine in that regard. The heel is slightly eroded in this area from the strap it once had. This guitar has received the following work on the part of our repair staff: It received a new and proper bridge plate and bridge, its loose braces have been glued, its new nut and saddle have been carved of bone and installed, it was cleaned up and properly set-up. It has be refretted; the screws on the top and treble side have been removed and the holes filled. One of the Barcus Berry pickup screws had created a hairline crack which has, along with any other cracks it may have had, been glued and cleated. Luckily the top pickup screws did not fully penetrate the face, and the side screw entered the internal kerfing and neither the top nor the side. We should probably mention the very old, not very visible heel crack that was repaired many decades ago and which does not call attention to itself.
1949 was just the third year for the non-herringbone Martin D-28. In that period Martin made just 427 D-28 guitars. Compare that if you will with the fairly frightening 5,980 D-28 guitars made in 1973 and one gets the impression that this guitar, made back in the year that the Volkswagen was initially brought into the United States, George Orwell’s book 1984 was published, and Hopalong Cassidy, the television western, first aired on NBC, was crafted carefully, deliberately -- every component, appointment and accoutrement created entirely by hand with the goal in every worker’s mind of producing, in a production line setting, the finest sounding acoustic guitar on the planet earth.
Now that this guitar has emerged from the nether regions, (or workshop), it is set-up to perfection and plays like a buttered dream on a lightly-colored toasted plain bagel, and it sounds like a chicken cacciatore made with the finest imported spices including dried oregano, chopped fresh basil, white wine, garlic, a large red bell pepper, an onion, and especially three tablespoons of drained capers, from the old blues tune about “my baby left me and I’m feeling like a drained caper. . . .” This is now a guitar that meets all of the requirements for being, as Mr. Monroe used to say, a true and genuine “Hoss.”
OUR PRICE WAS $12,887 BUT NOW: