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Decision HD-28 versus HD28V


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I could use some help making a decision between a Martin HR-28 and a Martin HD-28V. They sound different but both sound good. They feel different but both feel good. They have different features but I am indifferent between them.

 

Can I get some opinions from HD-28 and HD-28V owners or others that have tried them both and can render an opinion? Thanks.

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In reality the only diff between the 2 is the Vintage toner they blend into the soundboard finish. The guitars are built the same otherwise. I have an HD28 that is now only 10 years old; I bought it new and it was very white spruce, but now is about halfway to the darker "vintage" coloring of the V model. If I used it more it would age faster, but I tend to use my little SP000-16R which has aging toner... Face it, either way you can't go wrong.

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Oops, just realized you listed an HR-28... sorry! I thought you were comparing a D-28 vs an HD-28. Once the drugs wear off I should be fine! But like I said, they're Martins so either way you can't go wrong. Do like I do, when you can't decide, buy both (even if, like me, you can't afford it!)

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Originally posted by Cldplytkmn

doesn't the vintage have the V shaped neck profile?? if it does, that'd be the decision for me right there... i prefer the low oval neck from martin.

 

Yes, that's the most important difference: low oval neck on the HD28 and modified V on the HD28V. Although I prefer the "V" neck.

 

The other difference is that the HD28V has "forward shifted" bracing which probably accounts for the difference in tone.

 

Both are beautiful instruments.

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I played them both at varied music stores while shopping for my next guitar.

The HD-28 is a D-28 with Herringbone and a few minor upgrades. The HD-28V has the Herringbone but other differences include the modified V neck, the 5/16" foward shifted, scalloped bracing, the long bone saddle, the open "butter bean" tuners, the vintage toner, and I think some differences in binding and such. Play a bunch of different ones though. I decided on the HD-28V but found sound differences in the 6 or 7 I played. I finally found my Baby in....of all places....Nazareth, Pa. It is heads above the other V's and miles above the regular 28's. It seemed to me in the case of these guitars, the more waves in the grain on the top the better sounding to me. Also, I've been told to try to find top grain that gets wider apart the further away from the middle it gets. Somebody thinks that enhances sound, too.

 

Good luck.

I am so proud of my V, and I will never give it up.

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Originally posted by Eric Martin

The other difference is that the HD28V has "forward shifted" bracing which probably accounts for the difference in tone.

 

:thu: And that's a pretty big difference for sure.

Personally "forward shifted" are two of my favorite words for dreads... right up there with "scalloped braces".

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Thank you for all of your insight. I am aware of the differences in the models, particularly the V neck and forward shifted bracing. I thought I would like the V neck but it feels thick and clumsey in my hand. Also, the forward shifted bracing is supposed to produce vintage sound and more of it. It does this well but the non-V has a tighter tone spread with just as much bass and volume galore.

 

Sound wise, I am taking the HD-28 and returning the V. Where I live there isn't an abundance of either. In fact, they ordered the V for me to try. It was fresh out of the box from PA.

 

I just don't want to make a colossal mistake in terms of aging, tone improvement from playing, features that hold value more than others, etc. Soundwise though, the HD-28 is the unique Martin tone I was after.

 

I welcome more ideas from everyone before I return the V. Thanks.

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  • 1 year later...
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I am facing the same dilemna. Things I like about the HD28V - tone, tone, tone! Best I have ever heard. I have tried every guitar in the shop including all the Gibsons. The only thing approaching it I have tried is a 1963 Gibson a friend of mine owns.

 

I think the secret is the forward shifted bracing which gives more free sound board.

 

The only thing I don't like about the HD28V is the tuners. I don't want antique looks. Shame that Brazil has been denuded of rosewood. You either have to wait for a used one from a few years back I think or go with the Indian rosewood of today.

 

If you can afford it go the V. Check out the reviews for it at HC...

 

Good luck and be grateful you aren't in Australia. Here I can't get one for much under $5,000 AUD...

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  • 13 years later...
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Yes, the most crucial difference is the forward-shifted X. Good topic btw. , , , also though Martin has sent out a handful of dread-variations since this thread was created. 

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It's 14 years since the OP posted this. Since then the HD-28 has been reimagined and the HD-28V has been discontinued. The current iteration of the HD-28 now has forward shifted bracing with a performance neck profile IIRC. The old "V" (for Vintage) version had a modified V neck profile and sounded completely different from the ordinary HD-28 prior to 2018 because the bracing was not forward shifted them. IIRC the current reimagined HD-28 also has a Torrified sitka soundboard - which also bumps up the price.

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Both guitars still exist.

 

I just played my buddy's HD28 the other days. His is in sunburst.

Besides the shift in the bracing,  The V has the modified V shaped neck and the standard has the low profile neck.

 

I just bought a Martin 000 a few month ago with the low profile neck, 49.9" scale.

It sound amazing and is becoming a fav of the Martins I own.

When I register my Martin 00028, I asked Martin what the  18 meant in the model #, Martin told those were changes that Chris Martin IV approved in the year 2018. My guitar was made in February of this year  2020 or at least shipped than. They are not exact about the date they roll off the line, but they know when the guitars were boxes and shipped to a retailer.  

 

My plans are to install a amazing pick up system in it. This will be done at my local luthier. I just waiting for the covid 19 to calm down a bit. I live in a  small town so it should be fine.

 

The Fishman Ellipse Matrix Blend might just the right one.

 

MIne needs a front strap button too.

The case are this really high grade Martin labeled plastic.  You could probably just toss it in to the general cargo bay on any flight. Light weight too.

Here in the USA, not may are gigging, and we have been laying low since March.

Not a bad time to write, rehearse  and get ready for when things open up. Believe me we are itching a bit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Too bad this is a  14 year old thread.

 

https://www.martinguitar.com/guitars/standard-series/hd-28/

https://www.martinguitar.com/guitars/discontinued-guitars/hd-28v/

 

 

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Good to know, Mike. I liked the HD-28V. I like the HD-35 more only because the v shaped neck takes a little getting used to. The tone is much more “in your face” too. The 35 is more of a mellow strummer with a bass that “blooms” whereas the 28V is a bit of a cannon. 

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