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Author: Subject: Acoustics: Gibson J-45 Vs. Martin D28?

True Peach





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  posted on 10/8/2004 at 08:13 AM
I'm thinking seriously about a new acoustic. The models that I've narrowed it down to are the Gibson J-45 and the Martin D-28. Any recommendations from the panel on these?

Another Martin that I've thought about is the 000-28. The 000-28 has more of a "concert" design as opposed to the D-28's dreadnaught body (it's basically the "Eric Clapton" model minus a few pretty details). What are the advantages/disadvantages of a concert body vs. a dreadnaught?

Thanks for your inputs!

 

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World Class Peach



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  posted on 10/9/2004 at 10:59 AM
Aside from preference, this is a much debated topic. I can steer you toward a forum with a lot of good information. http://www.umgf.com/ While there is some biased information that leans toward Martin, you will find about as much information about Martins there as you would find about the Allman Brothers here.

Now, for my two cents. I don't like how the J-45's frets feel. And the neck is a lot heavier & thicker than a D-28. Also, the D-28 has a more brilliant tone vs. the J-45's warm low-end heavy sound. While the tone woods are the same, I believe the major difference in sound comes from their finish applications, which from what I have read, and is too lengthy to get into here, are very different.

The 000-28 is an awesome guitfiddle! Very similar to an OM, which is most likely going to be my next guitar. The body style has two major advantages for a player like myself, which is to say, a fingerstyle enthusiast & taking a lot of leads. The shape is much friendlier than the dreadnought. The deep shoulders found in the non-dreadnought styles, along with a slimmer body, allow you to get your upperbody over the guitar & out in front of it a bit more. I encountered a lot of fatigue issues in my right arm from dreadnoughts since I had to reach farther over that thick, big body (the guitar not me heh). The width of the neck is great for a variety of playing styles. And again, the depth of the body is much better than the dreadnought since you don't lose volume or tone. I wouldn't go below the 15-series though. I haven't heard a lot of good things about any of the "X" series that they have been doing more recently.

I hope this helps!

 

Extreme Peach



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  posted on 10/10/2004 at 08:22 AM
My main Guitbox is a Martin D40, which is sort of a pimped out D28. It is made much better than a D28. I've owned D28's and would tell you in a minute to pick a Martin over a Gibson. The Martin's necks, frets, and especially fingerboards, to me, are better. The drawback to the newer D28's is the ebony on the fingerboards is that crappy maccassar variety, as opposed to the rock hard black ebony previously used. It's more like rosewood, which I don't care for as much.
The 00028 is more of a fingerstyle box, therefore less volume. A great guitar for miking and around the house. My choice of a D40 is for tone and it's cannon-like volume. I'm a bluegrass player.

The Gibsons necks, as previously said, are too bulky for me. I consider a Martin more of a flatpicking/lead/rhythm instrument, where the Gibson is better for rhythm. I don't think the Gibson's tone and attack is as focused. Just my .02!

I must say, the new Gibson Southern Jumbo is quite a looker though!

 

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  posted on 10/10/2004 at 11:04 AM
goldtopper, my personal opinion is that the -40- 45 (& up) series Martins are all appointments (trim, rosette, inlay, toner & finish). You are not paying for better craftsmanship, which yougotta love about Martin. The -28 serires across the board are solidly strong guitars, in terms of having everything one would expect from a Martin. If someone was going to splurge by buying a more expensive Martin I would recommend the Vintage series. The curfing is linen instead of slotted wood, just like the pre-war Martins so sought after. And generally the tone woods are of a more select variety.

Also, I beg to differ on the Dreadnoughts providing more volume. That is generally true. But all of the 000's I have played parallel dreads in the volume dept, and are more comfortable to play.

 

Peach Extraordinaire



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  posted on 10/10/2004 at 04:17 PM
I love Gibson electrics, but .............. all the recent Gibson acoustics I've played suck. Don't take my word for it. Play for yourself. The tone is horrible. You can't go wrong with a D-28. Be advised to go slowly or you'll wind up with carpal tunnel quick. If money becomes a factor, Taylor maybe something you want to check out.

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World Class Peach



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  posted on 10/11/2004 at 07:41 AM
quote:
If money becomes a factor, Taylor maybe something you want to check out.



Taylors parallel Martin & Gibson at the different price points. Anything below the 300 series is on par with the X & Road series Martins. Outside of resonators, I just can't do laminated guitars.

If Rusty was considering a D28 then I doubt money is too much of a concern.

 

True Peach



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  posted on 10/11/2004 at 10:05 AM
Hey, money's always a concern! Got my mind on my money and my money on my mind!

I was looking at some of the lower priced Martins (or mid-priced ones), which are really only a few hundred bucks less than the D-28. When you get up to D-41's and models like that, you're talking about THOUSANDS of dollars ($3-5K). I figure that if I'm going to take the plunge I might as well go whole-hawg! While I don't consider myself really worthy of a D-28 or 000-28 (but I do keep practicing everyday), the instrument could become a family hierloom.

Thank y'all for your inputs!

 

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Music is love, and love is music, if you know what I mean.

People who believe in music are the happiest people I've ever seen.



Bill Ector, Randy Stephens, Dan Hills and a guy named BobO who I never met - Forever in my heart!

 

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  posted on 10/11/2004 at 10:19 AM
Rusty,

I'm not sure I follow you. A D-28 in my neck of the woods is around $2,500.00-$3,000.00 and that is looking and jewing down somewhat. There is always mail order, but who wants to buy any musical instrament sight unseen. If there is a Guitar Center
where you live, they honor Musician's Friend prices, but you must ask for it. Nice Taylors
which sound ever bit as good as Martins-$1,500.00- $2,000.00 range. I know I wish I had enough money for a nice acoustic. Heck I wish I had enough to fix my Alvarez.

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True Peach



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  posted on 10/11/2004 at 11:08 AM
Hey! Watch the ethnic persuasions!

I'm using the current Musician's Freind (www.musiciansfriend.com/?sourceid=qIpSQWqurC8WAlQo4CPk&befree_site_id= 0039069920) catalog for pricing. I know I'm looking at a brand-new axe at a discount price (around $1,900.00). I've found local dealers who say they'll match the price. As far as D-28's go, I've found a few in vintage (i.e. "used guitar") shops going in the $1,400 - $1,700.00 range.

I don't know if this will be my final choice or not. I'm not going to buy anything for a few more weeks (or until the roof gets put back on my house).

 

____________________
Music is love, and love is music, if you know what I mean.

People who believe in music are the happiest people I've ever seen.



Bill Ector, Randy Stephens, Dan Hills and a guy named BobO who I never met - Forever in my heart!

 

Peach Extraordinaire



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  posted on 10/11/2004 at 11:38 AM
I apologize to my Jewish friends. The ability to obtain items at less than the retail cost is and always will be an admirable trait in my book. Being thrifty is a stereotype I wish my wife possessed. Seriously don't buy anything without trying it first.

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True Peach



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  posted on 10/11/2004 at 11:51 AM
Yeah, I don't buy before I try either. I do try to buy cheap, though. It's so Scottish of me.

 

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Music is love, and love is music, if you know what I mean.

People who believe in music are the happiest people I've ever seen.



Bill Ector, Randy Stephens, Dan Hills and a guy named BobO who I never met - Forever in my heart!

 

World Class Peach



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  posted on 10/11/2004 at 12:40 PM
Rusty, I have two nice Martins & a Taylor for acoustics. You should definitely go for a few test drives. If you have not done some serious shopping for an acoustic before, please consider a few of these points to keep i mind when doing so:

1. Keep the setup in mind- action, buzz in different fretted positions, fret scratch (where the frets feel scratchy against the strings)- this is an indicator that the guitar has come directly from the factory & with no in-store set up, which is usually required on high end acoustics

2. Look for scratch & dent areas on the particular individual you are planning to take home. If it doesn't bother you that much, you can make a big deal out of it, and they may knock off up to a few hundred bucks. Such was the case on my D-16 Custom shop from Sam Ash.

3. Really research the particular model you are buying, and don't be afraid to revisit it over a couple of weeks. Most likely she'll be waiting for you at the store. And if she's gone, then it wasn't meant to be. But you will most likely have guitar envy after your first purchase of a professinoal guitar. It can be an addiction.

4. Figure out what you are going to use it for- Do you play a lot of hard strumming rythm? Do you play mostly lead, fingerpicking, blues, etc? Find a quiet corner in the store where no one is around to hear you, even request a playing room which most stores have, and play her alone for a while. If you can envision passing it on to someone when you are gone, then you have probably found the right guitar!

http://community.webshots.com/album/76659602oFcITk

http://community.webshots.com/album/94746771DHOFyE

http://community.webshots.com/album/176084182uiLsuN

 

True Peach



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  posted on 10/11/2004 at 01:00 PM
Great pix! ^^^^ The 'burst 333 is rather unique. I don't believe I've ever seen that finish on one of those (usually only red, brown or natural). Thanks again for the ideas.

 

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Music is love, and love is music, if you know what I mean.

People who believe in music are the happiest people I've ever seen.



Bill Ector, Randy Stephens, Dan Hills and a guy named BobO who I never met - Forever in my heart!

 

Extreme Peach



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  posted on 10/11/2004 at 05:14 PM
You don't have to buy new!

Heck, I got my D40 for $1650

A local place near me with good prices on Martins is Willies. I know Nate (Willie) and he's an honest guy in a somewhat dishonest business(sorry guitar center...NOT!!).

www.williesguitars.com

[Edited on 10/11/2004 by goldtopper]

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 11/24/2004 at 07:35 PM
. . . Several weeks later . . .

I still haven't bought a Martin yet (waiting for supplemental income check AND for my house repairs to be finished), but I've seen numerous D-35's (used) for less than used D-28's or even D-18's. I always presumed that a D-35 was somehow superior to a D-28. Is there a reason that the 35's are selling for less? Are they as good as a D-28?

 

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Music is love, and love is music, if you know what I mean.

People who believe in music are the happiest people I've ever seen.



Bill Ector, Randy Stephens, Dan Hills and a guy named BobO who I never met - Forever in my heart!

 

Extreme Peach



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  posted on 11/25/2004 at 09:19 PM
Hey Rusty,
The differences in the 35 & 28 are quite substantial. The 35 has a three piece back & a bound fretboard. The 28 has a two piece back w/o a bound fretboard. Both the 35 & the 28 have spruce tops & rosewood back & sides while the D18's are mahogany b/s. One's not better than the other, just personal & tone preference for the player. As far as a Gibson or a Martin, let tone & feel be your guide. I own a Gibson Hummingbird that I love, I've always wanted a Martin but just haven't found the ONE that I could afford at the time I found it, so the journey continues. I currently have the jones for a slope shouldered jumbo like the Gibson J45 so I'm getting ready to sell a couple of acoustics to make that happen. The search for a great acoustic is one that I love.
Take you time, listen to your instincts & most of all, enjoy it!

Kevin

[Edited on 11/26/2004 by smokinop]

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 1/7/2005 at 09:48 PM
Thanks to everybody who helped offered advice and opinions. I finally settled on an EC-000-28 (Clapton model). It's pretty sweet, too.


Me, my new EC 000-28 and Herb Trotman of Fretted Instruments in Birmingham (Homewood)

 

____________________
Music is love, and love is music, if you know what I mean.

People who believe in music are the happiest people I've ever seen.



Bill Ector, Randy Stephens, Dan Hills and a guy named BobO who I never met - Forever in my heart!

 

Maximum Peach



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  posted on 1/7/2005 at 09:57 PM
Congratulations on your new baby, Rusty! She's a beauty! Have fun!

 

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  posted on 1/7/2005 at 11:31 PM
Whooohoooo!!!! She's a beauty! I've played a couple of 000-28ec & they both had great v necks. Congrats, Rusty! Keep us updated, nothing like a new guitar.

 

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  posted on 1/8/2005 at 09:37 AM
I didn't have an acoustic six-string for a long time, so I bought a used Takamine (with their old headstock logo that looks like Martin's) in the mid-90s, and it was an okay acoustic. It was a little difficult to play, so I didn't play it that often, though.

I inherited some money after my dad died in 2002 and I wanted a "guitar for a lifetime". I didn't do nearly the research that Rusty did for his purchase. I ended up buying a Martin HD-35 (from Richmond Music Center), and it's a stunning guitar, in my opinion. I just love how it looks, plays, and sounds. (RMC had three HD-35s to play and compare, and the one I bought just "spoke" to me!)

However, my main "love" is bass, and I almost feel a little, well, guilty that I'm not playing this beautiful Martin enough. One of the guys that I play with jokes that Guitar Protective Services is coming to reclaim it due to neglect. I still love this guitar, but I need to play it more often!

slowhand6, we met at Don Pablo's before The Dead's 8/15/04 show. How are you? I enjoyed your photo galleries you linked above. I've also bookmarked that umgf site. Thanks!

I also enjoyed the insight from everyone in this discussion. Thanks to all!

I'm going to a large, (what should be very) fun jam this afternoon and I'm bringing my bass...but I'll get my Martin out some time this weekend!

[Edited on 1/8/2005 by EasyMichael]

 

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  posted on 1/8/2005 at 11:06 AM
There's a new photo in the "Fans" section of the photo gallery of JohnF with his birthday present. It fits right in with this discussion! Congratulations, John!

 

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World Class Peach



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  posted on 4/1/2005 at 06:14 PM
Hey Rusty, It's been a while since I have looked back on these threads. Congratulations on your new honey! It appears that you went for a shallow & smaller body fro myour original thoughts on a dreadnought. I am jonesin' for either a Clapton model or an OM 28 V (vintage). Give us an update on what you are finding as you break it in.
 

Peach Head



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  posted on 4/12/2005 at 09:47 PM
yeah the d28 owns the j45

 

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  posted on 4/12/2005 at 10:49 PM
quote:
yeah the d28 owns the j45



Really? In what way? They're totally different guitars - neither "owns" the other.

 

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True Peach



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  posted on 4/13/2005 at 10:19 AM
I played a couple of brand-new Gibson J-45's that I didn't like. I've played some older, seasoned ones that I loved. As a matter of fact, the store (Fretted Instruments) where I bought my 000-28 had a really old, beat-up looking J-45 (probably from the 60's at least) when I was in there. It, too sounded real nice - at only $1,100.00. They're having Martin day again this weekend. If that '45's still there, I might just bring it on home!

By the way, the 00-28 (Clapton) is working out wonderfully! It's hard to keep from calling in sick so I can stay home and play it! I'm no great player by any means, but just having it has caused me to practice more, which has helped me to improve.

 

____________________
Music is love, and love is music, if you know what I mean.

People who believe in music are the happiest people I've ever seen.



Bill Ector, Randy Stephens, Dan Hills and a guy named BobO who I never met - Forever in my heart!

 
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