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Martin D-28 StreetLegend
 
A rosewood dreadnought with a satin-finish and simulated wear.
July 12, 2023
 

Martin’s D-28 is among the most popular steel-string guitars of all time. Used by players in all genres, the rosewood dreadnought is especially coveted by bluegrass pickers, who appreciate its volume, punch, and rich bass when competing with other acoustic instruments. Though the guitar has stuck to the same fundamental formula since the 14-fret version was introduced in 1934, it has been subject to many subtle changes over the years and some not-so-subtle tonal differences between guitars made in different decades. Martin builds variations of the D-28 that reflect different incarnations of the instrument, and this year, it began offering a version of its current standard D-28 with a satin finish, rather than the typical gloss finish. This new option knocks off about $400 from the guitar’s retail price while keeping all other aspects of a regular D-28, and it’s available in three variations: simple satin, Amberburst, and  StreetLegend, which simulates the look of a worn vintage guitar. We recently had a chance to demo the D-18 version of this concept (which you can check out here), and in this video, San Francisco Bay Area flatpicking guitarist Jim Nunally and I demonstrate the D-28 StreetLegend in the Peghead Nation video studio. 

The only difference between a D-28 StreetLegend and a standard D-28 is the finish, so it’s built with the woods you would expect: Indian rosewood back and sides and a Sitka spruce top. All the appointments are the same as the familiar 28 style, and it has forward-shifted, non-scalloped X-bracing. The quality of materials and level of craftsmanship are, of course, at the usual high level of a Martin Standard Series instrument. The satin finish is thin, and feels great to the touch. The StreetLegend option is bound to receive a range of reactions. As on the D-18 StreetLegend, the appearance is part of the finish; there’s no actual artificial wear or physical damage to the guitar. Applied with a special microburst printer, the pattern is based on a vintage D-28 in Martin’s museum, and is exactly the same on every instrument. While the D-18 StreetLegend simulates a very heavily worn instrument, the pattern on the D-28 is somewhat more subtle, showing the kind of wear often seen around the pickguard and rosette area of the top as well as a few “dings” and “scratches.” 

Our demo guitar was lighter than most rosewood dreadnoughts, and it had a nice “played-in” feel. Its High-Performance Taper neck gives it contemporary playability, and from the first strum, it did what a D-28 is supposed to do: it had a great low-end, the Martin-typical tonal focus, and lots of headroom when played hard. Whether strummed, fingerpicked, or used to play single-note lines, the guitar demonstrated the reason for the D-28’s success. 

The StreetLegend appearance may not be to everyone’s taste, but it’s a fun option to have among the three available finishes. I would not be surprised if some players preferred the vibe of the satin finishes over the high-gloss option, and the lower cost is certainly welcome. Anyone in the market for a high-value rosewood dreadnought should head to a Martin dealer and check one of these out!

SPECS: 14-fret dreadnought body. Solid spruce top. Forward-shifted X-bracing. Solid Indian rosewood back and sides. Mahogany neck with dovetail joint. Ebony fingerboard and bridge. 25.4-inch scale. 1¾-inch nut width. 2⅛-inch string spacing at the saddle. Nickel open-gear tuning machines. Also available in satin and amberburst finishes. Made in the USA. $2,799 (list). Martinguitar.com

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© Copyright 2020 PegheadNation.com
 
 
    ● Courses
    ● Live Workshops
    ● Instructors
    ● Sample Lessons
    ● Notation Guide
    ● For Beginners
 
 
    ● Vintage Vault
    ● New Gear
    ● Fine Lutherie
 
 
    ● Workshops
    ● Advice
    ● Repertoire
 
 
    ● Recordings
    ● Events
    ● Breaking News
 
 
    ● In The Studio
    ● Live Onstage
    ● Backroom
 
 
    ● New Products
    ● Inside Look
    ● Performances
    ● Partner Pages
 
 
© Copyright 2020 PegheadNation.com