Martin D-18 vs D-28 – Ultimate Guide To The Best Choice!

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Martin D-18 vs D-28

Martin D-18 vs D-28 – If we have to quickly pick!

Martin D-18 vs D-28 – Both of these Martin and Company guitars are a solid choice. When it comes to the Martin D-18 vs D-28, there is much to love about both of them. 

If we had to make a quick pick, our knee jerk reaction would be to go for the D-18 because of its sharp attack and the gorgeous mahogany back and sides. For a deep dive on both guitars, plus a few more contenders, see below. 

Martin D-18

Martin D-18 vs D-28
Martin D-18

Understated looks, timeless tone. The warm tone of mahogany and authentic Sitka spruce couple with resonant scalloped bracing under the hood for a sound that’s honest, authoritative, and clear. Vintage details like open-geared tuners and classic 18-style appointments pair with a modern, low profile neck for an old-soul sound in a brand-new body.

D-18 Features 

  • Body Size: D-14 Fret
  • Finish top: Gloss
  • Construction: Dovetail Neck Joint
  • Back & Side Finish: Gloss
  • Bracing Pattern: Forward-Shifted X-Brace
  • Scale Length: 25.4″
  • Brace Shape: Scalloped
  • Fingerboard Width At Nut: 1 3/4”
  • Top Material: Sitka Spruce
  • Neck Shape: Modified Low Oval
  • Back Material: Genuine Mahogany
  • Neck Taper: High-Performance Taper
  • Side Material: Genuine Mahogany
  • Case: 445 hardshell
  • Recommended Strings: Authentic Acoustic Lifespan 2.0 Medium – 92/8 Phosphor Bronze MA550T
Get The Lowest Price Martin D18 Here

Martin D-28

Martin D-18 vs D-28
Martin D28

The Martin D-28 is an absolute classic American dreadnought. Known for its clarity and projection, the D-28 radiates with the same brilliant tones that have endeared Martin guitars to players for generations. Finely crafted by the Martin luthiers in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, everything about the D-28 makes a statement of extraordinary quality and tonal excellence.

Unmistakable Martin Sound 

Since 1833, Martin has built guitars of remarkable quality and sound. The dreadnought, one of Martin’s most significant innovations, is legendary for its impeccable balance, clear projection, and robust tone. The D-28 uses East Indian rosewood for the back and sides to capture the classic Martin depth and definition. The solid Sitka spruce top gives a crispness to the high end which rounds out the tonal picture. Though closely associated with bluegrass and folk styles of play, the bold sound and immersive character of the D-28 makes this an excellent choice for players in any genre.

A True Acoustic Icon

Though it may not have the ornamentation of some other high-end Martins, the D-28 still shines with the timeless appeal of a traditional dreadnought. The top sports a classy multi-stripe rosette with elegant antique white binding to match. The back is made from two pieces of rosewood, and a striking checkered inlay runs down the middle where the pieces are joined. High-quality tuning machines adorn the headstock, as does the classic C.F. Martin & Co. logo.

A Classic Re-Imagined for 2017

Sometimes innovation is in the details, and this is certainly true with Martin’s re-imagined D-28. After nearly a century at the helm, and as the quintessential workhorse of music legends like Hank Williams, The Beatles, Johnny Cash, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, and so many more, Martin’s legendary D-28 has been lovingly and artfully enhanced.

“The post-WWII D-28 had a slightly different look than its predecessor and became the centerpiece of the folk and folk-rock movements at their pinnacle in the 1950s and 1960s,” says Chris Martin, Chairman and CEO of Martin Guitar. “We have extracted the finest features from the D-28 of both my grandfather’s and my father’s respective eras.” The 2017 D-28 blends the rich history of the guitar with Martin’s newest and most heralded innovations. The 184-year-old guitar maker has combined vintage appointments, including open gear tuners, an aged toner top, antique white accents, and a faux tortoise pickguard with an updated neck profile to give D-28 enthusiasts a modern feel and comfortable playing experience. Martin has also added forward-shifted bracing to allow greater vibration of the top. The legend just got better!

D-28 Features:

  • Classic Martin dreadnought shape
  • Gorgeous East Indian rosewood back (two-piece) and sides with solid Sitka spruce top
  • Elegant multi-stripe rosette and antique white binding
  • Faux tortoise pickguard
  • Modified low oval neck shape for a modern feel and comfortable playing experience
  • Forward shifted X bracing style for the excellent focus of sound
  • Handcrafted by Martin master luthiers in Nazareth, Pennsylvania
  • Included molded hardshell case
  • Martin limited lifetime warranty

Martin D-18 vs D-28 For Playing Bluegrass

When it comes to playing Bluegrass we would have to pick the D-28, its clarity and projection accompanied by bright tones and rich bass give it the edge for this style of playing. Disagree? Let us know in the comments.

For Country Music Instruments, make sure you check out our Ultimate Guide here.

Martin D-28E Modern Deluxe – Other Guitars to Consider

Martin D-18 vs D-28
Martin D-28E Modern Deluxe

The Martin D-28E Modern Deluxe is packed with vintage appointments, custom features and modern technology. A Sitka spruce Vintage Tone System (VTS) top, dovetail neck joint, and natural protein glue construction deliver the rich, fully-aged Martin tone that has inspired generations. European flamed maple binding, stylish gold frets, gold open-gear tuners, and a unique 1930s style script logo inlaid in pearl on the headstock give it a look to match its sound.

Ultra-modern features like a titanium truss rod, Liquidmetal bridge pins with red dots, and a composite carbon fiber bridgeplate boost volume without adding weight, making this a guitar players dream. Adjustable Aura Imaging technology included in new Fishman Aura VT Blend electronics now allows more control over the voice of your guitar than ever before. The D-28E Modern Deluxe comes with a ply hardshell case and strung with Authentic Acoustic Lifespan 2.0 light gauge strings.

Get the Lowest Price Martin D28E Modern Deluxe Here

D-18 Vs D-28 Vs Martin D-35 – Another Player In The Mix

Martin D-18 vs D-28
Martin D35

Martin D-35

The redesigned Martin D-35 features East Indian rosewood back & sides, Sitka top with ageing toner, forward-shifted bracing, open gear butterbean tuners, old style headstock logo, high-performance neck, antique white binding, tortoise pickguard, and a plastic molded case.

D-35 Features

  • – Model: 2018 D-35
  • – Construction: Dovetail Neck Joint
  • – Body Size: D-14 Fret
  • – Top Material: Sitka Spruce
  • – Rosette: Multi-Stripe
  • – Bracing Pattern: Forward Shifted X Brace
  • – Brace Shape: Non-Scalloped
  • – Brace Material: Sitka Spruce
  • – Brace Size: 1/4″
  • – Back Material: East Indian Rosewood
  • – Back Purfling/Strip: Style 35
  • – Side Material: East Indian Rosewood
  • – Endpiece: Antique White
  • – Endpiece Inlay: Multi-Stripe
  • – Binding: Antique White
  • – Top Inlay Material: Multi-Stripe
  • – Side Inlay Material: Multi-Stripe
  • – Back Inlay Material: Multi-Stripe
  • – Neck Material: Select Hardwood
  • – Neck Shape: Modified Low Oval
  • – Neck Taper: High-Performance Taper
  • – Plek: Yes
  • – Nut Material: Bone
  • – Headstock Shape: Solid with Square Taper
  • – Headplate Material: East Indian Rosewood
  • – Headplate Logo Style: Script Old Style Overlay
  • – Heel cap: Antique White with Multi-Stripe
  • – Fingerboard Material: Ebony
  • – Scale Length: 25.4″
  • – Neck Joins Body: @ 14th Fret
  • – Number of Frets Total: 20
  • – Fingerboard Width at Nut: 1 3/4″
  • – Fingerboard Width at 12th Fret: 2 1/8″
  • – Fingerboard Inlay Material: Mother of Pearl
  • – Fingerboard Inlay Style: Style 28
  • – Fingerboard Binding Material: Antique White
  • – Side Dots: Black
  • – Back and Side Finish: Gloss
  • – Finish Top: Gloss
  • – Top Color: Aging Toner
  • – Finish Neck: Satin
  • – Neck Color: Dark Mahogany
  • – Bridge Material: Ebony
  • – Bridge Style: Modern Belly – Drop in Saddle
  • – Bridge String Spacing: 2 5/32″
  • – Saddle: Compensated Bone
  • – Saddle Radius: 16″
  • – Tuning Machines: Chrome Enclosed Gear
  • – Included Strings: Martin MA550T
  • – Knob: Large
  • – Bridge Pin Material: White Plastic
  • – Bridge Pin Dots: Faux Tortoise
  • – Pickguard: Faux Tortoise

Gibson J-45

Martin D-18 vs D-28
Gibson J-45

The J-45 is Gibson’s best-selling acoustic of all time. Nicknamed “The Workhorse” and first introduced in 1942, this iconic acoustic has become the cornerstone of its round-shoulder, dreadnought line. World-renowned for its full, balanced expression, warm bass and excellent projection, the J-45 has been refined to carry this legacy to new heights. This 2019 model delivers a sound with incredible dynamic range, warm mids, and a tight, punchy bass.

Martin D-18 vs Gibson J-45

When it comes time to choose between the Martin D-18 and Gibson J-45, the D18’s authoritative, and clear tones win out. The Gibson J45 is a beautiful guitar, and it’s balanced, and even tone would be a welcomed acoustic guitar for any experience level of player. 

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