Skip to product information
1 of 10

1934 Martin D-28

1934 Martin D-28

Check out the feature from our luthier Tyler in the ECG Newsletter:

How would you explain to someone the importance of the Gutenberg Bible? The first pair of Levi’s ever made? Ford’s inaugural Model T? The enormity of what is to come just can’t be overstated. This is how we feel about this D-28 #55676, confirmed by Martin to be the very first 14 fret D-28 from the very first batch ever made. Stamped on March 8th, 1934. The first of many. 

The provenance of this instrument is bulletproof, but it does warrant some clarification. This is not the first D-28 ever made. From 1931-33 Martin did build a small number of 12 fret Dreadnoughts, but these were special made-to-order guitars and were never carried or offered by dealers. Accordingly, a total of only 17 D-28s were made in the years leading up to 1934. With the popularity of the 14 fret design picking up steam in the early 30s, Martin decided to bring the Dred up to date for the 1934 model year. On February 12th, Martin shipped a 14 fret D-28 prototype to Chicago Musical Instrument Co, one of their main retailers at the time. This guitar was merely a dealer’s sample, and was never offered for sale. CMI must have enjoyed this updated Dreadnought, and ordered the first ever batch of these new D-28s only a week later. It was a small run of 3 instruments, and #55676 was the first of these. 

This initial batch did not live happily ever after, though, and for reasons unknown all three of these D-28s had made their way back to Martin for new tops by 1936. Unfortunately, this was the first of many repairs and modifications for this particular guitar. In addition to a handful of repaired back and side cracks, #55676 is currently sporting its 3rd factory Martin top, the most recent being installed in 1956. A new fretboard was crafted in order to facilitate the use of modern T frets, originally this would have been one of the ultra-rare 14 fret Dreds with an ebony rod and bar frets. Some finish work, binding repairs, and a new bridge round out the Carfax for this historic D-28, although I don’t know if any amount of modification could disqualify this thing from being a museum piece.

View full details