Martin D45 vs D28: What Makes Them Different?

Martin D45 vs D28
Martin D45 vs D28

Martin has been delivering high-quality acoustic guitars since 1833. They have marked their place as the most reliable guitar manufacturer in the United States. Their flat top and steel string guitars speak for themselves.

The dreadnought guitar shape was also Martin’s work that surpassed every other guitar in producing a sound rich in boldness and loudness.

The development of body shape took place in 1916 but it took 15 years to release the first production models. That’s when D-1 and D-2 flooded the market with their supreme features and astonishing playability.

For the construction of the body of the guitar, Martin introduced mahogany and rosewood. This tradition was so successful that it is followed to the current date.

Companies other than Martin kept putting efforts into making different versions of the dreadnought shape but Martin stayed true to its origin and kept the standard it was built with.

The identification of the dreadnought shape is done with the letter ‘D’. It is succeeded by the model number. Some of its most renowned models of Martin include D-45, D-28, D-35, and D-18.

Guitarists and musicians who are looking for iconic Martin tones and sound quality should check D-45 and D-28.

This article compares the features and characteristics of D-45 and D-28 to ease the decision-making process for you.

Martin D45 vs D28 Comparison

Brief Comparison 

Features Martin D45 Martin D28
Model D-45 D-28
Year 2019 2020
Class New New
Scale Length 645.16mm 25.4in 645.6mm 25.4in
Nut Width 44.45mm 1.75in 45mm 1.75in
Price $12,599.00 CAD $3,899.00 CAD

Martin D45

The D-45 stands top on Martin’s standard collection in terms of elegance and reliability. It has been used on large stages by a large number of top-shelf artists.

Anyone would want to pick up D-45 again and again because it has a beautiful sound, appealing appointments, and versatile playability. This is why people from all around the world go for D-45s.

Although it is a rare model, it is still the number one product of Martin’s premium brand.

Martin D45

Historical Overview

Martin D-45 was initially introduced in 1933 but its release was halted in 1942 because of the wartime pressures. It was reintroduced after 26 years with a few innovative modifications in the construction.

Indian Rosewood and Sitka Spruce replaced Brazilian and Adirondack Spruce respectively.


Although Martin D-45 is a prominent guitar that has a captivating dreadnought design, it finds its similarities with D-28 on Spruce top and Rosewood head plate, back, and sides. As far as the headstock inlay is concerned, it is made of Abalone.


D-45 is widely known as the most decorated and sought-after Martin dreadnought. Its sound and playability are like no other model. The best thing about D-45 is its lust-worthy prewar visuals that can appeal to anyone.

Whether it’s the tuning knobs or the toner fish, abalone inlays, or the overall antique structure, D-45 is an absolute steal with its appearance.


D-45 is bound to deliver the best performance no matter whose hands it is in. The modern additions of a slimmer taper neck and scalloped X bracing have been quite remarkable in winning it over other models on the grounds of performance.


The captivating looks of the D-45 might be the primary feature of this model but its detailed sound is where its heart lies. The sound is very crucial to every guitar, no matter what brand or model it is.

The sound of D-45 is matchless in its richness and fullness. The credit for it goes to the East Indian Rosewood body and top-notch Sitka soundboard.

Because the D-45 is new, you might sense the immaturity in the voice but that doesn’t affect its rich and warm bass.

The coveted dovetail neck joint of Martin also has its own classical impact on the quality of the sound. The bridge and ebony fingerboard are also favorite parts of the majority of users.

The appreciation in tonal value from D-45 is immense for every successive strum.

Martin D45 Guitar


Talking about the cost of D-45, it is pretty expensive. But its delivery of sound and tone is worth the price.

Simmer, Easier-Playing Neck

The latest D-45 models come up with a mahogany neck that is oval in shape. It strongly brings a boost to the performance of the guitar.

When assessed by the technical players, they are in awe of the accuracy and speed of the neck. On the other hand, strummers get as comfortable as possible with it.

The Martin D-45 Legacy

During the first century, Martin prevented the use of flashy ornamentation in the guitars because they wanted to preserve the dignity and tone of the instrument.

However, in 1933, the company manufactured D-45 which was the fanciest acoustic guitar ever produced by Martin. It was made as per the orders of Gene Autry.

This dreadnought is as beautiful as it can get with the top and the sides. The back inlays are distinctive as well.

Martin D28

When popular guitars were asked about their favorite Martin guitar, most of them named D-28. The fame and greatness of the D-28 can be estimated from the fact that every other acoustic guitar is compared to it as it sets the standard.

Martin D28


D-28 is ideal for studio and stage because it delivers strong projection and a rich tone. Martin has been very successful in blending modern technology with the classic legacy of the guitar.

Comfort and Playability

With D-28, players are bound to feel comfortable and enjoy peak playability, thanks to the innovative neck profile designed by Martin.

As compared to the other models, the top of the D-28 is less wide which makes it easier for the player to carry the guitar around on the stage or wherever while playing.


Bracing is an astonishing feature that causes maximum vibration for the top. It just adds more charm to the guitar.


When you observe the body of D-28, you’d notice that there is less thickness on it as compared to the other models. This feature is bliss for genres that don’t require much depth and bass.

You can get the most out of this guitar no matter what dynamic genre you play, pop, rock, or blues.

Powerful Sound, Full Bass

The major reason behind the grand popularity of Martin dreadnoughts is its deep bass response. The loudness and subtlety of D-28 are remarkable as well.

Users are also satisfied with the quick response. D-28 has stood out among the rest of the models with its full sound and powerful voice.

Quality Tonewoods

Wood is the basic feature of acoustic guitars. There is no compromise made on the tonewood of Martin models. The solid Sitka spruce for the stop enables amazing note clarity and big projection.

East Indian Rosewood is yet another classic Martin material that makes up the back and the sides. That’s not it. In order to match the quality sound of the Martin D-28, the neck is made of solid wood and black ebony is used for the fingerboard.

Cornerstone Of Modern Music

The role of Martin has been prominent and grand in the modern music industry. All the acoustic guitars get their stand for the tone quality Martin.

As soon as the Martin dreadnoughts were launched, they became very famous because of their warm tones, tasteful styling, and exceptional craftsmanship. Most of the folk-rock music in the 50s and 60s had D-28 as its cornerstone.

Martin D28 Guitar

With D-28, comes a great playing posture and comfort. It is durable enough to last years of playing and use without getting out of shape. Under the right maintenance, this guitar can serve you for decades.

Similarities Between D-45 And D-28

There are several common features between D-45 and D-28 on the basis of specs. When you look at the construction of both of these models, it is solid with a Sitka Spruce top.

As far as the back and sides are concerned, they are East Indian Rosewood. This combination set by Martin has become an industry-standard, thanks to its effectiveness and innovation.

The dreadnought shape is yet another common feature of D-45 and D-28. Even the neck and scale length shared by them both are the same.

Differences Between D-45 And D-28


When the looks department is compared, it is clear that D-45 wins the battle. The credit for its incredible look goes to the Abalone added to the soundhole, inlays, front, neck, and back body binding.

D-45 is the fine reason why Martin is known for its handcrafted details in their guitars.


The dreadnought shape is not the only thing whose invention by Martin has been revolutionary. X-frame bracing is also a popular invention by Martin.

Bracing is quite crucial for the overall support of the guitar. It also determines the vibration of the top. In addition, it plays a key role in shaping the core sound.

When you assess the D-28 model, it shows the popular X bracing of Martin. The complete name of this bracing is ‘forward shifted X bracing’. The solid spruce top gets all of its flexibility and support from this bracing.

The top of the D-45 gets its support from the ‘scalloped bracing’. The significance of the scalloped bracing is not understood well by some players.

In this bracing, some parts of the braces are cut by the builders to allow for more flexibility in the top. It dramatically changes the sound and feel of the guitar in a subjective manner.


In the light of the aforementioned debate, it can’t be said that one is better than the other. However, as far as the user is concerned, D-28 wins the race.

On the other hand, players who need a prestigious-looking acoustic can rely on D-45. The wise thing to do is to play both of these models in the guitar store and see which one of them matches your preference and style.

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