The back and sides are the kind of beautiful Brazilian that builders today covet but rarely have opportunity to obtain. The red spruce top is of equal quality, tight and even grain throughout the entire width of the top. Typically one would expect a '44 D-28 to have herringbone purfling around the top, which this one does not. During the restoration, the Martin archives were contacted in order to obtain any information regarding the guitar to see if it had been ordered with line purfling instead of herringbone, or if perhaps it had been re-topped at the factory early in its life, since there is little doubt that the top is a factory top. No records indicating that it was ordered without herringbone exist, neither do any factory repair records exist. A careful examination of the interior of the guitar reveals that the finger braces, bridge plate, and tone bars are all tucked into the X brace (appropriate for the era) and are of the right shape and size for post-scalloped brace factory work. The kerfed lining around the top is in perfect condition, and perfectly matches the oxidized color of the kerfed lining of the back, suggesting that the current top has been on the body for many decades. The interior of the guitar (bridge plate and all the bracing) are 40s post-scallop era correct. The red spruce top further suggests that the retop likely took place early in the life of the guitar (the change to Sitka is thought to have taken plate in production soon after the war). Furthermore, the top binding perfectly matches the back, both are correct 40s ivoroid. It is unlikely that someone other than the factory, retopping the guitar that long ago, would have taken the care to make all of these small details factory correct. Based on these observations, it is my opinion that the guitar was likely retopped sometime in the mid/late 40s at the Martin factory. When purchased by the consignor in 2009 the guitar had been subjected to significant "enhancements" including multiple aftermarket fret board and headstock inlays, a large bat wing pickguard, and an unprofessional refinish. After recent restoration, this Martin D-28 is ready for a new home and another eight decades of service. The work was not done at Kovacik Guitars but by a northeast luthier and long time colleague. The restoration/repair included the following: The bridge plate has had two holes repaired from where the previous bridge had been bolted on, and has also had two plugs fitted at the B and E string and the holes redrilled to address wear. The headstock veneer was replaced and a replacement gold script decal applied. The original worn and badly inlaid fret board was replaced with a proper ebony board with correct style 28 'diamonds and squares' pattern. Three top brace hairline cracks (in the X) were glued. The bridge was replaced (the original was cut, bolted and inlaid with initials) and the guitar stripped (not sanded) and refinished. The top was finished with a Martin style burst in an effort to help disguise the footprint left by the bat wing guard. The finish was 'antiqued' with crazing when it was shot top age the look. There are three repaired top cracks under the refinish, the back and sides are crack free. The guitar also had (of course) a neck reset when the rest of the work was being done and also got a new nut. The tuners are likely original, they are late WWII period Klusons. The ebony-rod neck is very straight under tension of medium strings and the top very flat as well. The action is comfortable (set at 6/64" and 5/64" at the 12th fret) and intonation good, plenty of saddle showing. Sounds very good and will likely improve with play as the finish ages. Comes with what is likely a late 60s/early 70s hard case. Pics of the guitar before restoration available on request. $17,250
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I generally ship by UPS and will ship an item within 48 hours (usually the next day) of having received or cleared payment. Exact shipping costs will be added to the total for the buyer once the buyer has provided a shipping address. I insure everything for fulll purchase price.
Items are sold with a 48 hour approval period unless clearly marked "AS IS" in the listing. AS IS items are not returnable. If an item is going to be returned it is at the buyer's expense and the item must be shipped within 24 hours of the buyer notifying Kovacik Guitars of intent to return. Any returned items must be shipped in the original packaging and MUST be fully insured when returned. Once an item is returned to Kovacik Guitars and judged to be in the same condition as when originally sold a full refund will be issued.