Lifestyle

This Iconic Guitar Will Last a Lifetime, and Then Some

If you liked John Lennon, Elvis, Johnny Cash, and all the other greats who played unplugged, you have probably pined after the D-28, made by C.F. Martin & Co. It can be hard to justify the cost of something expensive to yourself, but if there's any toy—or tool, if you insist—that will stand the test of time, it's a guitar that's been unchanged since 1934. It is the acoustic guitar, and it's worth paying for.

The history, aesthetic, craftsmanship, and sound all contribute to this instrument's pedigree. It's staying power in the music world has been tested, and from the vinyl records on your shelf, it's still relevant. Their price of $2,499 has crept up since your salad days and it'll keep rising. Might as well get it while you're still young. It'll also sound good in your great-grandkids' hands, and it'll be a hell of a lot more expensive at that point.


Ethan Wolff-Mann is an editor at Supercompressor. He wants a cologne of the smell of one of these. Follow him on Instagram.

Invented in the early 20th century, the "Dreadnought" guitars, named after the WWI-era battleships, were larger and had a bass-heavy tone that gave it the power to fill a room with sound. Initially manufacturing them for another brand, Martin eventually put their name on their new invention and released the D-1 and D-2 in the early 1930s, which solidified a few years later into the D-18 and D-28.

The D-28 design has remained largely unchanged for over 80 years, with only a few tweaks. Purists might note a change of the inner bracing—a strengthening response to heavier strings—but since that modification happened in the 1940s, most of your guitar heroes used the same one you can get in the shop today.