Martin HD-28E Retro Bone Saddle Upgrade

Got to work on this amazing guitar last week.

IMG_0959

The HD-28E Retro is truly a guitar to reckon with. The Sitka top provides the power and the Rosewood body gives the strong bass. When strummed, it gives a clear and crisp tone without any harshness. The bass is deep and open.

It’s like a champion fighter dressed in a bespoked suit. Very handsome, very refined, yet potent, strong and powerful. Guitarbear dropped his jaws the moment he started playing it.

Other niceties include neck volute and vintage open Grover tuners. The rosewood body and wood purflings are beautiful. It’s a pity they are so difficult to capture. Here’s a look at the volute and vintage tuners.

IMG_0961

On to the project.

The idea is to swap out the stock tusq saddle and put in a Hosco Japan made bone saddle.

IMG_0963

OK, here you can see the Fishman piezo after I removed the stock saddle. The saddle has already been shaved down before so I will just use the height as a reference.

IMG_0965

As with most Martins, you have to shave off quite a bit of the saddle to achieve a comfortable action.

With patience and care, it definitely can be done. Just make sure the base is sanded perpendicularly and avoid uneven sanding.

IMG_0966

Yes, it’s a good match. In fact it’s identical!

IMG_0967

Thinned down slightly to fit the saddle slot nice and snug.

Bearclaw Special for that guitar TLC

IMG_0968

Wombat comes by to inspect. We got the fretboard all moisturised and frets all cleaned.

Gave the body a good clean and polish. Pencil lead on nut slots and saddle crown.

IMG_0969

Bumbu came out to pose with the Martin.

IMG_0970

He’s intrigued to see his own reflection here. Such a sweet face. 🙂 And those are lovely chocolatey grains on the rosewood.

IMG_0971

Final test and check. Pickups all working with the new saddle. The Aura 1 sounds killer!

Owner is happy with the improvement. In all honesty, this guitar already sounded awesome BEFORE the bone saddle. It’s usually true – you get what you pay for.

This Martin HD-28E Retro is a possibly a heirloom piece.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s