The popularity of 12-fret 00-28 guitars began to waver in 1929 as the first Martin 14-fret six-string guitars appeared on the market. The 00-28 models had been a very popular up-market guitar for some time and were what Martin considered one of their best sounding guitars they made, being in their opinion better balanced than the 000 and Dreadnought guitars. A total of fifty 00-28 guitars were made in 1929, only fifteen in 1930 and fifty-five in 1931. One more small batch of six made in 1936. Only the 00-28 guitars made in 1931 and 1936 have a belly bridge. The 1936 models also received a celluloid tortoiseshell pick guard but not all 1931 00-28's got a pick guard, as pick guards were still an option at the time.
Table 1 shows all the batches of 00-28 guitars made from 1929 to 1936. Serial number 46449 was part of the first batch of fifteen 00-28's made in 1931. Although this guitar was stamped on March 30, 1931 and cleared final inspection on May 18 that year, it wasn't until December 17, 1934 that it was finally shipped to the Progressive Musical Instrument Co. in New York.
The tuners are Waverly G-97 clipped plate machines with seamed butterbean buttons.
Table 2 indicated the number of 00-28 guitars that were in inventory at the beginning of each year. It can be seen from table 1 that the last batch of 00-28 guitars stamped in 1931 wasn't completed until late 1932, thus explaining why the inventory level of 00-28's in January 1933 was so high. As can be seen it took several years to reduce the inventory of 00-28 guitars. By 1939 the 00-28 model was considered "obsolete" and last few were sold off at "close-out" prices.
It may be noted that in table 2 the "number ordered" is considerably higher than the number made. The "number ordered" comes from the bookings ledger but it should be remembered that many guitars were sold by Martin on "10 days approval". The 00-28 was a relatively expensive guitar, when compared to, let's say, a 2-17, so quite a few were returned to Martin by the dealer if a prospective sale wasn't closed.
Style 28 features:
Back and sides: Brazilian rosewood
Top: Red spruce (Adirondack)
Back Stripe: Zig-zag pattern
Other period features:
Ebony belly bridge
Ebony bar neck reinforcement
1-7/8" neck width at nut
Tortoiseshell celluloid pick guard
Slotted diamond and square fingerboard inlays
C. F. Martin stamp on back of head stock
No style stamp
Photos courtesy of Gruhn Guitars.