Martin D-28 vs D-35: Acoustic Guitar Comparison

The Martin D-28 and D-35 acoustic guitar models are very similar both in look, sound and feel, however there are a few notable differences between them. I’ll be comparing these two guitars in-depth so you are clear about all the differences between them.

Martin D-28 vs D-35

The Martin D-28 has thicker bracing compared to the D-35. This gives the D-35 a warmer sound with more bass compared to the D-28 which has a tighter and more focused sound. The guitars feel identical to one another and look very similar. The D-35 is slightly more expensive.

Here’s a table highlighting the differences between the D-28 and D-35.

FeatureMartin D-28Martin D-35
Brace Size0.31”0.25″
Neck Side DotsWhiteBlack
Fingerboard BindingNoneAntique White
Tuning MachinesNickel Open GearChrome Enclosed Gear
Finishes AvailableNaturalNatural
Martin D28 vs D35



Images link to Amazon

Here are links to Guitar Center so you can check the current prices of these two acoustic guitars:

Tone and Bracing Pattern

Both the D-28 and D-35 have a spruce top and rosewood back and sides. They also have forward-shifted non-scalloped X-bracing. This means that they sound very similar to one another. However, there is a notable difference in the bracing size.

  • The D-28 has 0.31″ bracing
  • The D-35 has 0.25″ bracing

The smaller bracing on the D-35 gives it a slightly airier body.

To my ears the D-35 has more low-end bass response compared to the D-28 which sounds a bit brighter as a result. This is particularly noticeable to me when strumming the two guitars. When fingerpicking, it’s harder to tell the difference.

Here is a great YouTube video by Maury’s Music where you can listen to the difference between the D-28 and D-35.

Cosmetic Differences

Cosmetically these two guitars are almost identical. They both use the same wood, inlays, and pickguard designs so it’s very hard to tell them apart at first glance. However, there are a few minor cosmetic differences between them:

  • The side dots on the neck are white on the D-28 and black on the D-35
  • The D-35 has antique white fingerboard binding whereas the D-28 doesn’t have any fingerboard binding
  • The D-35 has a 3-piece back whereas the D-28 has a 2-piece back
  • The D-28 has open nickel tuning machines and the D-35 has closed chrome tuning machines
  • The D-35 is available in two extra finishes (sunburst and ambertone)


In terms of feel and playability, these two acoustic guitars are exactly the same. They both have the same modified low oval neck shape with high performance taper, the same body size, nut width, scale length and satin neck finish.

The wood used for the top, back and sides, neck, fingerboard and headstock is the same on both guitars which makes them sound very similar to one another. Cosmetically, they also share many of the same features including the rosette, neck binding, pickguard and inlays.

Aside from a few very minor cosmetic differences and the bracing size, these guitars are pretty much identical. You also have the option of a left-handed version and acoustic-electric version with both guitars and they both come with a molded hard-shell case.

Considering other Martin guitars? Check out these comparisons too:
Martin D-18 vs D-28
Martin D-28 vs HD-28

Full Specification Comparison

FeatureMartin D-28Martin D-35
Body SizeD-14 FretD-14 Fret
Body FinishGlossGloss
Bracing PatternForward-Shifted X-BracingForward-Shifted X-Bracing
Scalloped BracingNoNo
Brace Size0.31”0.25″
TopSolid Sitka SpruceSolid Sitka Spruce
Back and SidesSolid East Indian RosewoodSolid East Indian Rosewood
Nut Width1.75”1.75″
Fingerboard Width (12th Fret)2.13”2.13″
Bridge String Spacing2.16”2.16″
Neck ShapeModified Low OvalModified Low Oval
Neck TaperHigh Performance TaperHigh Performance Taper
Neck JointDovetailDovetail
Neck Joint Position14th Fret14th Fret
Neck FinishSatinSatin
BridgeModern BellyModern Belly
SaddleCompensated BoneCompensated Bone
Saddle Radius16”16″
BindingAntique WhiteAntique White
Top Inlay MaterialMulti-StripeMulti-Stripe
InlaysMother of Pearl DotsMother of Pearl Dots
Neck Side DotsWhiteBlack
Fingerboard BindingNoneAntique White
Headstock ShapeSolid w/ Square TaperSolid w/ Square Taper
Headstock MaterialSolid East Indian RosewoodSolid East Indian Rosewood
Headstock LogoScript Old Style OverlayScript Old Style Overlay
Back StripStyle-28Style-35
Tuning MachinesNickel Open GearChrome Enclosed Gear
StringsMedium (0.013)Medium (0.013)
CaseMolded HardshellMolded Hardshell
Left-Hand AvailableYesYes
Finishes AvailableNaturalNatural/Sunburst/Ambertone
Average Price$3200$3400

Here are links to Guitar Center so you can check the current prices of these two acoustic guitars:


Hey, I'm Heather. I started playing an electric guitar when I was given a Squier Strat for my birthday around 15 years ago. I now own an acoustic guitar and several electric guitars including my personal favourite, a PRS SE Custom 24.

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