D-1 Revival, what just happened?
Bought my first Martin back in 1996, a brand new D-1. Solid back and top, laminate sides. Mahogany back and sides, aging toner on the top for those who are unfamiliar with the model. I played the heck out of that through highschool and college. It sat out on a stand in dorm rooms, it has a spot where a errant dart stuck into the top. It is road worn, has been gigged, lugged for miles to lessons, etc. It's been a close acoustic companion. Countless campfires, trips, etc. you name it. It's spent more time out of its case than in it. No humidifiers, no nothing, and it has asked for zero all this time. All seams and joints on the guitar are as tight as ever, binding perfect, etc. The build quality on the guitar is just insanely great.
Anyhow enter 2011 when I decide to go big-time and get the dream guitar, the HD28V. Boy, once I had a hand on that big rosewood neck and heard that scallop-braced top resonate I knew I was in guitar heaven. Since then the D-1 has sat in is case in the corner of the room. Every time I'd go to play it, it would seem dead in comparison. Until now. I've pulled it out of retirement for a future gig since it already has a pickup in it. Re-strung it, lowered the action a bit, and have just been pounding on it ever since. What I missed so much, without realizing it, is that this guitar has seemingly unlimited headroom. I can play it as hard as I want and it just keeps giving. It sounds great played more quietly but it just begs you to dig in. What I've also dearly missed is just not giving a damn about nicking the guitar or damaging it. This guitar is indestructible and already has nicks and wear all over. Now when I go back to the HD28V it still sounds amazing but to my ear the D-1 is standing on its own too, and I don't have to worry about it at all. No longer a distant second but a peer. Something happened, whether it's the current humidity, alignment of the stars, or something with the player to the point where I now have two GREAT guitars instead of one great guitar and one old dud. I can't explain it but I'm loving it!
2008 HD-28V, 1996 D-1 with Gold+ pickup, 1965 Gibson LGO, 1993 Gibson LP Studio