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Martin Guitar 012-28 Modern Deluxe Sound Comparison + Video Review

Martin Guitar 012-28 Modern Deluxe Sound Comparison + Video Review

Andrew Bergthold
  • This is a wild throwback guitar with crazy amazing sound perfect for stage and studio. Andrew Bergthold from We The Kingdom reviews.

We are thrilled to have Andrew Bergthold with us to review this truly unique Martin 012-28 Modern Deluxe* acoustic guitar.

So here we got a super cool and interesting and different guitar. It’s a 012-28 Modern Deluxe parlor-style guitar. The first thing I notice on this guitar is the resonance on it. When I just played that last note, it feels like it sustains forever. That’s crazy. Parlor guitars I’ve played in the past are generally darker sounding – deader sounding even, but this is almost the opposite of that. It sounds very full of life.

Martin Guitar 012-28 Modern Deluxe Front Close
Martin 012-28 Modern Deluxe Acoustic Guitar – $4,399

Andrew grew up in a musical family, and some of his earliest memories are singing in a gospel children’s choir at his home church in downtown Kansas City. At a young age, he discovered songwriting, mainly because he couldn’t bring himself to stick to the notes written on the pages of his piano sheet music. Through high school and college, Andrew started and lead multiple bands ranging from punk rock to worship. The most notable being We The Kingdom which recently was brought back to life and restructured with the Cash Family.  But more than any kind of success and award Andrew strives to create authentic art and empower those around him to thrive in their giftings. All pointing toward the giver of every good, the original perfect creator, Jesus.

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From Martin Guitars: The 012-28 Modern Deluxe is a new take on Martin Vintage. This twelve-fret guitar is packed with custom features and modern technology that you have to see, feel, and hear for yourself. The vintage appointments include a spruce VINTAGE TONE SYSTEM® (VTS) top, a dovetail neck joint, and natural protein glue construction that gives it the rich, fully aged Martin tone that has inspired generations. The look is unlike anything in our production line with European flamed maple binding on the body, stylish gold frets, and a unique 1930s-style script logo inlaid in pearl on the headstock. Some ultra-modern features include Liquidmetal® bridge pins with red dots and a composite carbon fiber bridge plate that boosts volume, and a new neck shape that is slightly asymmetrical for maximum hand comfort up and down the fretboard. This guitar is anything but standard.


  • Body Size: 0-12 Fret
  • Finish Top: Gloss
  • Construction: Dovetail Neck Joint
  • Back and Side Finish: Gloss
  • Bracing Pattern: X Brace
  • Scale Length: 24.9″
  • Brace Shape: Scalloped
  • Fingerboard Width at Nut: 1 13/16”
  • Top Material: Spruce with VTS
  • Neck Shape: Vintage Deluxe
  • Back Material: East Indian Rosewood
  • Neck Taper: High-Performance Taper
  • Side Material: East Indian Rosewood
  • Electronics: Optional
    • Electronics Options: Fishman Gold Plus Natural I
    • Fishman Infinity Matrix
    • Fishman Presys Plus
    • Fishman Ellipse Matrix Blend
    • LR Baggs Anthem

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So here we got a super cool and interesting and different guitar. It’s a 012-28 Modern Deluxe parlor-style guitar and I believe it’s new. This is a very new thing for Martin, something they just created. The first thing I notice on this guitar is the resonance on it. When I just played that last note, it feels like it sustains forever.

Like it’ll just keep going. Probably keep going for another 30 seconds. That’s crazy. Parlor guitars I’ve played in the past are generally darker sounding- deader sounding even, but this is almost the opposite of that. It sounds very full of life. If you’re using this guitar acoustically, it’s going to speak a lot further than any of the other guitars we have there.

It has some great top end to it, but it’s almost like it’s supported by mid and the bottom range. So the top end doesn’t necessarily stand out too much. It’s bright, but it’s kind of supported by- you got both posts right? You have the low end- kind of the low mids. And I can feel this- as I’m playing it,

I can literally feel the guitar resonating, like, way more than any of the other guitars, which is just- just wild. I love the design of it. It kind of has a bit more of the classical look up here, right? Where the tuners are actually inside of the guitar head, which is pretty cool. As I- you know, as I play it quieter, I think this guitar is really nice for fingerpicking. Again, because it has some great volume to it.

So, you know, you get a lot of volume out of a little bit of playing. This guitar has 12 frets up into the body. Again, because it’s a parlor style, right? So it’s a little small, little shorter. I see no problem in that- with the guitar. That’s great. Standard in what you would find in a parlor guitar. This front inlay is really, really beautiful there,

and also around the sound- the sound hole. It doesn’t have a pickguard on it, but it look- I mean, it doesn’t need it, it looks so classic as it is. I love the look of the guitar. Another cool thing I notice on this, the pegs for the strings have these cool red dots in it, so it adds a little bit of color, a little bit of pop to the front of the guitar.

The depth of the body on this guitar is a bit different. Also a bit thicker than the last guitars, and it has a slight taper in it. Again, it’s- it has to do with the way they design the sound and it works perfectly, so. This guitar is a bit higher priced than the last few that we- we talked about, right?

So this is more in the $4,000 range. I can see why it is in that range, because I’m- I’m sure whatever they did to develop this guitar- to make this guitar, they’re putting a lot of, you know, money into making and creating an instrument that is- does what this guitar does. So price point absolutely makes sense. You know, as a pro player, as someone who has maybe far too many guitars in my collection, this is still one I would love to add to it because it feels different than any guitar I have.

It’s kind of like its own island, even from the last three guitars I played, both in the way it plays, the sound that it has. It’s probably the most- yeah, just diverse. It feels very diverse. I feel like I could play, you know, something more bluesy, kind of Civil Wars vibe on this kind of guitar that’s more, you know, fingerpicking and minor-y.

I feel like I could play something upbeat and fun. Just still has that brightness to it, has that volume, to it. When you- when you play it loud with the pick. Makes me want to bend! Makes me want to do a little bit of bendy rock and- it feels rock and roll to me. That’s what this guitar feels like, in the coolest way.

Yeah. That’s wild. And the electronics on this one. So this one that I’m playing does not have electronics in it, but it has options. You know, if you are to buy it from Martin new, you can always ask them to put in whatever kind of pickup. They offer several different styles of pickups so you can talk to them about which pickup you like in it. Or if you’re not gonna to use it electronically, you can get it-

and acoustically, like I said before, it speaks so well. It doesn’t need electronics necessarily if you’re- if you’re in that kind of setting, so. This guitar is a modern take using modern technology on guitars from the 40s. We have, you know, the back and the sides are the East Indian rosewood. The front is spruce. We got ebony, you know, for the- the bridge and for the fretboard.

And I kind of mentioned earlier that the really cool- I love this look on a guitar. It feels really- it feels a bit like a classical guitar, kind of having the tuners inside the actual head. The back actually has some really, really cool inlay, just a beautiful, very unique style of inlay. This guitar would be ideal, right?

In a- in a group setting. You know, it’s a parlor guitar so played in a- in a basement, in a parlor, in a group setting where there’s a lot of people you don’t necessarily have a way to amplify the sound, but you want to be heard. I would absolutely love to play this on stage in a worship set.

95% of it for me is because of the sound. But 5% is because of the look. It’s a super cool look, too. It feels- it feels a little bit iconic. And- I don’t know, as a musician, sometimes you want to just be different from people, right? So- I don’t know why, but this, this feels- it feels a little- this feels special.

It’s different. I would love to get a- a pickup installed in this and play it live, whether it’s an arena or a small church. I feel like this guitar would do really well, speak really well. I could wear something to throwback to, you know, something maybe from the 70s. Feels like it embodies a lot of eras because it kind of does. Like, you know, we were talking about earlier it’s from the style from the 40s and it’s a modern take on it.

So yeah. I would buy this guitar for myself. If I was buying it for someone- dang it. If I had to buy it for someone else, I’d probably- Zach Williams, I think. I think Zach would love this guitar. It feels- again, it’s kind of the rock and roll. Feels kind of a little bit gritty in that way.

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