Martin D-28 vs Collings D2H –

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Patrick Connell walks us though an objective tonal comparison between the Martin D-28 and Collings D2H. Please leave a comment and let us know what you think the differences are. The Martin is a 1999 D-28 and the Collings is a 2005 D2H. These dreadnaughts are superficially the same. Both have Sitka Spruce top, Indian Rosewood back and sides, Ebony bridge pins. Incidentally these particular guitars both have slotted bridges, bone saddles and nut (standard on the Collings, but aftermarket mods on the Martin.) Both are being played with a Blue Chip pick on D’Addario “Medium” EJ-17 strings that are about an hour old. Please visit for more information on this, and other videos.


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48 thoughts on “Martin D-28 vs Collings D2H –

  1. Both sounded great 👍🏼 I’ll go with the one who has 180yrs of experience and created the dreadnaught.

  2. Martin suono più corposo, maggiore armonia acustica, collings più squillante leggermente più sterile ma gradevole.

  3. You cannot really do either instrument justice due to the compression by Utube. This degrades the sound and you just don't get those delicate frequencies that these guitars can give. So the bass on the Martin is very pronounced and the brightness of the Collings is also enhanced. You get a good idea of the sounds – but playing them live is the only real way to compare.

  4. Thought the Martin was louder, but the Collings had a greater variety of tones like more mids where the Martin only had highs and lows in a scooped fashion

  5. How about just taking some of the demo and strumming normal chords. Most guitar players strum songs. You get to hear the overtones better imho

  6. What the hell Pat! Pretty cool running across this old video. 6 years later and you look not a day older. See you in Loreto Amigo!

  7. Surprisingly its the Martin for me, the Collings is overly bright for me, some may say it has more clarity but its shrill to my ears. Up the neck again the Collings more banjo than guitar and is already out of tune. Harsh criticism but in reality I'd have both in a shot. If I was buying I'd go for the Martin and save a pocket full of dollars. If I wanted one to look at I'd go for the Collings. I'm a fan of both makers and have a CJRW SB and a 00028ec both great and keepers.

  8. This is not a fair comparison should have used a HD28 for the bracing Martins are hit and miss but the consistently is getting better . Collins's are very consistently the same with nothing really special about them like a Taylor but when Martin makes a good one it's a home run

  9. I’ve never tried a Collings as nobody around here sells them. But the numerous videos I’ve watched of Collings haven’t caught my ear. I have played many Martins and haven’t really gravitated to them. In this video at least, I would cast my vote for the Martin.

  10. Both guitars have pretty good sounds! Martin has a nice balance. Collings has more low, wide and deep sound! Therefore, I like D2H.

  11. Collins sucked….way to boomy. Overpowering in a cheap acoustic sort of way. I am also not a Martin corksniffer…which is why I own a Blueridge BR140a. D28 killer.

  12. The Collings sounds phenomenal. It's a "canon." However, it's not about the maker. They could be from the same manufacturer and built identically and sound worlds apart.

  13. The comments are fascinating. Some people think the Martin is brighter sounding and others think the Collings is. Some people think the Martin sounds alive and the Collings dead; others the opposite.

  14. I was hoping you would of told us what you think, your playing the darn thing. Is one seem to play faster, is one lighter to the touch than the other? What a disapointment. If I was going to answer like some website say." Was this helpful? Yes or No. I would of checked, No It was a waste of my time, and the two manufacturers time.

  15. I have a Martin D-35 and a Collings D2H. I find the Collings a wee better better for cutting through a mix and leads and the Martin a bit better for rhythm. They are both fine guitars that can do it all however you really cannot go wrong with either brand.

  16. D-28 is hands down the better sounding . The Collings is dead sounding compared to the Martin. The Collings really reminds me of the Gibson sound…rather dark and dull.

  17. Nice playing and both sounded very nice. For strumming, as demoed between 1:00 – 2:25, I would pick the Collings which has a stronger bass and sounded a bit more mellow and less twangy.

  18. Martin did use micarta on saddles for quite a long period and corian on nuts but 2005 marked the year all the standard series were again using bone nut and drop-in bone saddles. Likely because some pretty good Asian imports such as Blueridge were using bone nuts and saddles since at least the late 90's.

  19. even though the d28 does not have scalloped braces it still cuts through the middle and out basses the collings

  20. without a doubt, the Martin has the more powerful bass, and would appeal strongly to country flatpickers. The Collings mid-high range is substantially cleaner and brighter. It grabbed my attention from the first notes. As a fingerstyler, I find that much more attractive than the more powerful bass of the Martin.

  21. 1. Ya can't tell tonal differences for nothin' over a youtube vid.
    2. These guitars are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT! They are 2 separate classes entirely.
    The D28 is 2K. The Collings D2H is 4K. There are SO MANY reasons for this. Find your local EXPERT and talk to them!
    The D28 has a standard X-bracing. The D2H has a scalloped, forward-shifted X-bracing. This makes a MONUMENTAL difference in the sound!! The D28 is "focused" and "directional." The D2H is more "open," harmonically rich and "booming."
    Though each set of ears hears differently, these descriptions are overwhelmingly agreed upon by folks in the biz, and are totally obvious to the vast majority of ears.
    3. The proper Martin to compare to the D2H is the Martin HD28-V (NOT an HD28). This 4K guitar

  22. The scalloped bracing of the Collings renders the comparison rather unfair to the Martin, which has straight bracing. both sound fantastic, the Collings sounds "bigger", due to the bracing difference.

  23. Both guitars sound fantastic. The Martin has more of the classic old-timey Bluegrass tone. The Collings has a more balanced tone and great clarity. However, I'd be happy with either one.

  24. D28 has a standard bracing while the D2H is scalloped. Should make a huge difference but yet that doesn't appear in this comparison… very strange.

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