Martin HD-35 – Is It Good? [REVIEW]

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martin hd-35 acoustic guitar review

If you’re thinking about getting the legendary Martin HD-35 and you’re not sure if it’s worth it or not, you’ve come to the right place! In today’s in-depth review, I’m going to take a very close look on that high-end model.

The truth is that Martin HD-35 is one of the best acoustic guitars that are currently manufactured by Martin. It has absolutely everything – the looks, the sound and the feel. Honestly, it will be really tough to find a better guitar!

Let’s dive deeper with research to find out what exactly makes the Martin HD-35 so good and so popular among the guitar players all around the world. Firstly, we’ll start with a quick overview of the specs of that model. Additionally, we’ll investigate the biggest pros and cons of that axe. Of course, there will be a few sound demos included as well!

Specs & Pricing

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Martin HD-35 is a high-end acoustic guitar designed for the most demanding guitar players out there. It plays like a dream and it’s actually one of the most popular premium models made by this legendary brand.

What makes it so special? Well, the guitar features a solid Sitka spruce top with solid East Indian Rosewood back and sides. There’s also a select hardwood neck with an easy-playing Ebony fingerboard. The quality of these woods is amazing and it significantly improves the tone of that guitar.

What’s important, the HD-35 also has the Scalloped Forward Shifted X-bracing. This is an another huge advantage, because it improves the bass response and it makes the guitar sound fuller.

The tone of HD-35 is truly exceptional. It’s the sound that everyone is searching for throughout their whole journey as a musician. It’s rich, full, resonant and loud. Honestly, it sounds like a dream! It’s really tough to describe that with words – you just have to hear it.

Additionally, it is also worth mentioning that Martin HD-35 comes with an included hardshell case. This is an another big advantage! The case offers a really high quality as well, so you can be sure that it will protect that guitar very well.

When it comes to pricing, just like all other premium Martin guitars – this is not a cheap instrument. However, in my opinion it’s not overpriced at all. Sometimes you just have to pay a bit more, especially if you want to find the best gear on the market.

Here’s the sound demo – feel free to check it out below.

Who Is It For?

Martin HD-35 is suitable for guitarists of all levels. It doesn’t really matter whether you’re a beginner or a professional player – you will definitely notice and appreciate the uniqueness of that high-end acoustic guitar.

However, since it’s a pretty expensive model, most often it’s used by passionate and intermediate guitar players.

This is a perfect guitar to record with. If you’re a working musician and you’re looking for the best sounding acoustic guitar to record your next single or album, choosing the HD-35 will be a really good choice.

Additionally, just like the legendary D-35 model, this dreadnought guitar is very versatile. Whether you’re into blues, rock, country or folk, you can be sure that the tone of HD-35 won’t disappoint you.

It is also worth mentioning that Martin HD-35 is often considered as the Holy Grail of the acoustic guitars.

I’m positive that any guitar collector will be extremely happy to add this model to their own collection. It’s definitely one of the best acoustic guitars of all time!

Here’s an another sound demo.

Pros & Cons

Just like any other acoustic guitar, the HD-35 has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. You don’t have to worry about the cons of that axe though! They’re really subjective.


  • Amazing Tone
  • Highly Versatile
  • Looks Beautiful
  • Made Of Solid Wood
  • Scalloped Forward Shifted X-bracing
  • Hardshell Case Included


  • High Price

As you can see, this model has a lot of fantastic advantages. It sounds, looks and feels like a premium guitar. On top of that, it’s made of high quality materials and it comes with a really good hardshell case. How can you argue with that?

The main disadvantage of Martin HD-35 is the high price. Undoubtedly, quite a lot of guitar players will be unable to get this guitar straight away.

This is a pretty serious amount of money, so it may be the biggest obstacle that you’ll face if you’re thinking about getting it for yourself. On the other hand, this is one of the best acoustic guitars in the world, so it’s totally worth it.

Overall, I’m positive that the advantages of the HD-35 model outweigh its disadvantages. Yes, I know that it’s not a cheap guitar. But the truth is that if you want to get the best gear on the market, you have to be okay with the fact that it’s never cheap.

Martin HD-35 vs Martin HD-28

As you’re already aware, Martin manufactures some of the greatest acoustic guitars in the world. Quite a lot of guitarists often can’t decide whether they should get the HD-35 or the HD-28 model. Which one of them is better?

The truth is that both of these guitars are from the highest shelf. They offer an extremely high level of quality, however the HD-35 is a bit more expensive than HD-28.

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It seems that the HD-35 has a bit more bass, while the HD-28 has a bit more defined top end. Still, it’s very difficult to clearly determine which one of them sounds better. It all comes down to you and your own personal preferences.

Here’s a really good video that compares the sound of HD-28 and HD-35. Feel free to check it out below!

Martin HD-35 vs Martin D-35

Martin D-35 is an another legendary model designed for the most demanding guitarists out there. This is an extremely popular guitar, so it’s totally understandable that a lot of players can’t decide whether they should get the HD-35 or D-35.

The main difference between the HD-35 and the D-35 is the bracing. Martin HD-35 has the scalloped forward shifted X-bracing, while the D-35 has the non-scalloped forward shifted X-bracing.

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Both of these guitars are equally amazing, but the truth is that they sound a little bit differently. The sound difference is subtle though, so it will all come down to your own personal preferences.

Bear in mind that the HD-35 is a little bit more expensive than the D-35, but the price difference is not that big.

Here’s a really good video that compares the sound of these guitars – feel free to check it out below if you can’t decide whether you should choose the D-35 or HD-35!

Cheaper Alternatives

If you aren’t satisfied with the quality of Martin HD-35 or you simply can’t afford it right now, it’s not a big problem! The market is full of other really good acoustic guitars that are also worth checking out. Perhaps they’re not as perfect as this axe, but they still offer a fantastic quality.

Of course, choosing a new acoustic guitar will depend on your own personal preferences and most importantly, on the size of your budget. Still, here’s a few alternative options that you may also like.

1. Best High-End Alternative Option
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Firstly, I highly encourage you to check out the Takamine P5DC. This is a really cool acoustic-electric guitar designed for the most demanding guitarists out there.

In comparison with the HD-35, it has a cutaway, so it allows you to easily access the highest frets. It’s also great for live performances, mainly because of the fact that it sounds really natural when it’s plugged into an amp.

The P5DC is a bit more affordable than the HD-35 reviewed in today’s article, but it’s still a pretty expensive guitar. However, considering how good and versatile it is, it’s definitely worth the money!

2. Best Mid-Range Alternative Option
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If you don’t want to spend too much on a new acoustic guitar, but you still want to find a top quality instrument, perhaps you should also check out the Martin DX Johnny Cash Signature Edition.

This is a really affordable, mid-level dreadnought acoustic guitar that exceeds all the expectations. It may not be as good as the HD-35, but it offers a surprisingly good value. What’s important, you don’t even have to be a fan of Johnny Cash to notice the high quality of that axe!

Overall, this is a great acoustic-electric guitar suitable for both beginners and more advanced guitarists. That’s why I highly recommend checking it out!

3. Best Cheap Alternative Option
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If you’re searching for a cheap acoustic guitar and you’re searching for a budget-friendly instrument, make sure to check out Epiphone DR-100. This is one of the coolest entry-level acoustic guitar in the world!

I had the pleasure to start my musical journey with that guitar back in 2008. It was a long time ago, but I still have it with me. It’s a perfect instrument for any amateur who wants to learn how to play the guitar.

Bear in mind that this a budget acoustic guitar, so it will never be as good as the high-end Martin HD-35. But still, considering how cheap it is, it exceeds all the expectations and it’s definitely worth every cent!


Where is Martin HD-35 made?

Martin HD-35 is manufactured in the United States.

What is the radius of the HD-35?

It has a 16″ radius.

What strings does the HD-35 acoustic guitar have?

Martin HD-35 is equipped with a set of high quality strings – Lifespan 2.0 92/8 Phosphor Bronze (.013-.056).

Where can I find out more about Martin guitars?

If you want to learn more about this legendary manufacturer of acoustic guitars, you should definitely check out the official website of Martin.


As you can see, Martin HD-35 is an absolutely amazing acoustic guitar. This instrument is a true piece of art – it exceeds all the expectations. Although getting this model may be very challenging because of the undeniably high price, it’s definitely worth it. It’s one of the guitars that you’ll pass to your grandchildren in 50 years time!

What do you think of Martin HD-35? Would you get it for yourself or do you think that it’s overrated? Leave a comment down below and let me know what you think, I’m really interested to hear your thoughts.

Thanks for checking out today’s review, hopefully it was helpful and you found what you were looking for. If you enjoyed this article and you’re searching for more gear recommendations, you may also like: