We took one of the most iconic and sought after guitars ever made, an original 1937 D-28, and meticulously reproduced it...EXACTLY.
Many of us have dreamed of owning one of the famous pre-war herringbone Dreads, that special combination of dense Brazilian rosewood, old growth red spruce and forward shifted bracing that gave these iconic guitars the powerful, resonant, dynamic sound we're still talking about 80 years later.
However, because these original 1930s 28s are rare and highly sought after, they have become VERY expensive and VERY hard to find. Those two facts alone make these guitars inaccessible to all but a few musicians.
Build your icon
Now you can finally experience this incredible guitar by building one yourself. We reproduced this remarkable instrument down to the smallest detail to bring you the world's best and most faithful authentic pre-war kit, we call it the StewMac Icon. It's all there—everything but 80 years worth of dings and scratches.
No detail was too small
Not only does this Icon Kit capture the correct period LOOK of the original, but it also faithfully reproduces the "bones" of the instrument—it's just as authentic on the inside as it is on the outside.
We didn't just rely on photos or drawings to make this kit, we spent months examining every inch of the back, sides, top, braces, and appointments of one of the best examples we've ever seen. We studied how the forward-shifted bracing fundamentally shaped the sound, and reproduced the exact location of every brace for you with a full scale bracing plan.
But beyond getting the "big things" right, we also meticulously reproduced all the little things as well: we matched the ivoroid celluloid binding as closely as we possibly could, we included real abalone inlays—just like the original. We even included the cheesecloth that caps the X-brace and the fabric ribbon used back in the day as side reinforcements.
We worked extremely hard to make this guitar as close as we possibly could to the 1937 original.
Our finest hand-selected woods
Let's face it, the woods are the foundation of these great guitars, and we knew we had to keep them as faithful to the original as possible. Brazilian Rosewood, which was used on the back and sides of the originals, is no longer commercially available, so we hand-selected the highest grade 5A Madagascar Rosewood (Dalbergia baronii) on the market. This species of Rosewood looks (and sounds) just like the real thing. We then paired it with the lightest and stiffest Adirondack Red Spruce (Picea rubens) from our reserve, just like they did in Nazareth in the 1930's. And finally we hand-picked the blackest Ebony fingerboards and bridges for these kits. Since it's illegal to use elephant ivory, we use our finest bone for the nut and saddle.
We did add one modern feature to this kit: a two-way adjustable truss rod. This was such an important advancement in acoustic guitar design—we believe that if these existed in the 1930s, those original master-craftsmen would have installed them too.
What you see is what you get
As you know, every piece of wood is unique, and has its own story to tell. When surveying these priceless guitars, we found some with elegant interlocking grain lines, and some that were wild and dynamic. For this reason we've photographed each of these kits individually—what you see pictured in the first image is the actual wood you'll receive. And as a builder, we know you want to choose the wood that speaks to you.
Check out the vintage-correct details of your next build:
- AAA Red Spruce top with soundhole and rosette channel
- 5A Madagascar Rosewood back, joined and cut to shape
- 5A Quartersawn Madagascar Rosewood sides, accurately bent
- Ebony fingerboard, slotted
- Madagascar Rosewood headstock overlay
- Ebony bridge
- Carved Mahogany neck, with precisely machined dovetail joint
- Quartersawn Spruce pre-carved braces
- Abalone diamond fingerboard inlays
- Tortoloid pickguard, with vintage correct pattern
- Unbleached bone nut and saddle
- Upgraded precision-machined white Waverly Galalith bridge pins
- Waverly Galalith white end pin and white strap button
- Waverly Tuning Machines with Bright Nickel Butterbean knobs
- Ivoroid celluloid binding
- Pre-radiused frets
- Herringbone top purfling
- Special rosette and back purfling
- Hot Rod two-way adjustable truss rod
- Pre-cut heavy cardboard molds for trouble-free body assembly
- Full-size blueprint and forward bracing template
- Illustrated 36-page spiral-bound instruction book
- 71 minute, step-by-step DVD: Building an Acoustic Guitar Kit
We're with you every step of the way
This kit also comes with our industry-best customer service. Our techs are just a phone call away if you have any questions throughout the build. We also include a 71 minute DVD that is a full course in guitar building and a full scale bracing plan and blueprint so you'll have the knowledge and confidence to finish this build with ease.
Experience building your own icon today.
D-28 is a registered trademark of C.F. Martin and Co., Inc.
All WOODSTAX items come with our 100% satisfaction promise and no-hassle returns. If you are unhappy with the wood once you get it, simply return it in its original, unworked condition for a full refund or exchange.
CALIFORNIA PROPOSITION 65 WARNING