Prior to 1929 all Martin guitars were produced with a neck having only 12 frets clear of the body. The O-28 VS, short for Vintage Specs, is a return to the O-28’s design found at the turn of the 20th century. The shorter neck allows for a slightly larger body than found on the 14 fret models. Body size in guitar design is all about air volume and more air volume equates to deeper tonal qualities. Though the shorter neck limits access to playing above the octaves, the O-28 VS makes up for this by producing warmer overtones. It is a guitar that performs wonderfully as a fingerpicking instrument and one which is easily transportable.
Acquired directly from C.F. Martin & Company in advance of David Gilmour’s Rattle That Lock Tour, the guitar was played by Roxy Music guitarist and longtime collaborator Phil Manzanera during the first three legs of the tour from 12th September 2015 and thereafter by Chester Kamen for the final two legs through to 30th September 2016. During the tour, Gilmour would sometimes play this guitar at book signings and literary events for author and lyricist Polly Samson’s 2015 novel The Kindness.