“It’s a holy grail guitar”: Jason Momoa just bought the first Martin D-28 acoustic ever made

Jason Momoa holding the first 1934 Martin D-28
(Image credit: Emerald City Guitars/YouTube)

It’s become a well-known fact that Jason Momoa isn’t just a Hollywood actor – he’s also an avid electric guitar and bass guitar fan.

In fact, such is his passion for all-things-guitar, the Aquaman star has assembled an envy-inducing guitar collection, which comprises Gibson’s last Murphy Lab “Greeny” Les Paul, a Fender Custom Shop replica of Buddy Guy’s Stratocaster and a Custom Shop P-Bass.

He’s also got the chops to match his collector’s instincts, having jammed with Les Claypool for a week – an experience he said was “like a childhood dream”.

Well, Momoa has now expanded his guitar collection with arguably his most historic and significant instrument yet – a Martin D-28 acoustic guitar from 1934, said to be the first D-28 ever made.

The guitar itself was delivered by hand to Momoa’s junkyard home by Trevor Boone of Emerald City Guitars, who documented the transaction in his latest YouTube video.

While introducing the historic model, Boone explains, “We’re dropping off a 1934 Martin D-28, which sounds like an early D-28 because it is: it’s actually the first one ever made.

“Martin sent out three 1934 [models] during this first initial batch,” he went on, “and this is the first one they sent. To me, it’s a holy grail guitar. It’s a true privilege to handle this, transact it and now deliver it.”

In an earlier video, the vintage guitar dealer took a deep dive into the history of the model, specifying it as the first 14-fret D-28, built at a turning point in acoustic lineage when longer necks, bigger bodies and steel strings were becoming the norm.

In February 1934, Martin built a prototype of the D-28, and just a week later an order for three official builds was placed. Momoa’s model, as mentioned, was the first of the three, bearing the serial number #55676.

During the course of its life, the guitar has been subjected to a handful of repairs, including a new fretboard and a new top that Emerald City suspects took place between 1954 and 1957, owing to its bracing and composition.

Momoa was, unsurprisingly, thrilled with his latest purchase. “This is my first real acoustic. This is it, this is the one I wanted, the holy grail.

“I didn’t think it was this good, dude,” Momoa went on after opening the case (and wailing in excitement for a bit). “I can’t believe this is number one.”

Momoa is only one of a number of Hollywood stars who are also bass players. Keanu Reeves, for example, recently sat down for a chat with Fender, during which he recalled buying his first bass – an experience he likened to a "bass drug deal".

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.