Up for sale, a 1997 Martin D-42 dreadnought in exceptional, crack-free condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original hardshell case. Featuring a solid Sitka spruce top with forward-shifted, scalloped X-bracing paired with solid East Indian rosewood back and sides, the D-42 can trace its upscale dreadnought lineage back to Martin's Pre-War D-45. And while Martin’s style 42 has been around since the late 1800s, it wasn’t applied to a standard production dreadnought until 1996, making the D-42 a relatively recent addition to Martin's lineup. Premium aesthetic details include abalone top binding and rosette, snowflake fingerboard inlay, and a vertically inlaid Martin name on the headstock.
This Martin offers an extremely rich and detailed sound with ample projection and bass-register warmth. The low end has the boom and kick consistent with a Martin square shoulder dreadnought, and the trebles are punchy and round with a sparkling cut. This Martin is emblematic of both the company’s top tier craftsmanship and the way a soundboard can open up over time in very satisfying ways. This guitar weighs 4lbs 8oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 12-54 bronze strings, easy-playing action, and optimal-intonation.
The mahogany neck has a slender C shaped profile carve with modest shoulder and an effortless feel, measuring .835” deep at the 1st fret and .870” at the 9th. The slab ebony fretboard features multi-ply grained ivoroid binding with abalone snowflake inlay and slender frets which have well-rounded crowns, showing light wear beneath the plain strings on frets 1-9, more prominent beneath the B string on frets 3-7. This guitar plays cleanly up the 25.4” scale with a straight neck and a responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod. The carved bone nut measures a full 1 11/16” in width, and the headstock has a multi-ply bound rosewood veneer, vertical inlaid Martin logo, and original gold Martin-branded open-gear tuning machines which turn smoothly with butterbean buttons.
On the body, the saddle has plenty of height for future adjustment, and the ebony bridge sits flush with the top on all edges. Extensive inlay frames the soundhole, fretboard extension and perimeter of the top, with additional inlay on the feet of the bridge. A couple tiny added pieces of binding have been added on the fretboard extension due to a fractional amount of previous binding shrinkage.
The guitar is well-kept and crack free, exhibiting one fingernail-sized nick on top on the treble-side lower bout, and faint lacquer checking across the lower bout as well. There are just a few additional minor nicks and faint finish scratches on the body as a whole. The nitro lacquer gloss on the neck profile is extremely clean and smooth, with very faint lacquer checking that cannot be felt by the palm.
The original Martin-branded hardshell case is included.