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Martin D-42 Modern Deluxe
 
Martin’s contemporary take on a classic high-end model.
October 26, 2023
 

Martin first introduced its line of Modern Deluxe guitars in 2019 and it has been well received. The Modern Deluxe line combines familiar specs from classic models with highly contemporary features such as torrefied woods and carbon-fiber bridge plates as well as updated cosmetic elements. We’ve been impressed with all the Modern Deluxe models we’ve had a chance to play, and recently, Martin sent us a D-42 Modern Deluxe to check out. In this video, San Francisco Bay Area flatpicking guitarist Jim Nunally joins me to demo the instrument in the Peghead Nation studio. 

The D-42 Modern Deluxe is, of course, a dreadnought guitar. It was built with high-grade Indian rosewood back and sides and a Sitka spruce top that has received Martin’s Vintage Tone System (VTS) torrefaction treatment. The top of our demo guitar is incredibly evenly grained and has attractive cross-grain patterns as well as a uniform color. Similarly, the rosewood has gorgeous color and is perfectly matched as a set. But while style 42s are built with some of the finest materials Martin has access to, they’re distinguished by their elaborate appointments. True to the style, the D-42 Modern Deluxe has abalone top purfling, style-45 “snowflake” fingerboard inlay, “torch” inlay in the peghead overlay, etc. However, true to its Modern Deluxe designation, the guitar also has flamed maple binding on the body and fingerboard, abalone side dots, Martin’s “Liquidmetal” bridge pins, Evo frets, and the aforementioned carbon-fiber bridge plate.

I’ve played a lot of D-42s over the years, and I’ve found that they usually have a feel and tonality that separates them from other rosewood-and-spruce Martin dreadnoughts. Many of the D-42s I’ve played have had a particularly smooth strumming voice, and the D-42 Modern Deluxe is no exception. Like other guitars in the Modern Deluxe range we’ve played, it has a little extra all around; great punch and volume and rich overtones. The guitar also has excellent balance, and its contemporary, relatively slim-feeling neck reflects the “modern” in the instrument’s name more than vintage designs. 

With its combination of advanced features and traditional styling, Martin’s Modern Deluxe models are like nothing else on the market. Residing at the high-end of the company’s models, the D-42 Modern Deluxe offers superb woods, elegant looks, and a classic tonality that’s been hot-rodded to suit contemporary players. If fancy guitars are your thing, I’d recommend checking it out!

SPECS: 14-fret dreadnought body. Solid Sitka spruce top with Vintage Tone System treatment. Scalloped and forward-shifted X-bracing. Solid Indian rosewood back and sides. Genuine mahogany neck with dovetail joint. Ebony fingerboard and bridge. 25.4-inch scale. 1¾-inch nut width. 2⁵/₃₂-inch string spacing at the saddle. Gold Waverly tuning machines. Made in the USA. $7,399. Martinguitar.com

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    ● Courses
    ● Live Workshops
    ● Instructors
    ● Sample Lessons
    ● Notation Guide
    ● For Beginners
 
 
    ● Vintage Vault
    ● New Gear
    ● Fine Lutherie
 
 
    ● Workshops
    ● Advice
    ● Repertoire
 
 
    ● Recordings
    ● Events
    ● Breaking News
 
 
    ● In The Studio
    ● Live Onstage
    ● Backroom
 
 
    ● New Products
    ● Inside Look
    ● Performances
    ● Partner Pages
 
 
© Copyright 2024 PegheadNation.com