Martin OM-42 Deep Body Slot Head Review

Combining traditional and contemporary features into a one of a kind guitar, a well-thought-out Custom Shop Martin like this OM-42 Deep Body is a beautiful treasure and a magnificent musical instrument.

[Updated, with new video shot in May 2019 with the current mics and mic techniques I use for video shoots at the Martin Guitar factory.]

“This OM-42 Deep Body is a showcase musical instrument with a sophisticated voice to match its luxurious appointments, combining classic looks of a Style 42 guitar from Martin’s 12-fretter era with the powerhouse playability of a 14-fret OM made in an extra-deep body of luscious Madagascar rosewood.”

Specs Include: Auditorium body size, 4-5/8” deep; solid wood construction including Madagascar rosewood back and sides; Adirondack spruce top; 1/4″ scalloped braces; one-piece, 14-fret, low profile South American mahogany neck with slotted headstock, bound in grained ivoroid, 1-3/4” width at nut, 2-1/4″ at the 12th fret; ebony pyramid bridge, 2-5/16” string spacing; Style 30 colored wood back strip; Style 42 high-color abalone top trim, rosette, fingerboard markers; 1920s Style 45 torch headstock inlay; high-gloss nitrocellulose finish including neck; Fishman Matrix Infinity pickup system with discrete volume and tone controls inside the sound hole

The Conception and Formative Years of a Great Guitar

The serial number was stamped into the neck block in mid May, 2010. So, this guitar is turning nine years old and has provided its owner with considerable joy and satisfaction since he first received it from the Martin Guitar factory in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, four months later.

Read the Full Review Here

Martin DSS-17 Whiskey Sunset / DSS-17 Black Smoke Review

A long-anticipated Slope-Shoulder Dreadnought, the DSS-17 doesn’t disappoint

Long live the new King of 17 Series, in either Whiskey Sunset burst or Black Smoke motif

This is the companion video for the Martin DSS-17 written review – COMING SOON!

Martin D-18 Modern Deluxe Video Review

Companion video of the D-18 Modern Deluxe Review

Soon to appear to appear at One Man’s Guitar

The lone mahogany model released in the new Modern Deluxe Series at Winter NAMM 2019

Given how successful this mahogany dreadnought is, I know I am not alone in hoping the OM-18 and 000-18 versions get released sooner than later!

Martin CEO-9 Video Review

Companion Video of the Martin CEO-9

The in-depth review is soon to appear at One Man’s Guitar

The CEO-9 is the ninth model designed by Chief Executive Office C. F. Martin IV. Like its predecessors, it showcases alternative materials and design elements outside the traditional Martin box.

It has the same body size and neck as the CEO-7, but different woods, looks, and special construction features.

I have taken some grief lately by internet flamers who feel I am too enthusiastic about my Martin guitar reviews. But I gotta say, the 2019 Martin models are extraordinarily impressive, from the new Modern Deluxe Series to the amazingly toneful D-42 Custom, to the other limited editions. And this CEO-9 right up there with the best of them. I would truly love to own one for my very own.

Something Fine from Jackson Browne

Jackson Browne wrote Something Fine when he was 22

Or maybe he was even younger

While he was considered an “old soul” by his contemporaries, Jackson Browne turned 70 this past October and yet his songs are anything but dated.

When something written by a kid remains relevant, timeless even, and absolutely appropriate coming from the mouth of the same artist decades later, now that’s what I call a songwriter!

Performed on a vintage Roy Smeck Stage Deluxe.

Does Jason Verlinde of Fretboard Journal have the best job in America or what?

Readers Comments – Nice to know

Comments re: the past, present, and future of One Man’s Guitar

It is gratifying to receive such encouraging words from a reader

I thought I would share this, from its nook under a particular model’s review

“I am commenting on this nearly three year old review to remind you and your audience of the value of your archival reviews. As I mature as a guitarist, my needs and interests are evolving from my dread-only origins. I have only recently discovered the wonders of short scale on smaller bodied guitars which has led me to a beautiful but lonely custom shop 00-18 that has been gathering dust in my dealer’s warehouse for a couple of years. I have a feeling it will find a home soon. This review is certainly helpful.

The detail of these reviews is without equal. I was especially edified by your tangent into the effect of various spruces over mahogany. Timeless information! And, I always listen to the videos through headphones at high volume with my eyes closed. The sound you generate is incredible. Thanks for doing what you do.

Indy”

One Man’s Reply:

Well thank you, Indy, for your comments.

The 00-18 is indeed a very successful model, as is the 00-28.

Over the past year or so I was beset with various obstacles when it came to having the time and ability to maintain my writing pace. And I know some of the older reviews could use my own re-reviewing, in case any specs have changed on models still available for sale.

But right now I am trying to carve out the time to review the NEW Martins for 2019. I am already working on them, but I must devote more time to the writing that actually brings me fees.

I am mindful, however, of the generous donations this site brings in from time to time, which helps keep it afloat. And I am happy to honor the obligation I feel to keep the reviews coming.

And more are on the way!

Thanks again for your acknowledgement of the words and videos I put together to provide one man’s take on this worthy musical instruments.

Would that I had the time and proximity to do the same with many other brands and builders. Alas, every time a local NYC dealer has shown interest in allowing me access to their shop and stock to make such videos as appear at onemanz.com, their corporate overloads refuse to support the endeavor. But hope springs eternal!

~

And I shall add here that some of the issues preventing me from working at the pace I once did are medical in nature, relating to decades of self-taught guitar playing and frantic use of the computer mouse and keyboard.

But, I am pleased to report I have invested in Dragon Home dictation software, by Nuance. And I wish I had done so long ago. It really is a marvel. And while it’s taken time to get use to, in terms of the rhythms of writing and for the program to learn the specific jargon required for my purposes, it is remarkably easy to use.

In fact I have composed this entire post using Dragon, with hardly any need to correct the results.

I’ve tried other dictation software, and nothing comes close to Dragon thus far; certainly not the gibberish-blithering idiot inhabiting Microsoft Office 2010!

Ms. Cortana understands one perfectly when in the default search field on the Windows task bar, if only to respond with items for sale on the Internet while ignoring the things one might actually be searching for on their own computer.

But the moment one is in a Word document or Excel spreadsheet, she suffers from egregious and permanent brain damage with her aphasia and ignorance of the English language so complete as to trigger obscenity-spewing Tourette syndrome in the most genteel of users.

But thanks to Dragon, I am able to compose and send emails, “write” for hours on end, and accomplish most web browser-oriented tasks without the use of my hands, sometimes with one arm of the other resting in a sling.

I should like to think my readers will understand that preserving my ability to play guitars, when necessary and sometimes purely for pleasure, outweighs my desire or need to write about guitars. So I’m happy to have found a way to do both whilst continuing to persevere with therapies to combat and overcome my ongoing obstacles.

And to that end, my first guitar review for 2019 will be the Martin D-28 Modern Deluxe, coming to One Man’s Guitar soon!

 

 

Martin Vintage Deluxe Neck vs. Actual Vintage Martin

Martin’s new Vintage Deluxe Profile

A neck shape exclusive to their new Modern Deluxe Series guitars.

It is claimed to be inspired by the neck on the priceless the 1930 OM-45 Deluxe residing in the Martin Museum.

The OM-28 Modern Deluxe is the only MD model thus far to have the traditional fingerboard width to go along with this vintage-esque neck shaping. So how close is it the genuine article?

Well…

The day I first played that old guitar, I begged the people responsible for what gets made at Martin to put that neck on every OM they made thereafter. At the very least, I suggested, they needed to make it available on something less expensive than the $100K Authentic Series model based on that classic museum piece.

And now they have. And there was much rejoicing. “Yea!”

Related Reading

D-28 Modern Deluxe Review

Martin Modern Deluxe Series Announced

Martin Modern Deluxe Series Breaks New Ground for 2019

 Debuting at Winter NAMM – Four New Models: D-28 Modern Deluxe, D-18 Modern Deluxe, OM-28 Modern Deluxe, 000-28 Modern Deluxe

Combining modern takes on vintage Martins with ultra-modern design specs, Martins newly announced Modern Deluxe Series breaks new ground by offering revved up versions of their Standard Series models with features previously only available on select Limited Editions.

VTS Top and Bracing

With the same tonewoods for the back, sides and top of the Standard Series, these Modern Deluxe Series models get Sitka spruce soundboards that have the extra benefit of Martin’s Vintage Tone System, their propriety torrefaction treatment, adding considerable depth to the voice of a brand new guitar that makes it sound “opened up” right out of the box.

Unlike Standard Series Martins, these new models get top bracing made from Adirondack spruce with the VTS treatment. They are shaped with Golden Era style scalloping that removes more wood via carving angles different from the Standard Series scalloped bracing, allowing the denser Adirondack spruce extra flexibility and responsiveness while having greater stiffness along and across the grain compared to Sitka spruce bracing.

This is a feature I have longed for on Sitka-topped Martins, particularly on the short-scale 000s. And while I was aware these guitars were approaching release, I did not know they were treating these Adirondack spruce braces with the Vintage Tone System! That had been previously reserved exclusively for the Authentic Series of high-priced vintage Martin recreations.

Another vintage Martin feature is the use of natural protein glues, which bond with wood, and more deeply into it, for joinery even better than what is on most Martin guitars.

This is also a new specification for Martin, as the glue on the Modern Deluxe models is different from the traditional animal Hide Glue they use on Authentic Series instruments. This new glue is derived from fish protein primarily, and is already being used elsewhere in the high-end guitar making industry.

I have since learned that this new-to-Martin glue is being used to secure the top braces, but is not being used on the other joinery.

Maritn 000-28 Modern Deluxe VTS Sitka NAMM 2019

Modern Metals

For the first time, Martin is using three ultra-modern Limited Edition specifications as standard features. A two-way adjustable titanium rod supports the neck with greater strength than a steel rod, but with less weight. And an ultra-light carbon fiber bridge plate, made from composite layers of wood and carbon fiber pressed together, contributes to an overall instrument weight closer to a vintage Martin, while reputedly increasing resonance as well. So too do the So I can relate to rooting for two closely connected rivals.
bridge pins, which I have found to noticeably increase the initial sustain of fundamental notes.

New Look Appointments

The Style 28 instruments show off flamed European maple for the binding, heel cap, and end piece, while Style 18 gets dark and woody Indian rosewood. All of the Modern Deluxe Series instruments get gold frets that are more sturdy than typical Martin frets, and the position markers and script logos are inlaid with colorful abalone. The 18s also get gold bridge pins with red dots, and the Style 28 bridges sport Liquidmetal pints what look like vintage red dot pins made of bleached white bone.

The prototypes I have seen all have matching gold Waverly tuners. But the published spec sheets do not mention this, so the brand may be subject to change by the time they get to the NAMM show, which opens Thursday, January 24.

New Neck Shape

The new Vintage Deluxe neck profile is publicly referred to as “slightly skewed.”

Maritn 000-28 Modern Deluxe glamour1 NAMM 2019Rather than having the apex of the carved profile running straight and directly at the center of the neck, with identical shaping on either side, this new neck shape is slightly asymmetrical, to fit the shape of the human hand in a more-natural way.

Or rather, it is a new neck shape inspired by old Martin neck shapes from the 1920s and 1930s. This is special shaping was discovered in 2014, and I happened to be visiting my friends in the Martin Custom Shop offices the moment that discovery was made.

Martin purchased at auction a priceless 1930 OM-45 Deluxe, and they were beginning to investigate it for their upcoming Authentic Series version of that rarest of vintage Martin guitars. After spending some 30 minutes with such a mouthwatering vintage Martin masterpiece, I had remarked that they should use that very neck shape for every OM they made from that day forward, as it was marvelously comfortable.

So began the discussion of why and what made that neck different from other necks. It seemed to my hand that the apex of that V neck wasn’t directly centered, so the mass and grade of the slope on the bass (thumb) side and the treble (fingers) side were slightly different. But it was quite subtle and difficult to tell for certain.

So, they had an employee fetch a proprietary gadget and took a convex mold from a section of the neck.

To everyone’s surprise, I was correct. But no one was prepared for just how asymmetrical the factory workers had shaped necks at that important time in the Company’s history. And yet, once we saw the mold, it became quite obvious when in the hand.

A 1931 OM-28 was sent for, and it had an even more extreme difference between the two slopes of the barrel, while having a similarly “skewed” apex.

Martin applied this new knowledge in the making of the OM-45 Deluxe Authentic 1930. But to date, that $99,999.00 wonderment has been the only modern Martin to take advantage of this discovery – despite my repeated lobbying to the contrary.

Now, at long last, they have applied that knowledge in the creation of the new Modern Deluxe Series, which feature the new neck shape they are calling the Vintage Deluxe profile. Most interesting to me is the fact they are using it in combination with their modern High Performance Taper, which narrows the width of the fretboard faster than on traditional Martin necks, giving the entire neck a faster, sleeker feel.

The only new model that does not get the High Performance Taper is the OM-28, which has the Standard Taper, meaning it measures 2-1/4″ wide at the 12th fret, like actual vintage Martin OMs!

And so the instruments in Martin’s oh-so-Modern Deluxe Series combine vintage Martin aspects with modern day know-how and high-tech advancements in a most exciting way.

D-18 Modern Deluxe Detail NAMM 2019

Related Reading

D-28 Modern Deluxe Review