Martin OM-42 Review

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Reviews: Martin OM-42

  • Whis is what a truly fine guitar sounds and feels like.

  • By Oldcabdriver on Feb 12, 2011 | 11 out of 11 found it helpful
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  • Pros: It's beautifully made and has the richest tone of any guitar I've played in the past year. I'm a finger-style picking son if the sixties. The clear intonation is amazing. The full, rich sound unbeatable, in my opinion.
  • Cons: I agree with another reviewer. The only con I can think of is a price that I suppose could cause someone to rob a bank and create a "con" in the prison sense. Other cons? Well, it's so pretty that you may not want to take it anywhere.
  • Experience: I own it
  • Having been a Martin D-28 owner since the late sixties, I admit to some bias toward Martins. To paraphrase a famous old baseball player, in this case, it ain't bias if it's true. And it is. The OM-42 is a wonderful instrument. I started my search for my "last guitar" six months ago and had played dozens of high-end Martins, Taylors, Gibsons, Breedloves and whatever else I could find in stores. I loved the feel of the Taylors and the mellow sounds of the Martins. After visit after visit to the Guitar Center in a couple of cities, private guitar shops and online stores, I pretty much decided on a Martin 00-28 Eric Clapton model. Then I went to Nashville to listen to music and guitar shop. My second stop there was Gruhn's on lower broadway, the heart of the honky-tonk heart of the city. I wanted to try an OM sized Martin. One of the friendly salesmen there found the only one they had -- a very gently used OM-42 they had on consignment. It was beautiful. And after the first few notes I played on it, I knew it was the one. Out of all the guitars I had played, it just felt and sounded like I wanted my last guitar to feel and sound. It was in near-mint condition (in fact, it looked brand new). The sound is rich, with warm overtones and yet with the very distinct intonation that I found in the top of the line Taylors I had tried. I suppose I can best describe it as something in between the very different sounds and feel of Martins and Taylors, taking the best of each brand and somehow coming up with something that to my senses was better than either brand alone. Yes, it's an expensive model, and I never intended to quite that far up the Martin food chain. Would I have bought it new? Maybe not -- but that would be mainly because I wouldn't have grabbed it off the wall to compare with the other models I was looking at. If I had done that, then it's likely I would have found a way to afford it. It's not just another pretty guitar. It's a player's fine instrument that in more talented hands than mine could sound positively magical. Can you tell I like it?

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  • Martin's Finest!

  • By Peter Hyatt on Nov 10, 2010 | 10 out of 10 found it helpful
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  • Pros: Beauty, balance tone, ringing bass, mid range...did I mention, Beauty?
  • Cons: The only con is how difficult it is to reach this high cost!
  • Experience: I own it
  • The 42 is arguably Martin's finest guitar.
    The OM 42 is the perfect fingerstyle guitar. Its appointments are classy, timeless and given that Martin uses the highest quality woods and abalone in the 40 series, the beauty only increases with age, as the Aging toner slightly darkens, highlighting the glimmering abalone. It is difficult to take your eyes off of it.
    It rings out like a dread, but with the balance and softness of an OM. The guitar is comfortable, the neck perfectly shaped to reach all the way around, and the sound has been described as being as "smooth as butter". I know of no better way to describe it.

    It is the best Martin has to offer.

    There may be those that cost more, but that is due to varying factors, including rarity of woods used, or additional appointments, but know that this is the Martin guitar that is its standard of excellence; everything else is measured by it. Add on a star's signature and the price sky rockets, but it is still the beautiful, classical sound of a Martin.

    Some have said that not only does Martin uses its best products for the 40 series, but its best workers.
    As far as a "standard" guitar goes, there is none better made by Martin than the 40 series. I've never played one that wasn't a marvel to the ears.

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