Martin OM-42 Custom

Acoustic Guitar

Made by Martin

Description 1 of 50 special edition custom shop OM body style, Indian Rosewood back and sides, with Adirondack Spruce top and Ebony fretboard. 1 3/4" neck, forward shifted scalloped bracing, traditional Style 45 snowflake fingerboard inlays.
Posted By Theresa Dobbs (3289)
Directory Equipment: Guitars
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Overall Rating: 5.0 (of 5)
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Member Reviews

On 5/30/2001, Theresa Dobbs (3289) posted:
Overall Rating:
Although I am still considering a Breedlove guitar, which has left a positive impression on me, the OM-42 had a few features going for it. 1) The Rosewood and Adirondack top combination was sonically convincing. 2) The appointments were just about what I wanted. (I was ordering a Custom 42 from Martin at the time.) 3) The selections of Breedlove guitars are limited and the number of dealers supporting the line, scarce. I hope this will improve in the future.

When the OM-42 arrived, I was a bit miffed to find the case that the guitar was shipped in was Martin's standard ABS molded case, instead of their premier cases reserved for custom guitars and special editions. The management at the store where I purchased the instrument was also puzzled by this and was quick to switch out the case with a Martin premier case.

One major criteria of this guitar is its size. It is well suited to my playability and comfort. I can get my right arm around the guitar without a struggle and it cradles nicely. I have played D series Martins in the past and have always felt them to be too big and cumbersome. With the OM-42, I am able to satisfy two things, my sonic requirement and comfort.

If this guitar were to be lost, stolen or destroyed, I'm sure it will be difficult to replace, due to its limited number. But, if given a choice, I would definitely consider another. One cosmetic item I would change, and that would be for an alternate torch inlay with tortoiseshell head stock.
Model Year: 2000
Price: $0.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Mars Music
Manufactured in Nazareth, PA., the back and sides are made from Indian Rosewood. The soundboard is Adirondack Spruce and the freboard from ebony. This six string acoustic is a 25.4" scale length and joined at the 14th fret with a total of 20 frets. The fretboard and bindings are bound with typical Martin grained ivoroid bindings. Abalone inlays adorn the rosette and top purfling. The tuners are gold Waverly tuning gears with 'butterbean' knobs. The ebony bridge also is appointed with 45-style snowflakes on each side.The guitar is finished with aging toner to give a golden patina.
Although the guitar at first hand felt stiff and unyielding, it gave way to an aggressive style of playing that I am unaccustomed to. "Digging in" as it were, to coax the guitar into driving the top so that the true nature of its resonance can be heard was, in the beginning, a difficult chore. The factory action and setup was typical Martin fashion. What felt like standard Martin M-1200 bronze strings, the action was set slightly high. The 1 3/4" neck felt large by comparison to the low profile 1 5/16" necks on modern Martins. After a two hour play test, the neck became quite comfortable and at times inviting. Finger-style guitarists will welcome the added real estate. I am still tempted to try this guitar configuration with a 1 7/8" neck, although 1/8" does make a significant difference in comfort and strength requirements. (Barring, chording, etc.) Prior to considering this guitar, I play tested a number of comparable guitars, including Santa Cruz, Taylor and Breedlove. The Breedlove guitars had an immediacy and openness about them. The Breedlove guitars also had a much looser feel to them and a greater comfort level when playing them. Their overall weight was also noticeably lighter. In comparison, the Breedloves do not welcome the same aggressive style of playing as the OM-42. Breedlove guitar tops gave more but suffered in volume, whereas the OM-42 would invite a higher level of attack and produce corresponding volume.
Sound Quality:
After an initial period of playing the instrument, it began to breathe. The more aggressive I played it, the better it sang. This instrument is well balanced and has a slight dominance in the upper mid register. The bass response is well proportioned and does not project a boominess found in Dreadnoughts. The highs have a ring to them and do not have a shrill or tinny sound. Intonation was very good. The guitar held together throughout the registers and did not favor a position. (First, fifth, etc) The overall tone was warm and full in the lower registers and complimentary in the mid and high registers. I was seeking a guitar that would articulate finger-style and flat-picking styles with a more robust sound compared to my maple back and sides Martin MC-68. This fits this niche quite well. I have yet to compare the OM-42 in the studio and live with a D-45. An addendum will follow as soon as a verdict is in.
Martins have a longstanding reputation for building durable and quality instruments. This instrument is no exception to those standards. I do not foresee any problems in the near or distant future, provided that I take the usual precautions and care that is required.