The combination of a 000-body, scalloped X-bracing, and a 24.9" scale hh provides the ultimate fingerpicker's guitar—a tone that is balanced and steeped in nuance, and an instrument that remains smoothly responsive and deeply expressive. With such refined sound, ornate Style-42 pearl appointments add an appropriate touch of elegance. Although it was only originally available from 1938 to 1943, the 000-42 was famously chosen by Eric Clapton for his MTV Unplugged performance. After Clapton demonstrated what a ripping fingerstyle player could do with this template, Martin reissued the 000-42 to huge demand. It has remained one of the Style-42 mainstays of their Standard Series ever since.
As much as we might try to insist otherwise, the appeal of a 000-42 extends way beyond its tone. Make no mistake—it's an ornate guitar, but it's not over the top or decadent. It's high-end and flashy, but not too much. Also, the Style-42 pearl top border may not affect the sound whatsoever, but it certainly inspires the player to push to a higher level. When you add snowflake fingerboard inlays, elaborate binding all around, and the distinctive "C.F. Martin" vertical inlay on the peghead, the result is exquisite style that is the perfect match to such inspiring tone. All in all, the 000-42 will find a way to impress you every step of the way.
- Body Size: 14-Fret 000
- Top: Sitka Spruce
- Back & Sides: East Indian Rosewood
- Bracing: Scalloped X-Brace
- Braces: Sitka Spruce, 5/16"
- Scale Length: 24.9"
- Top Inlay: Abalone w/ Multi-Stripe Purfling
- Rosette: Abalone w/ Multi-Stripe Purfling
- Neck Material: Genuine Mahgany
- Neck Profile: Modified Low Oval w/ High-Performance Taper
- Nut Material bone
- Nut Width: 1-3/4"
- Fingerboard: Ebony
- Fingerboard Inlay: Abalone Style-45 Snowflake
- Bridge: Ebony Modern Belly w/ Drop-In Saddle
- Bridge String Spacing: 2-5/32"
- Saddle: Compensated Bone w/ 16" radius
- Tuning Machines: Gold Grover Open Gear w/ Butterbean buttons
- Headplate Logo: Abalone "C.F. Martin" Vertical Block Inlay
So how does this one sound? We hear shimmering, bell-like trebles that are balanced nicely by punchy mid and defined bass presence. Even with the lightest touch, notes bloom, and the wide dynamic range makes for a guitar that is deeply expressive. The 000-body and the shorter 24.9" scale are certainly big factors in this, but under the hood, scalloped X-braces have perhaps the biggest influence. The lighter bracing allows the top to move evenly with a light touch. Because it doesn't need the added tension of a longer scale length, the 000 is packed with subtlety because the short scale embellishes all the delicate nuances of your playing style.