Originally hired as a draftsman in the mid-'70s, Dick Boak is perhaps one of the most influential figures in the history of the C.F. Martin brand. Dick was a trained luthier, so within a few years of starting at Martin, he began contributing to designs. Eventually, he helped start the Artists Relations Department, which produced over 100 custom signature editions under Dick's direction.
In the late-90s, Dick helped Martin install its first laser engraving machine, and he immediately began experimenting and testing its capabilities. Boak created an intricate pen and ink illustration of a complex floral design that was meant to be laser engraved into a tortoise pickguard. The material proved unable to be safely engraved, so the project was shelved. The equipment was cutting edge for the time, but the technology wasn't refined enough for the intricacy of the design. Well, fortunately it's now 2023, and inlay specialists such as Pearlworks are able to achieve a level of precision that simply wasn't possible in the past.
A special release for 2023, the Martin D-42 Special is a collaboration with Dick Boak, Pearlworks, and Chris Martin, IV. It prominently features Dick's over-the-top pickguard design from 25 years ago on the iconic D-42 template. Dick expanded the design with ornamental fingerboard inlays and a unique peghead inlay that subtly mimics the Martin decal. The 2023 D-42 Special is the intersection of art and the guitar—a great-sounding, highly-functional instrument that is so gorgeous you'll want to show it off.
This D-42 Special is #43 in the series. Constructed with the highest grade Spruce available and East Indian Rosewood back and sides, it produces thunderous bass response balanced by crystal-clear, articulate highs. Inside the soundhole, its label was signed by Dick Boak and C.F. Martin, IV with a dedication to inlay artist Jeremy Chism of Pearlworks. Sadly, Jeremy passed in 2021, and if it weren't for his innovation and skill, this project would never have been possible.
- Body Size: 14-Fret Dreadnought
- Construction: Dovetail Neck Joint
- Top: Spruce
- Back & Sides: East Indian Rosewood
- Bracing Pattern: Forward Shifted X bRace
- Brace Shape: Scalloped, 5/16"
- Brace Material: Spruce
- Scale Length: 25.4"
- Nut Width: 1-3/4"
- Neck Profile: Modified Low Oval w/ High Performance Taper
- Top Inlay: Abalone w/ Multi-Stripe
- Rosette: Abalone w/ Multi-Stripe
- Pickguard: Dick Boak Custom Inlay
- Bridge Style: Modern Belly w/ Drop-In Saddle
- Bridge String Spacing 2-5/32"
- Saddle: Compensated Bone
- Neck Material: Genuine Mahogany
- Fingerboard: Ebony
- Fingerboard Inlay: Dick Boak Custom Design, Mother of Pearl
- Headplate Logo Style: Dick Boak Custom Inlay
- Tuning Machines: Nickel Open Gear
This Martin D-42 Special is an impressive guitar. Instruments of this caliber are special. Once again, C.F. Martin pushes the guitar to a new level!