The D-42 entered the Martin catalog as a standard model in 1996, which is always a surprise to us because the 42 style dates back to the 1870s and they have been making dreadnoughts since the early 1930s. Still, however long it took for this beauty to make it into the line, we’re happy it finally made it. From the front, this guitar has all the sparkle of Martin’s top-of-the-line D-45, with abalone trim around the top, soundhole and fretboard extension. It has one of our favorite inlay patterns, the Style 45 Snowflake, in the fretboard. The back is more austere and apart from the fancy multi-color backstrip, it looks pretty much like a D-28, but made with premium Indian rosewood. The gold Grover butterbean open-gear tuners and antique white binding add to the elegant appearance. The D-42 has forward-shifted scalloped X-bracing, so it has the rich, responsive Martin Dreadnought tone we all know and love. The neck has Martin’s latest Modified Low Oval neck shape with the High Performance Taper, so it’s a dream to play.