Martin adds 7 top-shelf acoustic guitars to its Modern Deluxe lineup

Martin Modern Deluxe Series 2022
(Image credit: Martin)

Martin has unveiled the latest additions to its Modern Deluxe series of high-end acoustic guitars, adding seven models that put a contemporary spin on the brand’s most classic – and most luxurious – designs.

The 0012-28, 012-28, D-42, D-45, 000-42, 00-28, and 000-18 acoustics come hot on the heels of a trio of Martin SC acoustic electric guitars, and up the ante when it comes to spec. 

Across the board there are solid Sitka spruce tops that are treated to Martin’s Vintage Tone System (VTS), a torrefaction process introduced in 2015 to artificially age the tonewoods and give the guitar’s that sweet, singing quality of a vintage instrument – but, of course, without any of the issues that can come with buying an acoustic from the ‘50s. 

This 21st-century approach continues throughout the spec, with 2022’s Modern Deluxe models featuring two-way titanium truss rods (64 per cent lighter than steel), carbon fibre bridge plates and liquid metal bridge pins to boost sustain and enhance tone. And there’s even a new Vintage Deluxe neck profile that takes Martin’s High Performance Taper and makes it an asymmetrical. 

Necks join the body with a dovetail joint, with protein glue used as standard, and Martin supports those VTS tops with Adirondack spruce bracing. Elsewhere, some of these specs vary, so let’s take a quick look at the models in more detail…

Martin 000-18 Modern Deluxe

Martin has gone all in with the aesthetics on this 14-fret 000 acoustic, using East Indian rosewood for the binding, complementing the gold open-gear tuners with gold frets, and applying a 1930s-style script logo on the headstock. 

There’s an ‘Old Style 18’ Multi-Stripe rosette, offset nicely by a tortoiseshell ‘guard, while the ebony fingerboard is inlaid with ‘Old Style 18’ abalone dot markers. Subtle but classy.

That Sitka spruce VTS top is supported by Adirondack spruce bracing, with solid mahogany used for the back, sides and neck. That new asymmetrical neck profile is given a welcoming satin feel. The 000-18 Modern Deluxe has a 24.9” scale length and a nut width of 1.75” (44.45mm). It is priced £3,500 / $3,599.

Martin 00-28 Modern Deluxe 

This 00-28 14-fretter complements its Sitka spruce VTS top with solid East Indian rosewood on the back and sides. Again, there is the same Adirondack spruce bracing, ebony ‘board, 24.9” scale and 1.75” bone nut, and a touch of bling by way of the gold tuners and frets. 

The body is finished with European flamed maple binding, and it has a Style 28 Multi-Stripe rosette. Also, that fingerboard has abalone diamond and squares inlay. The 00-28 Modern Deluxe retails for £4,195 / $4,199.

Martin 0012-28 Modern Deluxe

As the 12 in the designation suggests, the 0012-28 Modern Deluxe is a 12-fretter with a slotted headstock, a wider 46mm nut width, and solid East Indian rosewood on the back and sides.

The gold side-mounted tuners and gold frets keep the aspirational vibe going, and little details such as the zig-zag European flamed maple binding, Style 28 rosette and diamond and squares abalone inlay all add up to one compact, fingerstyle-friendly acoustic that's designed to sound warmer than your average grand concert acoustic.

The 0012-28 Modern Deluxe is priced £4,395 / $4,399.

Martin 012-28 Modern Deluxe

The 012-28 is the smallest guitar in the series. A 12-fret acoustic, it pairs the VTS Sitka spruce top with East Indian rosewood on the back and sides, and has a solid mahogany neck.

It has a 46mm bone nut, a 24.9” scale, with European flamed maple binding and a Style 28 rosette to make it show up well in pictures. And that slotted headstock looks very cool in anyone’s book.

It is priced £4,395 / $4,399.

Martin 000-42 Modern Deluxe

The 000-42 Modern Deluxe is one of the most decorative pieces in the 2022 collection. It has the gold frets and tuners, but look at that bound and squared headstock, replete with Style 45 inlay, a look that continues on the ebony fingerboard and pairs nicely with the abalone rosette. It’s exquisite. 

Like the 00-28, we have spruce on top and East Indian rosewood and on the back and sides, and the X-pattern adirondack spruce bracing to help make it sing. European flamed maple binding finishes things off.

The 000-42 shares the same scale and nut dimensions, using the same dovetail neck joins and protein glue construction. But all that fancy detail is going to cost you, with the 000-42 Modern Deluxe priced £7,195 / $7,199.

Martin D-45 Modern Deluxe

The D-45 Modern Deluxe is The One. It is the classic dreadnought reimagined, impeccably dressed, and brings the time-honoured songwriter’s boom up to the minute with the all the same modern touches of the series, and then some extra special details.

As above, gold frets and tuners come as standard, and the same build principles have been adhered to. The 45 Style dress looks incredible on the 000-42, but even more impressive on the larger dread’ format dread’, with the Golden Era Style 45 Snowflake inlays the sort of aesthetic coup de grace that only Martin can pull off.

This D-45 has a 25.4” scale, a 1.75” nut width, and is the most expensive model in the series at £10,495 / $10,499.

Martin D-42 Modern Deluxe

The D-42 Deluxe retains much of the same spec as the D-45. It, too, has a dreadnought shape, the torch inlay on the headstock. The main difference is that it does not have the pearl binding on the headstock and body. It is priced £7,195 / $7,199.

For more details on the Modern Deluxe series, head over to Martin.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.