In the world of acoustic guitars, Martin has always been at the top of my various Bucket Lists. Bought my first one (used) over 50 years ago. After 30+ years, which saw a few other swaps, I bought my first NEW Martin (a D-41) in 1997. At the time it felt and sounded like the only acoustic guitar I would ever want or need. …….That is, until the last decade or so. As my vintage hands got vintage-ier I was finding myself wishing for the same Martin but with an electric guitar-type neck. For 2018 Martin introduced “Reimagined” Standard models that feature “High Performance Taper” necks. The GAS reared its ugly head again….seriously, this time…. I’ve been selling some gear in recent months, taking in more cash than anticipated. With ever increasing GAS and extra $$$, I went to my favorite Toy Store (D-Town Guitars, Doylestown, PA) where there is typically a large inventory of Martins. I entered the shop with my trusty ’97 D-41 and wallet and left with a brand new D-42 and leaner wallet. To my ears, the Martin “40” series guitars have always had a superior sound than other lines including the various iterations of the D-28. I’ve had opportunities to A/B test both and the D-41/D42 have a much fuller and richer sound. To be sure, all the D-28’s have been WONDERFUL guitars and have been hugely popular. The D-28 is to Martin as the Strat is to Fender. During this latest venture there were 6 different D-28’s available and I tried them all. The D-42 was the clear winner. The D-42 also had a fuller bass than my D-41 but never overpowered the mids or trebles. Apparently the D-42’s newer forward bracing improves articulation and sustain to the entire range of sounds. The NECK – This was the clincher for me. The neck shares the specs of my Gretsch 6122-1959 – 25.4” scale length, 1-3/4” nut, 2-1/8” at the 12th fret. It feels “the same” as my 6122-59 in my hands even though it came stock with Martin’s “medium” strings. At .013-.056, those strings are getting into guy wire territory in my view. The workmanship, fit and finish are flawless. In my opinion the guitar is jaw-dropping gorgeous. The D-42 has just enough elegance without over-doing its bling. It has a huge sound - yet tasteful, full, well balanced; a real joy to play.