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Release Date: 01/17/08
Source: Sounding Board Newsletter Vol 24 - Jan. 2008
000-42M Eric Clapton Sunburst
000-42M Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton has been a very busy fellow since the Martin Bellezza Bianca he created in collaboration with Japanese style and music trendsetter Hiroshi Fujiwara made its debut in early 2006. First he helped put the finishing touches on Road to Escondido, an album recorded with longtime friend J.J. Cale; released in late 2006, it garnered excellent reviews, with the single “Ride the River” getting significant radio airplay. Then he hit the road for a world-encompassing concert tour that began in Europe in May of 2006, traveled through the United States, Canada, Japan, the Far East and Australia, and finally wrapped – after 111 shows – back in the United States in April of 2007.

Last but not least, he organized and hosted the Crossroads Guitar Festival at Chicago’s Toyota Park on July 28, 2007. A benefit for the Crossroads Centre, the drug and alcohol abuse treatment facility Clapton founded in 1997, the Festival featured a remarkable range of guitarists – from B.B. King, Hubert Sumlin and Buddy Guy to Robbie Robertson, John Mayer and Jeff Beck. Clapton himself spent much of the Festival onstage, introducing the players, joining them in jams, and playing an inspired set of his own. After such a hectic period, Clapton clearly has earned a break and as he commented in a recent Associated Press interview, “…I’m going to disappear for a couple of years and have some fun.” That fun almost certainly includes quality time with a new and very special Martin guitar he has been developing over the last year: the Martin 000-42M Eric Clapton Limited Edition.

Since the original 000-42EC Eric Clapton Signature Edition was introduced in 1995, Clapton has explored the sonic subtleties of various tonewood combinations in the 000 Martin guitars that bear his name, but the 000-42M Eric Clapton Limited Edition may well boast the most exciting tonewood combination yet. The top is Carpathian spruce, which blends the power and clarity of Adirondack spruce, and the warmth and responsiveness of Italian alpine spruce. The back and sides are Madagascar rosewood, prized for its uncanny resemblance in both appearance and rich resonance to the now endangered Brazilian rosewood. Scalloped top braces give both tonewoods full tonal expression. The 1 3/4” (at the nut) V neck with diamond volute is carved from genuine mahogany.

Reminiscent of the Brazilian rosewood 000-42ECB Eric Clapton Signature Edition Martin produced in 2000, the 000-42M Eric Clapton Limited Edition features spectacular abalone pearl appointments throughout. Select abalone pearl inlays in the Style 45 rosette, and around the top and fingerboard extension, are highlighted by black and white fine line wood fiber borders. The Madagascar rosewood headplate on the square, tapered headstock provides the canvas for the rare Alternative Torch inlay, which originated on one of four Martin 1902 00-45 instruments and has been offered on only a handful of Signature Editions. In the tradition of classic Martins from the early 1930s and before, the back of the headstock bears the historic “C. F. Martin” pressure stamp. The ebony fingerboard showcases Style 45 abalone pearl snowflake inlays at the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 12th, 15th and 17th frets, with Eric Clapton’s signature inlaid in mother of pearl between the 19th and 20th frets.

The 000-42M Eric Clapton Limited Edition is fully bound in grained ivoroid; black and white fine line inlays accent the headplate and mitered fingerboard binding, while black and white fine line purfling enhances the back and side binding. A Style 45 multi-colored mosaic inlay strip bisects the back. The headstock is fitted with Waverly™ nickel open geared tuning machines with white ivoroid butterbean knobs. Style 45 bone bridge pins topped with abalone pearl dot inlays on the ebony belly bridge are matched by an abalone pearl-inlaid bone endpin. Both the nut and compensated saddle are crafted from genuine bone for exceptional sound.

The polished and beveled acetate/nitrate vintage-style tortoise pickguard is particularly striking against this guitar’s two available top hues: the deep amber vintage toner offered standard and the optional 1937 Style Sunburst, available for an extra charge. Martin’s immaculate polished gloss finish on the body, neck and headplate enables the rich colors of the 000-42M Eric Clapton Limited Edition’s tonewoods and inlays to shine.

When Eric received his personal 000-42M Eric Clapton Limited Edition guitar – a Sunburst – he responded with an email that simply said: “...absolutely beautiful!”

Each 000-42M Eric Clapton Limited Edition bears an interior label personally signed by Eric Clapton and individually numbered in sequence with the edition total. The guitars are delivered in a deluxe Geib™ style five-ply hardshell case. Left-handed instruments may be ordered at no additional charge. Authorized C. F. Martin dealers will begin taking orders immediately for the 000-42M Eric Clapton Limited Edition, which is limited to no more than 250 special guitars. A list of participating dealers will be posted on the Martin website,, approximately one month after the model's introduction.

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