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Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by pickleweed, Dec 31, 2019.
Curious what's the preferred body type of guys here, and what you play.
I played my D35 and D16R for decades until I found an OM. I never play my dreads anymore. Music is all over the place from Dylan and the Dead to Marley and Miles.
Yeah, I'm an OM guy, also.
I prefer the balanced sound of an OM over the boominess of a dred.
Another vote for OM. Prefer the tone and greatly prefer the comfort.
I own a 00 an OM and a dread.. the OM gets played the other two, not so much.
Man, this seems like a steam rolling. Is an om slightly more balanced than the 000?
I have a short-scale OM and it is consistently satisfying.
I've been thinking of picking up a new acoustic and I'm also debating OM vs 000 vs Dread. I currently own a Martin 000-15S with the smaller 000/OM body, 25 1/2" scale, but a different voicing due to the body join at the 12th fret. It's a versatile guitar that handles strumming, picking and fingerstyle equally well. I like my 15 a lot and as it reaches it's 20th birthday, it's really opening up and sounding fantastic. I do want to add some spruce to the mix, plus those extra two frets help when capo'ing up.
I've found some nice dreads here in town and the Guitar Center of all places had a 000-18 that really had me thinking. Someone snatched it up by the time I went back...
Theoretically, the OM is more balanced vs a 000, in terms of being great at fingerstyle, strumming and flatpicking. The 000-18s & 28s that I've tried have an excellent blues voice and sound fantastic played fingerstyle. The lower tension of the 24.9" scale gives them a slinkier feel and softer tone. I love the sound for what it is, but the softness makes them sound just a little mushier when strumming, IMHO. Maybe not an issue to you and maybe you'll even like that! Still, the longer scale of the OM really does add to it's versatility.
Once you've decided 000, OM or dread, you have to settle on mahogany or rosewood back & side. Too many choices!!!
I'm personally 90% sure my next will either be an OM or 000, not a dread. But you never know when you'll stumble across a magic guitar and all specs & logic go out the window...
Good luck with your search!
OM-28 and 000-1& owner and love them, have sold all my larger guitars. I play solo acoustic fingerstyle and I find the smaller bodies’ balanced sound better suited to it.
A dread has a pronounced bass and sounds like it wants to gallop the bass like Steve Harris. It may be good for quarter note alternating bass arrangements but it wants to turn all arrangements into quarter note alternating bass, it kinda loses it with more elaborate arrangements imo.
Btw, OM and 000 at least with my Martins are not the same body size. The OM is larger. Holy crap! I don't have an 000, I have an 00! I don't know how it went to my head that it was an 00! Apologies
I've got one of these, the slotted headstock version. It's an excellent instrument, and closer to a hog back and sides Martin dread in tone than an OM due to the deeper back and lower bout. The hog top really gives it it's own thing though regardless of body shape.
I also have a Hohner dread with hog back and sides and spruce top that has that soft buttery sound when strummed, which offers a distinct option to the Martin that I prefer fingerstyle or flatpicked.
People tend to generalize guitar shapes, but there is so much variety among dreads. Take a Maple Ibanez (dry and punchy with strong midrange and fundamentals), and play it side by side with a Rosewood Guild (smooth and airy with a lot of harmonics and sparkle). They aren't all boomy Martins made for bluegrass circles.
I have an OM and a dred, I like the small body guitars -000, OM, Gibson B and L sizes. I like the dred too and there’s places that only it will do, but I really like the smaller bodied acoustics.
A OOO 12 fret with a mahogany body and spruce top tends to be my favorite "pretty" sounding fingerpicking guitar. So my go to celtic/slack key, and what older people like me call "newage" (rhymes with sewage) guitar is my Larrivee OOO-50. Still throws down with country blues too of course. You would have to spend about a grand more than a used one to get even close to the tone and playability of this thing. Slightly wider neck than your average dread. And the 50 series was designed for 13s. It does sound a little dead 12s.
I'm an alternating bass fingerpicker and like the strong bass response and typically "simpler" sound of dreads,but they have to sound "tight" not big and open, eg older Matons. I've never played an 000/OM I wanted to take home, except for one cheap new Sigma 12-fret mahogany top, but there again, I pretty much gave up trying them a long time ago. . OTOH, the guitar I have had the longest is a '33 L-00 which is 00 size, so it very much comes down to specifics.
Yes! Mine is the slotted headstock version too. It's an older one that is all mahogany, not sapele like they were for a while. The very latest ones have fancier tuners and whatnot, but mine has opened up really well over the years.
I agree about it sounding closer to a dread. It's loud and bold when played hard, but can still pull back and be gentle and pretty. It was my first acoustic and except for briefly owning a Taylor that I traded towards an archtop - my only acoustic ever. It's been a great all-arounder. In fact, the only reason I'm GASing for another acoustic is because I've been playing it so much and want a little diversity.
If I didn't have the 000-15S and could only ever have one acoustic guitar, it'd probably be an OM for the versatility. Since 000-15S does sound closer to a dread - and handles flatpicking and strumming really well - I can't decide whether I want the tone and feel of a shorter scale, or all the benefits that an OM offers. It'll probably come down to finding the right actual guitar in a store.
I use these:
They each have different tonal voicings that make them more suited to different playing styles:
For fingerstyle I’ll grab the L-00. That guitar is all midrange and note separation, so you can really hear each note the right hand is plucking.
If I want to strum some chords for vocal accompaniment then I grab the dread, which is basically the opposite, it’s all bass and treble with a mid-scoop for the voice to sit in.
I have a Martin M36, which is a 0000. It’s as thin as an OM/000 with the same small waist, but the width of the lower boot is the same as a Dread. It’s a goldilocks guitar, between the two guitars you’re comparing.
I’m 5’5”, and find it very comfortable to play.
I'm in the minority because I much prefer my dread.
I really only owned 4 acoustic guitars in 45 years of playing, all Dreads.
Until last year I played only ( and constantly) a 1993 Martin D-1 to which I am pretty much married. I LOVE it and have played all kinds of music on it- it is an easy player and has a great tonal balance, not a zingy guitar, more dry and warm. Being a D it does have low end, but it sits well with mids and highs. Not boomy.
Last year I got a wonderful 000 size Blueridge ( a Birthday gift) as I indeed wanted my first steel string, that was not a dread. Curious...
Its tone is loud, brash, lots of clear sustain. It has a great neck and slightly higher action ( really articulate) but it does not ( by comparison) have the bass of the Martin. It has its own tone.
So I pick the Martin D, just as we are attached! Just nothing will replace it
My Collings 0001 is the most balanced from lows to highs guitar I've ever heard. I'm using D'Addario Balanced Nickel Wounds on it now for a more retro vibe and it records just perfectly for most things, especially finger style.
In the Collings line, the OMs sounds good too but are much more midrange focused. Dreads are bass forward.