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Author Topic: Which model for playing in front of small groups?  (Read 2124 times)
ac5aa
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« on: August 15, 2006, 07:42:59 PM »

There is a similar thread about choosing a model for playing at home, and the L-03 and OM-03 seem to be doing well there.  My problem is a little different.  I have a few high-end Martins that I love, but when the time comes to trot them off to camp, or wherever, to play in front of small groups, I'm very reluctant.  I played an L-03 and a couple other Larivee's last weekend at the local store, and was impressed wtih the sound/price value.  The question I have for this group is which to choose for that kind of playing.  Is the OM or L adequate, or does it require the D size?  I like to lead group singing, which would make me think dread, but I also do about 50% fingerstyle vs. flatpicking/strumming, so it needs to respond to that touch as well.  What do you recommend?

Duane    (new to the forum - same user name on the UMGF Forum.)
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jiyang71
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« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2006, 08:24:38 PM »

I think the most important factor for your case is any need for amplification.
Depending on the venue, you may need amplification - especially when you play fingerstyle.
In that case, I recommend small bodies like OM which is easier to fight against feedback.

If you want to stay unplugged, decent classical guitars can be a nice solution for fingerstyle - they are louder.
For just strumming or accompanying songs, D or L bodies will be ok even without amplication.
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« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2006, 12:57:05 AM »

I'd look for a used L-03.  You could probably find one for $500-600.
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« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2006, 03:05:35 AM »

               




                                        OM
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stuco
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« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2006, 03:09:39 AM »

 afro

L-03 if you want strummer/fingerstyle and it is very close to a dread in volume.  Perfect choice
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Barefoot Rob
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« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2006, 03:27:42 AM »

How small of a group?
Advice...what ever feels goog all three D,L and OM can be strummed and finger picked.
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« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2006, 05:45:25 AM »

ac:

Let's assume the group is about a dozen people who like to sing along.  Whichever guitar you choose must have the guts to cut through thirteen voices.  And it must be able to handle an aggressive attack with a pick.  Let's also assume you'll be in a place at least part of the time (around a camp fire) where there is no electricity.  And let's also assume there'll be ambient noise: wind in the trees, fire crackling & popping, people talking, etc.

Without sound re-enforcement you'll want a dreadnaught - a loud one that's versatile enough to respond to a soft touch when the song requires it.

If your camp has an amphitheater with electricity and a shelter, then an OM with electronics will work out just fine.
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« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2006, 01:43:45 PM »

An "L" should have plenty of volume, even for up to 30 folks (most folks are not going to be singing at the top of their lungs).  I'd go with an "L", but a dred would work great as well.  I just find that the "L" is more comfortable for me.

In fact I used my Taylor 814ce with about 40 folks this past weekend, unplugged, and it worked just fine.  I'm going to use my Larrivee
J-09fm this weekend, after I put some new strings on.
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ac5aa
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« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2006, 02:17:13 PM »

Thanks, everyone.  The groups tend  to be in the range of 15-30, and it would definitely be unplugged.  I've used my OM-42 indoors and it works strummed, but outdoors I've used a D-35 (no longer in my possession) that worked well.  Most of your responses say the "L" will be almost equivalent to the D, so I will go try the L-03 at a local dealer and see how it feels.  I believe I tried one over the weekend (can't remember if it was the RW or mahog), but didn't spend enough time with it. 

I appreciate the responses!

  Duane
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stuco
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« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2006, 02:42:58 PM »

 afro

YOU should try the l and the d and see which one you prefer
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« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2006, 02:52:29 PM »

If you really want to be heard...D! :GRN>
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« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2006, 06:00:15 PM »

The other thing to consider is that the L, unless it is an old one, will have a slightly wider (1/16") neck than the D. The D will have the size you are used to with your Martins. Whether that matters is up to you. I have an L and a D and was amazed at the increase in volume and bass with the D.
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« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2006, 01:55:57 AM »

Hi Don,    actually, it's the other way around.  All my Martins have 1-3/4" nut width, which I prefer.  I have an OM-42, D-28  Marquis, and a 00-18VS (the UMGF project guitar).  So, I not only leaned toward the "L", but I bought a used one from the Buy & Sell this afternoon.  I need it fairly soon.  As much as I'd love to take my D-28 Marquis out on this retreat, I can't face something unpleasant happening to it.  Problem is, I'll probably get attached to the Larrivee now, and then what will I do?   :WNK>

Duane
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DreaminColor
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« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2006, 08:55:58 AM »

Duane, It's good to see you over here!

I am going through a similar thing. I have started playing out and sampled a bunch of Larrivees last weekend (see my "Wall of Larrivees" thread). I also own a few Martins.

I am very tempted by the LV-03, which seems to does it all very well. It's robust enough to play acoustically (I play about 75% fingerstyle, 25% pick), and has electronics if needed. A versatile guitar indeed, with quality features at a terrific price. I did play a Martin OMC Fingerstyle that sounded wonderful plugged-in (very nice pickup system), but it was over $2300.

In my limited experience, I find that mahogany seems to cut through the mix a little better too. I like to play leads and my OM-35 - a terrific guitar - doesn't seem to be heard as clearly as a mahogany guitar.

Good luck with your quest!
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Hoser Rob
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« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2006, 12:07:40 PM »

It's a common misconception that smaller guitars aren't as loud as larger ones.  They don't have the bass thump big ones do but overall they're just as loud.  The tops are lighter in small guitars.

However, if you want to boom chuck you can't beat a dread or jumbo ... they'll really boom.

As for projection, when you're trying some out, get someone to play them sitting in the center of a wall in a (hopefully good sized) room.  Stand on the other side and see how the sound travels.  You'll usually find that the ones that cut the best sound a bit ugly soloed but that's the way it goes.  All those nice overtones you like to hear solo get lost in a crowd and muddy up the sound.
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dermot
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« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2006, 02:51:59 PM »

aa;

Great to see you over here....

My bet is that you have made a good choice.. L in mahog, and you probbaly will bond with it, but i wouldn't let that stop me from taking it anywhere! It is replaceable & removing the stress of worrying about the marquis would worth to me.. i have a pretty good (but replaceable) guitar to take places i am not comfortable taking my hard to replace guitars... like camping ;-)

Life is good with a L03 by a campfire...  or in my case an OM19 on the beach;


Ta from up here,

d.
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Jackwr
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« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2006, 12:59:03 AM »

As much as I'd love to take my D-28 Marquis out on this retreat, I can't face something unpleasant happening to it.  Problem is, I'll probably get attached to the Larrivee now, and then what will I do?   :WNK>

Duane
Get a Rainsong. 
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It's a common misconception that smaller guitars aren't as loud as larger ones.  They don't have the bass thump big ones do but overall they're just as loud.  The tops are lighter in small guitars.
+1

 My 00 blows away all the dreads except on the low e string. I play it at Bluegrass jams and my breaks are always heard. I've had dread owners ask me to pick their Martins, then tell me to stop holding back....I'm not!
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ac5aa
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« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2006, 03:46:03 AM »

Get a Rainsong. +1

Good one, Jack - then I could play it in the shower, right?  And if we ran out of canoe paddles . . . oh, never mind!

Quote
  My 00 blows away all the dreads except on the low e string. I play it at Bluegrass jams and my breaks are always heard. I've had dread owners ask me to pick their Martins, then tell me to stop holding back....I'm not!

Well, there's a limit to that - tonight I was playing with a small group, and the lead singer played a Seagull that cuts through everything but after the 2nd piece we all wished we could stuff a rag in it.  But I know what you mean.  Especially with a mahog body.

Duane
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