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Author Topic: Obe-wans new Martin OM-21 !!  (Read 8907 times)
bluesman67
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« Reply #60 on: December 15, 2009, 02:42:26 PM »

Hello Scott,

That's a fine looking 0M-21.  About a year ago, I had the pleasure of playing a left-handed one at Southpaw's.  It was spectacular!  I'm sure yours is too.

Cheers Mate!
 
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kwakatak
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« Reply #61 on: December 15, 2009, 03:14:14 PM »

Congratulations on your switch to Martin, Obe-wan. It sounds like you found a good one. I'm curious though: how long did you have your OM-03R?

Respectively speaking, my opinion differs greatly. My local Martin dealer has had a number of fine Martin OM and 000's in stock over the past 3 years since I acquired my OM-03R and I haven't been tempted once. I've tried everything from the new OM-1 to the SWOMGT, 000-16RGT, the OMJM, even the OM-21 and the 000-28EC (Eric Clapton with sunburst top.) None of them have that articulate tone that I've come to love from my Larrivée OM-03R and have come to expect from a fingerstyle-only instrument. Sure, they may have more bass out of the box and were afflicted with those crappy original Martin strings, but after "tweaking" my Larrrivée's setup and playing it for 3 years now I simply have no GAS for a Martin OM.

My only complaint is that the Larrivée OM-03R is only a modest strummer. A Martin dread or a custom McKnight OM-D (shaped like an OM, deep as a D, and braced veerrry lightly)  OTOH is a completely different story, but you get what you pay for too.  The OM-03R ain't going anywhere though! IMHO it holds its own with guitars more than twice its price. 
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Neil

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Danny
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« Reply #62 on: December 15, 2009, 08:33:56 PM »

   This type of thing is why I began to learn to do things myself.
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obe-wan
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« Reply #63 on: December 16, 2009, 03:52:29 AM »

EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON.

Danny, you and me both. The Larrivee OM-03R came back from the shop with a dodgy saddle in it to so I jumped in and made my own bone saddle for it with much success, although strangely the TUSQ saddle actually sounded better to me in the larrivee, so i ordered a TUSQ one and put that in myself too. So that gave me the confidence to do the same with the Martin.

I spent today making a new Bone saddle for it, the original that they would have had to take some size out of to compensate for the undersaddle pickup DIDNT have the angle on it as per L.R. Baggs fitting insstructions. So that probably wasnt helping the plugged in sound.

I have to say, the bone saddle has made quite a difference to the guitars unplugged sound, in a positive way. It rings like a bell, and it has more volume, and hasn't lost any sweetness or harmonics along the way. The OM-03R I had lost its warmth when the bone saddle went in, so as I mentioned in another thread, a bone saddle doesnt always mean an improvement. The action is right where I like it now, and the plugged in tone is spot on, equal volume string to string. Ive got good string break angle over the saddle now, which is no doubt helping the guitar sustain.

Im very happy with the guitar once again, and Im quite proud of myself, but this leads me to ask if I can do it, why cant a so called "guitar tech" get it right. Im a Fitter and Turner for a living, so yeah I may have the trade skills over the average joe, but If I can fix a guitar, surely a person who does this for a living should be able to do it better? I fix trains for god sake. Not the same ballpark as a guitar!!!

Kwak, I would of kept the OM-03R if i had the coin to buy the Martin outright. No doubt about it, theyre a fine guitar. There are similarities between it and the Martin, the martin has the scalloped bracing though, which to my ears makes a lot of difference. I owned the Larrivee for about 1-1/2 years? And heres testimate to how good a guitar it was. It was the only guitar I owned at that time.  

bluesman, yep, theyre pretty nice. VERY Blues Approved!  

So, to cap off. Everything happens for a reason. If they didnt fudge it, I wouldnt have put the bone saddle in. I also wouldnt have come to the realization (again) that no one is going to be as careful with your guitar as you.

Cheers, Scott.
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« Reply #64 on: December 16, 2009, 04:05:50 AM »

 +1 nice guitar
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« Reply #65 on: December 16, 2009, 10:40:33 AM »

Sorry to hear about your experience with a 10 thumbed technician. If my guitar is going to get a scratch, I would rather be the one to inflict it. I am indeed fortunate to live 35 miles from Jim Holler because he does treat and handle everything he touches with respect. Maybe it's the wood engineer in him that provides a level of reverence toward wood that the average joe can't appreciate. I have actually seen two or three new guitars that he has returned because they didn't meet his standards.

On the plus side, I do have to say that the scalloped bracing on my OM-35 makes a noticeable difference. Some people tend to forget that in addition to the dread, Martin developed and refined the OM body size as an alternative for banjo player Perry Bechtel about 80 years ago. I think people say the same thing about Larrivee's L Body today. I priced out an OM-35 with Mahogany back and sides from the Martin custom shop online site to match my rosewood model. It's not the right time yet but it's pretty tempting but then so is an old 00-17 or 0-16NY if I stumble across the right one.

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TEH

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« Reply #66 on: December 16, 2009, 11:05:50 AM »

I find it amazing that high-end, expensive guitars are sent out with crappy saddles, nuts, etc. When you pay that kind of money you expect the detail to be just right. Similarly, why does Martin insist on ivoroid (i.e. plastic) binding on a top quality guitar where some nice wood like flame maple would really finish it off a treat?  Ditto Larrivée using ivoroid for the heel cap when the binding is already maple. Surely this would also help the N. American and European makers stand out from the far eastern manufacturers?
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obe-wan
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« Reply #67 on: December 16, 2009, 09:44:47 PM »

I find it amazing that high-end, expensive guitars are sent out with crappy saddles, nuts, etc.

Mate, I reckon if they bothered to put bone saddles and nuts in higher end guitars they'd definitely sell more of them. After sitting down with the OM-21 last night in the quite back room I really got to listen to the tone difference it has made. It has really bought out some sweet tones that simply weren't there with the stock (plastic?) saddle.

I seriously think I lucked onto a special guitar though, as I said earlier I played 3 OM-21s in a couple of days, but this one stood out as the sweetest. Even more so now with the bone saddle.  nice guitar if I do say so myself!

Sorry to hear about your experience with a 10 thumbed technician. If my guitar is going to get a scratch, I would rather be the one to inflict it. I am indeed fortunate to live 35 miles from Jim Holler because he does treat and handle everything he touches with respect.

Teh, Im going to see a local performer, and great fingerpicker Nick Charles tomorrow night. He playes Santa Cruz guitars and has been around the local music/guitar scene long enough to know who's who. Im going to get him to point me towards a decent guitar tech. Im sick of trying out people only to be disappointed.

I'll of course be doing it myself if I can manage it, but it would be nice to have a competent Tech you can go to if need be.

Cheers, Scott.
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Martin OM-21. 
Martin 00-18V.
Gibson SG Classic.
Dr.Z Mini Z.
Eastman 805V Mandolin.

Still no Larrivee.... :-(

Upwey, Victoria, Australia.
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« Reply #68 on: December 17, 2009, 06:19:44 AM »

Very beautiful OM-21!   I find OM-21's are just fantastic in terms of tone and response.  You're very lucky to own such a fine guitar.
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HAMFIST
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« Reply #69 on: December 18, 2009, 06:00:34 PM »

Tasty!

And indeed -- good to see the toddler's reflection on the back. Makes me feel bad that I tend to play guitars with satin finish.
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Broadus
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« Reply #70 on: December 18, 2009, 06:43:11 PM »

Hi all...OK, she's home from the shop, with the Baggs fitted. Always an anxious time for me. I dont really trust anyone. Maybe Im paranoid. But I dont think so...

The action is now too low on the high E side, also giving very little string break angle, the pickup sounds great, but is quieter on the middle 2 strings than the rest (concave bottom to the saddle?) and theres a couple of tiny little scratches where theyve done up the end pin nut. I was really at my wits end deciding to take it to someone or not, the only thing that kept me from doing the job myself is that I didnt have the heart to drill that 1/2" hole in the end of it. I should have got the hole done and finished the rest of myself.

The end result will be this: I will now make a Bone saddle for it at the CORRECT height, it'll be flat (well angled as per L.R. Baggs spec, eh Danny  ) I will live with the tiny little scratches, I may even polish them out, and this shop will lose me as their customer. ARE THERE NO DECENT GUITAR TECHS IN MELBOURNE????

Cheers, Scott.



A guy who builds guitars on the side installed a K&K PWM in my OM-21 as a favor. I paid anyway, because he managed to put a small mark on the back of the guitar because something was in the towel he had on his bench and he managed to touch the treble side of the lower bout with his gloved hand that had Superglue on it. He sanded that down, but the glue reacted chemically with the nitro finish. Neither marring is noticeable unless you're looking for them, but I know they're there. I bought my OM-21 used (2005), but there wasn't a mark on it. That is a real positive about Larrivees. The end pin is already large enough.

Had it not been for having to enlarge the end pin hole for the K&K jack, I would have done it myself.

Even with that, I love this guitar. Haven't had any significant GAS since I bought it in July.

Bill
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« Reply #71 on: December 19, 2009, 12:24:06 AM »

  If I was not capable of purchasing other guitars my OM-21 would be just fine. Some know this, but twice I was close to selling it to forum members and both times I had to say "I really am sorry but I need to keep this one"
  Thankfully the members understood and thankfully I still have the best RW guitar I have ever owned.
         Martin does these rosewood OM's right. They have overtones, but not so bad that they get muddy. On the contrary the overtones and resonance compliment one another creating a wonderful cascade effect of sound that remains clear and distinct.
        Not like a D-18 or an F-III with mahogany and an Italian spruce top. But with a sustain and warmth that mahogany just can't match.
        But I see no reason to purchase a Martin OM above a 21. Unless you are into the looks of the higher end models.

                                            Of course YMMV.
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« Reply #72 on: December 19, 2009, 03:54:51 AM »

  If I was not capable of purchasing other guitars my OM-21 would be just fine. Some know this, but twice I was close to selling it to forum members and both times I had to say "I really am sorry but I need to keep this one"
  Thankfully the members understood and thankfully I still have the best RW guitar I have ever owned.
         Martin does these rosewood OM's right. They have overtones, but not so bad that they get muddy. On the contrary the overtones and resonance compliment one another creating a wonderful cascade effect of sound that remains clear and distinct.
        Not like a D-18 or an F-III with mahogany and an Italian spruce top. But with a sustain and warmth that mahogany just can't match.
        But I see no reason to purchase a Martin OM above a 21. Unless you are into the looks of the higher end models.

                                            Of course YMMV.

Along with your comments, Danny, is this little story. I bought my OM-21 last July from a UMGF member in Denver. As it happened, my wife and I were going to visit our youngest daughter and her husband in North Kansas City, MO, so I had the seller ship the guitar to Missouri instead of SC (less time for UPS to have it!). My son-in-law, who is minister of music at a church in Kansas City, has a guitarist in his church instrumental ensemble who has been playing Martins for decades. This guy is retired and works part-time at a music store in Parkville, MO. I took the OM-21 there to have a strap button installed, and the Martin guitarist played it for a few minutes and said that I could spend more money on a higher-priced Martin, but I wouldn't be getting a better sound than what I have in the OM-21. I am usually beset with buyer's remorse on a fairly big purchase, but any hint of buyer's remorse was quickly doused. If I keep my right mind, I don't see how I will ever let it go. Keeping my right mind, though, could be the tough part.

Bill
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obe-wan
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« Reply #73 on: December 19, 2009, 05:52:16 AM »

Danny and Bill, we all know the magic of this model. It is unique in that its a 1/4 scalloped brace Rosewood OM with a modern neck, no real bling and great tone, without spending a fortune. And its got the Martin woodiness, bass response (well, good for an OM) and overtones that make my mouth water.

I too doubt seriously that I'll ever part with this one.  I've wanted one for around 15 years, and its lived up to or surpassed my every expectation. A great guitar that Im proud to own. Now that the pickup is in and Ive fixed up the saddle dramas (no fault of the guitar) I intend to put some loving miles on her and enjoy her!

Cheers, Scott.
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Martin OM-21. 
Martin 00-18V.
Gibson SG Classic.
Dr.Z Mini Z.
Eastman 805V Mandolin.

Still no Larrivee.... :-(

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« Reply #74 on: December 19, 2009, 04:17:47 PM »

Mate, I reckon if they bothered to put bone saddles and nuts in higher end guitars they'd definitely sell more of them. After sitting down with the OM-21 last night in the quite back room I really got to listen to the tone difference it has made. It has really bought out some sweet tones that simply weren't there with the stock (plastic?) saddle.

Cheers, Scott.

Scott, glad the new saddle really worked well. Here's my question: Is the (unplugged) sound better than it was before you had the pickup installed or merely better since the no-so-stellar tech job? The reason I ask is because, according to Martin specs, the saddle, as well as nut, in the OM-21 is bone.

BTW, 15 years of patience before acquiring one--you're a better man than I!

Bill
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obe-wan
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« Reply #75 on: December 19, 2009, 10:39:17 PM »

Scott, glad the new saddle really worked well. Here's my question: Is the (unplugged) sound better than it was before you had the pickup installed or merely better since the no-so-stellar tech job? The reason I ask is because, according to Martin specs, the saddle, as well as nut, in the OM-21 is bone.

BTW, 15 years of patience before acquiring one--you're a better man than I!

Bill

Gday Bill,

The stock saddle and nut are definately not bone, they're some synthetic plastic like material, not TUSQ either. The tone before the work was still very nice, I wouldnt have bought the guitar otherwise. The tone after the pickup was installed hadnt changed, but it didnt play as cleanly due to the under tolerance clearances at the 12th fret. I had the bone saddle blank sitting there, so I just went with that, thinking if I didnt like it Id just order a TUSQ saddle and put that in. Which I still may try in the future for interest sake.

The tone now as Ive already gushed is beautiful. It still has a bit of tightness about it, considering its still basically brand new and I havent put to many miles on the clock yet. Im confident it'll be a cracker in a couple of years though.
And when Im old and grey(er) sitting on my back porch with my OM-21 chiming away on a nice sunny afternoon, Im sure I'll be just as happy with my purchase as I am now.  

Cheers, Scott.

P.S. Thers a Martin 000-28VS for sale at the moment not 20kms from my house. It makes it hard to get back into the Larrivee fold when all these nice Martins keep popping up. On the second hand market Martins are MUCH easier to find than Larrivees in Australia. There is a basically new 000-50 in a shop near me but they want way too much for it.  angry Its really the only second hand Larrivee Ive seen for sale all year...Arrgghh curse you G.A.S. !!!!

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Martin OM-21. 
Martin 00-18V.
Gibson SG Classic.
Dr.Z Mini Z.
Eastman 805V Mandolin.

Still no Larrivee.... :-(

Upwey, Victoria, Australia.
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« Reply #76 on: December 19, 2009, 11:32:03 PM »

Hi Scott. I'm perplexed about the saddle material. Martin specs says it's supposed to be bone. I may see about a new saddle down the road. Don't know if I could stand an improvement in its sound. 

Bill
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« Reply #77 on: December 20, 2009, 02:50:44 AM »

Hi Scott. I'm perplexed about the saddle material. Martin specs says it's supposed to be bone. I may see about a new saddle down the road. Don't know if I could stand an improvement in its sound. 

Bill
  Martin specs have changed on the OM-21 over the years. (Mine were micarta I think. I lose track of all the names for plastic)
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« Reply #78 on: December 20, 2009, 03:20:57 AM »

Hi Scott. I'm perplexed about the saddle material. Martin specs says it's supposed to be bone. I may see about a new saddle down the road. Don't know if I could stand an improvement in its sound.  

Bill

I see what you mean Bill, as Danny said they may have changed the specs, or used what they had in stock? Mine is actually an '07 model, so its specs may not be the same as the current ones. The saddle I took out of it had an opaque tint to it and didnt have the same texture as bone. The nut however looks like its bone.   The change in tone also leads me to believe the original wasnt bone, I was going to post a pic but I threw it in the bin as soon as it came out! There could be a possibilty that it was bone I guess, I know bone has varying densities, but I wouldnt think there would be this much difference between one bone saddle to another. I of course may be wrong, Im no expert you know...

Cheers, Scott.
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Martin OM-21. 
Martin 00-18V.
Gibson SG Classic.
Dr.Z Mini Z.
Eastman 805V Mandolin.

Still no Larrivee.... :-(

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« Reply #79 on: December 20, 2009, 03:30:49 AM »

If very many folks with my amount of guitar experience join in, we'll be pooling our ignorance! Regardless of what it was, you know what you have now, Scott, and I'm happy that you're happy with it.

I may see about a Colosi saddle sometime.

Bill
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The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. (Westminster Shorter Catechism---1647)
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