View Full Version : Santa Cruz OM/PW Vs Martin OM-28V

10-24-2010, 10:40 AM

I have 3k$ to get a great all-around OM rosewood (i really want a good stummer OM).

For the moment i have selected the SC OM/PW and the Martin OM-28V because of their good reputation and youtube videos (impossible for me to test this guitars where i live).

Can you give me advice from your experience with this two great models?

Wich one is best in strumming ?

Another OM proposition ?


Sorry for my english, i'm French.

10-24-2010, 01:20 PM
Hi matlamenace:

Both of those guitars are fine guitars. Generally, I have found that I have consistently favored the smaller shop guitars (SCGC, Bourgeois, Collings) over the factory built. If you find a great Martin, however, no shame in that. If you buy used, you can save some decent money on a Martin. The smaller shop guitars (used) would likely cost you close to your budget.

If you look into Bourgeois', for your strumming needs I would recommend going the "Vintage" route as they have Adi tops and braces. I know SCGC offers something similar but I'm not quite as familiar with them as I am with others.

10-24-2010, 01:25 PM
MP sent to you, Matlamenace.

10-24-2010, 04:46 PM
You've settled on two great choices. If you can't play them and do the A- versus B exercise, I don't know how to decide. I sorta agree with TaylorKoaFan that the SC likely will be more consistent from guitar to guitar. But one thing I've learned is that the guitar that feels most comfortable to my arms and fretting hand is the one I'll want to play. That's tough to judge without some time on each instrument. Anyway...you can't go far wrong with either of those. Good luck!

10-24-2010, 04:58 PM

I have 3k$ to get a great all-around OM rosewood (i really want a good stummer OM).

For the moment i have selected the SC OM/PW and the Martin OM-28V because of their good reputation and youtube videos (impossible for me to test this guitars where i live).

Can you give me advice from your experience with this two great models?

Wich one is best in strumming ?

Another OM proposition ?


Sorry for my english, i'm French.

I have owned both and thought that both were fine guitars. I purchased the OM-28V with the idea of being a guitar reserved for fingerstyle so I did not use it for strumming much. I seem to recall it handled it ok.

IMHO, the OM/PW is a slightly better choice if you are looking for it to do many things well. If there is a guitar that can live up to the title "Swiss Army Knife" of guitars, the OM/PW gets my vote. In terms of full disclosure, I ended up getting rid of mine because I lost the taste for Rosewood and I play my Dreads almost exclusively. But it was a **** fine instrument and I'm not sure that one day I wouldn't go down that road again.

10-24-2010, 05:04 PM
Hi Matlamenace,

I own a Santa Cruz OM/PW that I purchased in the last few months. I do not own a Martin OM-28V, but I have played one as well as an OM-28MM (Marquis Madagascar). I also own a Martin D-35 and a Martin 000-28VS. I also own many other guitars, including a Collings OM1A.

As others have noted, the SCGC OM/PW and the Martin OM-28V are excellent guitars. I play fingerstyle. For my playing style, I think my OM/PW sounds as good or better than any of the Martins I currently own or have played. Also, in terms of price, I believe it is more cost-effective.

Contact Tarpman (LA Guitar Sales) on the AGF for a good price on the OM/PW. This is where I got mine.

My OM/PW came with Elixir nano PB strings on it, which I didn't like at all; when I put Martin SP 80/20 bronze on it, it came to life. But that is for my playing style and tastes. You may find things different.

If I were buying for me, I would buy the OM/PW. I have been playing for more than 46 years and have a lot of experience with both electric and acoustic guitars, but as I mentioned, I play predominantly fingerstyle and that may give me a very different perspective from you.

From what I have experienced, the OM/PW has more bass than a Martin OM-28V. When I put on 80/20 bronze strings they added enough brightness to make a wonderful contrast between the bright treble and warm bass overtones. When I have strummed this guitar with a flat pick, it sounds very big, more like a dreadnought.

In the end, both of these guitars (OM/PW vs OM-28V) are very good guitars. You could flip a coin and either way, you will have an excellent guitar. Once you get the guitar, experiment with strings until you are happy and then forget about other guitars. Learn to get the most out of whatever you buy and don't look back. This chase for the perfect guitar can waste way too much time and money.

Best of luck to you,

10-24-2010, 05:38 PM
I personally would go with the Santa Cruz, I like the OM-28 Marquis Martin but not the OM-28V as much but they are all good guitars. I love the PW series Santa Cruz stuff!!!!!

Super Deuce
10-24-2010, 06:21 PM
SC all the way! Warm, punchy nice!

10-24-2010, 07:35 PM
Santa Cruz, really nice guitar and beautifully made.

10-24-2010, 10:27 PM
In the larger scheme of things I don't think you'll go wrong with either as they are both great guitars. I agonized over the same decision about 2 years ago (SCGC OM/PW or Martin 000-28EC) and ended up chosing the Santa Cruz. It has a kind of gritty low end attitude that I liked and the V profile of the neck was slightly less pronounced which made it more comfortable for me (to do things like thumb overs). I have to agree 100% with Glennwillow though that after some experimentation I also swapped the Elixirs for Martin strings. I love Elixirs on some other guitars but on the SCGC they just had to much "zjing" for me.
Ultimately you'll probably want to play each to really make an informed choice. Someone once told me that guitars are like wands in that the wand choses the wizard and not the other way around and my experience has born that out in my case. With the noted exception that my guitar playing would never be described as wizardry. When it comes to guitar chops I'm a muggle. Fortunately that doesn't seem to affect my enjoyment much!
Best of luck and as others have suggested, whatever you choose don't look back :)

10-25-2010, 11:06 AM
Both fine guitars. Keep in mind the Martin will give you herringbone trim if that matters to you and also significantly more string spread at the bridge.

10-25-2010, 12:24 PM
Both are fine guitars. I'd personally go with OMPW because: (1) more comfortable neck profile, (2) OMPW is a little bit more versatile. It sounds brighter than 28V, although OMPW is not a bright guitar, per se. 28V sounds very dark and smokey. IMO, the tonal difference makes OMPW a little bit more suitable across different styles.

11-26-2010, 05:23 PM
I have never played an OM that sounded full. All the OM's I played sounded boxy and trapped the sound, IMHO. Then one day I played the SC OM and everything changed. I'm a chord strummer and this is THE only small guitar that I've played that I've liked. Therefore, my vote...Santa Cruz OM/PW

11-26-2010, 05:53 PM
Santa Cruz are consistently stellar while Martins are more often than not just really good. The SC's the way to go!

J Patrick
11-27-2010, 07:30 AM
...i've owned both....i prefer the Santa Cruz for several reasons...the neck...(Martin is too edgy for my tastes), the look...(love that SC logo), and the tone...(just more open and vintage sounding to my ears)....otoh...Martins hold their value a little better in most cases and a lot better in some...

11-27-2010, 08:29 AM
Congrats on narrowing your choices down to what I think are the two best options in this category and price range. Honestly, if I could only have one, it would be a difficult choice for me.

IMO... The Martin is a little darker and more vintage sounding. The OM/PW has a little more note seperation and clarity. The OM/PW is a little more responsive than the Martin. Finishing on the SC is better. Playability of the SC is slightly better. I also prefer Santa Cruz's V-style neck to Martin's "tree trunk." Both are good strummers and "all-arounders."

All that being said, if I was being shipped off to a desert island and could only have one of these two guitars, it would be the OM-28V because I am, first and foremost, a Martin guy. If, however, I already had a Martin in my stable that I liked, I would go for the OM/PW. Santa Cruz is knocking it out of the park with the guitars they are building right now.

11-27-2010, 08:58 AM
Both are great guitars. The Santa Cruz may cost a bit more. I have compared
the mahogany versions of the OM/PW to the OM18GE - check out this link:


The neck profiles are quite different (to me). The Santa Cruz is narrower up the neck by 1/8" which is noticeable. The bridge string spacing is wider on the Martin.

11-27-2010, 09:47 AM
Santa Cruz all the way. Much lighter build, more responsive, better overtones. Less finish.