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Old 04-24-2013, 09:23 AM
Hendra Hendra is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
Posts: 712
Default NGD-- Collings OM2H

I primarily play fingerstyle and was always told that OM size guitar is best suited for fingerstyle therefore I have always wanted a OM size guitar. Since my last purchase of my beloved Taylor 414CE 2009 Spring Ltd with Sittka Top/Tasmanian Blackwood B/S, the itch is always there. I always wanted a Martin OM and to be specific OM21 is something I thought would be within my grasp budget wise. But after the acquisition of the Taylor, its very hard to justify spending another $2,000+ for another guitar. So I have tried to make do with other brand OM such as Yamaha LS16, or a custom made OM which cost less than $1,000. But nothing satisfy the need as I found the Engelmann top, Rosewood B/S to sound too metallic and neck profile didn't fit too well with my preference of Taylor neck. So few weeks after the acquisition, I knew I have to let it go.

The same with the custom guitar that I had the luthier build with Taylorish neck, didn't love the Cedar/Mahogany combo, which to me sound very compressed and the poor balance across string string and slight intonation which I believe due to the lack of skill of the local luthier that built it for me. So here I go with my another pursue for an OM.

Back in 2012 when Martin introduce OM 21 with the Performance Neck and cosmetic upgrade include the use of ebony for the fretboard, I always thought OM21 will be the next guitar in my stash. But to find one to try out in Jakarta is impossible, so my nearest chance is from our neighbouring country "Singapore". It took until until early '13 that the Singapore Martin distributor finally have OM21 in their store. But it also took me another few months before I seriously look into to visit the country for guitar try out.

So before the visit, I be-friended YouTube again to find the sound sampling of Martin OM21 2012 version. I was almost set for OM 21 until I saw the YouTube video of our fellow AGF-er comparing Martin OM21 2012 to a Collings OM1 SB. To my ear Collings sounds like something I am looking for; very balance, loud and treble that rings like a bell. For that quality, I decided to dig deeper into my wallet and prepared to spend more.

Don't get me wrong, I love my Taylor 414CE Taz (very much) for its very balance, sweet dreamy tone that I never would want to part with, but I have always wanted a louder (small/medium size) guitar. This needs were satisfied by my VAOM-04 which is very loud for its size and I have always take it with for outdoor playing where amplification is not possible. But in terms of tone, I would say the VAOM-04 is more raw and harsh-sounding (for lacking of better words to describe it) compare to the Taylor. With this in mind, I have always wanted a guitar that have the best of both world quality, loud and at the same time produce tones that are balance and smooth. So there I went last weekend on a day trip to Singapore visiting the Collings dealer in Singapore. The objective is to visit the Collings dealer first and if I am know WOWed, I will visit the Martin dealer also which is located 25 minutes apart. (that proven to be not necessary as I am completely WOWed by Collings)

As recommended by fellow AGF-er, I have always wanted to play OM1 together with OM2, but unfortunately the dealer had none in stock. So I am left with the choice of OM2 ; Engelmann Top, EIR B/S ; Sittka Top, EIR B/S ; and Sittka Top, Koa B/S. My first pick is the Engelmann top as I have learn that Engelmann Top will suit finger style player and respond very well with soft touch. It is indeed but when strummed it sound too compressed even with moderate strumming. So I decided to rule out the Engelmann top. Now I am left to choose between the Sittka Top, Koa B/S and Sittka Top, EIR B/S. The Koa sounded amazing and it reminds me very much of my Taylor 414CE with Tasmanian Blackwood ( no wonder Tas Blackwood is being referred as the cousin of Koa), only much louder and a more pronounced bell like treble note. It looks awesome too, but as it will require me to dig deeper by another 2 grand. I have to put it down and focus on the Sittka Top.

The store have 2 of the same Sittka Top, EIR Bag in stock. So I have to choose between the 2. Both sounded amazing, bell like treble string especially above fret 5, ringing mids with plenty of basses on low frequency. All aspects is there on both guitars although the one with a more aged top appear to carry more overtones. After 2 hours switching between the two, the decision is eventually made on the fact that I live in tropical country where humidity is constantly high therefore I need to make sure to choose a more future-proof guitar with plenty of saddle left.

So here it is the OM2H that I carry home with me, a truly happy camper me ever since……

Current Guitars :
1999 Washburn D12SCE
2009 Taylor 414CE Spring LTD. (Tazmanian Blackwood) "TAZ"

2010 VAOM-04
2012 Custom Secco Guitar

2013 Collings OM2H

2014 Cordoba Fusion 12 Natural

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