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Old 11-13-2017, 08:24 AM
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kendallhadden kendallhadden is offline
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Default NGDx2(kinda) OM28 and Sweetwater Fuzzies

After receiving my Custom Caleb Smith, I have been GASing for a Rosewood OM. Base on what I wanted to spend and research I decided on a Martin OM28. The Martin OM28 seemed to be a great all around Rosewood OM based on reviews. I ended up ordering from Sweetwater and let me say that their customer service is top notch. I have been dealing with Aaron Hoff from Sweetwater for a few years and he really takes care of me.

I received the first OM28 and it was beautiful. My thinking was that I had done good. Until I played it. The sound was just OK and I was extremely disappointed. I changed strings and tried different picks and the sound was still just OK. Honestly I have played some laminate guitars that have sounded way better than this Martin.

While changing the strings, I noticed that the Ivoroid V where the endpin is located was raised. This is hard to explain, but if you rub your hand across where the endpin is located you can feel a difference in the elevation of the rosewood and the ivoroid. Having owned numerous upper end guitars, I knew this was not right. I called Aaron at Sweetwater and told him about my situation. He then turned me over to Dakota in the Guitar Tech department. Dakota immediately offered to send me another OM28 and said that he would personally pick out a good one for me. I told him I wanted the one with the best bass response and he politely said he would do his best to find the one I described. He did a great job I might add. They also sent a prepaid return shipping label.

The second OM28 arrived and I was able to compare the two. The difference in sound between the two was staggering. The second OM28 sounded phenomenal and sounded just as I anticipated the OM28 sounding initially. It has a great full tone and is balanced. I even asked a guitar playing friend of mine to come over and take a listen. He agreed with my initial thoughts and couldn't believe it. I will add that the wood on the first OM28 was more appealing.

After comparing the two, I packaged up the first OM28 and sent it back to Sweetwater. Sometimes a defect can be a blessing. If this would not have happened, I would have definitely sold this guitar and had a bad taste for OM28.

I always like to try a guitar before I purchase, but because of where I live that option is very difficult. It's even more difficult to play two of the same models and pick the best one to your ears. This goes to show that you really can't base your opinion on one guitar of that model. If I would have based my opinion on that first OM28, I would not have recommended them at all to anyone. However based on my second OM28, I would highly recommend the OM28.

I'm happy now.

Again a big shout out to Aaron and Dakota at Sweetwater!!
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Old 11-13-2017, 08:46 AM
Shades of Blue Shades of Blue is offline
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I know what you mean. Sometimes, guitars are just duds.

My new Custom Shop 000-28 is something really special, and sounds great, but it also has the raised ivroid you mention. It doesn't really bother me because the guitar sounds great. I posted something similar and people here on the forum mentioned it was probably just the thin finish.

Congrats!
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Old 11-14-2017, 10:21 AM
ChrisN ChrisN is offline
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I'm happy for your outcome, but surprised about Sweetwater's letting the first OM out their door, especially to a repeat customer. I've not bought a guitar from them, but thought I could do so one day because their advertised process is compelling, compared to other mass-seller online outlets. Sweetwater charges a premium price by $50 in the case of a lower-end ($500) instrument and for that premium they say you get a hand-selected item with individual set-up, sometimes to your spec. I assume they'd be more careful and selective with a mid-level Martin.

In your case, the binding issue got by the tech, and so did the dud sound, which a tech with lots of comparison experience via these set-ups should have noticed in the same way you would have, were you to evaluate several in person.

Some here have said my expectations from the industry are too high, and, though I disagree, that may objectively be so. From this experience, however, were I in the market for a new Martin, I'm more likely now to give Ted (LA Guitars) a call and plead for as near perfect a guitar as possible at his best price, knowing I'll receive that level of attention for my $$. Sweetwater's customer service after the fact may be great, and Aaron pleasant, but at the end of the day, it's the guitar that matters, to me. Again, I'm happy it worked out - the OM Martin sound, when healthy, is pretty amazing.
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Old 11-14-2017, 11:19 AM
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Maybe with enough stories like this, we can finally put the "Gibsons are inconsistent but Martins are perfect" myth to rest.
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Old 11-14-2017, 11:31 AM
zombywoof zombywoof is offline
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Glad it all worked out for you. Sweetwater is the only big box store I have an account with although I have never bought anything from them other than humidifiers and other smalls. But if they should not have something I ordered in stock I will hear from them within hours asking me what I want to do. Great service.

But there is only one person I know who I would take their word on a guitar without question. He knows me well (he has dealt with me for over 15 years) and if he says he has gotten a guitar in that would be right up my alley I will buy it from him sight unseen.
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Old 11-14-2017, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zombywoof View Post

But there is only one person I know who I would take their word on a guitar without question. He knows me well (he has dealt with me for over 15 years) and if he says he has gotten a guitar in that would be right up my alley I will buy it from him sight unseen.
Does he have a store?
kwh
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Old 11-14-2017, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisN View Post

In your case, the binding issue got by the tech, and so did the dud sound, which a tech with lots of comparison experience via these set-ups should have noticed in the same way you would have, were you to evaluate several in person.
To some, the sound of that first OM may have been good unless compared side by side. Then it still may be good/better depending on the person. I had a certain sound I was looking for and it didn't have it. The second OM did.

As far as the binding is concerning, I would have to agree with you. They said they checked all the ones they had and none of them were totally flat. I'm not sure if this is normal. Based on another forum member, who also posted with a Custom Martin with the same issue, it may be more prevalent than one would expect.
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Old 11-14-2017, 01:29 PM
Tony Burns Tony Burns is offline
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Ive delt with them a few times -- my kids want me to deal with them more because the first order i ever placed with them came with a bag of mixed candy -which was fun ( for them )- the only problem i have is when they call me out of the blue asking if i need anything ( that i dont like )
been thinking about buying a digital recorder from them- i like their free extended warranty -

Not a fan of buying a new guitar blind -and their sopose to check out a guitar before they ship it - wonder how they do get rid of a lemon -wonder if Martin will take it back from them ?
Hope you like your OM28 , ive got a OM28v -which i absolutely love , one of my favorites.
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Old 11-14-2017, 01:38 PM
ChrisN ChrisN is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kendallhadden View Post
To some, the sound of that first OM may have been good unless compared side by side. Then it still may be good/better depending on the person. I had a certain sound I was looking for and it didn't have it. The second OM did.
Fair enough - sound is so subjective (but I do love a full-throated OM, and, I, too, know when it's "right").
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Old 11-14-2017, 01:41 PM
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I'm really glad that the OP ultimately got the guitar he really liked....
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