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  #1  
Old 06-10-2019, 05:49 PM
duaneallen duaneallen is offline
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Default Martin OM21 vs. Martin OM28

Anyone compare these two guitars? I'm looking at cutaway versions of both, and was wondering if you are familiar with both, which do you prefer? I got a chance to play both today, and was surprised how much I liked the OM21. I'm wondering if there's something in the OM28 that I would miss later on down the road. It's always good to get advice when you only got a chance to spend a few minutes with each.
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Old 06-10-2019, 05:58 PM
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If you played cutaways, then they were most certainly custom shop offerings because the standard production models don’t come that way.

Personally, I like the OM-28. I hear a lot more complexity and harmonic content, whereas the OM-21 has a more simple/fundamental voice. You have to decide what sound you prefer but the tonal differences are obvious...to me anyway.
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Old 06-10-2019, 06:01 PM
jklotz jklotz is online now
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Yup, I agree. the OM-21 sounds more raw, and the 28 more lush and polished. Personally, I prefer the 28, but I can see a place for both.
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Old 06-10-2019, 06:02 PM
Jaden Jaden is offline
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I would think sound Ďperformanceí comes down to the individual instrument. AFAIK Martin grades wood by appearance so the 28 probably will have more attractive wood but that does not necessarily equate to better sound/ touch sensitivity etc (for you).

Itís also worth to keep in mind new guitars often change and develop a lot over time from opening up.
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Old 06-10-2019, 07:56 PM
Brooklyn Bob Brooklyn Bob is offline
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I've been contrasting both of these and also a 0028 at a shop near me. First off I'm not sure I'm a fan of the short scale and I think I prefer the OM21 over the OM28 but it could just be the actual guitars that I'm playing.
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Old 06-10-2019, 07:59 PM
Slothead56 Slothead56 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brencat View Post
If you played cutaways, then they were most certainly custom shop offerings because the standard production models donít come that way.

Personally, I like the OM-28. I hear a lot more complexity and harmonic content, whereas the OM-21 has a more simple/fundamental voice. You have to decide what sound you prefer but the tonal differences are obvious...to me anyway.
Iíve owned both, though not at the same time, and this sums up my feelings.
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Old 06-10-2019, 08:51 PM
Nyghthawk Nyghthawk is offline
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Love my OM21. Never played a 28.
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Old 06-10-2019, 09:29 PM
Hoyt Hoyt is offline
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I’ve owned two OM-21s. I have an OM-28 now. One of the 21s was about 15 years old and was a little beat up, but it played and sounded fine. The other, I bought new but took it back after a week.

I prefer the 28, but the 21s are fine guitars. Don’t know why they sound and feel different, but they do. While a minor factor, the 28 rosewood and top look nicer. Question is whether the extra $500 or so is worth the difference.

I think the cutaway will change things, but no idea how other than reach to higher frets.

There are some video comparisons available that might help, but not cutaway.

Last edited by Hoyt; 06-11-2019 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:46 PM
Pete'67 Pete'67 is offline
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Maybe this helps:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mo8f0Trt5E8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03cEqKk46RA
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:10 PM
duaneallen duaneallen is offline
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OP here. I already have an OM28v that I've had for years. Really like the guitar, but I'm always on the fence with the neck. That, plus I'm intrigued by a cutaway, had me looking at cutaway versions of both guitars. The OM21 cutaway was really nice, and I thought about maybe moving my 28 along because of the 21s neck shape. They I got home and played the 28 again, and I just can't do it. Its such an amazing guitar, and the neck isn't that bad. I think that its all in my head. I remember that the 21 was lighter built in a way, and a tad bit brighter. Now I realize that I prefer the more full tone, with harmonics that my OM28v has. That OM21 would be a killer stage guitar once you put in a pickup system.....
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Old 06-11-2019, 03:03 AM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duaneallen View Post
Anyone compare these two guitars? I'm looking at cutaway versions of both, and was wondering if you are familiar with both, which do you prefer? I got a chance to play both today, and was surprised how much I liked the OM21. I'm wondering if there's something in the OM28 that I would miss later on down the road. It's always good to get advice when you only got a chance to spend a few minutes with each.
Erm, I'm suspecting some "emperor's new clothes" syndrome here.

Surely he OM21 and the OM28 are identical guitars with the only variances bring the trim - the 21 having, effectively an x-18 trim and the 28 having the herringbone and white trim.
Fretmarkers are x-18 and diamonds respectively and, doesn't the 28 have a volute?

All "identical" guitars are slightly different in feel and tone to the perceptive, but, frankly, I doubt you could really say that the tone of these two differ due to the trim. - Just choose the trim you prefer.
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Old 06-11-2019, 03:10 AM
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elmcmeen elmcmeen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brencat View Post
If you played cutaways, then they were most certainly custom shop offerings because the standard production models donít come that way.

Personally, I like the OM-28. I hear a lot more complexity and harmonic content, whereas the OM-21 has a more simple/fundamental voice. You have to decide what sound you prefer but the tonal differences are obvious...to me anyway.
I agree!

Have owned numerous of each
(victim of GAS).

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Old 06-11-2019, 05:51 AM
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The first brand new Martin I ever bought was an Ambertone OM-21 off the wall at my local shop. At the time, I thought nothing could sound as good. But...as it does, life happened a year or so later, and I had to sell it. It was, for a long time ďthe one that got awayĒ...until this year. I wonít bemoan everyone with the story...but I found my guitar again...in the form of a beautiful OM-28.

It has that full, breathy, balanced voice that Iíd been missing from the OM-21, but in every aspect, it is amplified. I love it. I donít believe I could part with it. It responds wonderfully to even my unskilled playing...making me sound much better than I am. Itís loud, but not overpowering...the bass is full, but not at all woofy or muddied. And I love the rainbow of overtones the rosewood adds.

The OM-21 is a wonderful instrument, but in my opinion...if you can, get an OM-28. Itís a great reward.
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Old 06-11-2019, 11:31 AM
ii Cybershot ii ii Cybershot ii is offline
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In the Maury's music vid they sound quite different. But I emailed Martin about the differences and they said the guitars have identical bracing patterns.

If you listen more closely to the Maury vid, I really do think the overall nature of the sound is extremely similar, and in fact the differences could be chalked up to such simple things as the differences between individual guitars, age of strings, angle of microphone, exact pick placement, etc.
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Old 06-11-2019, 10:52 PM
Jaden Jaden is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brencat View Post
If you played cutaways, then they were most certainly custom shop offerings because the standard production models donít come that way.

Personally, I like the OM-28. I hear a lot more complexity and harmonic content, whereas the OM-21 has a more simple/fundamental voice. You have to decide what sound you prefer but the tonal differences are obvious...to me anyway.
This description fits my OM-21 even compared to my (former) more complex reimagined 000-18(!). If it is indeed true that on average the above difference between the 21 and 28 holds, Iíd feel loath to miss out on the leaner blues machine of the 21. Solution: own both!
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