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Old 04-30-2015, 09:11 PM
edocaster edocaster is offline
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Default Martin OM-21 (post 2012) or Huss & Dalton ROM-R?

After returning a used Breedlove Retro OM/ER that I bought online (electronics malfunction), I'm now looking at higher priced guitars again.

With not a lot of options available to me locally, I may have the opportunity to get either a very lightly used OM-21 (post 2012 model) for around AU$xxxx or a brand new H&D ROM-R for around AU$xxxx. No electronics on both.

Without being able to personally try these guitars, could anyone share any direct experience with these guitars? Especially those who have played and compared both.

Last edited by edocaster; 05-06-2015 at 03:46 AM. Reason: Price removed.
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Old 04-30-2015, 11:06 PM
mwalk mwalk is offline
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One of the most memorable guitars I've played to date is an OM-21. Sadly, at the time, I wasn't in a position to buy it. It might have just been that I happened to pick up a special one, but it sounded GREAT.

I've never A/B'd these two guitars at the same time, but I've played them both, as well as several other Martins and H&Ds. I prefer Martin overall.
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Old 04-30-2015, 11:59 PM
Italian Spruce Italian Spruce is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edocaster View Post
After returning a used Breedlove Retro OM/ER that I bought online (electronics malfunction), I'm now looking at higher priced guitars again.

With not a lot of options available to me locally, I may have the opportunity to get either a very lightly used OM-21 (post 2012 model) for around AU$2,500 or a brand new H&D ROM-R for around AU$2,200. No electronics on both.

Without being able to personally try these guitars, could anyone share any direct experience with these guitars? Especially those who have played and compared both.
The ROM-R will have more responsiveness overall up and down the neck. It's an incredibly well built guitar.

The OM-21 will have the Martin "growl" that is their signature tone. You won't find this in a H&D, which has a more "balanced" tone (no chest thumping bass).

As a fan of both brands, I would give the Martin the edge in tone (personal preference), the H&D in build quality and attention to detail (objective assessment).
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Old 05-01-2015, 12:31 AM
edocaster edocaster is offline
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Thanks for the replies so far. I like chest thumping bass in general, but I may prefer balance and responsiveness. I should've mentioned that I've played electrics semi-professionally for 10+ years but acoustics only every now and then.

So far I have experiences with these three guitars in a quiet environment:
  • Martin OM-28JM: my friend owns this, very balanced, no big thumpy bass, very easy to play. Bright but not shrill, very open sounding and responsive. I can play this all day long. Top is probably opened up now. Owner has played it for 5+ years.

  • Martin OM-28E Retro: another friend owns this. I played this side by side with the above and found it to be darker and louder. Not sure if the strings are the same gauge though but I sensed a low-mid heaviness that I'm not a fan of. If that's the Martin growl, I'm not sure I want it. But maybe because it's a newer guitar than the OM-28JM above. It's really hard to get that bite when digging into the strings when doing leads.

  • Breedlove Retro OM/ER: had it in my apartment for a few days before I returned it. No thumpy bass and nice trebles. Mids seems a bit out of control. I noticed that the top braces is not scalloped, so this may have affected it. Not a new guitar, top may have opened up.

If this analogy makes any sense, the OM-28JM feels like a very nice neck single-coil sound of a vintage tele. OM-28E Retro is like the neck humbucker of an ES-175 and the Breedlove is like a new production P90 bridge pickup in a solidbody guitar.

I've tried other guitars in a moderately noisy stage and in music stores but it's really hard to qualify the sound of the guitars. One highlight though was the Martin PS2, absolutely loved it but not at AU$xxxx! Tried a few Taylors and didn't mind the 816CE save for the price.

Last edited by edocaster; 07-08-2015 at 08:54 PM.
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Old 05-01-2015, 12:36 AM
edocaster edocaster is offline
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Oh I should add that under heavy strumming:
  • OM-28JM: compresses nicely and sounds 'together', doesn't really get that much louder.

  • OM-28E Retro: fills up the room with that body but doesn't really have that chime.

  • Breedlove: goes out of control, I have to hold back on strumming to keep it sounding nice and 'together'.
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Old 05-01-2015, 12:56 AM
Tone Wood Tone Wood is offline
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I was never a big fan of the OM-21, but I played a second hand OM-21 special the other day and it was breathtakingly good. I was pretty close to getting into hock in order to buy it.

So it's safe to say I'm turned around on them, must've hit a couple of duds previously.

The OM-28JM is an expensive purchase, but a fine guitar. My mate has one and is extremely happy with it. I prefer the chunkier soft V neck on the OM-28E retro but that's a personal choice.
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Old 05-01-2015, 10:13 AM
Mdinterman Mdinterman is offline
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Be advised that H&D cuts their nuts such that the CENTER of the strings are spaced evenly not such that there is equal spacing between strings. In other words the Low E and A string centers are the same distance apart as the centers on the high E and B strings. So since the Low E and A strings are "fatter" then the space between them is smaller than the space between the high E and the B strings. I considered a H&D OM but that aspect turned me off. Martin cuts their nuts so that the spaces between the strings are equally spaced (called proportional spacing).

The H&D's do sound great, though. So if the string spacing isn't that much of a deal to you, then consider the H&D. If it is an issue, go with Martin. The OM-21 is also less expensive.
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Old 07-08-2015, 08:59 PM
edocaster edocaster is offline
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I feel that I need to provide closure to this thread. The guitar I ended up with is a second hand Recording King ROS-06.

Longer post here: http://acousticguitarforum.com/forum...=371161&page=2
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  #9  
Old 07-09-2015, 07:50 AM
Brien Brien is offline
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I had a newer OM-21 and really liked the sound and the quality of the build but just couldn't bond with the PA neck. Some people love it though.
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  #10  
Old 07-09-2015, 07:57 AM
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devellis devellis is offline
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At a purely emotional level, I just love what H&D does with its guitars. I love the balance, the lightness, the responsiveness, the quality craftsmanship. I like Martins, too. But to me, H&D are a notch above. Each instrument's top is deflection tuned, all have Adirondack braces, and I just find them to be superb instruments. But honestly, it's mostly subjective and I'm sure either would be a fine guitar.
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