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  #1  
Old 12-22-2019, 09:05 PM
ba4x ba4x is offline
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Default Affordable alternative to Preston Thompson D-MA?

Hi folks,

I've become infatuated with the Preston Thompson D-MA. Mainly through youtube videos, admittedly I've never seen one in person. The sound coming from that thing is quite impressive. I would love to get one some day, once spending $5k is reasonable. For now I'm wondering if something in the $500-$1000 range can loosely approximate it. Any suggestions?

The defining characteristics, as I see them:
-Mahogany back and sides
-Adirondack top
-Lightly braced (my assumption), "pre war" construction

Even though the D-MA is typically 1 3/4", I am looking for 1 11/16".

So far I see my options could be:
-Find a used Martin D-18
-Recording King RD-318 (all solid wood, adirondack "aged" top). Price point around $600. I have no experience with this brand.
-Stick with my Sigma Martin DM-18 for a few more years and save up...

Thanks for any insights.
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  #2  
Old 12-22-2019, 09:08 PM
warfrat73 warfrat73 is offline
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Eastman E1D... 1 3/4" nut, though.

Or, at the top end of your price range the E10D used.
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  #3  
Old 12-22-2019, 09:19 PM
confusednoise confusednoise is offline
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Agree - Eastman E10-D , maybe even the TC model, will take you a good way towards what you’re looking for
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Old 12-22-2019, 09:43 PM
Tube Sound Tube Sound is offline
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You already have Blueridge kinda covered, was going to suggest the BR-243A but it's not 11/16". A solid 3/4". Santa may have one under the tree for me. An amazing guitar for the money.
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Old 12-22-2019, 09:47 PM
ba4x ba4x is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tube Sound View Post
You already have Blueridge covered, was going to suggest the BR-243A but it is not 11/16". A solid 3/4". Santa may have one under the tree for me. An amazing guitar for the money.
It seems Blueridge and others release adirondack models with a 1 3/4" nut only. It's a trend I've noticed. Finding a 1 11/16" with an adi top is proving difficult. That's why the Recording King model sticks out.

That said I'm quite happy with my Blueridge guitars.
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Jumbo: Larrivee J-03R
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  #6  
Old 12-23-2019, 09:00 AM
syclonegs2003 syclonegs2003 is offline
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I agree The E10D would be your best bet to come close to a DMA. I was at Elderly Instruments in Lansing when I purchased my E10D and I had played all the dreadnoughts they had in the guitar showroom including P.T. DMA, Collings D1A, D1A-T, D1AV, Bourgeois Vintage D, Bourgeois Country Boy, Huss & Dalton TD-M, all the Martins including D18 Authentic 37' (2006), D18 Authentic 39' , HD28V custom, D28 Authentic 37' D28 Authentic 41', D18 2015, D18V 2001, D18GE.. The best sounding guitar to my ears there was the P.T. DMA followed very closely by the Martin D18 Authentic 37' 2006. I walked out of the showroom and noticed a D18GE hanging on the outside wall and when i pulled it down it was in fact a 2011 E10D. I took it back in the showroom to play it and when I hit a couple of chords I was blown away.. This thing was so close to the P.T. DMA that it was rediculous especially at it's price which was less than 1/6th the price of the DMA. I played both of them side by side for a half hour and couldn't believe how close they sounded in volume, projection, bass, mids, thick highs, resonance, sustain, balance. I handed another guy the E10D who had been playing a HD28V Custom and he immediately looked at me and said wow, this thing is unbelievable, very loud, balanced and resonant. His assessment mirrored my own. Every time i now pick it up after playing one of my other Martins, I am always blown away and happy that I found it. It made me a believer.
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Old 12-23-2019, 09:37 AM
ba4x ba4x is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syclonegs2003 View Post
I agree The E10D would be your best bet to come close to a DMA. I was at Elderly Instruments in Lansing when I purchased my E10D and I had played all the dreadnoughts they had in the guitar showroom including P.T. DMA, Collings D1A, D1A-T, D1AV, Bourgeois Vintage D, Bourgeois Country Boy, Huss & Dalton TD-M, all the Martins including D18 Authentic 37' (2006), D18 Authentic 39' , HD28V custom, D28 Authentic 37' D28 Authentic 41', D18 2015, D18V 2001, D18GE.. The best sounding guitar to my ears there was the P.T. DMA followed very closely by the Martin D18 Authentic 37' 2006. I walked out of the showroom and noticed a D18GE hanging on the outside wall and when i pulled it down it was in fact a 2011 E10D. I took it back in the showroom to play it and when I hit a couple of chords I was blown away.. This thing was so close to the P.T. DMA that it was rediculous especially at it's price which was less than 1/6th the price of the DMA. I played both of them side by side for a half hour and couldn't believe how close they sounded in volume, projection, bass, mids, thick highs, resonance, sustain, balance. I handed another guy the E10D who had been playing a HD28V Custom and he immediately looked at me and said wow, this thing is unbelievable, very loud, balanced and resonant. His assessment mirrored my own. Every time i now pick it up after playing one of my other Martins, I am always blown away and happy that I found it. It made me a believer.
Wow, what an incredible run of guitars to play. Thanks so much for posting your feedback, just the information I was looking for. Good to hear the D-MA was near the top of your list. The E10D sounds like the one... If only there was an 11/16ths version out there. I think the 1939 Martin Authentic D-18 is 11/16, but again that's back in the 5k price range.

I'm actually in Michigan for a few days, maybe I should run down to Elderly. I love that place.
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Dread: Sigma Martin DM-18, Eastman E20SS
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Old 12-23-2019, 10:02 AM
warfrat73 warfrat73 is offline
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The Eastman Slope Shoulder variants seem to have 1 11/16" nuts, and also have Adi tops. Maybe the E10SS?
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  #9  
Old 12-23-2019, 10:18 AM
ba4x ba4x is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warfrat73 View Post
The Eastman Slope Shoulder variants seem to have 1 11/16" nuts, and also have Adi tops. Maybe the E10SS?
Fantastic, didn't know about the E10SS. Thanks. Looks like a shorter scale length, J45 type of guitar. I will look into it and see if I can find one to play!
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Dread: Sigma Martin DM-18, Eastman E20SS
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Jumbo: Larrivee J-03R
Projects: Alvarez 5014, Yamaha FG-335ii
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  #10  
Old 12-23-2019, 07:42 PM
syclonegs2003 syclonegs2003 is offline
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The E10D does have a 1-3/4" nut width but the string spacing at the bridge is only 2-5/32 making the overall feeling similar to a 1-11/16" nut width neck profile...Much easier to play and adjust to compared to a Martin D18GE with 1-3/4" nut width and 2-5/16" string spacing.
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