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  #1  
Old 06-28-2016, 11:09 AM
noahgreene noahgreene is offline
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Default Martin OM-28 vs. J-40

I am in the market for a new acoustic guitar. I'm studying music this fall with guitar as my primary instrument. I have been playing an HD-28 built by my grandfather with zebra wood back and sides; but I do not want to risk anything happening to it at school.

I have been looking at the HD-28V, M-36, J-40 and OM-28. I have basically ruled out the HD-28V, since I already have a dread. I'm not sure about the M-36, since I've seen mixed reviews on the instrument. I love the sound of the J-40, but the size seems a little cumbersome. I love the feel and high end of the OM-28, but I'm not sure how it does as a strummer.

I play many different styles. Rock, blues, bluegrass, country, contemporary Christian, Jazz etc. I finger pick, flat pick, and strum. If I was doing bluegrass, I would have to grab the dread, but I would love a do all guitar (If thats even possible). Any thoughts? I'm leaning towards the OM-28 for the moment.
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Old 06-28-2016, 12:49 PM
BFD BFD is offline
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I've got a couple of dreads that I love; both are great for rhythm and lead; one has an 1-3/4 nut. I've got an nice import OM (Guild GAD) that I like pretty well, though I don't love the neck profile. Some sort of OM-28, with a good sized voice and a somewhat chunkier neck than the Guild is on my long term list. I'd consider it my perfect rhythm, flatpick, fingerstyle guitar.
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Old 06-28-2016, 12:55 PM
GibbyPrague GibbyPrague is offline
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So if your question is whether to choose teh OM-28 and J-40, i think they both would do well as they are both balanced for a rosewood Martin.

However I own and like the J-40 because its is very balanced, something i struggle to find in Martins in general, and also has that high end 'shimmer' that you only for some reason find in 40 series Martins.

The tone is quintessential Martin, but has balance and a good deal of sparkle.

Although, given you play so many styles i would like at a J-45 or AJ if you want rosewood first as I find it overall more versatile than either of those models.
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Old 06-28-2016, 12:57 PM
Nyghthawk Nyghthawk is offline
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Default J-40

If you want a great example of the variety of styles and sounds you can get out of a j-40 just pull up anything by the Indigo Girls. A lot of great acoustic guitar. Huge sound!
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Old 06-28-2016, 01:05 PM
WHguitarNYC WHguitarNYC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noahgreene View Post
I am in the market for a new acoustic guitar. I'm studying music this fall with guitar as my primary instrument. I have been playing an HD-28 built by my grandfather with zebra wood back and sides; but I do not want to risk anything happening to it at school.

I have been looking at the HD-28V, M-36, J-40 and OM-28. I have basically ruled out the HD-28V, since I already have a dread. I'm not sure about the M-36, since I've seen mixed reviews on the instrument. I love the sound of the J-40, but the size seems a little cumbersome. I love the feel and high end of the OM-28, but I'm not sure how it does as a strummer.

I play many different styles. Rock, blues, bluegrass, country, contemporary Christian, Jazz etc. I finger pick, flat pick, and strum. If I was doing bluegrass, I would have to grab the dread, but I would love a do all guitar (If thats even possible). Any thoughts? I'm leaning towards the OM-28 for the moment.
I have not played a J-40 but I do own several Martins including an OM-28, a D-28, an OMJM, and recently sold a 000-28 Custom. All I can say is that the OM-28 is a fantastic guitar (both in fit/finish and sound) and I finger-pick and strum with ease.

Looking at the specs between the two, the J-40 has a narrower nut width and narrower string spacing at the bridge. It also has thicker braces, a different neck profile (Low Profile vs MLO), and is recommended for medium strings vs lights (for the OM-28). It also looks to have a wider lower bout. These should all be considerations for you. Best bet is to try to spend some time with each to figure out what you like. Bring the HD-28 along as a comparison.

All that said, there is something special going on in Nazareth these days...
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Old 06-28-2016, 03:28 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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The M-36 is a thinner bodied 0000 guitar and with less low end compared to a J-40 or a D-28. The J-40 has the same 0000 body shape / size plus the depth of a dreadnought. But the pinched waist gives it more tonal definition than a boomy dreadnought. It is a really nice guitar, and baffling that it has not been more popular.

The J-40 that I recently sold was with me for 26 years, and held its own nicely as a fingerstyle guitar, and flat picked at bluegrass jams. It sounded awesome, especially as it aged. The only reason it sold was my recent fretting hand dislike of 1-11/16" MLO necks. Had I ordered it with a wider 1-7/8" or even a 1-3/4" soft V-carve neck, it would still be here.

I've only played a few OM-28's so don't have any real useful comments. Nothing negative about the OM, just not much useful information to add. The only thing I can say is that it will be a slightly smaller and more comfortable body to hold -- if you don't like the depth and width of dreadnought guitars. The J-40 and the D-28 both have the same lower bout width and fit dreadnought cases.
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Old 06-28-2016, 03:59 PM
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Brucebubs Brucebubs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noahgreene View Post

I have basically ruled out the HD-28V, since I already have a dread. I'm not sure about the M-36, since I've seen mixed reviews on the instrument. I love the sound of the J-40, but the size seems a little cumbersome.
That sounds a little strange.
If you're already playing a HD-28 then you could find the J-40 a little more comfortable because it has the exact same 4 7/8" body depth and a narrower, 'pinched' waist.
Check out these body size comparisons between the OM, 0000/M (J-40) and Dreadnought.




In fact, for some of us the J-40 tends to make dreadnoughts feel a little 'cumbersome'.

p.s. Check your 'Private Messages' box.
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Last edited by Brucebubs; 06-28-2016 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 06-29-2016, 10:34 AM
StringFive StringFive is offline
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The J-40 is an absolutely great guitar. But if you are worried about the jumbo being a bit cumbersome, then the OM would be a better choice. I've got D28 and an OM28v...a perfect pair IMO
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Old 06-29-2016, 11:02 AM
RustyAxe RustyAxe is offline
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My duo partner has both. The J-40 isn't nearly as cumbersome as you think. It's narrow waist and small-ish upper bout make it ergonomically comfortable, while its big lower bout gives the punch of a dread.

The OM-28 (his is the OM-28e retro) is likewise comfortable to play, sounds great when played fingerstyle or strummed (he's a hybrid picker).
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