Shopping for an acoustic - Martin or ?

NateD81

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Backstory is this: I have a Martin 000-18 that is absolutely wonderful, I love it. I have a Gibson hummingbird that is also great, but I always gravitate to my Martin. I’m going through a divorce and am parting with the Hummingbird because my ex loves it and is learning to play and I’m too nice. Anyway, opportunity has arisen to buy a new guitar.

I play 99% finger style, and what I love about my Martin is that it’s so incredibly rsponsive. I love having a second acoustic so I can have one in standard tuning and another in a different type of tuning.

I’m most interested in Martins, but open to others. Neck profiles never bother me, so that’s not a consideration. I do like 1.75” nut widths, however, and I want a guitar that is going to be responsive. Don’t we all? I’d prefer to keep things in the 3-4 range, but could be flexible for something special.
 

kbold

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For finger style, perhaps look at the smaller bodied acoustics (OM, 00, 000).
Brand? .... there's lots ... best to try if you can.

Edit: Ooops ... you have an 000 (me speed reading).
 

Milspec

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Since you said finger style is your thing....that tells me Breedlove or Seagull, and they both will not cost you anywhere near that spending limit. I do have a Blueridge BR140 in my living room that has been impressing me.
 

NateD81

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I’m actually planning on trying one out in about a week or so! A 28 has been on my shortlist for awhile.
 

kuch

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Backstory is this: I have a Martin 000-18 that is absolutely wonderful, I love it. I have a Gibson hummingbird that is also great, but I always gravitate to my Martin. I’m going through a divorce and am parting with the Hummingbird because my ex loves it and is learning to play and I’m too nice. Anyway, opportunity has arisen to buy a new guitar.

I play 99% finger style, and what I love about my Martin is that it’s so incredibly rsponsive. I love having a second acoustic so I can have one in standard tuning and another in a different type of tuning.

I’m most interested in Martins, but open to others. Neck profiles never bother me, so that’s not a consideration. I do like 1.75” nut widths, however, and I want a guitar that is going to be responsive. Don’t we all? I’d prefer to keep things in the 3-4 range, but could be flexible for something special.
I have a D-28, 000-28EC, and a 000-18E Retro. Of all of these, the EC is my favorite. I've A/B'd the D-28 and the EC and the D-28 is slightly better sounding but no by much. Both are 1999 models. Good luck in your search.
 

WingedWords

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Have had a couple of Martins, 00018 and OM21, for finger picking. I've recently had a hankering to go back to where I started 50+ years ago, playing cowboy chord versions from the Bob Dylan Songbook and ogling the Gibsons in Charing Cross Road shop windows. Think I need to have had a J45 in my life before I go. (Though I might settle for an equivalent from the excellent Eastman range.) What I'm saying is that it's good to have something different.

Whatever, I hope six strings help you through the divorce. I'm having a rough time at the moment and yesterday found this lovely Instagram post from the superb Charlie Parr
 
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chezdeluxe

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I would go OM 28 Probably the best favored finger style guitar out there.

A rosewood back and sides and ebony fingerboard and bridge with the same body size as your 000 18 mahogany/rosewood mix gives you a tonal difference.

The 25.4 inch scale of the OM compared to the 24.9 of the OOO lends itself to drop tunings such as dadgad open G and dropped or double dropped D.
 

Tarkus60

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My D18 is the finest work of art...... thumbnail (14).jpg
 

Maguchi

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Backstory is this: I have a Martin 000-18 that is absolutely wonderful, I love it. I have a Gibson hummingbird that is also great, but I always gravitate to my Martin. I’m going through a divorce and am parting with the Hummingbird because my ex loves it and is learning to play and I’m too nice. Anyway, opportunity has arisen to buy a new guitar.

I play 99% finger style, and what I love about my Martin is that it’s so incredibly rsponsive. I love having a second acoustic so I can have one in standard tuning and another in a different type of tuning.

I’m most interested in Martins, but open to others. Neck profiles never bother me, so that’s not a consideration. I do like 1.75” nut widths, however, and I want a guitar that is going to be responsive. Don’t we all? I’d prefer to keep things in the 3-4 range, but could be flexible for something special.
Can't go wrong with a Martin, Gibson or Guild.
 

Unionjack515

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With some searching and shrewd negotiating you should be able to find an OM-28 Marquis (Martin) for that money—secondhand. It would surprise me if you could find one with a rosewood other than Indian (Madagascar would be a steal at that price), but you’ll be able to land an Adirondack top. I’d target one with a cut-through (“long”) saddle but at the end of the day, all personal preference of course. The traditional style OM guitars will give you nice string spacing. Good luck on your hunt!

This is a nice example not far above the top end of your price range:

 

Telekarster

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Yep.... OM-28 would be my first choice if I was a primary finger picker, but in reality, I really can't think of any Martin this isn't wonderful in this area. Then again, I'm Martin biased. I've never really been able to bond with Taylor's and such, even though my first acoustic was an Alvarez... but that's a different story ;) Sorry to hear what you're going through, but good luck on your search! That Hummingbird is a heck of a guitar. I've never owned one but I played one, once, and liked it. You're very generous, and that's a good thing IMO
 

Thoughtfree

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You wish to keep it in the 3-4 range?

I recommend the A&L Roadhouse, though it's gone up in price lately. I paid 450 for mine, but now I see them over 500.

a&l.jpg


In all seriousness, if you are open to a budget guitar, this plays well, and extremely in-tune with itself.
 

Boreas

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My favorite guitar in my collection is a beat up 1951 00-18. But my next favorite is a 1954 Gibson LG-1. The Martin sounds worlds better, but those old small-bodied Gibsons just feel right and have blues tone nailed. Or should I say, blues tones were likely shaped by Gibson back then - especially their more affordable models. Some day, I may look for an old LG-2 with improved bracing. I had a couple small-bodied pre-war Kalamazoos, but the tone was a little too harsh.

One wouldn't think so, but there is a world of difference between a Martin 000, a 00, and a 0. I have a new 0-15M, but I hate the scale length so it kinda feels like a long-neck banjo to me. It just doesn't have an intimate feel or tone IMO. I would love to find an old 0-18. Most people prefer rosewood bodies, but I much prefer mahogany. I am also considering a Martin 5-18, but have never played one.
 

Chiogtr4x

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My favorite guitar in my collection is a beat up 1951 00-18. But my next favorite is a 1954 Gibson LG-1. The Martin sounds worlds better, but those old small-bodied Gibsons just feel right and have blues tone nailed. Or should I say, blues tones were likely shaped by Gibson back then - especially their more affordable models. Some day, I may look for an old LG-2 with improved bracing. I had a couple small-bodied pre-war Kalamazoos, but the tone was a little too harsh.

One wouldn't think so, but there is a world of difference between a Martin 000, a 00, and a 0. I have a new 0-15M, but I hate the scale length so it kinda feels like a long-neck banjo to me. It just doesn't have an intimate feel or tone IMO. I would love to find an old 0-18. Most people prefer rosewood bodies, but I much prefer mahogany. I am also considering a Martin 5-18, but have never played one.
Is the Martin 5-18 the teeny Bobbie Gentry/ " Ode to Billy Joe" model? ( looks like a baby 000-18?)
A bluegrass collector friend of mine has one of those I've played before ( tuned up) that was pretty cool!
( if that's the same model)
 

Boreas

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Is the Martin 5-18 the teeny Bobbie Gentry/ " Ode to Billy Joe" model? ( looks like a baby 000-18?)
A bluegrass collector friend of mine has one of those I've played before ( tuned up) that was pretty cool!
( if that's the same model)
It is pretty small - a parlor essentially. Don't know what she used, but Marty Robbins used a fancy 5-45 or similar. Singing cowboys could fit them in their rhinestone-encrusted saddlebags.
 

Chiogtr4x

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It is pretty small - a parlor essentially. Don't know what she used, but Marty Robbins used a fancy 5-45 or similar. Singing cowboys could fit them in their rhinestone-encrusted saddlebags.
Here's a fave of mine ( not mine, would love one!)
Joan Baez's 0-45 - beautiful, with a big clear sound ( just like Joan!)
 

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Boreas

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Here's a fave of mine ( not mine, would love one!)
Joan Baez's 0-45 - beautiful, with a big clear sound
I had a 000-16SGT for a while. Great guitar, but I never bonded with it. I think it was the 12-fret slotted neck. The shorter neck on the larger body didn't work for me. Perhaps it was the wider board. But for fingerpicking, it sounded glorious.
 




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