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Hi Friends,  I'm new to AC...Nice to meet ya :)


I would love your help to decide on which guitar to buy.  I went in search of a new acoustic guitar and decided to play as many guitars as possible.  Price was not the focus...just the sound and how well it suited my playing and my music.  So here is what I liked in order:


MARTIN- 00028 ERIC CLAPTON : Sitka Spruce, Indian Rosewood B/S, Herringbone

GIBSON- KEB MO : Adirondak Spruce, Mahogany B/S, Herringbone

BOURGEOIS -VINTAGE OM BURST : Adirondak Spruce, Rosewood B/S. Herringbone, Pyramid Bridge

GIBSON J-45 SUNBURST : Sitka Spruce, Mahogany B/S, Herringbone



The Martin I picked first because it has a great sound and sustain but the looks not so

The Keb Mo...I fell in love with it...the sound, size and looks *sigh*

Bougeois was the first one I fell in love with but then the Keb Mo came along...ahahhaaha

Gibson J-45 Reminded me of the Keb Mo...nuff said.  


I love parlours, small bodies guitars, bass, sustain, and well balanced guitars.


So as I hummed and haawwwed over those guitars as they were not within (my budget about $2200) with taxes etc. I tried the Breedlove American Series Guitars.  They sounded well balanced, played well anywhere on the neck and had a great bass response and looks nice too.  But I am undecided as I am mostly a flat picker.


I tried the Breedlove C25-SSE finger picking great, flat picking too bright for me.

Tried the Breedlove C25-CRE-H Finger picking too quiet and too dark, Flat picking awesome.

Considering the C25-SRE-H -have not tried..was told it may be as bright as the C25-SSE 


I like the Breedlove C25-CRE-H but the finger picking is too quiet and dark.  Taylors were a little too bright for me.

So my question is I am trying to find a guitar with a similar sound to the Martin, Gibson Keb, Bourgeois and Gibson J45 all of those seem to have great volume, BASS and treble for finger or flat picking?  Any Ideas or suggestion on guitars I could try or consider around $2200?  






Tags: bourgeois, breedlove, gibson, martin

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The HD-28 is high up on my son's interest scale, though he doesn't yet have one. They are very fine sounding guitars and i believe they have scalloped bracing. I like them myself.

With that, let me open myself up to criticism for holding the following opinion:

My first Martin was a 1964 D28 which i still have. For the longest time, it was my only guitar and i learned most of what i know on it.

Having given you that background, i'm going stick my neck out and say that, for many players, a 000 or OM sized guitar is arguably a better overall instrument for a single-guitar owner, especially one who wants to engage in several styles. The body size is just less cumbersome, they can have almost as much volume, they generally have a more balanced tone, their 1-3/4" nut width is more suitable for fingerpicking (maybe the HD28 is 1-3/4, but i'm not sure), they can be fingerpicked more readily without using fingerpicks, they flatpick very well, and they are voiced by Martin for light gauge strings, making them easier to play. I know many players put lights on their D's, but i know Martin voices them for mediums and i dont think you'll get the intended tone out of a D with lights, though that, of course, is up to the individual.

I wanted to be a bluegrass player when i got that D28 back in 1964. If i had to do it over again, i'd get an OM. It would have served more purposes more easily. Today, i have two OM Martins and one fine 000 and i play those a lot more than my old D-28.

Just some food for thought from one individual.
Remember that the one i'm talking about is the OM-21 SPECIAL. It's this last word which helps set it apart from the rest. Best of luck.

Hey Carl, I had a chance to listen to the OM21 Special online and it sounded great but I will have to try it in person. Great point to pick a guitar that will be versatile. I am hoping to get the best of both worlds (quality, herringbone, some and great sound with a nice low end)

Hey Ed Rhoades, Thanks for letting me know about NAMM...great idea I may wait until then...Do you think I may find something in my price range?

I think I like the Martin Performing Artist Series #1 although I am not sure how they sound as yet. Have you all tried them and how do they compare to the HD-28? Also do you think I can find a Performing Artist Series #1 in my price range online? Thanks Again Everyone for all your advice it's very helpful and much appreciated. :)

Lin, I'm not exactly sure how it works. I've heard there is a great advantage to buying a Martin in the US because you get the full warranty. For you, it may be more cost effective to visit Some US stores...where you can get a sizable discount. 

Martin lists full retail, stores advertise MAP which is the price they are allowed to advertise, but you can often get a better price from a dealer. With that in mind, this is your price range now, but no one knows exactly what the new models and prices will be. 

I'll be trying out all the new models at Edapaloosa, but for now, we just have teasers. 

You're probably going to pay just under $3,000 for a brand new Martin DCPA-1 ... The HD-28 with no electronics is about $450-$500 less.  By the time you have a real good pick-up professionally installed, they are going to be about the same investment.

I've played the HD-28 and the DCPA-1.  What you get with the DCPA-1 is a 1 3/4 inch nut width and a neck profile that is more like an electric guitar than that of the 1 11/16 inch nut and neck on the HD-28.  You also get the cut-away and honestly, the built-in Aura sound you get with the DCPA-1 is fantastic!  When played accoustically, the DCPA-1 is impressive as well, possessing the same voice you'd expect from a premium high-end Sika spruce, solid rosewood Martin dreadnought.  DCPA-1 has mortis and tenon neck while HD-28 is traditional dovetail if that is an issue with you.

To me it would boil down to what I wanted to use the guitar for and how comfortable I was with the wider nut and more streamline neck profile.  Also, whether or not, I was interested in the real state-of-the-art electronics which can produce some sensational sound when plugged in that you won't get with an HD-28 even when an after market pick-up is installed.


I'd certainly love to have this particular choice to make!!  Good luck!

There are other effective pickups besides the Aura...which I believe is an expensive component of the Performance Artist Series.  (Except for 4, which is analog).  

The Aura's sound imaging is first rate...especially for studio work. The guitarist who played most of the lead tracks on our CD played a Performance Artist and the recording was fantastic. I also have a Martin with an Ellipse Blend which can really sound great for recording.  

However, the K&K mini Western sells for about $87 and it is passive (no batteries needed) and has amazing reproduction. For studio recording, I like to mike my guitar and record it through the K&K and blend them.  The K&K reminds me of the old Barcus Berry pickups, except it has three parts for bass, mids and trebles, and it's more efficient. It doesn't have any of the under saddle 'quack.'  (That metallic attach sound seems worse in recording than playing live.)

I like the DCPA-1, but I like dreadnoughts. The more popular models look a bit like Taylors. I asked Chris Martin about migrating the sound imaging technology to lower models and he said they're reluctant to produce a guitar with electronics more expensive than the guitar.  

I higher end Martin will have a little better sanding on the braces...more attention to detail than a 16 series. (which is what the appointments of the PA series are.)

Hi Ed ... I agree with pretty much everyhting you say except for the last sentence.  The PA-4's do have 16-series appointments, but the PA-1's are in a whole different league with gorgeous abalone rosette/fingerboard/headstock inlays and premium bindings, etc. of the type found on the 41's

Hey Everyone,  Well here is my update.  I tried more guitars.  I tried the Martin DCPA-1, the OM-21 Special.  Both great guitars.  I liked the Martin DCPA-1- it sounds great and looks great but learned that the dreadnought sound is great but not for me as and the OM Styles gives me more versatility as mentioned to me by Carl and the neck playability seemed a little stiff on the DCPA-1

This discovery led me to really like the sound of the Martin OM 28v although I would like something with a little bling.

Do you know anything about these guitars that I have not played and I am considering:

Lakewood M32- Rosewood B/S,
Eggle Linvile OM- Rosewood B/S,

Martin GPCPA1,

Martin OMCPA1.

How do those guitars compare to the Martin OM 28v that I have played and like?

Also what do you think of these guitars I found here?... any good ones that stand you to you?  ParamountGuitars(dot)net


Hey Jud and Ed, Thanks for your advice. I do plan to perform with this guitar but I want it to sound just as great unplugged. I know the electronics in the Martin PA1 Series is Awesome!  I suppose if I get a handmade guitar I can add a pick up to it?  I plan to keep this guitar for a long, long time.


I thought I would just pick a guitar and BLAM! I would be done... but I realize that you discover so much more in this process.  Hope you all are having a great weekend :)



Lin ... The hunt is half the fun ... !!!  Enjoy it.

PS:  I've played the Martin GCPA-1 unplugged, and I'd say that unless you're going to spend a lot of time performing on stage or recording in the studio, it might not be the guitar for you.  Conservatively, I'd say $700-$800 of the $3,000 cost is in the Aura electronics.  Unplugged, it was nice, but not overwhelming.  You can find a really nice smaller size Martin (or other make) and put in a really nice pick-up for less than $3,000 and have exactly the guitar you want.  Because it's a special vintage re-issue, you'll pay a premium (about $3K) for the OM-28V, but if it's in your budget, you'll probably love it.  The standard OM-28 is considerably less.  both have the 1.75 inch nut width that I particularly cherish.

If you are considering a custom-built guitar, check out Jay Lichty's page here, and his website. His guitars are beautiful, and (at least from what I can hear here), they sound great!

Hi Lin,

Just my 2 cents...

For the C25-CRE-H - This particular Breedlove has a cedar top, which tends to be quieter & darker than spruce. If it is too quiet/dark for you, stay away from guitars with Cedar tops.

The C25-SSE has a Sitka Spruce top, which is very popular but does tend to have those bright qualities to it when flatpicked.

Something in the middle: Have you ever played a Redwood-topped guitar? In building guitars, I've found that redwood tops tend to fall in between cedar and spruce - redwood tends to be brighter than Cedar, but Warmer and less harshly bright than Sitka Spruce.

Of course there are a million other factors that contribute to the sound, but the above is true if all else is equal.

Sorry I don't have any specific suggestions for you, but I hope that helps!


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