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OM versus Dread body style?

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Eminent Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 12
Topic starter  

I am looking for a second acoustic or acoustic/electric guitar as a bit of an upgrade from my Dean Traditional S GN. I have been reading a lot online, looking at harmony-central for reviews, and spent some time in several guitar shops listening, looking, and trying to play a little. I am not that great of a player, so it is hard to really judge the 'quality' of an instrument other than asking someone more experienced to play a little on various instruments for me (trying to learn for about a year & a half through lessons, online lessons, and books) I basically set about a $800-$1200 price range. I stum/play with a flatpick, haven't tried fingerpicking really, and don't even know if it is in my future. I want a good solid top (also solid back?) instrument I can grow into, not grow out of.

All in all, I am still a bit undecided. I am kind of leaning towards a Takamine - I have liked the ones I have heard, played with, and read about online. In fact, my eye really took a liking to this one; .

Since I couldn't find a store that had this particular model (and it was a bit above my range), I played some simiar Takamine's in the OM body style, simiar woods and tended to like what I heard. However, several salespeople have tried telling me that OM body styles are more for fingerpickers and I should really be concentrating on dreadnauts. So if I went over my budget a bit and got the Tak above, I'd likely have to order it somewhere. I listened to dread's too, and can understand the 'boomier' sound they can create. All in all, both body styles sounded good to me, but it is kinda like me liking a lot of red wines - without being able to pick out which has more oak or some particular fruit more than the other. I am a big person, so size of the guitar vs. comfort really doesn't seem to be an issue.

I seem to be stuck in this state of indecision, and was wondering if anyone can offer up any tips of what else I should consider. I like a lot of tonal range and very crisp sounds since I like a lot of appregios, but also would like to learn more blues. I also like to play Bob Dylan, Eagles to Staind/3 Doors Down type stuff. I suppose I need to overcome the OM vs. Dread body style first - then decide cutaway or not? Ohhh then all the woods, sitka spruce vs. cedar tops and mahogany vs. rosewood backs... ugh!

Thanks so much. Sorry, I couldn't find much in OM vs. Dread in my searches of the forums.


Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 1468

i have both a dreadnaught and a 000 size which is the same size as an OM.

The dreadnaught was my first guitar and i always felt that it was too big for me which was the impetus for buying a smaller guitar. The one that I have is a Martin 00016GTE acoustic-electric. I'ts a fabulous guitar and would be at the top of your price range. It's solid spruce top with solid mahogany back and sides. I didn't buy it specifically as a fingerpicking guitar but learning fingerpicking was on my mind at the time. It sounds good strumming but sounds better fingerpicked. Spruce/mahogany is considered best for fingerpicking but i'm not sure why.

Honorable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 441

I prefer the OM body style but it is a personal choice. Basically OM's will have clearer mid and high ranges and dreadnaughts better bass response. I spend about equal time fingerpicking and flatpicking, so you can definitly strumm an OM with great results. For that matter you can also fingerpick a dreadnaught with great results.

OM's also generally have slimmer necks, they were made that way to accomodate banjo players I beleive.

Spruce/mahogany is considered best for fingerpicking but i'm not sure why.

Spruce/mahogany is considered is a great combo for any style of play, only beat by spruce/rosewood. It is due to the sound responses of different woods. Many manufactures market cedar tops as the choice wood for fingerpicking. I personally prefer a spruce top because cedar is very soft and I tend to be a bid clumsy with my guitars sometimes, though I have loved the sound of many cedar top guitars.

Good luck.