What is the difference between a Martin 000 and OM?
A very common question around here is what is the difference between a Martin 000 and OM guitar? By simply looking at them there are very few things that are noticeable. But looks can be deceiving, there are more differences than you may think.
For the sake of this comparison, let's look at a 000-28 and an OM-28 from the Martin Standard Series.
The confusion with these guitars starts with the body size, which is exactly the same. Both the 000 and the OM have a "000" 15" body. So by simply glancing at the two, it is easy to get them mixed up.
In addition, both guitars have a Sitka spruce top, rosewood back and sides and both guitars have an ebony fingerboard.
The 3 Main Differences
There are 3 main differences when it comes to these two guitars. While it is easy to list the differences, which one sounds and plays better is a matter of personal preference, which is why we always recommend playing them both in order to determine which model you prefer.
1. Scale Length
The scale length of the guitars will be the most obvious difference to most people when they pick up these two guitars. the 000 guitar has a short 24.9" scale length while the OM has a 25.4" scale length.
The shorter scale length of the 000 makes the strings easier to play as well as gives the guitar a brighter treble response.
The standard scale of the OM elicits more of a mid and bass response, with beautiful balance in the tone.
2. Neck Width
Another difference is the neck width. The 000 series has a 1 11/16" nut while the OM has a nut width of 1 3/4". The wider neck of the OM has traditionally been favored for fingerstyle players.
A hidden, and not often noted difference between these two models is the bracing of the guitar. While both of them offer and X Brace pattern, the OM has a Scalloped brace shape, while the 000 is non-scalloped.
Scalloped bracing allows the top to vibrate more freely while a non-scalloped brace keeps the top more stable for a tighter response.
The Easy Visual Cue
Although purely cosmetic, there is a simple way to pick out an OM from a 000 from across the room (as well as impress your friends). That difference is the pickguard. Yes, it is really that simple. For the OM series, Martin uses a smaller "tear drop" style pickguard, while on the 000, a larger, more "standard" pickguard is used.
Both of these guitars deserve serious consideration, as they are both professional level instruments that sound and play as only a Martin can.
At Music Villa, we always have both OM's and 000's in stock and invite you to come down and try them for yourself. If you're out of the area, check out our online Martin selection
, or give us a call and we can help you find your perfect Martin Guitar.