My Lad

Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 3,203Member
edited December 2018 in Guitar Chat
Jake is a pretty serious acoustic guitarist. He's reached a good standard in playing solo instrumentals. For several years he's been playing a Vintage V300mh which is a really decent guitar but he's always hankered after a Martin OOO15m.

He worked hard all last summer during his break from university and made a few thousand pounds teaching people to sail, safety boating for outreach courses and working on the pier arcade. It's also his 21st soon and, what with Christmas, some money has been coming his way.

I advised him to just go for it. Buy the guitar ! As it happens the best deal was local to us - Project Music. I went there today and they came down from £1,500 to £1,250 with some kit thrown in so I bought it on behalf of my boy who is now really looking forward to getting back from university at Christmas (I just hope he doesn't bring a bag of washing as is usual.)

The guitar is one of the best examples I've seen of a OOO15m. A beautifully straight grain with an even complexion - her tone is sweet, complex and well balanced; it has that buttery, easy action so typical of this model that makes playing a pure joy.

It is excellent but the V300mh really isn't that far behind it and the £1000 price deficit certainly does NOT show. That's not the fault of Martin, it just indicates what good work the Chinese are doing. If the Martin is 100% (which it is) then the V300mh is 93% which (at around £180) is incredible.

I hope for the OOO15m to be Jake's one and only, that they grow old together and that the initial expense will be soon forgotten and that his hankering will be sated and his money saved in the long run. If truth be known, no guitar does it all and there will have to be another (I have my eye on his V300mh already, to complement my snide J45 !)

Reckless for a student to be doing this ? I suppose so. If not now then when ?

PS, I didn't realise that there was a OOO15, which is made of sapele, a less attractive (to my eye) figuring with a transfer rosette and cheaper machine heads - I suspect that some OOO15 guitars are being hawked on ebay as mahogany judging by the banding patterns in the grain on back and front.


  • LesterLester Posts: 1,704Member, Moderator

    (I just hope he doesn't bring a bag of washing as is usual.)

    A bag of washing would be better than him coming home and showing you his new Martin that he bought during the autumn term!
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 3,203Member
    edited December 2018
    Ha ha !!! Great comment.

    No. He assigned me the task so knows all about it.

    The only reason that I haven't followed my own advice to a young man is that I am married. The 1965 Gibson J45 would cost me nearly £10,000. (The cost of wifey's kitchen that I'd have to buy her too.)

    I've been playing the OOO and forgetting that it's not mine. It's such a sweet SWEET little guitar. I cannot find fault in it. On closer inspection it just gets better and better and the more I love it. It has a depth and shimmer to the top that I have not seen in any other mahogany guitar.
  • Derek_RDerek_R Posts: 1,713Member
    Yes, I have the sapele version - it's badged 00015 inside. But you're right - a lot cheaper. Mine was £500. Bargain, I think.

  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 3,203Member
    edited December 2018
    Hopefully he'll learn to play and record it so well... and put it on here !!!
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 3,203Member
    edited December 2018
    ... how the heck did you get one for £500 ??? A bargain indeed !!!
  • Derek_RDerek_R Posts: 1,713Member
    Second hand, Kevin.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,191Member
    Sounds like a great deal KP, and I'm sure the lad will indeed enjoy years of enjoyment from that guitar. It is amazing what the China, Indonesia etc. are producing these days for not that much money. But also, there is something to be said for that extra 7% or so, certainly for a talented player.
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 3,203Member
    edited December 2018
    I think it comes down to scrutiny. Us aficionados spend a lot of time scrutinising our instruments at the closest quarter. Any imperfection will show and eventually dissatisfy.

    This one is flawless. Literally flawless. Beyond that. It gets better and better on scrutiny.

    Derek - A good way of owning (second hand) but there are none in close proximity for inspection.
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,314Member
    That was a good deal Kevin. A good quality 00015m is an excellent choice. I recall a used 00015m I once tried was for me the best of the various Martins I played and far from the most expensive. By "best" I mean it encouraged playing and felt great - much more important than looks and extra subtleties of tone.

    You're right about the way the gap has closed between the good cheaper guitars and the Martins etc of the world. A boon for those of us not in the premier league of players who don't have the skills to make the expensive guitars sound very much better.

    I hope it gives your lad many years of great music.
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 3,203Member
    edited December 2018
    Thanks Mark.

    There is something about that particular model and it's difficult to find a user rating anywhere under 5/5. I feel a bit disloyal not sticking with Mansons and going over to Project Music for the first time.

    I used to love going into Mansons and playing all of the old vintage guitars they had on the wall and up until this purchase, all of my big ticket items had been bought from there - a bit overpriced but I saw that as rewarding them for allowing me a free run of hundreds of guitars.

    They became a dedicated Taylor, Faith, Yamaha, Blueridge... others dealership and dropped all Martins, Gibsons, Sigma and vintage (and Vintage capital V) from their acoustic rooms.

    PM are now dedicated to the brands I prefer (nothing against Faith or Taylor btw - just not for me.) When my boy tasked me with finding a specific Martin that's where I went because they were available to play and anything over £1250 I would have walked away and boyo and I would have done a trip to London.
Sign In or Register to comment.