Martin OMC Aura - update - OMG!!

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TonyRTonyR Frets: 727
edited March 4 in Acoustics
I'm looking to purchase a nice used acoustic (with cutaway) and had seen a very tasty Taylor 714CE, but @stickyfiddle's wise words in my "Thinning the herd..." thread made me realise that I need to try out other guitars before rushing headlong into the first one I see!

I've spotted a Martin OMC Aura (cheaper than the Taylor) fairly local to me that I'm going to go and try out.

I know they look a bit "blingy" for a Martin, they have a bolt neck mount (similar to the Taylor) and the Aura system takes some work to get the best out of and some say isn’t as good as the ES system used on the Taylor.

There seem to be mixed reviews of the guitars, and some say they are not held in particularly high regard - but is that just snobbery from Martin traditionalists?

Any experience of them? Is there anything I need to look out for with these guitars? 

Thanks

Tony
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Comments

  • BigLicks67BigLicks67 Frets: 425
    @ICBM will be along shortly to tell how bad the Taylor Es system is. General consensus in this section is that it's better to get the least intrusive pick up system and then add preamps etc outside of the guitar. For example, get a used OM21 fit a K&K pure mini and then buy the Aura system separately. The OMC seems to be coming in a £3k so I'd say you would have plenty of budget for that and probably save money.
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  • Am I right in thinking that an on-board Aura munches its way through PP3 batteries at an alarming rate???
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  • TonyRTonyR Frets: 727
    edited March 4
    Thanks @BigLicks67, it’s an acoustic with a cutaway I’m after not sure the OM21 is?

    Both the OMC and the 714CE are used and the OMC is actually the cheaper of the two. I’ve changed my original post to reflect this.

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  • BigLicks67BigLicks67 Frets: 425
    The OMC sounds a bit like the old Jacques Stotzem signature guitar. I think it had an ellipse pickup going into an Aura box. So it should sound a bit like this:



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  • crunchmancrunchman Frets: 3353
    @ICBM will be along shortly to tell how bad the Taylor Es system is. General consensus in this section is that it's better to get the least intrusive pick up system and then add preamps etc outside of the guitar. For example, get a used OM21 fit a K&K pure mini and then buy the Aura system separately. The OMC seems to be coming in a £3k so I'd say you would have plenty of budget for that and probably save money.
    Think the Aura box is designed for undersaddle pickups.  Not sure how it would work with a K&K.  K&K sounds more natural so you maybe ok with something that doesn't have all the digital trickery of the Aura.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 30907
    crunchman said:
    @ICBM will be along shortly to tell how bad the Taylor Es system is. General consensus in this section is that it's better to get the least intrusive pick up system and then add preamps etc outside of the guitar. For example, get a used OM21 fit a K&K pure mini and then buy the Aura system separately. The OMC seems to be coming in a £3k so I'd say you would have plenty of budget for that and probably save money.
    Think the Aura box is designed for undersaddle pickups.  Not sure how it would work with a K&K.  K&K sounds more natural so you maybe ok with something that doesn't have all the digital trickery of the Aura.
    It is, but you can blend the amount of 'Aura' with the normal pickup sound so you may be able to get a good compromise - I haven't tried it. The Aura is designed to give the best response with USTs though - it wants the clearest string signal.

    Regarding the Taylor ES, I actually haven't seen a single one of the new version die yet, and it doesn't sound as 'electric' on the plain strings in the middle of the neck as the old one, so perhaps they've actually got it right this time... I still don't like building complex preamp systems into nice acoustic guitars that should outlive them though.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • olafgartenolafgarten Frets: 1323
    Unfortunately Martin don't do a cutaway model without a pickup, but your best bet is to get one with a pickup but with the controls in the sound hole and then get the outboard Aura Spectrum DI for £350.

    That way the system can be easily upgraded in future and as it is a newer Aura system, probably sound better.
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  • LewyLewy Frets: 650
    crunchman said:
    Think the Aura box is designed for undersaddle pickups.  Not sure how it would work with a K&K. 
     Badly, in my experience.
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  • TonyRTonyR Frets: 727
    edited March 5
    Well, I went to have a look at the OMC Aura this morning and guess what...

    ...I came away with it!

    Not really sure the previous owner had used it that much in recent times, the strings were very tired and well past their best, but even so the guitar played beautifully and sounded lovely.

    I gave it a bit of a clean and put some new D’Addario EXP16 strings on it this afternoon and WOW, the guitar sounds incredible! I haven't tried the Aura system out yet (need to get a PP3 battery), I've only played it unplugged and can honestly say I have never played an acoustic guitar that sounds this good  - the sustain is unbelievable. 

    The abalone is a bit blingy, but I can forgive it that, purely on how it sounds, plus it's got a bomb proof case!

    Price paid? A tad over £1100 - which I was very happy with.

    Here you go:


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  • Strat_a_tat_tatStrat_a_tat_tat Frets: 2005

    Sounds like a good price.

    What did these cost when new?

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  • CountryDaveCountryDave Frets: 111
    Blimey. That sounds like a great deal. 
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  • TonyRTonyR Frets: 727
    edited March 5

    What did these cost when new?

    Now, that I don’t know...
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  • bandmaster188bandmaster188 Frets: 261
    edited March 5

    Sounds like a good price.

    What did these cost when new?

    They were £2400 ish when they were released in 2008. So I reckon that was a great buy!
    The Swamp City Shakers
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  • I have a Martin OMC-35E, so its a standard series OM with the Aura system in it. The Aura I have is cut down, so only has one image. 3 controls in total, and it sounds the business in a really simple layout. I recognise the issue with outdated pickup systems and all the rest, but you can just turn down the aura and use the fishman undersaddle if needed. Great instrument
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