In 1930 the OM (Orchestra Model) debuted in the Martin catalog and part of it’s success was due to having the 14 fret /long scale neck, which like a Dreadnought, provided a punchy presentation. The Dreadnought in 1934 was classified as an Orchestra Model Size D and all other 12 fret guitars were listed as “standard” models. The OM model was based on the 000-12 Fret, but Martin shortened the body rather than moving the bridge to accommodate a 14-fret neck. It produces more bass than a 000-12 or smaller models and has a very balanced tone.
The OM is used by finger style players because of it’s subtle tonal qualities unique to this model’s body depth. The shallower body shape produces a quicker response time when played which is especially appreciated by finger style players and songwriters.
The OM’s body shape is very comfortable to play and many musicians with bad shoulders and also women prefer it over the Dreadnought as it still has the power to deliver. It is versatile and can accommodate all playing styles, strumming or picking. You can even make the OM with a slotted headstock and due to increased angle of the strings and the downward pressure it can help produce more sound.
Here are some samples of OM guitars we have made over the years.
We are honored that several talented musicians have a Thompson OM Model in their collection. Check out the videos of these OM guitars in action with the likes of Billy Strings, Jordan Tice (Hawktail), Dale Adkins and a Peghead Nation review with Teja Gerken.
Recently Darrell Scott acquired a Thompson guitar and as a singer/songwriter he is loving his new OM model. (videos to come)
Peghead Nation with Teja Gerken