Trade My D1A Varnish For An OM1ATrad?

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FreeBlues
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:26 pm

Trade My D1A Varnish For An OM1ATrad?

Post: # 5569Post FreeBlues
Sat May 21, 2022 6:22 pm

Hey guys, I'm back after a long hiatus - I've stayed off guitar forums because they ended up costing me too much!

Anyway, here's my situation. I own a 2011 D1A Varnish that I flat out love. It's a beast, when needed, and plays beautifully when played softly. Really, there's nothing about this guitar I don't like. For context I play every Sunday in church and am the rhythm guitar player in a gigging Gypsy jazz band - think Django Reinhardt. The guitar gets a workout on all sorts of music in all sorts of venues, and never disappoints.

But...

Increasingly I find that when playing seated the size of a dread hurts my back and shoulder. Not a problem standing, just sitting. I've tried different chairs, different positions, everything I can think if but the discomfort remains. At 71 I don't see this getting any better, only worse. So, I think an OM is the best solution. It will cover all my current musical needs and - hopefully - alleviate my back and shoulder issues.

Which brings me to a decision on which OM to get. It's possible if an OM1A Varnish showed up that would be my first choice, but these never show up. Lots and lots of guys think the OM1ATrad is every bit as good, or maybe even better. Since this guitar is my first choice as a replacement, I'm asking if any of you have an opinion on what I can expect going from my current dread to an OM, and if an OM1AT is a good alternative. Stated somewhat differently, if dreads are no longer viable, would this particular OM be a good replacement for my particular dread. If it helps, I'm just not interested in the JL version of this guitar, but am open to other suggestions.

Finally, I have no idea what the used guitar market is like these days. Should I decide to sell the D1A Varnish what do you think a fair price is? The guitar is in great shape, no issues and so forth. I'm not looking to make a fortune, nor is a fire sale price an option, just looking for a reasonable ballpark.

Thanks!

uponamouse
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:39 pm
Real Name: Tom N

Re: Trade My D1A Varnish For An OM1ATrad?

Post: # 5570Post uponamouse
Sat May 21, 2022 9:45 pm

It's always good to hear from you, FreeBlues!

I can address a portion of your question: My OM1A varnish is a great guitar. My D2H is also fine. Both get played about equally. I understand the comfort factor of an OM body. I think going from D to OM will work fine for how you perform.
I played an OM1A Trad at Gryphon last fall, and it really shone—the trebles were particularly fine. I didn't have my OM at hand to compare directly, but I was quite impressed with the OM1A T. If I didn't have mine plus another builder's rosewood OM, the OM1A T would have been a slam dunk. I think you'll like it a lot.
Cheers, Tom

Wproffitt
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2020 7:01 pm
Real Name: Scott Proffitt

Re: Trade My D1A Varnish For An OM1ATrad?

Post: # 5574Post Wproffitt
Sun May 22, 2022 4:19 pm

This may be less helpful than the last response, but I’d I’m reading your post correctly, your concern here is with keeping up with the band without the size of the dread. Am I right? If so, take this for what it’s worth because I only have a “regular” OM1-T, with Sitka, but here goes: the clarity and string definition are quite impressive with these models. So much so that when I played in a small venue as part of an acoustic duo last weekend, the other guitarist felt the need to bring his Dread to “keep up” with me in terms of volume. I’m not ham-fisted and the strings I play with aren’t especially bright or loud, so I chalk it up to something in the character of the T version of the Collings OM models. I don’t think you’d have a problem using this for rhythm work in a gypsy jazz context. I’m sure the Adirondack version would have quite a bit more oomph on tap, as well.

FreeBlues
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:26 pm

Re: Trade My D1A Varnish For An OM1ATrad?

Post: # 5576Post FreeBlues
Sun May 22, 2022 7:57 pm

Thanks guys! Turns out I found a stupid, near criminal deal on a 2019, near mint OM1AT. Arrives in a few days or so.

Very helpful and encouraging that this guitar - and all the T's - seem to get uniformly great reviews. Much as I love my Varnish, which also got great reviews back in the day, seems like the T's maybe even better the Varnish. Sounds good to me!

As to the volume issue, actually I'm not concerned about the OM vs. dread. With the church band I'm always going through a PA and the gypsy jazz thing is maybe 50/50 acoustic or amped. When we play all acoustic, small rooms and such, an OM is more than loud enough, especially for me, the rhythm player. My dread vs. OM wonderings are more tone than volume related. I'm used to the big bottom end, power of a dread as opposed to the more balance OM. I'm hoping this Collings OM will be a good replacement and offer equally great, if just different tone.

Now on to sell the D1A Varnish.

Wproffitt
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2020 7:01 pm
Real Name: Scott Proffitt

Re: Trade My D1A Varnish For An OM1ATrad?

Post: # 5581Post Wproffitt
Sun May 22, 2022 10:19 pm

Wow! That was fast! 😅 Keep us posted on your new OM1A-T when it arrives. You will definitely note the more balanced profile of the sound it produces. As for the form factor. My dread now feels huge to me since I started mostly playing my OM a year and a half ago. I’m not saying I’ll never go back, but this size seems just right for my needs. The sound and playability don’t hurt either.😉
Last edited by Wproffitt on Mon May 23, 2022 11:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

uponamouse
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:39 pm
Real Name: Tom N

Re: Trade My D1A Varnish For An OM1ATrad?

Post: # 5582Post uponamouse
Mon May 23, 2022 12:52 am

Fast indeed! Looking forward to your report.
Cheers, Tom

Eric Jones
Posts: 101
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:05 am

Re: Trade My D1A Varnish For An OM1ATrad?

Post: # 5593Post Eric Jones
Sun May 29, 2022 7:02 pm

Free blues,

Has the OM1AT arrived yet? Enquiring minds...

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