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.