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Thread: Opinions about trading out a Weber Sage OM #1

  1. #1
    Registered User MooglePower's Avatar
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    Mar 2017
    Santa Barbara, CA

    Default Opinions about trading out a Weber Sage OM #1

    Alright, so I've been playing a Weber Sage OM #1 for quite some time now. I have it tuned to GDAD and primarily play trad tunes or trad accompaniment. I've been curious about getting a bouzouki for a while now, but I'm trying to decide what to do and was hoping some people here would have opinions about this. I have an old Trinity College bouzouki that I got in high school that I learned on and haven't touched much since getting the Weber. Neither of these instruments have pickups installed which would be very useful for me.

    I'm looking at a few different makers such as Macdara Ó Faoláin (who recently made a mandolin for me that I absolutely love), Colm Hassett, Paul Hathway, P.W. Crump, and Davy Stuart. There's also the possibility of trying to find a Peter Abnett bouzouki used, although I'm not sure how hard this is these days. The final option is keeping the Weber Sage and having a pickup installed (such as a K&K which Macdara put into the mandolin he made for me).

    I've heard many players live over the years who have some amazing instruments such as Michael Holmes (P.W. Crump) and Brian McDonagh (Peter Abnett) of Dervish, and also Eamon Doorley (Stefan Sobell) of Danú and Julie Fowlis's backing band. I really like the big, warm sound that they get out of their instruments that I feel is sort of lacking from the Weber Sage that I have, but I'm also wondering about how easy it is to adjust to 660 mm scale length after I've been playing on approximately 600 mm for so long.

    Does anyone have any experience with these makers or any advice here? I'd love to hear anything that anyone has to say about this, to be honest. Thank you so much!

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    No. California

    Default Re: Opinions about trading out a Weber Sage OM #1

    If you’re looking for “the big warm sound,” you should probably stay away from maple back and sides, which is what the Sages often (always?) had, and go for walnut or mahogany. Rosewood on an OM gives too much sustain and overtones for my taste. You might also look into a zouk or OM with a cedar top to get more warmth. Since you mention specific instruments of some players, you might see if you can find out what woods were used in those instruments, but keep in mind that lots of a tone’s magnificence comes from the player.

    Another builder you might check out is Richard Beard, who builds in North Carolina and specializes in OM’s, zouks, and citterns. I have a cittern that he built in 2010 which is an absolute keeper.

    As for the scale length, you’ll feel that, but it’s not like going from mandolin to OM. I find that I can play a little faster on OM than on cittern, so I generally only use the cittern when I am playing on my own,
    still trying to turn dreams into memories

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  4. #3
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Pacific Northwest, USA

    Default Re: Opinions about trading out a Weber Sage OM #1

    If part of what's driving your decision is a desire for a pickup, something you might consider as an alternative is a clip-on microphone for your current Weber.

    In my experience, that provides a far more natural sound than a pickup, as long as you're playing in an environment where the stage volume isn't excessive and you can control feedback. The close proximity to the instrument allows a few more decibels of headroom against feedback compared to an external mic.

    A clip-on mic would also work on both your Weber and your Trinity College instruments. If you're lacking some "warmth" in your Sage OM, you could try boosting the bass frequencies a little. Here's what I use on my Weber Yellowstone OM, a DPA 4099 with the guitar clip adapter:

    Click image for larger version. 

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