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As background, I really like playing my guitars, but the fun of building them is is much more important to me right now than just acquiring another top-level instrument on the cheap for personal use. Not that I want to sink a whole bunch of time into something that I'll never play, you understand - but I am very much open to learning something about all the different instruments that are out there to try with this next build.
Completely irrelevant to this post, but both of the guitars I've built turned out great according to my (admittedly lower than your) standards. I love them. I played my OM more-or-less constantly since finishing it earlier this summer, but have gone back to the dread as my main guitar recently. I don't really know why, it could be as simple as which one is closer to the chair i sit in, lol. But both have been very enjoyable to build and play, and I'm sure the next one (no matter what it is) will be even more fun.
Thanks in advance,
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- Location: San Jose, CA, USA
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You might consider building the next one without starting with a kit.
I've built all of mine from scratch, and frankly I don't see that it increased the difficulty much, if any. The kit collects all the pieces for you, which I suppose is a convenience, but it may also restrict your choices. It's easy to buy all the components separately, and I always enjoyed doing that.
A kt may offer services like bending the sides or slotting and radiusing the fingerboard. You can. if you wish, pay to get those things done for you.
I suppose that doesn't help any in deciding what to build, but it may give you more options
Another thought: build another OM, but modify the design according to your own ideas. That may be too much to contemplate, but doing something like making the body 1/2" deeper isn't too radical. Or add a sound port. Or ???
Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
When things are bad, try not to make them any worse, because it is quite likely they are bad enough already. - French Foreign Legion
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I am not an experienced builder, but I wholeheartedly agree with the J-185 Kit! You can get one from Mr. Hall at Blues Creek Guitars. The J-185 size is beautiful (in my eyes), more comfortable than a dreadnought, and it also sounds pretty good. I think any Gibson style kit could be a nice departure from your more Martin style instruments, and the J-185 gives you both the Gibson tone and a different look. Of course, Blues Creek also seems to have the king of acoustics, the SJ-200, which could be a cool kit to try.
If you go with Blues Creek I would definitely try to go with more exotic woods, such as Cherry, Walnut, Carpathian Spruce, etc. It could be a departure from the more familiar Sitka/Rosewood or Sitka/Mahogany you get with StewMac.
Of course another style that could be very interesting is any sort of 12-fret instrument. I believe StewMac has the 000 12 fret kit. I don't know about you but I have never played a 12 fret guitar so I'm really curious how different one would be from a 14 fret guitar.