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Santa Cruz

2021 OM Grand Custom

2021 OM Grand Custom


Much like the somewhat obscure Martin “M” or 0000 models upon which it is based, the Santa Cruz OM Grand is a study in soundboard behavior.  The impetus for the development of the Martin 0000 model was a trend of converting Martin’s somewhat obscure mid-size arched top F models to flat tops in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Taking note of some of these conversions, Martin released the M-38 and X-38 in 1977 and then released the M-36 (the only 0000 currently in production) the following year.  This new “M” body design was essentially a super OM—making the Santa Cruz “OM Grand” designation quite apt—as it retained the OM-like depth of the F-body archtop guitar as well as the larger soundboard template.  The larger surface area of the 0000 soundboard (which is actually wider at the lower bout than a dreadnought) yields enhanced bass response; and, when paired with the more shallow depth of the typical OM, one is met with a voice that is both broad and immediate.  Subsequently, contrary to common assumptions that deeper bodies translate to more bass response, the OM Grand and the Martin 0000/M guitars readily demonstrate that enhanced bass response is actually a result of a larger vibrating membrane (i.e., increased soundboard surface area). 

Surprisingly, the 0000 design remains relatively obscure compared to OMs or dreadnoughts, but those who are lucky enough to have played a 0000 will tell you that the experience is incomparable!  Indeed, we have witnessed many a customer fall under the spell of these enlarged OMs.  Needless to say, we were very excited when Santa Cruz began to produce the OM Grand!  Their signature approach to voicing—an approach that emulates the power, clarity, and drier punch of a great vintage guitar—seemed ideal for such a design.   Our suspicions were confirmed when we received our first OM Grand.  Simply put, it was an incredible guitar!  It had all the breadth, warmth, and quick response one could hope for in a 0000, but with the enhanced presence that only Santa Cruz could deliver.   

In terms of tone woods, this guitar is quite similar to the very first OM Grand that we received, which featured a Sitka spruce top and Indian rosewood back and sides.  As one would expect in this classic pairing, the Indian rosewood contributes a rich, colorful, and harmonically-complex quality to the guitar’s voice, while the Sitka spruce top delivers a crisp, clear, and well-sustained note.  The top is further enhanced by the use of Adirondack spruce bracing with hide glue construction—the glue, in particular, is more crystalline than conventional wood glue, and therefore allows better transmission of vibration. 

Apart from its principal tone woods, this OM Grand boasts some beautiful cosmetic upgrades, including an abalone rosette and flamed Koa body, fingerboard, and headstock binding.  Though perhaps a bit of an indulgence in terms of cost, the Koa binding is not only a beautiful and distinctive aesthetic complement, but it is also a more stable material than any plastic and thus preferable in the long run.    This guitar also features a customized C neck contour with a 1 11/16” nut width (based on a Guild) in lieu of a the standard modified V with a 1 ¾” nut width, as well as gold Gotoh 510 tuners (with ebony buttons) instead of the standard Waverly tuners.  In addition to all of these fine features, a K&K Pure Mini pickup has been added, so this guitar can readily project all of its beauty either at home or in a live setting.  Needless to say, we find this elegantly customized OM Grand to be particularly special; and, as a used but recently-made and well-kept example, it is an excellent  value. 




Overall, this OM Grand has been well-maintained and respectfully used.  Yet, it was actively used by a working songwriter. As a result, it has picked up a few points of cosmetic wear.  Perhaps most significant is some marring to the finish on the back of the headstock on the bass-side of the volute (a capo was the culprit).  There is a ding on the top bass-side edge of the headstock, as well. Upon arrival, the guitar has a fair amount of light finish swirling on the body and the headstock veneer.  We were able to buff out most all of this, but some evidence of these swirls may remain.  Otherwise there are a couple small, shallow dimples on the top—the largest of these is to the left of the bass-side bridge foot.  EXCELLENT to EXCELLENT+  Condition

  • 0000/Grand Orchestra
  • Solid Sitka Top
  • Adirondack Spruce Advanced X Top Bracing with Hide Glue
  • Solid Indian Rosewood Back and Sides
  • Flamed Koa Body Binding
  • Simple Top Purfling
  • Abalone Rosette
  • Zipper Backstrip
  • Flamed Koa Endpiece and Heelcap
  • Natural Gloss Body Finish
  • Mahogany Neck
  • Custom Rounded C Carve (Based on Guild Contour)
  • Ebony Fingerboard
  • Long Pattern Abalone Diamond and Square Fingerboard Inlays
  • Ebony Headstock Veneer with Abalone Traditional SCGC Logo
  • Flamed Koa Fingerboard Binding
  • Flamed Koa Headstock Binding
  • Satin Neck Finish
  • Ebony Belly Bridge
  • Gold Gotoh 510 Tuners with Ebony Buttons
  • Faux Tortoiseshell Pickguard
  • Bone Nut
  • Bone Saddle
  • 1 11/16” Nut Width
  • 25 1/2” Scale Length
  • K&K Pure Mini Pickup Added
  • Gold Strap Button Added
  • Ameritage Hardshell Case
Serial Number(s) 379