Fake Martin OMJM Review – Are Fake Guitars even worth it?


Let us talk about Fake Guitars! This could be a controversial article today, but I have come into possession of a fake guitar! More specifically, a fake Martin OMJM. The John Mayer Martin signature. Now, I thought it would be worth putting together an article covering this guitar as there are many questions that come out of it.

So, before we start, let’s just clarify, this guitar is a fake! It is not real at all! I am not claiming it to be real (important in fact, we will touch on it shortly), I won’t be selling it or scamming someone that it is real! This is just to compare and discuss the fake guitars market in general.

So why don’t we start by going over the guitar we have with us now, Talk about the specs, the sounds, the playability and also what guitar it is trying to be and if is it doing a good job. So, what do we have here?


Fake Martin OMJM - Full Shot
I can't lie, This guitar does look the part!

Now, being a Fake guitar. What they say the specs are and what they actually are I would imagine are going to be very different. So I will tell you what they say they are for the Fake Martin OMJM and then give my opinion on what I think they are. So first, let us talk about woods.

Claims Specs

This Fake Guitar contains a Solid spruce top with Rosewood back and sides. This is paired with a mahogany neck with an ebony fingerboard. Both the nut and the bridge pins are Bone.

Electronic wise this guitar is fitted with a Fishman Pickup system (unsure of the model or specs) which has 8 Knobs on it. From top Left to bottom right, we have a Bass control, Middle Control, and Treble control. Then on the next row is a Notch Control, a mic Blend and a phase control. At the very top with has overall volume and a button to activate the tuner.

More on the FAKE Martin OMJM Guitar

I would hazard a guess that the top is actually spruce and that the neck is mahogany. I am 90% sure that is correct, however, knowing what I know about the ordering and delivering process, I don’t believe for a second that the back and sides are real rosewood. This is very hard to import and bring into the UK. There are a lot of regulations. Plus, Rosewood isn’t the cheapest wood to make guitars out of, so making the sides and back out of real rosewood would cost a lot. If I had to hazard a guess, then I would say that the back and sides are made out of something like Pau Ferro. It could even be a Spurce back and sides with a rosewood veneer or vinyl over the top.

As far as the pickup system, I don’t believe it is a Martin/Fishman pickup as it is far too cheap to be genuine. I think it is a knockoff/cheap clone. When you consider that this guitar is cheaper than the pickup system used in the genuine Martin OMJM, there is no way they would be able to use it in this one. We will talk more about the pickup system shortly! I think this is the same for the hardware. For example the cheap off-brand tuners. The one I do wonder about is the nut and bridge. They claim it is bone, however, surprisingly it does feel and sound like a bone nut. I still have my doubts but it could be bone.

Right, So that is the “spec” as far as we can tell, we shall go into what we think about it shortly. For now, Let us talk and hear some sounds! 

The Sounds

For sounds I just decided to sit down and fiddle with the guitar for 10 or so minutes, going through different sounds and different styles of playing. The sounds are recorded with my T. Bone Condenser microphone and also using the guitars line out. Throughout the video, the sound will swap from Direct, Microphone and a mix of the two. All recorded dry, into logic through the audio interface. What you are hearing is as close as I could get to an “in-the-room” feel. No editing or mixing is done.

What are my thoughts?

Fake Martin OMJM - Bridge Shot
This Fake guitar doesn't have the best hardware

So, what are our thoughts on this guitar? Is it worth the hassle, the money, the guilt? Well, firstly let us start by saying that if you are in a rush for a guitar, then this is not for you! From order to delivery, it took around 2 and a half months! It wasn’t quick! So if you are planning to get this and want it soon, you won’t!

First off, the build is actually really good! I am shocked at how well-built it is, but how good the finish is. I’ve looked over this guitar a lot and can’t find any faults or marks. The only thing I can see is the edge of the scratch plate isn’t stuck down fully. Something I didn’t expect, was just how good the Neck feels! The Neck feels amazing! I don’t know if it is the same spec as the original Martin OMJM, but this guitar neck is just wonderful to play with a lovely thickness! With a lovely satin finish and a nice carve, it is really nice to play. Doesn’t cause too much fatigue in the wrist when playing for a while.

Few More Thoughts

Looks? Well, it looks like a Martin OMJM! What’s not to like? Apart from the headstock looking slightly different, it looks exactly like what it is meant to look like! This raises a point that we will get onto shortly! And isn’t a very good thing! But for this bit, yes, it looks great! One thing I have to highlight is the finish. I don’t it can be, but it smells and looks like a Nitro finish on this guitar! Which at this price point is wild! A part of me doesn’t want to believe it is a full Nitro finish, but the eyes and nose don’t lie!

Sound-wise? Well, if I’m being honest, I was pleasantly surprised! As far as sounds go, it is very nice and very useable! I did notice it has a darker sound than other acoustics I have played/owned (might be down to strings, I will change the strings and update). Not as much snap on the high end as I like, it has a very mellow sound! This fake guitar has a good amount of sustain to it! Note ring out and chords last for a while. 

Fake Martin OMJM - Up the body
All the big details are here, it is missing some minor details mind!
Fake Martin OMJM - Neck join
Looking over the guitar, I can't see a lot wrong with it in terms of build quality

Final Thoughts on the FAKE Martin OMJM

Think I need to talk about the pre-amp! The “Fishman” Pickup system! Do I think it is a Fishman system? No! Not for this price! However, It has surprised me with its performance! Has plenty of volume all the controls seem to do what they are meant to do! I believe you can get some great sounds out of this guitar, however, love to know what you all think about it!

The tuners are very weak! They can jump and are hard to tune with. If I was going to upgrade anything It would be the tuners! They can make tuning the guitar up such a chore! Speaking of tuning, I really struggle to trust the tuner. Using it and comparing it to my simple Korg clip-on, there does seem to be some difference. If I tune the low E string and then switch the guitar tuner off and back on, it will read out something different. Is it good enough to use in a live sense? Possibly! Maybe! Would I trust it? No, I would just smack a clip-on tuner on the headstock.

Overall I would say that I am surprised with the build quality, does it compare to a genuine Martin JM? Not at all! Not even close! The hardware lets it down, the money is in the details!

What are my thoughts?

You may be asking yourself, why do people buy Fake Guitars? Well, it is because of one of two reasons.


  1. They get scammed into buying one, are told it is a real guitar and end up paying full price for a guitar that isn’t what it is meant to be. Losing money and also losing trust.
  2. They want it to appear that they have the real thing to “show off” or impress the guitar community. Showing people they have a super expensive guitar.
  3. They want to make an article for their guitar review website! (Wink Wink).

The reason I have one is because there are plenty of affordable guitars now, so why are people spending the same amount on fake guitars and replica guitars when they can buy a “real” guitar for the same price? My main conclusion would be that they want the name without the price. However, this comes with a few drawbacks, You will always know it isn’t genuine and also the build quality won’t be there! It Is going to be made as cheap as possible! You are also highly unlikely to receive any kind of guarantee with it! So if or when something goes wrong you have no fallback!

Final Thoughts?

Do I think you should buy fake guitars? Absolutely not! I think you are better off spending the same money on a more affordable genuine brand (Like Sigma, See our Review here), or saving up and getting the actual version of the guitar you want! If you buy a fake guitar because you maybe can’t afford the genuine version, you will always look at the fake and know! It won’t ever give you that feeling you get if you had the genuine! Will other people know? Well, I think we have seen in this case, no they won’t! But you will!

Saying all this, I believe if I changed the Tuners and made a few other minor tweaks, this would be a very functional and useable guitar! As long as you didn’t pass it off as real, I would have no problem taking this and using it live! However, I strongly advise against buying fake guitars, either get a genuine guitar that is in your budget or save up for the real thing! There are many other “ethical” issues that come Into play with replicas and fakes which we won’t go into in this article.

Updated Thoughts

So I have had this Martin OM guitar for a few months now and have been playing it most days. I thought I would add a bit to the bottom of this article with some updated thoughts. So, how has it been? Well, as I mentioned above, the tuners are awful! I haven’t swapped them out but am seriously considering it! They are not precise and are hard to use; when tuning, the string tension can jump around, making it hard to get an accurate reading. For example, when attempting to tune up by a whole tone, you might find it necessary to complete a full rotation of the tuner for that adjustment. However, the subsequent semitone adjustment may only require a quarter turn. This inconsistency is a notable issue.

Since owning this guitar, I have also had a look inside and checked out the internal craftsmanship. Or lack of it! The finishing on the inside of this guitar isn’t the best (I guess this is where the money is saved). The carvings are all over the place and are not finished as well as a full-fat Martin would be.

I did change the strings since this article and have noticed that the sound did brighten a bit but still sounded very dark and almost “dull” to my ears! Not a sound I enjoy from an acoustic. I can’t blame the strings because I used String Joys (Check out our Review), which I have used on other guitars and sound fantastic!


So that is my “review” of a FAKE Martin OMJM. To sum up, don’t get one! I would much rather you get something which has a good build quality, from a reparable dealer and comes with a warranty! Think about it, if you plan to use this to make money and gig, would you put your trust in something whose sole aim is to make something look like something else as cheaply as possible? Remember, these companies don’t try to make them perform like a genuine Martin Guitar, only look!

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If you are after a OM sized guitar at an affordable price, Then make sure you check out our Sigma review! An Incredible guitar at an insane price point!

Sigma Review Here

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