I'm always interested when I see cases like these. It's incredibly difficult to break in to an entrenched market like this, to the degree Taylor has. If you ask us today, in this thread, what defines a Taylor, we seem to be saying just that "they're bright", or perhaps if you believe the snooty young salesperson, "they're balanced". Then I compared how I look at a high end guitar, to @crumjack's scenario. He bought Taylor (used) for the fact that it was stage-ready for around $500, plus it was easily resold. And... when he's ready to spring for a $2k solid wood model, he thinks it will be a Martin. But every day he's playing that Taylor... Get 'em while they're young. If you look at Fender in the early years, they were doing exactly that. Having a hard time selling against the entrenched Gibson line. But look at most of their ads. Very much targeting the young. Who will grow up, play for decades, have kids of their own... Back to Taylor, who wouldn't want a stage-ready, easy-to-play neck, quality acoustic for $500 (or $700)? Well, depends who you ask. Only these past few years are we seeing any traditional Martin models being produced with built-in electronics. And honestly, I cringe at the few extra holes drilled in the body, and at seeing plastic covers, knobs, battery compartments, etc, on what is not only a guitar to me, but an heirloom in the making. It's as anachronistic as finding an iphone dock built in to an antique Chippendale side table. I can absolutely see how if you didn't grow up with it, all that seems like a ridiculous pain in the butt. Why wouldn't I want to be able to amplify my darn guitar? (I do amplify, but via a system that only relies on a slightly reamed endpin hole, and everything else is either outboard, or totally reversible. K&K Trinity) Does anyone know offhand, does Taylor even make a model without electronics? I can imagine Bob Taylor seeing this existing "old" market, and simply deciding not to sell to those folks. Sell a very good guitar, at reasonable price points (but not cheap!, and not a knock-off of anything!), and they're all easy to play (no baseball bat necks), and plug-in ready. All the young players will still be open enough to comparing - they haven't "chosen" yet. Sell the whole package, to people living in today's world (whichever decade we're talking about), not to people harking back to the lost-in-the-mists 1930s, when all the guitars sounded better. I wouldn't be surprised if the higher-priced Taylors only started selling in any numbers once the company (and their early adopters) matured. The thing about Bob Taylor... he takes the very long view. He owns an ebony mill. He's partnering with someone to plant certain guitar species that will only come to fruition decades after he's gone from this world. It always appears obvious in hindsight. It's becoming easier to see why Taylor was the one to break in to the "big two". Patience, the long view, selling to the current and upcoming market, not a market mummified by time. Cater to the younger generation, build from common sense, not from watching what everyone else does. Of course, still use a variant of Martin's X bracing, because EVERYONE does (except PRS). And don't forget the patents, the NT neck and the way it addresses maintenance and eliminates the 14th fret hump with age. All the manufacturers use CNC tech today, but I wouldn't be surprised to find the Taylor plant to be more technologically advanced than Martin or Gibson Montana. The flip side is that means less "hands on" time. Trade offs... Okay, I've probably bored everyone to death here with my musings... Personally, I'm glad we have Taylor to choose from. And if I had one (for free) hanging around the house, who knows, I might play it more and more. But if I need to spend on a nice acoustic today, the sound in my head is distinctly Martin.