Any Koa Taylor owners?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by tele_savales, Mar 27, 2019.

  1. tele_savales

    tele_savales Tele-Meister

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    Made the mistake of playing about 5 or 6 Taylor GA's at Guitar Center last weekend and now I'm heavily interested in owning one. Didn't see or play a Koa one and was wondering how they would compare/contrast w the classic Rosewood/Sitka spruce combo.
     
  2. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    All that matters is whether you like Koa better than Rosewood.

    I have a Flagship dealer right nearby and have visited the Taylor Factory and have gone to the roadshow earlier this year and I still couldn't tell you really which one I prefer. I have played Koa ones but I'm not sure I've ever seen two guitars right next to each other that are identical except for Koa vs Rosewood B/S. On top of all that I think they have Koa/Mahogany, Koa/Blackwood, Koa/Koa, etc.. as possible combinations!

    The Koa models are definitely great but I don't know how you describe it. Maybe there is some Youtube video that compares them, but there are so many variables involved I'm not sure that's a good comparison either.

    See if you can find a K24 Builder's edition. All the Builder's editions I've tried are better than other Taylors... better neck, better factory setup, etc.. IMO.

    I'm pretty sure they said at the Factory that Koa is pretty limited, they run out for the year and that's it for a long time.
     
  3. tele_savales

    tele_savales Tele-Meister

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    Thanks. I think there has to be at least one Koa guitar at GC, I just suddenly realized I had been in the booth playing for about an hour and a half and didn't have time to get them to unshackle it from the wall.
     
  4. Texas Special

    Texas Special Tele-Meister

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    I have a K24ce. Yes, I really like it. But! They take a hell of a lot of playing for them to 'open' up. Mine actually sounded very boring when I purchased it. Slowly it's coming to life (sonically). Mine now has blossomed to a very nice sound. It seems to have the attributes of many different woods. That's why I cannot tell you about the way it sounds. But I like it. It has a very good balance across the whole frequency response. The set up, playabillity and neck is the same as my other Taylor (612ce), and like all of the others that i've played. So the conclusion is this - be patient if you decide to purchase one. They can be very unique and special. But, don't ask me how they sound....... It's different. I've not been very helpful have I.....
     
  5. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    That's interesting, I don't doubt your perception. Taylor claims Koa has a different "curve" for how it opens up, and they claim it changes dramatically very early (I think they said a few hours of play) in the life of the guitar and then very slowly keeps improving. As opposed to more traditional materials gradually improving over the years.

    I have a really pedestrian Academy 12e, no Koa to be found, but even mine I think sounds dramatically different after 2 years of playing than a brand new one. (There's a brand new one in pretty much every dealer) And that's with laminate b/s. I play it a fair amount. For about a year and a half once a week I do a group thing where we pretty much beat the daylights out of the guitars the entire session.. nonstop rhythm playing with few breaks.

    I think mine sounds so much better after 2 years that new guitars in the store are disappointing.

    A few months ago in the Taylor Magazine Bob Taylor answered a letter and said his recommendation was to not keep changing guitars but figure out which one you liked the best, buy the best one you could afford, and then play that one for many many years to take advantage of the guitar improving with time.
     
  6. Texas Special

    Texas Special Tele-Meister

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    I agree with you totally. My one took quite some time to alter it's voicing. Hey! No two bits of wood are the same. It just took some while.
     
  7. Texas Special

    Texas Special Tele-Meister

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    I also agree with what Bob Taylor said - I love my 612ce (it's red!!!!!!!), But I figured out that I preferred the koa K24. The more I play it, the better it sounds.
     
  8. Henry Mars

    Henry Mars Tele-Afflicted

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    I tried one in the Langhorne GC ... I prefer spruce ... like mahogany too. Kia is ok for a uke. That is my preference YMMV
     
  9. Texas Special

    Texas Special Tele-Meister

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    "kia for a uke"? I'd thought that that would sound crap - just like their cars! :lol:
     
  10. tele_savales

    tele_savales Tele-Meister

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    My brother started collecting Koa ukuleles when he lived on Oahu, got to be a decent player, too. The koa ones are the only ones to have. Hawaiian mojo, brah.
     
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  11. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have a Koa gs mini. Sounds pretty great for it's size. Not much point in comparing it to a full sized GA guitar though.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2019
  12. telepraise

    telepraise Tele-Meister

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    It's unclear to me in the original post if you're interested in a spruce top or an all koa guitar. An all koa guitar would have more in common with an all mahogany, very strong fundamental, fewer overtones, and tighter base. I have a 20 year old koa 410. The tone is closer to rosewood than mahogany but not as sparkly or glassy. Sort of like walnut on steroids. I believe Taylor only uses koa in standard size guitars in special series ($$$) The GAs are very versatile guitars and cover everything well, except maybe thundering bluegrass. Enjoy the journey.
     
  13. tele_savales

    tele_savales Tele-Meister

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    I guess the question is rosewood vs koa in general tonewise.
     
  14. HotRodSteve

    HotRodSteve Friend of Leo's

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    I had a Carvin DC-127 that was all koa (except the ebony fretboard) and it sounded great. It was lightweight but still resonated well and it looked beautiful. Being an idiot I sold it. So I vote yes for guitars made from koa.
     
  15. tele_savales

    tele_savales Tele-Meister

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    I'm a bit stressed out because I'm moving into a new building where I won't be able to plug in, so I'm trying to decide if I should buy a 400 dollar Martin or Taylor, or drop real money on something up to about 2.5k. I sold my Explorer and Silvertone archtop this week, and I do have my '60's Gibson L50, but I've never owned a really really good acoustic with an actual soundhole. I guess I really need to go back to GC and play a bunch more guitars, and then buy one used online.
     
  16. Bob Womack

    Bob Womack Tele-Holic

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    In 1998 I played the Taylor line from top to bottom at a big store that had them all. One jumped out for my finger-picking style, both to myself and to my lovely wife, the K14c. with koa sides and back and western red cedar top. My wife ordered a K14c for me and it was started on the last day of production in 1999. That guitar is possibly the most responsive to gentle finger-picking of any guitar I've played. It spent the first year of its life just figuring out it was no longer a tree. During that period it varied greatly, from soggy sounding one day to bright and crisp the next. It eventually settled into a guitar with an upper-mid carve-out but a crisp high end. There isn't a whole lot of bass, which is normal for koa. It is delicate-sounding, and is quite intimate. I almost never use a pick on it.

    I also have a 314kce from the 2001 "Legends of the Fall" special series that has a sitka spruce top. I got this one to serve as a stage guitar and it has also turned out to be an admirable all-round guitar that I keep at the studio where I work. It isn't nearly as responsive as the cedar-topped K14c but repays by being "compressible" if you lean into it with a pick, and palm mute.

    Bob
     
  17. rjtwangs

    rjtwangs Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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  18. Fenderflame

    Fenderflame Tele-Holic

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    Hi. I have a fall Ltd 324ce which is all koa from 2005. I'd say it's lacking the 'piano' bass tones of rosewood and is generally a slightly quieter guitar acoustically than anything with a spruce top.

    But my word it looks and plays fabulously.
     
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  19. tele_savales

    tele_savales Tele-Meister

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    Thanks for all the input!
     
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