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Most versatile between Taylor and Larrivee?

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by Tomm Williams, Oct 27, 2019.

  1. Tomm Williams

    Tomm Williams Tele-Afflicted

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    I play acoustic in a duo where I’m the only guitar, as of this moment I’m playing a Martin Road Series Special (which I like) but want something nicer.
    The music we play is all over the map from Adele to Led Zeppelin, finger style to power chords. I’m currently looking at two used guitars that are from GC’s out of my area so I can’t play them up front. One is a Larrivee D09v, the other a Taylor 414ce. I’ve owned a Larrivee before and liked it and I’m aware of the quality of Taylor’s but would one be more versatile?
     
  2. Dukex

    Dukex Tele-Afflicted

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    Of course, no one can tell you which will work best for you. The Taylor GA models are indeed very versatile, and I strum mine all the time (dreads are too loud for me), but you will not be able to strum it like a dread, and it will not have that dread tone or volume. OTOH, the GA should be more responsive. I love my 324.

    But I also love Larrivees (have owned four, including two dreads).

    Also, the GA will have a 1 3/4 nut, the dread 11/16. That matters to some.

    You could order both and return the one you don't choose. They have a 45 day policy.

    Good luck, both are great guitars.
     
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  3. telepraise

    telepraise Tele-Afflicted

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    The Larrivee is a rosewood vs ovankol for the 414 which maybe a quieter guitar acoustically (which really is a nonissue for live gigging). The expression pickup system in the Taylor is decent and natural sounding, don't know about the Larry. I have an older 414 and it does it all, very expressive and decent power if you put true mediums on it. But Taylor is a sound of it's own, traditional sounding Martin players don't care for them. With the broad range of music you're playing (and amplified) it may not make a difference. Taylor necks are slender and fast. I never could get past the flat fingerboards on Larrivee's, don't know if that's changed. Post on the Acoustic Guitar Forum if want an avalanche of feedback on this choice.
     
  4. blueruins

    blueruins Tele-Meister

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    I prefer the balanced sound Larrivee but couldn’t say it was more versatile

    I think the Larrivee is more balanced, records well and is more “modern” sounding.

    The Taylor is more traditionally voiced.
     
  5. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Friend of Leo's

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    I'd say versatility in an acoustic is really going to be dependant upon the player as much as the guitar.
    Play them both.
    Buy the one that inspires you most.
     
  6. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    In my humble opinion, the GA/OM/000 is about the most versatile of all of the guitar sizes out there. I also think that the dreadnaught is the least versatile. For what it is worth, I own two vintage Martin dreads and I almost never play them, I should sell them but I never get around to it. What I do play are my double and triple oughts and my orchesra models. I did own a early Taylor 314 and while I never really bonded with it as a guitar, it definitely would do almost anything I wanted it to.

    I find dreads uncomfortable to play - they just feel too big. I also prefer the more balanced sound of a smaller body, a big boomy dread is wonderful for bluegrass flatpicking but I'm a fingerstyle player and small guitars fit that much better.

    Don't get me wrong, I like Larrivee guitars and their orchestra model might be high on my list of acceptable guitars, but if your criteria is only "which is the most versatile" it would be the Taylor all the way.

    I would add a couple of other considerations. If these are new guitars GC should do a reasonable setup before they are shipped to you - either one should be playable. If they are used then all bets are off. In that case the Taylor gets a slight edge - if it needs a reset the going rate is pretty reasonable, the Larry's dovetail will be more costly. Taylor electronics have improved thru the years and their late models sound pretty good plugged in which is sounds like you need. I'm not sure what the "v" in the Larrivee model number stands for.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2019
  7. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'll add an anecdote to my above comments. We were at a house concert a week ago and there was a little jam afterwards. I had brought one of my small bodied mahogany guitars and during the jam it got passed around. One of the guys who normally plays a big expensive Taylor dread and swears he would never play anything smaller exclaimed "holey crap, how do you get such good bass out of this little guitar? And the mids are so full....." He asked if he could buy it, I said no, he asked if I would build one for him, I said maybe.

    Interestingly, this person is blind
     
  8. Tomm Williams

    Tomm Williams Tele-Afflicted

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    5DCBCE05-CBF1-4A39-B98D-128444FE38C7.jpeg 5E20D7AB-8B21-4870-8AAC-1D9D4D8DA1FA.jpeg Well I decided to purchase this 2009 414ce Ltd with Tasmanian Blackwood back and sides and a Sitka top. I’m buying sight unseen but the price was right and GC’s return policy is unbeatable. Should have it in a week or so.
     
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  9. RockerDuck

    RockerDuck Friend of Leo's

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    I was a Martin guy for years, but then I tried the new Taylor guitars v class and it sounds very Martin, then plugged in; it sounds the same, that my Martins couldn't. Now I'm a Taylor guy and own 2, a 314e and 414ce.
     
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  10. rickthescot

    rickthescot Tele-Afflicted

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    I'd use my Taylor T5X for your wide range of material.
     
  11. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    Taylor with a cutaway ( if you want). They still have ebony saddles and necks. East Indian Rosewood b/s.
    Well made and just a very good affordable guitar. Mine has an amazingly good Rosewood b/s and Spruce top. It will be a family heirloom as I can see a time where C.I.T.E.S. will not allow great woods except to stringed orchestral instruments. JMHO. Glad I have mine.
    Taylor are softer sounding than Martin and , I prefer Gibson and Taylor over Martin. That's just me.
    Good luck in your quest.:)BTW try second hand they will have all the good woods in them!
     
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  12. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    Good luck with the Taylor. Other people seem to make them work, and I do think they amplify well, but when I play them all I get is a trebly, nasal mess of a sound.
     
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  13. Dukex

    Dukex Tele-Afflicted

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    I think you are going to like that guitar. My 324 has the blackwood B/S with Mahogany top. Hard to put down.
     
  14. gtech

    gtech Friend of Leo's

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    Larrivee is better for acoustic shows in quieter surroundings, Tayler is built for all around music.

    I have a cheaper Fender that sounds better live than the high quality acoustic that my friend plays in bars.
     
  15. muscmp

    muscmp Tele-Afflicted

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    nothing wrong with either of those but why not upgrade your martin since you like it?

    play music!
     
  16. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    I'm amazed you can draw conclusions about the entire brand(s) in question.

    Different body sizes & wood combinations within a brand make way more of a difference than brand differences between two different guitars of similar body size/shape with the same wood combos.
     
  17. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    When shopping workhorse acoustics, you owe it to yourself to play some older (pre-Fender) Guilds. Their quality originally rivaled Gibson back in the old days, but unlike Gibson, Guild's quality never dropped (until Fender got their hands on the company and turned it into a cheap-o brand relatively recently). They have never had a huge following, so they kind of fly under the radar, and are priced as such. They are the best bang for the buck you can get in a used acoustic. My '68 F-50 jumbo and '68 T-100D electric hollowbody are irreplaceable to me; nothing else touches them. And put together, they cost me far less than a new Taylor, Gibson, Martin, etc. of comparable quality.
     
  18. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

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    You'll end up with a Taylor...
    Only pick the Larrivee if you just want to be different (I love my Larrivee, but always have to explain it)

    If I was gonna do the gig you describe... I'd get a Glenn Frey model Takamine...
     
  19. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    I realize that the OP has made his choice so this is kind of a moot point, but I was out racking leaves and thinking about the concept of a "versatile guitar". For me that would be a guitar that would do almost everything - not necessarily excelling at any one thing but covering lots of different things adequately. That would mean it would have to work for strumming, flatpicking, finger picking and some lead play. It would have to handle altered tunings, probably do a little slide. It would have to be balanced across the strings and up the neck. It would have to be ergonometrically compatible with my hands - I would have to like the neck profile and finger board width and radius. If it had electronics (which I don't need) they would have to sound "natural".

    Fortunately I don't have to limit myself to one guitar and I'm blessed by have some that are optimized for certain styles or genres - but I would still come back to a GA/OM/000 for my choice of a "versatile guitar".

    I think the OP chose well, I think he will like the Taylor.
     
  20. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    I favor old USA Guilds, myself, so I don't have a dog in this fight.

    To my ears, Larrivees have a lively, expressive 3-D sound that few other brands match.

    And they have a bigger selection of voices to choose from than, say, Martins or Taylors do.

    Another minor point: fewer people play Larrivees, so it's a great conversation-starter.

    Last, with a Larrivee, you don't pay as much for the logo as you would with a Martin, Gibson, or Taylor.

    But as Freeman says, what's done is done. And Taylors can rock. So rock on!
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2019
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