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Opinions on Taylor

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by Johnson johnson, Mar 28, 2018.

  1. FenderGuy53

    FenderGuy53 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Martin guitars have been my favorite acoustic/electric guitar for many years now (I purchased my first Martin, a DC16-GTE Premium, in 2005).

    Having recently read that Martin's new Road Series GPCRSGT guitar won the award for "BEST in Show" at the 2015 Summer NAMM, I decided to head to the local Guitar Center to give it a whirl.

    The new Road Series line has a slightly smaller (and more comfortable, for me) body size, a very comfortable neck shape, and a very simple, but effective, Fishman Sonitone pickup system.

    After A/B'ing both of Martin's Road Series guitars with the Taylor 300 series guitars, I observed this:
    • Martin's compound neck radius feels more comfortable in hand
    • Martin guitars are PLEK'd; Taylor guitars are not PLEK'd
    • Taylor's "voice" is sparkly, with average volume, while Martin's "voice" is chime-y, with lots of volume
    • Taylor retails for twice the $$$ as either of the Martin's
    Long story short, I sold my Martin DC16-GTE Premium and bought the new Martin GPCRSGT. I loved it so much that I ordered the new Martin DCRSGT to go along with it (gotta have a dreadnaught in the fold). I grabbed both on sale, each for under a grand - and could not be happier!
     
  2. johnnylaw

    johnnylaw Tele-Afflicted

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    I had a decent acoustic years ago, but wanted a fantastic one. For two years I patiently visited every guitar store around and played everything I could get my hands on. Bopping into the local hole in the wall mom and pop store one day for their signature two-for-one string deal, I noticed three acoustics that I had never heard of- Taylor. I tried all three for a few minutes each, then collected my strings and bolted.

    Two weeks later I still couldn't get the bloody things off my mind. So, I went back with an afternoon to kill and really played them. You guessed it; I bought one. Maybe I got lucky and found a good one, but this 710 CE cured me of all acoustic GAS. Don't get me wrong- there are lots of things I enjoy and appreciate about Gibson, Guild, Collings, Breedlove, Martin, Larivee, etc., but I'm now a lifer.

    Just to prove how much of an expert I am, it was about three months later that I noticed the hollowed out strap pin on the body. Yup, a freakin' fishman pickup under the bridge. Doh! No on-board controls or anything, just hot to the jack. Bonus for the bonehead. This was twenty-nine years ago.
     
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  3. bcorig

    bcorig Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Played many Martin and Taylor models looking for a nice acoustic upgrade a few years ago. Price Point 1500 - 2000 so I was looking at 300 and 400 Series pieces. I felt (opinion only) lack of bottom end, too chimey, almost tinny.
    The Martins in that price range sounded better to me, sounded full at bottom but in that price point didn’t seem all impressive. Then I went to NAMM and played a Seagull Artist Studio, found a dealer but decided the nut was too wide.
    I ended up with a Takamine CP4 DC which I thought sounded, played, looked and felt better than all of the others. Imagine my shocked face. Actually had my heart set on a Martin or a Taylor because they were Martin and Taylor.
    Took me three months to figure it all out. Took notes etc.
    Bottom line for me is playability, projection, tone, finish quality. I found the Taylor less appealing in all these categories at that price point than the others.
    Then again, what do I know? (YEAH! WHAT DO YOU KNOW.?!!)
     
  4. adamkavanagh

    adamkavanagh Tele-Holic

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    Throw some Elixir phosphor bronze strings on it, all the jangle you need..
    Also, try playing around with different pick thicknesses.

    That Taylor is a plywood guitar, not worth 600 in my opinion.
     
  5. Toadtele

    Toadtele Tele-Afflicted

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    Bought a Taylor 412 back in 2002. I’ve never kept it in its case. I’ve taken it camping for years. Left it on the back porch overnight more times than I can count. My boy dropped it down a flight of stairs. It’s still rock solid. Only have to tune it every month or so. Best acoustic I’ve ever owned by far!!
     
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  6. Nickadermis

    Nickadermis Friend of Leo's

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    I recently played a whole store full looking for anything under $2000. Some of the Taylors sounded really good to me but they had 1 11/16 nuts. Some of the Martins sounded absolutely wonderful and had my required 1 3/4 nuts. I ended up with an Alvarez that sounds fuller than the Taylors I played, but the Taylors might be better in a mix ?

    The Taylors felt splendid from fret 2 on up the neck! So if they had a 1 3/4 nut they would have been in the running but I’ve just decided that I’m no longer compromising on what I want to play. But for people who like the narrower nut the Taylors sure are nice !
     
  7. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    When I started playing, I played a Blues Jr. I thought I liked the sound, but I literally didn't know what I was missing. The BJr was just good enough that I didn't actively look for something better. When I finally did get a reissue BF, it was all over for the BJr.

    Similarly with acoustics, I started with a rosewood/cedar Washburn Grand Auditorium. Not horrible, and I thought I liked it. When I finally decided to try the higher end models, I planned to look at a Taylor 814ce, Martin <any model>, and a Gibson J45.

    First up was the Taylor, and it was a big disappointment. Well, sort of. It felt and sounded identical to my $300 Washburn. A little better fit and finish, I guess, but essentially the same guitar, for about 8x the price. I began to wonder why I was shopping at all...

    Now, if I'd played a J45 next, perhaps that alternate universe timeline would have activated.... but as it was, I played the Martin. And that's as far as as I got. It was only a lowly D-1, which I think is a GC-only model meant to look like a D-21, but without the important stuff, like classic bracing. Even so, it blew me away. It's kinda like if you taste Pepsi for the first time, and it's GREAT, and you realize how much Coke always sucked...

    I'm embarrassed to say that I never have yet picked up a J45, or any Gibson acoustic. What?! Nope. I really should. But then, why? It's been six years, and I'm still so-so happy with my Martins. I didn't get that D-1. I spent more and got an OM-28V, no regrets. Then last year I got a D-18GE, and jeepers I didn't expect to like the 'hog body quite this much. Dang.

    So, Gibson? Some day... soon...

    Taylor? Huh? No longer on my radar, sorry.
     
  8. Zepfan

    Zepfan Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    I would love to try out a T5z, the vids and sound samples are great.
     
  9. muudcat

    muudcat Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I Purchased a Taylor GA-RS back in '95 and have played the crap out of it. It came with no pickup so I had a Fishman active under saddle, no controls, installed. Sounds great using a Radial PZ pre, and I switch between it and a '77 Martin D-41 with the same pickup, although I tend to lean toward the Martin for it's neck size and body tone. Had bone saddles installed in both, which made a huge difference. Now looking at Collings D 2HA
     
  10. Art VanDelay

    Art VanDelay Tele-Afflicted

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    I never touch the Taylor guitars because there is something about a great acoustic sound that (sorry) grabs me more than an electric
     
  11. kingofdogs1950

    kingofdogs1950 Tele-Afflicted

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    I owned a 714ce back in '98. Nice playing guitar but a little bright. I traded it (at GC) for a 1996 Martin 000-28GE 12fret. A splendid guitar. Sold it some years later to raise cash. I now have a 2002 Gibson J-50. (Same as J-45 without the sunburst.) It suits me.

    Mark
     
  12. jrblue

    jrblue Friend of Leo's

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    Well, like any guitars, Taylors speak for themselves and presumably anyone who's interested can hear the brand signature and the model differences. If you can't, well, that makes it easier: you can buy anything. My opinion about Taylor is that in my hands, they don't really add much to the performance. They a re clinical, balanced, fast responding, and clean. They don't compress right away; they're not deadly "warm" (dull). I think they're great for recording, and great amplified.But I like something with more character, whether it's the truly singing tone of my Collings 0002HCE or the loud "shout" of my '36 L-00 Gibson. I don't offer this as a criticism -- it's just that I like a more distinctive tone for my live sound, likely because I need the extra sonic interest value! The only thing I don't like about Taylor is the truly ugly pickguard, which is IMO as bad as the Heritage headstock. It's got one level too much ugly wannabe fanciness which is not needed. We'll see how the new bracing system plays out. That could be a big step.
     
  13. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Friend of Leo's

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    I’m a fan. My first Taylor was a Big Baby. I went in looking for a Martin, because they were used on so many of the songs I loved. I knew I couldn’t go to far wrong with them.

    However, in that price range the only Martin was one made of formica as far as I could tell. Not kidding. It also played like a dog and sounded very “boomy” as well. The Taylor played really easily and sounded more balanced to me.

    I was already doing some ensemble playing, and while a (higher end) Martin seems perfect (to me) for solo acoustic, singer songwriter styles, where the extra bass is useful to “fill out” the sound, the Taylor seemed like it would sit in a band mix a bit better.

    The Taylor was cheaper as well. So the Taylor won on playability, sound, and price. The Big Baby has always been my “throw down” guitar, and it has had a very rough life, but it still plays well and sounds good. No problems at all with it even though it is starting to look like Willie Nelson’s gut string!

    Later, my wonderful wife bought me a 314(413?)ce for our anniversary, and it’s almost 10 years old now, with NO issues at all. Plays even better than the BB and sound ever better over time.

    All that being said, I haven’t played loads of acoustics, and still wouldn’t mind a nice Martin if I could afford one. I’m quite happy with my Taylor guitars and am not really gassing for any of the truly great acoustics that may be out there.

    I don’t even want to play a Collings for example. I can’t afford one and wouldn’t want to ruin myself for less expensive guitars.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2018
  14. jwp2

    jwp2 Tele-Holic

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    I have a 2011 Taylor DN3 that I bought new. So far, it has been a great guitar. Well built and rock solid. It plays well and the tone has mellowed some since it was new. I also have a 2001 Gibson J45 which sort of covers the other end of the tone spectrum opposite of the Taylor. I don’t feel it’s quite as “refined” as the J45 and is sure isn’t as iconic but it has its own thing going on. That Taylor vibe folks have been talking about here.

    I love it and would buy another one for sure!
     
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  15. alnico357

    alnico357 Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a 1996 Taylor 412. Taylor guitars were marketed as an acoustic an electric player would find friendly. I find this to be true. I play acoustic a lot like I play electric. I paid $825 for it new with a case. I might not pay what the 412 costs today. I am satisfied with the guitar, the only acoustic I own. I gig with it all the time. I installed a K&K pickup. It sounds as good as I could want or expect.
     
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  16. scrimmer

    scrimmer Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    The only Taylor I ever played that I liked was a '09 Fall Ltd Edition 414 w/ Sitka top and Claro Walnut back and sides. Best Taylor I ever heard. Very balanced, with a smooth top end, and 1.75" nut. Extremely playable!Brought it home of course. Nice mellow, round tone when I fingerpick, and holds it's own when strummed hard. Put a LR Baggs Lyric in it and it's the acoustic I use when a gig calls for it. My Martin 000 stays at home, but it's what I mainly reach for when just noodling and I actually prefer to play the Martin, but the Taylor wins hands down when it comes to cutting through the mix or recording.
     
  17. joebloggs13

    joebloggs13 Tele-Afflicted

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    I owned a T5z for a number of years. Its an incredibly well made guitar. Flawless and played well.....as you would expect. I ended up selling it and buying a Breedlove Rosewood dreadnought.

    The thing about the T5z is its great if you want a swiss army knife that can do both acoustic and electric well, but not great. Since I have a number of electrics, the Taylor became redundant. I wanted a great acoustic dread and that meant either a Gibson or Martin style.....the Breedlove fits that to a tee...too good to pass up. Bought it and never looked back.
     
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  18. a wobblin

    a wobblin Tele-Meister

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    I have just purchased a 314ce, the comparable Martin guitar had a much deeper/bassier/'woody' tone, nice but different. Might be a daft question but what in the construction makes them sound so different ?
     
  19. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Friend of Leo's

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    I already responded about my 114e, just wanted to update that I have been playing it a lot recently. Compared to my Guild dreadnought it has a narrow neck and I'm not sure what the neck material is but it feels a little odd compared to every other guitar I own. Not so much as to be a problem though. I think it plays and sounds great.
     
  20. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Friend of Leo's

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    Probably the bracing?

    The Taylors seem to work (cut) better in an ensemble setting, and Martins excel at solo/duo playing where their full bass doesn’t muddy the mix up.
     
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