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Old 05-26-2005, 06:16 PM
Montreal 007 Montreal 007 is offline
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Default What's the Difference? Taylor /Martin

Im relatively new to this forum, i have a feeling my question may have been debated already....Anyways here goes....I hear all this talk about Taylors/Martins/Gibsons and how devoted fans are to their chosen brand...I would like some objective opinions....Not which brand is better but rather what is the difference if any ?....Is there a difference or is just a brand ?...I mean wood is wood isn't it ?.....Of course lets compare apples with apples...ie...Lets not compare a high end Martin to a low end Taylor....Lets take a mid end Taylor {say a 400 series with an equivilant Martin} Are the differences subtle or large...Thanks....
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Old 05-26-2005, 06:31 PM
Jeff M Jeff M is offline
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Martins sound MUCH better than Taylors and Gibsons.
OK. Thats my preference. Now lets hear from somebody else.

Getting serious now, are the differences between Taylor, Martin, Gibson, SCGC, Collings, Larrivee, whatever subtle or large? To some folks, (usually beginners), maybe not that large. To others (been playing awhile)...maybe large. Maybe not.
As I say, one persons "Chiming, well defined bell-like tones" is anothers "Bright, unbalanced, harsh and shallow". Anothers "Woody, deep, soulfull, balanced" is anothers "muddy, bottom heavy, ill-defined".The only way to find out where you fall is to play them and see for yourself.

(Up next, who was REALLY the better artist, Michelangelo or Leanardo Da Vinci ? )
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Last edited by Jeff M; 05-26-2005 at 06:41 PM.
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Old 05-26-2005, 06:41 PM
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In my opinion, based on what I've played, Gibsons acousitics are living off of their reputation. I haven't played one new Gibson that I'd pay 50% of the new asking price for. Taylors are great if you like that sound. I've simply found that I'm a Martin guy.

I wouldn't put new acoustic Gibsons in the same category as Martins and Taylors. Vintage...I would..but not the current Gibsons.

Of course, I've considered the possibility that I've simply been frightened by those tacky Gibson "dove" pick guards. It may just be a psycological thing.
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Old 05-26-2005, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abdiel
......

Of course, I've considered the possibility that I've simply been frightened by those tacky Gibson "dove" pick guards. It may just be a psycological thing.
It's those "moustache bridges" that do it to me (shudder!!).
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Old 05-26-2005, 06:46 PM
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Yes, wood is wood.

However, using this comment to describe the tone of guitars is like taking a Ford truck engine and comparing it to a Porsche engine and saying "Steel is steel, right?"

Wood is wood, but the trick is hidden in the bracing, the thicknesses of the woods, the glue used, the finishes, etc.

Others will describe the tones with a variety of words, but be rest assured that there are differences, just as Martin and Taylor want it to be. Which is better is, of course, up to the buyer.
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Old 05-26-2005, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randal_S
Yes, wood is wood.

However, using this comment to describe the tone of guitars is like taking a Ford truck engine and comparing it to a Porsche engine and saying "Steel is steel, right?"

Wood is wood, but the trick is hidden in the bracing, the thicknesses of the woods, the glue used, the finishes, etc.

Others will describe the tones with a variety of words, but be rest assured that there are differences, just as Martin and Taylor want it to be. Which is better is, of course, up to the buyer.
Heck, all wine is basically just fermented grape juice.
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Old 05-26-2005, 07:19 PM
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Ditto to everything that has been so well said so far about Martin/Taylor. This is a topic that keeps comiing up here, and at the Martin Forum too.

And yes, there really is a big difference in sound. I have owned 6 Martins and 5 Taylors over the past few years- and I seem to go back and forth. I keep thinking I'll settle on one, and then I find myself looking at the other end of the sound spectrum.

There is also a sort of difference in perception too. Martin is often seen as old-school, history out the wazoo, tradition, flatpicker, bluegrass. Taylor is often seen as inovative, fresh, up and coming, worship leader, rocker. Taylor has more models for those of us who want to plug in.

These are of course generalizations- and not everyone would agree. But sometimes preception, along with tone, has a lot to do with why people buy a guitar.
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Old 05-26-2005, 07:20 PM
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...and beer is just beer (we can keep this going all night )

Personally, I never warmed up to the Gibson vibe-but that's just me. I've heard their QC is much more consistent now, and the newer ones are really decent.

For 12's, I definitely have a preference for Taylors. Mine isn't "thin" or too trebly, or whatever the usual rap is on Taylors. The fact that they re-voiced their 6-strings I think was an admission that they were often lacking in the lower tonal palatte. Haven't played any of the re-voiced ones, as I'm not in the market, and no one around here carries them.

Martins seem to maintain their patina of "benchmark" even among those whose budgets have allowed them to go with commissioned guitars from small builders. It seems as though they are the guitars others are often compared to-like "it is very Martin-like" or "it's not very Martin-like." But I know people who love them, and people who feel they are so-so.

As has been, and will no doubt be noted many times over on threads like these, it's in the ears (and eyes) of the beholder. Very subjective. So, now that I've added nothing to this discussion, I'll be going...
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Old 05-26-2005, 07:23 PM
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The question was how they differ (not which is better) - To oversimplify, Taylors have a slightly brighter (chimey) sound and Martins a warmer one. Both are musical but there's a caveat as you saw in Jeff M's post:

Quote:
.....one persons "Chiming, well defined bell-like tones" is anothers "Bright, unbalanced, harsh and shallow". Anothers "Woody, deep, soulfull, balanced" is anothers "muddy, bottom heavy, ill-defined".
Its true that "wood is wood". But it REALLY depends on the player because tone comes from the hands. Thats why you have to play as many axes as possible to decide which one (according to your ears) blends best with the subtleties of your own playing style. It can even differ from one guitar to the other within the same make/model. Hence the guitarist's never-ending quest for the "ideal tone".....
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Old 05-26-2005, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmc
The question was how they differ (not which is better) - To oversimplify, Taylors have a slightly brighter (chimey) sound and Martins a warmer one. Both are musical but there's a caveat as you saw in Jeff M's post:



Its true that "wood is wood". But it REALLY depends on the player because tone comes from the hands. Thats why you have to play as many axes as possible to decide which one (according to your ears) blends best with the subtleties of your own playing style. It can even differ from one guitar to the other within the same make/model. Hence the guitarist's never-ending quest for the "ideal tone".....
Great reason for GAS to. You can never hve to many guitars.
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Old 05-26-2005, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmc
Its true that "wood is wood". But it REALLY depends on the player because tone comes from the hands. Thats why you have to play as many axes as possible to decide which one (according to your ears) blends best with the subtleties of your own playing style. It can even differ from one guitar to the other within the same make/model. Hence the guitarist's never-ending quest for the "ideal tone".....
OK-I will agree with you to a point about "tone coming from the hands"-but I can tell you from sitting in many a guitar shop over the years with one pick (and my same two hands), and strumming or playing the exact SAME riffs on maybe 8 or 9 guitars-even two of the same model, that the "tone" of guitars IMHO is more a result of its construction (woods, bracing, neck, bridge, saddle, nut)--not to mention STRINGS--than what my hands were doing.

As to the "BEST" guitar??? I don't know how long it's gonna take you people to catch on!?!? It's the ESTEBAN...it RULES!
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Old 05-26-2005, 07:42 PM
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It's hard for me to articulately describe tone. All can be great-sounding guitars depending on your preference. To my ear, the Taylors I have played have been too bright, jangly, and abrassive. But I admit, I haven't tried every model. I owned a used 810 (before the recent change). I bought it because it didn't have that brightness. But shortly after I purchased it, I realized that the strings were about 5 years old. Now, if I could find a manufacturer who sold strings that sounded 5 years old, I may have kept it.

I've played a lot of Martins also. With the exception of the one and only D-18GE that I played, to my ear, Martins are more mellow-sounding. They are easier on my ears. The Martin tone suits my personality, psyche, and soul.

Another difference is that you take a Martin to the brothel and a Taylor to church.

Just my two cents,
Greg
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Old 05-26-2005, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocchi
Im relatively new to this forum, i have a feeling my question may have been debated already....Anyways here goes....I hear all this talk about Taylors/Martins/Gibsons and how devoted fans are to their chosen brand...I would like some objective opinions....Not which brand is better but rather what is the difference if any ?....Is there a difference or is just a brand ?...I mean wood is wood isn't it ?.....Of course lets compare apples with apples...ie...Lets not compare a high end Martin to a low end Taylor....Lets take a mid end Taylor {say a 400 series with an equivilant Martin} Are the differences subtle or large...Thanks....
Welcome to the furum , first and formost and you will in time know the answer to the above questions ad nausiem by virtue of your own experience if you have a LOT of disposable income and if not by default just listening to the endless dribble that we who have been around forever have learned for you.

That said the difference between Taylor , Martin , and Gibson is simple enough. Neophytes gravitate to Taylors due to some notion they play easier which is not to say they don't but a proper set up guitar plays well no matter who builds it so obviously Taylor does the initial set up better perhaps.

Then there is the two tried and true brands of yore, Martin and Gibson. Someone said Gibson is living on historical reputation and that is about as succint a description of a Gibby as I could muster so ditto to that in spades. Gibson is proof positive that if you build enough crap with the basics in tact once in a blue moon you get it right. That ''right '' is one out of 20 or so J 45s the rare accidentily well done Dove and a few million les pauls for those of the vine grown variety of guitar player.

Then there is Martin. Martin has been building guitars even longer than Gibson has and no doubt with more authority and purpose but of late
irrespective of the lull in quality found so abundant in the sorry seventies , Martin is now building the best guitars they have ever built and are in fact
building the future , I want one guitars of the next Millenium. Martins are so
good right now albeit mostly in the very high end range of their model spectrum that no luthier in the country can build a better Martin than Martin.
Bill Collings notwithstanding is building some fine wonderful pieces of his own ilk but let there be no mistake , they are not boutique Martins they are Collings a fine thing in ther own but not to be confused with refined Martins . They are NOT Martins. My experience has shown me withought a shadow of dought that no one is building a Martin. IF the could they woould. Bob taylor looked me in the eye and said ,""If I could build a Martin Dreadnaught I would" That is out of contex but the meaning is what it is .

So to the neophyte collector , picker , singer ,songwriter , I would exhort you to not only find your voice for singing but find the one for you guitar.It might be a Gibson you lucked upon at a Guitar Center of all places or it might be a brand new ten grand Martin or it might be one of the many beautiful Taylors that adorn the sagging walls of Music stores everywhere but know this . At the end of the day , Im on my porch with my Martin.......it works for me.............love peace and the persuit of tone.

Now if you will excussssssssssssss me < I'm going to go have a timbre tantrume and play the crap out of my D 18 GE, then stum ever so gently on my new Marqjuis , followed by a forray into the recent past place of picking parlors on my Taylor 914 and follow up with a little down home debachery on my Collings Slope 12 fretter.

All the best in your quest..........Stixx
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Old 05-26-2005, 07:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by custom41
Another difference is that you take a Martin to the brothel and a Taylor to church.
HEY! We have a Martin in OUR church....Martin Luthier...er LUTHER.

{sorry, had to get that one in--now I'm off to church with my Taylor--then later on to the brothel}
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Old 05-26-2005, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by custom41
<del>

Another difference is that you take a Martin to the brothel and a Taylor to church.<del>
lol! love that one!

most possibly why all these so-called pworship leaders need one of each.

[g]

/guy
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