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Old 10-28-2008, 02:51 PM
rolleiguy54 rolleiguy54 is offline
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Default Martin Aura vs Taylor es and Tak cool tube

My local long time Martin dealer just picked up Taylor and Takanami . For grins he ab'ed the three guitars, with their best pick up systems, through the new Fishman Solo amp. He is a long time player and knows his stuff. Claims the Tak, with cool tube, was hands down the best sounding of the three. Tak was the least expensive to boot. Maybe that is why so many stage musicians play them. Time to sell my Taylors?
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Old 10-28-2008, 03:02 PM
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Can't speak for too many others, but I will say that the more guitars I play, the more that I realize that the name on the headstock doesn't really tell you a whole lot about it. If you look at my current instruments, you'll see that none of them are from a high-end manufacturer, but I would put them up against just about anything that any of the big ones are putting out.

Personal opinion, of course, but I've played some $3-4,000 Martins that I thought were just awful. The Eric Clapton Signature that I played comes to mind...
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Old 10-28-2008, 03:19 PM
Acoustic Rick Acoustic Rick is offline
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If I had to rate the three from best to least I'd say Martin Aura (Most versatile) Takamine next because they are very good sounding guitars and their electronics is great(Cool Tube sounds great but eats battery's), then Taylor ES just because they've had alot of battery trouble and issues of going dead onstage and such.
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Old 10-28-2008, 03:30 PM
ematsuda ematsuda is offline
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Which Martin, Taylor, Tak was in this comparison?
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Old 10-28-2008, 03:40 PM
rolleiguy54 rolleiguy54 is offline
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I can't say. Sorry I know that matters. the comment was more based on the pick ups . he said they were similar high end models from the different manufacturers. I will try to find out and report.
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Old 10-28-2008, 04:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acoustic Rick View Post
then Taylor ES just because they've had alot of battery trouble and issues of going dead onstage and such.
Of the thoudands and thousands and yes thousands of ES equipped Taylor guitars sold since 2003, how many have actually experienced this? I've had 6 ES equipped Taylors and none of them have.

I have no experience with the Tak, but I had a Martin OMC Aura for a year as an experiment in an ES alternative. It was an excellent simulated mic'd sound. To my ear, after the novelty wore off, I found it somewhat processed sounding and no more top responsive than the UST pickup the signal originated from. There were also so many sliders and knobs and switches to fool with I could never leave it alone and it was an engineering feat to set it up everytime I played somewhere new.

I would like to hear a cool tube Tak though. Ya never know!
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Old 10-28-2008, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rolleiguy54 View Post
My local long time Martin dealer just picked up Taylor and Takanami . For grins he ab'ed the three guitars, with their best pick up systems, through the new Fishman Solo amp. He is a long time player and knows his stuff. Claims the Tak, with cool tube, was hands down the best sounding of the three. Tak was the least expensive to boot. Maybe that is why so many stage musicians play them. Time to sell my Taylors?
Well, I'm a long time player (40 years) and I think I know my stuff too, plus I do sound when I'm not playing. I've also owned 3 Auras and an 814ce along the way, still, all this is, like your dealer................my "opinion", nothing more and nothing less. But I do have experience playing these guitars (the Taks just in demos) and doing sound for them.

To me the Aura is still the best choice after miking but has a "considerable" learning curve, but the complexity can reward you with a very natural sound once dialed in, the anti feedback and tuner are nice features.

I have said it before on this forum the Tak "cooltube" IMO can really give a nice sound, I have more experience doing sounds for Taks than playing them (only own/play Martins) and I like the system, a very close second to the Aura system.

Even though I much prefers Martins over Taylors (personal preference), I might still have the 814ce if it wasn't for the expression system. To me the sound is intentially mid heavy and while it may cut through a band mix, it sounds very "un-natural" to me solo acoustically. Doing sound you can go from an Aura to a Cooltube with minor tweaks, and you are diving for the EQ when an expression system comes on stage. Anyway, my personal experience and opinions.

Ironically I am the headliner this Saturday for the Dallas Songwriters Association and I know there will be Auras, Cooltubes and ES among the performers. Usually they tape, if I can request a composite of a song with each system I will, it would be interesting.
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Old 10-28-2008, 10:32 PM
Guitarplayer_PR Guitarplayer_PR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rolleiguy54 View Post
My local long time Martin dealer just picked up Taylor and Takanami . For grins he ab'ed the three guitars, with their best pick up systems, through the new Fishman Solo amp. He is a long time player and knows his stuff. Claims the Tak, with cool tube, was hands down the best sounding of the three. Tak was the least expensive to boot. Maybe that is why so many stage musicians play them. Time to sell my Taylors?
Takamine, along with Ovation, are the best at "plugged" situations, no matter the preamp.
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Old 10-28-2008, 10:47 PM
vti814ce vti814ce is offline
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Takamine, along with Ovation, are the best at "plugged" situations, no matter the preamp.
Why?

Sammy
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Old 10-28-2008, 10:48 PM
Sammy_L_D Sammy_L_D is offline
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Cool Tube system by Takamine WAS the best I've heard, but I've had the chance to hear Cole Clark's pickup system as well, and I'm not sure now.

I'll say the Tak' is still the best "preamp" tone I've heard. Cole Clark's electronics are VERY natural sounding however, so it's a tough call. Both rock regardless.
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Old 10-29-2008, 05:17 AM
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There's a good demo of the Fishman Aura system (as fitted to the Martin) on the Fishman site. As, essentially, a modelling system it sounds the best to my ears and really goes a long way in eliminating the awful piezo 'quack' associated with UST's.
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Old 10-29-2008, 05:28 AM
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Why?

Sammy
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Old 10-29-2008, 05:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acoustic Rick View Post
If I had to rate the three from best to least I'd say Martin Aura (Most versatile) Takamine next because they are very good sounding guitars and their electronics is great(Cool Tube sounds great but eats battery's), then Taylor ES just because they've had alot of battery trouble and issues of going dead onstage and such.
What was the failure rate of ES equipped Taylors? With over 150,000 ES Taylors sold in the first 3 years, even if a small percentage of users experienced a problem and reported it in the forums, it might suggest to the conclusion jumpers that the incidence was unacceptably high. Also, what was the incidence of failure in the first six months as compared to the rate after the first six months? What has the failure rate been since the second generation ES was released?

Forums are not a reliable source of data as, among other things, a disproportionate number of negative posts is the norm.
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Old 10-29-2008, 07:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewrg View Post
There's a good demo of the Fishman Aura system (as fitted to the Martin) on the Fishman site. As, essentially, a modelling system it sounds the best to my ears and really goes a long way in eliminating the awful piezo 'quack' associated with UST's.
The Aura is NOT a modeling system, the Mama Bear for example is.......

A guitar modeling system tries to make an instrument sound like something else, make a small body sound like a dread, or 12 string, for example.

Imaging attempts to make a guitar sound like it would through high end microphones (no more, no less), it does not try to alter the sound and make a mahogany OM sound like a rosewood dread, that would be modeling.

Fishman images are excellent and a little goes a long way in the "blend", I used way too much years ago when I got my first Aura equipped guitar, you need to pay some dues to get the most out of the system.
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Old 10-29-2008, 07:15 AM
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As I see it, the Mama Bear and Aura systems depend on the same concept. They both alter the pickup's signal, through digital technology, to more closely resemble the output of a microphone. The difference being that the Mama Bear has a more generic approach and the Aura a more specific one, even going as far as offering the option of recording one's specific guitar to provide a more precise reference. Whether one chooses to call it, imaging, or, modeling, the concept is the same. They both rely on internally stored reference signals.
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