The Taylor Guitar Forum Glossary
& Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The Glossary and FAQ were culled from posts by Members of the Forum.
By its nature, it should remain open to additions, revisions and corrections. YOU wrote it, feel free to suggest additions to it.



Originally posted by cotten

Occasionally our family discussions here get a bit heated. Not often, but it does happen. I suppose that's to be expected since the dinner table around which we gather seats so many, from such diverse viewpoints.

What can we do to maximize our discussions' light, and minimize their heat, while still expressing our ideas and opinions clearly, perhaps even forcefully?

The first thing that comes to mind is our No. 1 Rule - Be Nice. Simple and to the point. However, it might be good for us to flesh that out a bit, with more details and examples of the best decorum for TGF. (I suggest we concentrate on the positive - the negative will take care of itself.)

Since I have a hard enough time controlling myself, and since I can't control anyone else, I'll begin by phrasing my ideas as things that I can do

Our Forum Decorum, in order to generate more light than heat, might include:

1. Mutual Respect - I may not agree with another member, but I can treat him or her with the kind of respect that allows me to seriously consider the ideas and opinions expressed, whether sublime or ridiculous, clever or funny. 

2. Avoid Personal Attacks - I can disagree with another member's ideas or opinions, however strongly, without leveling a personal attack. My disagreement will be more persuasive if I present it calmly and reasonably.

3. Give a Soft Answer - When I feel disrespected or insulted, I can defuse the tension by ignoring the temptation to fire back, escalating the heat. Like a boxer deflecting a punch, I will feel less pain and will be better able to keep my wits and stay focused.

4. Give NO Answer - When I feel disrespected and I simply cannot come up with an appropriate Soft Answer, then often my best answer will be Silence.

I could go on, but maybe that's enough to generate more ideas for our Forum Decorum. What do YOU think?




Alternate Tunings


Originally posted by rsimper

Actually, bearclaw is a form of figuring, just like flame or quilt, though obviously to a much lesser extent.  While flame and quilt often exhibit patterns, bearclaw is usually more random and irregular.

Bob Taylor posted on here mentioning that he does consider bearclaw to be figured wood, but well below flame and quilt as far as prestige goes.  That being said, its usually luck of the draw if you get a bearclawed top.

Bearclaw is a result of rippled fibers in the grain of spruce, and it can occur in all spruce species.   These ripples localize, and form the bearclaw.  The name comes from the observation that it looks like a bear went up to a tree and clawed it, and when the tree healed and was cut, these marks remain.  Sorta like scars...

The reason why it is so sought after by some is that many luthiers consider it to be evidence of strong old growth wood.  This would translate into a stiff and powerful top, (though not always) and should logically produce a very good tone.  This is not a rule, but rather a tendency that many luthiers believe in, and therefore, as a result of the potentiality of superior tone, bearclaw spruce becomes desirable.

Again, as I say with many other things, the fact that there is a debate over the merits of it (whether bearclaw sounds any better or not) suggests that it cant be decided one way or the other.  From an aesthetic standpoint, i dont like the stuff.  I prefer even grained and consistent milky white spruce. 

There must be a reason Martin puts only top quality bearclaw spruce on their 50,000 list price D-50...though I still dont want it on my 710ceLTD :)

Cindy Inlay

Ebony & Rosewood

Originally posted by williej

I would say it has alot to do with tone.

P a u  F e r r o . . .

The unique characteristics of Pau Ferro are its medium to lighter brown color and very tight, small pores. Pau Ferro (Machaerium villosum or schleroxylon), also known as Morado, Santos Rosewood, or Bolivian Rosewood is not a true Rosewood, but it boasts many of the qualities that are highly regarded in a fingerboard wood. This wood delivers wide, quite pronounced upper-mid range tone for a beautiful semi-tight sound.

E b o n y . . .

One of the densest of woods, Ebony is chosen for fingerboards for its resistance to wear, compression strength parallel to the grain, and for its blackness in color. Like other very dense woods, Ebony shrinks greatly during seasoning and undergoes large dimensional change in response to humidity changes.  Ebony seasons slowly compared to other woods, but once in service is very stable. This wood offers rich, full brilliance in sound qualities.

R o s e w o o d . . .

Indian Rosewood in recent decades has been the most widely used wood for fingerboards on production electric and acoustic guitars around the world. Although it is not as wear resistant as Ebony or some of the more dense Rosewoods, it is valued for its greater stability and medium to dark brown colorful grain. It is also lighter than Ebony but with equal longitudinal strength. This close-grained, fragrant wood produces smooth, warm tone with a looser bottom-end.


Fall Limiteds

Each Fall, Taylor announces a series of "Limited Editions" of many of their standard guitar lines. Year 2000 LTDs were known by the acronym LOTF or "Legends of the Fall." 2002 Fall LTDs included maple 300s, Imbuia 400s, white curly maple 600s with rosewood binding and cocobolo bridge and headstock overlay, and cocobolo 800s with flamed maple or koa binding. Fall 2002 LTDs alsdo included Grand Auditorium 12 strings as 354CE, 454CE, 654CE and 854CE models. Usually introduced in October, the Fall LTDs bring added value and feature upgrades at the same price as standard modesls. They are quickly snatched up by aficionados and their resale value tends to be higher than equivalent standard series Taylors.

Finger Joint/NT Neck

Originally posted by bob taylor

I'll try to aswer some of this.

People ask what is the advantage of being able to reset a neck easier? The irony is that when you make a neck that is as easy to re-set as the NT, then the workers at the factory re-set it right out of the starting gate, and thus it may never need a re-set.

I hope you understand what I'm saying here.

Here's the deal. A craftsman takes their best shot at getting a neck angle perfect at the factory or the shop. But once it's glued in place rarely will it be reset before being sold. I'm talking about the difference between a good angle and a PERFECT angle. With our NT it is not uncommon for us to take a neck off a guitar and put different shims in it before it leaves. One can take their best shot at getting it right the first time, but then you string the guitar up and the real story is told. If the story is not perfection, we can take off an NT neck and make the adjustment. The adjustment may be a different angle, or just a different "difference" between the heel shim and the fingerboard shim.

In a factory where this can't be done so easily a player will purchase that guitar that is not perfect. When a neck angle is not perfect there is more stress exherted on the neck and it can require a neck re-set in its future, whereas a perfect may not ever need it. Bottom line, the wrong angle cascades into a more wrong angle.

So the benefit to the player is that we can take a neck off any guitar, and do, once, twice, three times, before it's perfect, and all this is done before it leaves. A glued neck would be considered a "used" guitar if we did this at the factory. These are as new as can be. It's kind of like tuning them for their highest performance.

Back to the irony. Once a neck is easy to reset and you use that resource to get them perfect to start, you may not ever need to reset it.

As far as the hump is concerned, you don't actually move the hump. It is simply eliminated when the two shims are right. And the idea is to leave the saddle the standard height, plus or minus a little, and set the neck to that. Don't forget that the top is not straight of flat. It has complex spherical geometry with ramps and and swells, all designed to pull into one shape that supports the neck angle. The neck isn't really parallel to the top, but rather sits mostly parallel to the "ramp" which is formed into the top where the fretbard extension resides. It's complex, but you can see it if you sight down the neck from a farther vantage point. Usually you look down your neck with your eyeball located at about the peghead. Try propping your guitar up and walking back 4 feet and then looking at it from there. You'll clearly see the relationship of the fretboard plane to the body/top sphere.

I hope this helps clarify some of this and answers why an easily adjustable neck is a tremendous advantage.

You must ask the question, why are Taylors known, generally, as the best playing guitars with the best setup. Our adjustable neck, the first one, and now the NT is the answer. Anyone who says they can consistanly make hundreds or thousands of guitars with perfect setups without an adjustble set neck isn't talking about 100% of their guitar like we are. They are inferring an error rate, where some of the guitars simply aren't as good. Either that or they are simply not paying attention to the difference between "okay" or "good" or "fantastic" like we are. There is a big difference between an okay guitar setup and a stellar setuup.

Originally posted by barkley_01007

Here's a posting from Bob Taylor on a related thread a while back:

"Let me tell you about mahogany. All countries in the world have stopped exporting exept for Peru right now. We've been working toward this event since we designed the NT neck. It will become increasingly hard to get and each time there is some kind of international summit on ANYTHING, lobbyist try to get mahogany onto Cites 2 classification. The next step after that and it will be like getting Brazilian rosewood, except for the sheer higher number of trees, but the hoops to go through and the price......yeeeooow.

So, if you're interested. The NT neck, with the fingerjoint, is designed to be taken from a 4"x4" mahogany board. Without the fingerjoint this method doesn't work, trust me. Why a 4by4? Because there is NO WAY to cut a 4by4 wrong. No matter how you cut up a log, if I ask you to make 4by4's they will all be cut right.

Now, why is THAT important? Because I believe, as I live and breath, that the day will come where the only certified source for mahogany will be from primitive mills upon indigionous (I know I can't spell) people's land. This will be to enable the forestry activity to happen in such a way that only the trees of value get taken and the rest is left untouched. Since loggers build roads and take so much land to get to the good trees, (remember that in tropical forrests there are a hundred spieces per square mile as opposed to our 4 or 5) then the best way to leave the forest in tact is to take them in a more low-tech fashion. That means Donkeys, portable chainsaw mills, dirt trials, etc.

Hang with me. This is not the driving factor but it certainly is part of the whole story and part of our scheme. That is that our NT necks can be made from 6 foot long 4 by 4's, cut by people who don't understand wood milling or grading and we can still make good necks, while they learn, because they can't do it wrong. This is TOTALLY different from the lumber we used for our old style necks.

This is a very unconventional supply scheme, but one that I think will come to pass. Our guitar design and process is ready for that and our customers will never experience a difference.

I don't know what other companies are doing to handle the ensuing problem, but I'm sure that have a plan. We folded our plan into our NT design.

BTW, we'd much rather not make a fingerjoint when it comes to time, profit, tooling, training. It's way easier to bandsaw a solid piece, but this is the better way for us.

I know some people don't like it. Not many, though, evidenced by the numbers we've sold and the positive comments. I read the intro to a Porsche catalog years ago and it read something like, "We know our cars aren't for everyone, but we believe that as long as we make these cars the way we love cars to be there will be people who will want to buy them."

I think the same thing."

Flamed vs Quilted

Originally posted by jmintzer

They are both considered 'figured' maple.  The difference is in the type of figure.  Flame is usually seen as a linear stripe in the wood, a pin strip or a tiger stripe.  Quilt is a more 'bubbling' figure, very 3-D.  It can look like a swimming pool when stained in blue.

Here's a link to My Gear Page

The Yellow Santana III and the LP 58 RI are perfect examples of 'Flame' and the PRS Natural Artist III and the PRS Custom-22 in Dark Cherry Burst are good examples of 'Quilt'.

The difference is purely asthetics as they don't change the sound.

Hope this helps!


Guitar Cleaning and Polishing

Originally posted by Hos

We already switched in the Final Assembly Department.  Green liquid Turtle wax.  We have been using that in Repair for years, it just honestly never occoured to us that something that small could be so helpful.  Just call me homer....

BTW...some of the most facinating reports are coming from soundmen...The comments relate to how easy it is to get what they want in a mix and how the guitars now take up their own space in a mix.  For any live engineers out there, this is no small thing. 

However....even this can become a Huge expectation that can only be measured in context.  (Related to my last comment)

Originally posted by bob taylor

We used Turtle Wax from the first day I made a guitar. Somehow someone at Taylor decided to use something else 25 years into the game and I told Hos about it the other day. Probably becuase it can contaminate a finish department and make spraying difficult. I'm sure I've written about it before. It's the best geetar polish out there. Be careful of the white chalk in the cracks though. But rain will just bead up on your guitar, which is a plus.


Originally posted by jmeinel

LOTF stands for "Legends of the Fall".  They were the Limited Editions for 2000.  They are most famous for a squigly line on the back that we often refer to as "The artist formerly known as Bob" as a joke.  They are a very nice series to own.  Many people on the forum have them.

Originally posted by JW

The LOTF guitars were 300 series,310s&314s made of Koa, 410sand 414s made of Maple and 810s and 814s made from brazilian Rosewood. They were (and are) some of the best Taylors ever. JW

Nanowebs vs Polywebs


Originally posted by Jim

New Old Stock is when a dealer has left over merchandise from previous years that never sold.  There can be many reasons with guitars such as a dealer's client base didn't match the guitars he ordered, he ordered too many of a particular model one year, his prices were relatively high and people went elsewhere to buy, a guitar got shopworn or damaged and people passed it by, the dealer "lost it" in his warehouse or forgot he had it and just found it again.  NOS is a term commonly used across the entire retail industry.  For example, if you are restoring an old car you can actually find NOS parts going all the way back to the 30s and 40s from some dealers who have specialized in buying up NOS parts and selling them.

NT Neck (also see: Fingerjoint)

Originally posted by Bob Womack

The advantages of the NT neck are:

1) In twenty or so years, when your guitar's neck angle needs to be reset, it isn't a 300-500 dollar job (toady's dollars), but instead a five minute adjustment.

2)  The NT design allows Taylor to craft a more precise neck, allowing a better action than some others.

3)  A more robust neck/headstock area due to the finger-joint

The advantage of pre-NT necks:  No joints, prettier.

They are both excellent necks attached to excellent guitars.


"Pink Poodle" Taylor Case



Originally posted by meridian

Oh, if you had only signed up a few months earlier!

Anyway, look over here for ALL the info:

But in a nutshell: 59 members of this forum (myself included) travelled out on our own dime to San Diego for a 2 day event at The Taylor Factory in El Cajon CA August 9 + 10.

Bob Taylor and crew rolled out a red carpet edged with abalone for us! We were fed several really great meals, treated to a deluxe 2 hour tour of the factory, a 2 hour seminar on guitar woods by Bob Taylor, and had the opportunity to play prototype and pre-release fall LTDs. That was Friday.

Then on Saturday, Taylor offered us the opportunity to select from choice and rare woods to build a custom guitar (or two). Taylor pros helped us select wood for custom guitars and Bob Taylor himself hand selected an appropriate top to match the set and our own playing style. Bob T stood in one spot and went over top choices for 51 custom TS guitars over about 10 hours.

Kinda like winning "Built It With Bob" but paying for the trip and the guitar!

Some of the guitars have been completed, others are still being made. They are recieving "royal" treatment and each will be hand checked by Bob Taylor. Those of us lucky enough to have these guitars on order are waiting IMPATIENTLY for any little scrap of news or picture of our guitar in progress we can get!

See Taylorstock pics here:

See guitars in Progress here:

and here:


Truss Rod Cover. A small piece of wood attached to the headtsock with 2 small screws. Covers the adjustment access to the truss rod. Custom TRCs are offered by different vendors to lend an individual touch to your guitar.




Why are 500+Higher Numbers More Expensive than 300 & 400 Series Guitars?

Originally posted by Bob Womack

You are absolutely right that the magnitude of the "X" number at the beginning of the three digits doesn't necessarily equate to the build quality of the instrument.  All of the main lines are solid wood instruments.

You have to understand that in the Taylor line, many of the design and construction techniques used in the top of the line are directly applied to the lower lines so the BUILD QUALITY is virtually the same.  All necks are shaped on the same gear and feature the same mahogany/ebony combination.  All can be setup to play well.

Here's my take on the line.  I break the guitars into three tiers:



Koa, Walnut, 900s, Presentation series, Limiteds

300-400  Excellent guitars, less expensive woods and low-gloss finishes.  Great stage/player's guitars.  300 sapelle "mahogany", 400 Ovankol (towards rosewood).

500-800  Feature better and more traditional woods as well as nicer ornamentation.  These instruments record well.  500s feature mahogany bodies (mellow, with a cedar top the 514 is great for fingerstyle), 600s feature maple bodies (brighter, thinner, compressed sound), 700s feature rosewood bodies and cedar tops for a smooth but bright sound, 800s are rosewood bodies with spruce tops (bright, with a bark and a certain sproing).

Koa, Walnut, 900 series, Presentation, Limiteds.  Here you are getting into the rarer woods and more detailed ornamentation.  Koa and Walnut occupy a tonal spot between rosewood and mahogany.  The 900 series features select rosewood and Engelmann spruce (giving a slight more "refined" sound) and fancy inlay.  The presentations and Limited generally just get more fancy.

It's funny, the Signatures go anywhere from fairly inexpensive (Jewel Sig., thanks Jewel) to very fancy/expensive.

As a flat picker, you might look into the dreadnaughts.  Of those, mahogany is more mellow, the rosewood has a deeper, throatier sound with a brighter high end.

By my breakdown into three camps,  the 300s-400s are excellent working guitars, the 500s through 800s offer nicer professional grade woods and sounds, and the last category (Koas, Walnut, and above) are headed for the "guitar of a lifetime" category.

Hope this helps.  Of course, these are my impressions.



Originally posted by bob taylor

I'm sure you didn't to anything wrong. Crackobolo, I mean, Cocobolo, does this sometimes and again you have us standing behind it.

You know, if we make 1,000 of them for people who are "cukoo for cocobolo" and 20 of them give us some fits, then it's still worth it. I just feel bad for those like you who have to be depressed because of the luck of the draw. My apologies. I feel your pain.

In our experience, it doesn't just keep cracking. We'll fix that one crack, most likely, and all will be fine. If not, you have our number, cuz we're not going anywhere.

BTW, since the first LTD's we kiln dry cocobolo 2 complete drying and re-humidifying cycles. This has weeded out nearly all the stuff that wanted to argue with becoming a guitar.

We'll take care to do it up good for you.


What Are The Different Top Woods? How Do Top Woods Affect Tone?


Originally posted by bob taylor

Tops on d's and jumbos are .120" to .125"
Tops on GA's and GC's are .110" to .115"
Koa tops are .100 to .105"
Tops on 12-bangers are .125" to .130"
Sides are .090" to .100"
Backs are .100" to .110"
Cocobolo is way thinner, like, .080

So, there you go. Go find out what other makers do. You'll find the same range.


Terms describing guitar tone

Originally posted by Roy

I found this summary of terms used to describe sound in general, and I have heard many of them in the context of guitar (either acoustic or electric).  I would be particulalry interested to know if there there any acoustic guitar tone terms you know of that are not in this list?

Airy: Spacious. The instruments sound like they are surrounded by a large reflective space full of air. Some leakage between microphones. A pleasant amount of reverb. High-frequency response that extends to 15 or 20 kHz.

Ballsy or Bassy: Emphasized low frequencies below about 200 Hz.

Bloated: Excessive mid-bass around 250 Hz. Poorly damped low frequencies, low-frequency resonances.

Bloom: Adequate low frequencies. Spacious. Good reproduction of dynamics and reverberation. Early reflections or a sense of "air" around each instrument in an orchestra.

Boomy: Excessive bass around 125 Hz. Poorly damped low frequencies or low-frequency resonances.

Boxy: Having resonances as if the music were enclosed in a box. Speaker cabinet diffraction or vibration. Sometimes an emphasis around 250 Hz to 500 Hz.

Breathy: Audible breath sounds in vocals, flute or sax. Good or emphasized high-frequency response.

Bright: Strong in the treble. High-frequency emphasis. Harmonics are strong relative to fundamentals.

Brittle: High-frequency peaks, or weak fundamentals. Slightly distorted or harsh highs. Opposite of round or mellow. (See Thin.) Objects that are physically thin and brittle emphasize highs over lows when you crack them. Bad A/D converters with low bit depth can sound brittle.

Chesty: The vocalist sounds like his or her chest is too big. A bump in the low-frequency response around 125 to 250 Hz.

Clean: Free of noise, distortion and leakage.

Clear: See Transparent.

Clinical: Too clean or analytical. Emphasized high-frequency response, sharp transient response. Not warm.

Colored: Having timbres that are not true to life. Non-flat response, peaks or dips.

Constricted: Poor reproduction of dynamics. Dynamic compression. Distortion at high levels. (Also see Pinched.)

Crisp: Extended high-frequency response. Like a crispy potato chip, or crisp bacon frying. Often referring to cymbals.

Crunch: Pleasant guitar-amp distortion.

Dark; Dull: Opposite of bright. Weak high frequencies.

Delicate: High frequencies extend to 15 or 20 kHz without peaks. A sweet, airy, open sound with strings or acoustic guitar.

Depth: A sense of closeness or distance of instruments, caused by miking them at different distances. Good transient response that reveals the direct/reflected sound ratio in the recording.

Detailed: Easy to hear tiny details in the music; articulate. Adequate high-frequency response, sharp transient response.

Dry: Without effects. Not spacious. Reverb tends toward mono instead of spreading out. Overdamped transient response.

Edgy: Too much high frequency. Trebley. Harmonics are too strong relative to the fundamentals. When you view the waveform on an oscilloscope, it even looks edgy or jagged, due to excessive high frequencies. Distorted, having unwanted harmonics that add an edge or raspiness to the sound.

Effortless: Low distortion, usually coupled with flat response.

Etched: Clear but verging on edgy. Emphasis around 10 kHz or higher.

Fat: See Full and Warm. Also, a diffuse spatial effect. Also, smeared out in time, with some reverberant decay.

Focused: Referring to the image of a musical instrument, which is easy to localize, pinpointed, having a small spatial spread.

Forward: Sounding close to the listener, projected. Emphasis around 2 to 5 kHz. Also, loud in the mix.

Full: Opposite of Thin. Strong fundamentals relative to harmonics. Good low-frequency response, not necessary extended, but with adequate level around 100 to 300 Hz.

Gentle: Opposite of edgy. The harmonics - highs and upper mids - are not exaggerated, or may even be weak.

Glare, Glassy: A little less extreme than edgy. A little too bright or trebley.

Grainy: The music sounds like it is segmented into little grains, rather than flowing in one continuous piece. Not liquid or fluid. Suffering from harmonic or I.M. distortion. Some early A/D converters sounded grainy, as do current ones of inferior design. Powdery is finer than Grainy.

Grungy: Lots of harmonic or I.M. distortion.

Hard: Too much upper midrange, usually around 3 kHz. Also as with good transient response, as if the sound is hitting you hard.

Harsh: Too much upper midrange. Peaks in the frequency response from 2 to 6 kHz. Or, excessive phase shift.

Heavy: Good low-frequency response below about 50 Hz. Suggesting an object of great weight or power, like a diesel locomotive or thunder.

Hollow: Too much reverberation or when there is a mid-frequency dip. (Also see Honky.)

Honky: The music sounds the way your voice sounds when you cup your hands around your mouth. A bump in the response around 500 to 700 Hz.

Liquid: Opposite of Grainy. A sense of seamless flowing of the music. Flat response and low distortion. High frequencies are flat or reduced relative to mids and lows.

Low-fi (low fidelity): "Trashy" sounding. Tinny, distorted, noisy or muddy.

Meaty: A combination of Crunch and Warmth. Pleasant amount of low frequencies, perhaps with some euphonic distortion or compression.

Mellow: Reduced high frequencies, not edgy.

Muddy: Not clear. Weak harmonics, smeared time response, IM distortion. Too much reverb or leakage at low frequencies.

Muffled: The music sounds covered up. Weak highs or weak upper mids.

Musical: Conveying emotion. Flat response, low distortion, no edginess.

Nasal: The vocalist sounds like he or she is singing with the nose closed. Also applies to strings. Bump in the response around 300 to 1,000 Hz. (See Honky).

Neutral: Accurate tonal reproduction. No obvious colorations. No serious peaks or dips in the frequency response.

Papery: Referring to a kick drum that has too much output around 400 to 600 Hz.

Pinched: Narrowband. Midrange or upper-midrange peak in the frequency response. Pinched dynamics are overly compressed.

Piercing: Strident, hard on the ears, screechy. Having sharp, narrow peaks in the response around 3 kHz to 10 kHz.

Present, presence: Adequate or emphasized response around 5 kHz for most instruments, or around 2 to 5 kHz for kick drum and bass. Having some edge, punch, detail, closeness and clarity.

Puffy: Bump in the response around 500 to 700 Hz.

Punchy: Good reproduction of dynamics. (But note, some people call the sound of compression "punchy." Go figure.) Good transient response. Sometimes a bump around 200 Hz.

Raspy: Harsh, like a rasp. Peaks in the response around 6 kHz, which make vocals sound too sibilant or piercing.

Rich: (See Full.) Also, having euphonic distortion made of even-order harmonics.

Round: High-frequency rolloff or dip. Not edgy.

Sharp: See Strident and Tight.

Sibilant, Essy: Exaggerated "s" and "sh" sounds in singing, caused by a rise in the response around 5 to 10 kHz.

Sizzly: (See Sibilant.) Also, too much highs on cymbals.

Smeared: Lacking detail. Poor transient response. This may be a desirable effect in large-diameter microphones. Also, poorly focused images.

Smooth: Easy on the ears, not harsh. Flat frequency response, especially in the midrange. Lack of peaks and dips in the response.

Spacious: Conveying a sense of space, ambience, or room around the instruments. To get this effect, mic farther back, mix in an ambience microphone, add reverb or record in stereo. Components that have out-of-phase crosstalk between channels may add false spaciousness.

Squashed: Overly compressed.

Steely: Emphasized upper mids around 3 - 6 kHz. Peaky, nonflat high-frequency response. (See Glassy, Harsh, Edgy.)

Strained: The component sounds like it's working too hard. Distorted. Inadequate headroom or insufficient power. Opposite of effortless.

Strident: See Harsh and Edgy.

Sweet: Not strident or piercing. Flat high-frequency response, low distortion. Lack of peaks in the response. Highs extend to 15 or 20 kHz, but they are not bumped up. Often used when referring to cymbals, percussion, strings, and sibilant sounds.

Thin: Fundamentals are weak relative to harmonics. Note that the fundamental frequencies of many instruments are not very low. For example, violin fundamentals are around 200 to 1,000 Hz. So if the 300 Hz area is weak, the violin may sound thin - even if the violin mic's response goes down to 40 Hz.

Tight: Good low-frequency transient response. Absence of ringing or resonance when reproducing the kick drum or bass. Good low-frequency detail. Absence of leakage. Also refers to highly synchronized playing of musicians.

Tinny, Telephone-Like: Narrowband, weak lows, peaky mids. The music sounds like it's coming through a telephone or tin can.

Transparent: Easy to hear into the music, detailed, clear, not muddy. Wide flat frequency response, sharp time response, very low distortion and noise.

Tubby: See Bloated. Having low-frequency resonances as if you're singing in a bathtub.

Veiled: The music sounds like you put a silk veil over the speakers. Slight noise or distortion, or slightly weak high frequencies.

Warm: Good bass, adequate low frequencies, adequate fundamentals relative to harmonics. Not thin. Or, excessive bass or midbass. Or, pleasantly spacious, with adequate reverberation at low frequencies. Or, gentle highs, like from a tube amplifier. See Rich.

Wooly or Blanketed: The music sounds like there's a wool blanket over the speakers. Weak high frequencies or boomy low frequencies. Sometimes, an emphasis around 250 to 600 Hz.

When did Taylor make the heel Strap pin standard?

Originally posted by bob taylor

Boy these topics meandor, huh?

There is a progression to the point where we put a strap pin on every neck. Goes some"pin" like this.....

We used to not put them on any guitars.

Then we put them on guitars by request

Then we put them on guitars with pickups only, the CE models, figuring these people would always be standing a playing.

Then we made 80% CE's we just put them on everything.

The timeline for this history from the requested pins to now is about ten years, but I think it was in 2001 that we just put them on everything. We had to wait until all the people who wanted the "purity" of no endpin to die out or change their mind, or at least not lamblast me for screwing their guitar with an endpin.

Sorry you asked, huh?

How long does it take a guitar to "open up?"

Originally posted by Taylorplayer

To all:

I don't think it's at all uncommon for a fine quality guitar to take  2 or 3 years to really start to "open up".  I have a 98' 612ce that most certainly sounds A LOT better now than when I bought it.  It sounded fantastic new, but the subtle undertones and overtones are far more evident now.  And, I don't want to bum anyone out, but I also have an guitar that was made in the early 70's - and it continues to improve with age!  It just keeps getting louder and louder while retaining its' wonderful voice. So, hang in there a while!  Guitars are made up of many different materials - and they may take a while to mature and settle in.  Again, I think this trait is far more common on all wood / fine quality guitars - I woudn't expect to hear much difference on a instrument that didn't have a solid wood top.  Those are just my thoughts - others may have had a much different experience.

Peace & blessings to all...


Originally posted by Bob Womack

The process in question was called the "Timbre Tech" process, developed by luthier Michael Tobias and SWR amplifier builder Steve Rabe.  The process involved strapping the guitar to an industrial "shaking table", a device which allows you to shake an item at a prescribed frequency.  The shaking table is often used to test the physical endurance of items before they are put on the market.  As others have mentioned, while there were reports of success, the company folded.  I notice that they never released the frequencies they used, but they had moved research along to the point that they were attempting to use certain frequencies to eliminate specific problems in acoustic guitars.

Here's Acoustic Guitar's Article on it!



What Are The Different Tonewoods? How Do They Sound?

What is JW's Guitar and How Did It Happen?

Why Can't We Discuss Prices?

What guitars does Bob Taylor own?

Originally posted by bob taylor

The top is cedar. The inlays are from the LTD we did a few years back. You folks have the peghead inlay torch on your "The Taylor Guitar Forum" logo, up at the top of this page. Ivroid binding.

This one is pre NT. I didn't make it myself. I have a mahogany dreadnought that I made as part of training a particular employee whom I wanted to know all the basics. So we made guitars totally by hand, and I mean TOTALLY by hand. That was three years ago and I haven't made a guitar since. I'll put up a pic of that guitar. Very simply, very nice.

I own:

1973 high school woodshop guitar; rosewood
1978 810, first one with scalloped bracing
1980 955 maple, first one with old 900 series inlays (pre-Cindy)
1985 koa gc, made for my wife, first Cindy inlay

All the above are pre-tooling, made by myself as a young builder.


Set #250 of 20th Anniversary, Braz rosewood and flamey mahogany
Set #500 of 25th Anniversary,
Walnut GA pictured above
a couple guitars I've bought off the production floor, like a koa 12-banger in Jumbo body, a 2000 LTD Braz 810
I own a Brazilian Collings CJ
Lakewood custom built for me as a surprize gift from my friends over there in Germany
A PRS  ten top, signed by Paul appr 1990
Two Tom Andersons

That's about all of 'em.

Copyrights & Songwriting Links

Originally posted by Tayloresque

Good idea, but in case it doesn't materialize here at TGF, there are a number of songwriting sites which I frequent for this purpose (assuming you're talking about original material). I posted the following songwriting information and links here a while ago. I searched for the info and am posting it here for your convenience. The songwriting sites are great for posting lyrics and complete songs for feedback. It's a reciprocal thing where the critiquing process is as much a learning experience as the opinions you receive on your own work.

The listed forums are excellent for improving one's songcrafting -- especially the 'Just Plain Folks' forum. The other info might be useful for you too. Good luck!


Songwriting Forums:

'Just Plain Folks' is run by Brian Austin Whitney Check out the songwriting message boards (country, folk and rock). This link will take you to the home page. When I have the time, I usually frequent the Lyric and MP3 Feedback Forums. This site seems to be the most popular these days and is growing into a very large international network. They also now have affiliation with an internet radio station called 'Radio-Free Virgin' (something to do with Virgin Records). If you register, I'd appreciate you using my name as a reference (Tom Guertin).

Run by Dan Gray. Be sure to check out 'The Freedom Exchange Online Songwriting Workshop'. This board leans to folk and rock, but also country.

Shayne Vaughn's 'The Write Stuff' songwriting message board. Leans to country, but also folk and rock).

Kent Newsome's 'Rancho DeNada' songwriting message board. Country, folk and rock.

Songwriting Tools:

If you ever have a song to be published, use the downloadable 'Songwriters Guild Contract' (it is designed to protect the songwriter) -- at least use it as a baseline. I made sure my publisher used it for my contract. Also, if you want some info on the song publishing multi-step process, feel free to e-mail me and I'll send the detail to you.

From my experience, copyright infringement isn't as big an issue as some make it out to be. First, copyright is automatic upon creation of a piece. Of course, proving it is another thing. And, "he with the deepest pockets usually wins". In my experience, the majority of songwriters feel that posting on the internet is a good thing (provided you always post your work with the copyright symbol, date and name(s) of authors) because it provides a 'datestamp' of sorts. Plus there's all the witnesses who review and comment on your work (which you can print-out and keep, as I do, in case you ever need it). You can also do the 'poor man's copyright' by mailing the lyric and/or CD to yourself via registered mail and don't open it (unless you have to). This does not provide absolute protection, but some like to do it. Where you feel a song has a real shot of getting published, most file a copyright claim with the US Library of Congress Copyright Office. The link above will take you to the downloadable forms should you ever need them. I've used them and submitted along with demo tape/CD. You can also submit a compilation of songs to save money.

A great on-line rhyming dictionary.

Why Does Taylor Use Elixirs?

Taylor strings their guitars with Elixir coated strings (Nanoweb or Polyweb) as these strings have a far longer "shelf life" on display models and don't corrode as easily as uncoated strings.

What Are The Revoiced Dreadnoughts?

How Do I Place a Custom Order?

Originally posted by Jim

Many of us on the forum have had Taylor Custom Shop guitars built for us.  We aren't supposed to talk specific prices, but Custom Shop guitars tend to be pretty pricey and are not good choices for those who are faint of heart when it comes to cost.  The standard Taylor rose headstock inlay has a list price of more than your budget, but depending on the percentage discount your dealer will offer you on Taylors, you might be able to squeak it out within a penny or two of your number.  As others have said, you need to talk to a good dealer who offers strong discounts (not a superstore since they don't do custom shop orders) and talk it through to see some actual numbers.

Originally posted by Jim

Just the 500 series and above.  Normally you decide what kind of custom guitar you want and then start with the closest standard production model and build out from that with additions from the list.  So, if you wanted a rosewood/Engelmann cutaway with highest quality woods, sharktooth fretboard inlay and heart abalone purfling with soundboard extension on just the top and an ebony headstock overlay, you would start with a 914CE and that list price, add the costs of the things that are different from a stock 914CE and that would be your list price, then the dealer would apply their usual discount to that total list price.  It isn't inexpensive, especially if you want a number of changes.  They will also do things that are not on the list and come up with one-off inlays and such like you see on J.R. hot rod guitar, but that would be even more money and they would price those on a one by one basis after it was submitted to them by the authorized dealer through whom you would be working.

At the end, though, you would have a truely personal, one of a kind Taylor guitar that you could keep for a lifetime and hand down to your heirs.  It is not for everyone, but as someone who has done it I feel that it was worth it.

How Do I Avoid Feedback?

Originally posted by Dennis

How about a topic on feedback, and how to avoid / minimize it.  I'd be happy to contribute the content to that one.


Will There Be Another TaylorStock?

Originally posted by J.R. Rogers

I'd love to do this again. Everyone really had a great time and Taylor went all out. One of the challenges for doing this again would be making it as great as the first. I believe that attendance would be much higher and most feel that the attendance level for the last one was just right. Any more might be too much. It's one of the hurdles we'd have to figure out. Currently no plans to do this again, however. Sorry.


Is that REALLY Bob Taylor?


Does J.R. Rogers really exist?


What's A Good Acoustic Amp? (Pre-ES)

How Do I Care For Callouses?

What Do The Model Designations (x10, x12, x14, x22, etc) Mean?

Will Dropped (and other alternate tunings) hurt my guitar?

Which Taylor should I buy?

Bob Taylor has said that a you get 90% of a 900 series Taylor in a 300 series Taylor. The necks and fingerboards are the same. The body styles are the same. The gloss models are 500 series + up. Fancier inlays, rosettes, gold tuners, different and higher quality tonewoods and topwoods characterize the upper models.

How Do I Properly Adjust The Truss Rod?

Originally posted by Bob Womack

Hi!  I just wanted to put down in writing some things I've observed while tweaking truss rods, in case someone else might benefit from them.  I am not a luthier and I don't play one on TV.  I have, however, done light repairs and adjustments on my instruments over the thirty-two years I've been playing.

Though they influence this discussion, in the interest of brevity, I'm eliminating the influence of the bridge height, neck angle, and nut height (though I will reference the nut later).  We're going to assume those adjustments are nominal in order to look at that final five-percent of the truss rod adjustment.  I'm addressing the feel of the instrument and the results on play-ability.  Serving as the center and reference point of our discussion I'll use the Taylor standard of .010" clearance at the sixth fret.  This standard is designed to allow enough relief in the neck to give the string clearance to vibrate at its midpoint without buzzing.  Taylor's Tech Sheet on Truss Rod Adjustment says, "From this point, you can adjust to your own preference."  To take this measurement, place a capo on the first fret to eliminate the nut from the equation, hold down the string at the 14th fret, and slip automotive feeler gages between the string and fret at the sixth fret.  The largest feeler which doesn't deflect the string upward defines your relief.  Be sure to check both high and low "E" strings.  Once adjusted to the standard, we are talking about making minor adjustments one way or the other.  If you ever get the feeling you are way out, go back and set up to the standard again.  On the other hand, if before we start you like your action as it is and want the option to return to this setup, measure it before you change anything, write it down, and return to the measurement if you like.  By the way, each adjustment can take from seconds to hours to settle in.

The main factors which can be and should be balanced while tweaking your truss rod are buzz resistance, softness/hardness of the action, and apparent flexibility of the strings.  A flatpicker who pushes his guitar hard and is hearing buzz will typically need more relief.  A fingerstylist who plays gently and whose action seems a bit "hard" can probably decrease relief.

Beginning at our reference point, as you decrease tension on the truss rod and thus begin to increase relief, the action begins to feel harder.  You'll feel the string "bite" more into your finger, giving a more secure feel.  At the same time, as the relief increases, the string has more room to vibrate at its mid-point, making the guitar more buzz-resistant.  Many interpret this decreasing buzz and gritch as a clearer tone.  As the relief increases, the strings begin to have a harder feel overall.  Unfortunately, the more you crank, the harder it becomes to fret the middle and upper frets and the less elastic the strings feel.

Going back to our reference point, as you increase tension on the truss rod and thus begin to decrease relief, the action begins to feel softer.  As the strings begin to feel more elastic, it becomes easier to hold down barre chords and the strings don't cut into your fingers as much.  However, the further you go, the less buzz-resistant your guitar becomes.  A light and delicate player will sometimes prefer to adapt to a slightly more buzz-prone instrument in order to get the soft feel. The buzz at the lower frets increases dramatically as your neck flattens.  As you adjust the neck to become convex, the first few frets drop under the "horizon" of the rest of the frets and will begin to buzz more no matter how well you fret.

Here is an interesting tactile/empirical correlation: If you are having problems with the first string slipping off the side of the neck on the first few frets, one way to increase the security of fingering on this string is to slightly increase the relief of the neck.

Another interesting tactile perception with an empirical factor which affects it: Begin by setting the truss rod.  Attach a capo at fret one and play open chords on the first frets past the capo.  Let's assume that your action feels comfortable.  Now remove the capo and play the open chords again.  Does it appear that the strings are at a higher tension and cut into your fingers too much when the capo is off?  Your nut could very well be too high for your playing style.  Placing the capo removes the nut from the equation.

The precision of Taylor necks offers the opportunity to create great neck setups offering excellent play-ability. A good technician can level the frets and adjust relief, nut and bridge height, and neck angle on a good Taylor to the point where the action can be brought down into "electric" land.  Of course, that setup is only good for extremely light playing.  If you play harder, he'll have a different, higher setup.  Once he gets it close, you can still have some influence on the feel of your instrument by spending fifteen minutes with the truss rod tool and your feeler gages.  Measure and record your final setup in case service work or humidity disrupts it.

Buying a guitar over the Internet:

What wine goes best with Cocobolo?

What is Taylor's Advertising Policy?

Originally posted by rsimper

Hey, welcome to the new thread!

Ill try to answer as succinctly and objectively as possible on just the questions you've asked.

Taylor is different from other makers because they forbid pricing of new or used instruments in advertisements, both online and in print, and you cannot even mention that you carry Taylor on a website.

People advise against buying from a chain because of service issues as well as sometimes they neglect the conditioning of the guitar in the store.

The reason you can't find the mention of Taylor on the net is because of their policy forbidding it.

The best places to look, honestly, are the Taylor site (get a list of authorized dealers) and this forum.  I, as well as many other members, would be more than willing to carry on email correspondence with you to help you find the best price for your guitar as well as the best place to get one.

My email is [email protected] and you can feel free to contact me anytime...

How Do I Replace a Pickguard?

Originally posted by whamonkey

After some back and forth with Capt Bill, and some research on the web, it seems easy.  You heat up the glue with a hair dryer and you pull the guard off slowly.  The new guard has adhesive on it already...peel off the paper and stick it on.  Actually the suntan marks line the new one up for you. Beautiful. :)

Note to self: Light pickguard scratches should be left alone.

Taylor Cases:

Will Taylor Offer Retrofits of ES Pickup System?

Originally posted by bob taylor

We will offer a retro-fit. I'm not sure exactly when but we'll work on it early this year. We've had our hands full just getting it ready for the new guitars without taking on the burden of designing and producing a serious retro-fit right out of the starting gate. The retro-fit will only be available for NT guitars and most likely only be offered as an in-factory installation. We don't want to sell the system to other makers and that could be the only way to control that.

We will figure a way to cover the hole. And we may even figure a way to use the same hole for the controls of the new system.

Wood & Steel has a feature article about the system and is coming out in a week or so. There will also be a little brochure on the system, so I'll not undo our efforts there and tell you about it here. Lots of info will be available in just a short time from now.

All gloss models with 2003 serial numbers will have them.

Why Did Taylor Create The ES?

Originally posted by bob taylor

I look for fundamental changes in guitars. The re-voicing of the dreadnought was a fundamental change. No hype. Just a change, and one that will prove to sway more dreadnought buyers into the Taylor camp for years to come. When all the chit-chat about whether it's better is over, all that will be left is guitars in stores competing against each other for an owner. It will compete in the dreadnought class much better. And it will be bought by people who are comparing it to other dreadnoughts in a store, long past all the discussions about the change is over.

Now, the ES is a super-fundamental change. It will win. And it will win in ways that the discerning world of enthusiasts who test and compare don't expect it to. (Don't forget I'm and enthusiast too, with guitars,  and lately I'm into Hummers and ATV's and reading those forums, which are EXACTLY like ours. Like Polaris just invented zero bump steer suspension on their quads, and many people want to pooh-pooh it while others ride it and think they just found salvation. So is Polaris just hyping when they announce their better suspension by virtue of the fact that some people don't like it?) But I digress.......

Here's one scenario:

An unsuspecting person goes into a store and buys a guitar with and ES. He doesn't even really know what he bought. He takes it to the church or club, plugs in and sounds better than his buddies. Each week the difference seems to grow more significant until he wouldn't even be able to play thier guitar with an old style system. That is when they all really admit to the superiority of the system. Why, he can play softer than them. He can play louder than them, all without touching a volume knob, just with his right hand attack. His guitar has bass output, their's doesn't even come close. When we wants to brighten up the sound he turns a knob and it gets brighter. Theirs gets brighter but seems to lose something in the process, plus it adds an unacceptable amount of noise. The video camera records the performance, not direct, but with its built in mic just recording what the audience heard through the house, and they play it back and they're all agast at how one guitar sounds natural, almost like the video camera was trained on its soundhole and the other sounds so unnatural. They eventually hear these fundamental differences whether they play on a great PA or a Twin Reverb. They've developed their ears. They realize that before they had one or two categories developed for amplified guitar tone, like a new wine drinker who can't quite tell the difference between grades of wine until the pallet is developed. Their audience can tell the difference and comes and reports that they prefer one guitar over the other. The sound guy asks you to adjust your tone and you do, so easily. He asks the same from another player who has a very difficult time making a satisfactory adjustment. The gap widens. One day they put a mic on stage to play the guitar through, and somehow it doesn't sound as good as they rememberd. Nothing has changed, but the gap widened. It's still the pickup that he bought but didn't know about.

You can run, but you cannot hide, from the ES.

I suppose it's hype when I say it, but this will happen, I'm very sure of it. Look for stories over the next year that sound something like what I just wrote above.

I won't even write the story about the guys who will now perform alongside loud electric players, while sounding acoustic but with no feedback, and with bass power that will make the electric guy jealous. That'll be another bedtime story.......

I hope you have fun with them.