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  #1  
Old 06-05-2001, 08:59 PM
Musicmanchris Musicmanchris is offline
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Post Koa

I've been wondering for a while....what exactly is the sound that you get from Koa? What kind of playing styles would it support? Do people mostly go for it, because it looks amazing, or primarily because it sounds good? I get the impression listening to a lot of people talk (not just here) that it's for it's looks.

Thanks for the info!

~chris
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  #2  
Old 06-05-2001, 10:08 PM
Bill Nichols (CaptBill)'s Avatar
Bill Nichols (CaptBill) Bill Nichols (CaptBill) is offline
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Hi Chris,
I think that Koa has outstanding string definition or call it separation. Each note rings very true without any sense of mudiness. Excellent for fingerstyle and clean crisp chords. It is bright without being harsh and full without being boomy. My assesment is based on a koa soundboard as well as sides and back. I do not have a cedar toped koa but have heard nothing but great things about those as well.
It does also look amazing but its the sound that gets you. Go play some and make your own decision.
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  #3  
Old 06-05-2001, 11:51 PM
Jim
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What Bill said. I've got an all koa K-65 and I chose it over a W-65, an 855 and a 555 for it's unique crisp tones. It's like you can hear all 12 strings individually. Like the Taylor website says, the tone is kind of in between rosewood and mahogany and the koa top gives it an even more koa-like sound. Its unique beauty is a major bonus, but that wouldn't have been enough of a reason for me by itself.
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  #4  
Old 06-06-2001, 09:24 AM
Bob Womack
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I made the choice for koa based upon sound only. The looks grew on me.

With a guitar having a koa body and cedar top, the sound is smooth and balanced, with a nice top-end ring, balanced midrange, and a tight bass. It's a sound which, when recording, needs very little EQ to be pleasant but also invites you to play with it and make something else of it: It's very smooth and balanced.

With a guitar having a koa body and a sitka spruce top, you'll typically have more treble zing and a little less midrange. It even sounds nice via a peizo under-saddle pickup.

Both will give you excellent individual-string definition. If you want a "precise" sound, this is the body wood for you. If you want a big boomy sound or a sound which mushes the individual strings into one sound, you might want to move on.

I'm reminded of the difference, in the electric guitar world, between the sound of a mahogany body with a maple cap (Les Paul) and an all-maple body. The all-maple body will give you excellent individual-string definition but sometimes you want a guitar which will mush the chords into one sound (a Les Paul).

Like CaptBill said, go out and try 'em for yourself.

Hope a little of this helps,

Bob
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Old 06-06-2001, 11:43 AM
buddiesorg buddiesorg is offline
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I agree with those that have written with such insight before me. I've had quite a bit of personal experience with koa. I currently have 5 koa guitars ... 3 all-koas (2 Taylors, 1 Goodall), 1 koa/Engelmann (Taylor), and 1 koa/cedar (Goodall). I've also traded in 3 all-koas (2 Taylors, 1 Larrivee) and a koa/Sitka (Goodall).

And the main reason I've kept and traded the ones I have is sound. And the main reason I keep choosing to play the ones I've kept each day is sound. I've traded in stunningly beautiful looking guitars (including some koa ones) because their sound just wasn't there.

I once had an absolutely beautiful 1998 K-22 ... although I didn't order 900 series koa, it's look would rival any wood on a Presentation, but it sounded dead ... so it left.

Since I currently have a wonderful collection of different woods/sounds (and have to trade in at least one instrument to get another), I'm alot more critical of every part of the guitars I get now ... and that includes the look of the wood as well as its sound.
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  #6  
Old 06-06-2001, 03:11 PM
bjarock bjarock is offline
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Hello Chris:

I was lucky to purchase a 314K (sitka top)last year. I purchased it because of the sound. I found it to be brighter than my 422 Rosewood. The GA construction had something to do with making the guitar "zing" more than the GC, but it seems that the Koa gives a strong low end without sacrificing the brightness in the middle and upper ranges. I understand that the low end should sound better as the guitar ages.

For looks I prefer the standard 314 Ovankol, but the Koa sounds better to my ear. - Bill J
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  #7  
Old 06-06-2001, 09:57 PM
Bob Womack
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Oh, by the way, here is what I have to put up with visually on the back of my 314kce:

<A HREF="http://users.exis.net/~rcwomack/314back.jpg" TARGET=_blank>
Back overall</A>

<A HREF="http://users.exis.net/~rcwomack/314Inlay.jpg" TARGET=_blank>
Inlay and neck joint</A>



Bob

[ 06-06-2001: Message edited by: Bob Womack ]
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  #8  
Old 06-06-2001, 10:24 PM
Musicmanchris Musicmanchris is offline
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Geeze....thanks Bob.

As if my craving for a Taylor/Koa weren't enough already.

wanna help a poor college kid get one???


Trying to be patient....

chris
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  #9  
Old 06-06-2001, 11:17 PM
buddiesorg buddiesorg is offline
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You wanna see my koas? Just go to http://buddies.org/hsguitar/ ... I have to get some better pictures one of these days.

The koa ones are the second and third ones on the first row, and the second, fourth, and fifth ones on the bottom row.

[ 06-06-2001: Message edited by: buddiesorg ]
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  #10  
Old 06-07-2001, 01:32 AM
Musicmanchris Musicmanchris is offline
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buddiesorg,

so....like I said...wanna help a poor college kid and donate a guitar (i'll take ANY of those in your collection!!! You can choose!)

Someday when I'm a famous solo artist, I'll contribute all my sucess to the AWESOME giving people on "The Taylor Forum"

The ever increasing addicted Taylor Fan,

chris
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  #11  
Old 06-07-2001, 08:48 AM
buddiesorg buddiesorg is offline
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Sure Chris ... if you'll take on the credit card responsibility that got it here in the first place ...
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  #12  
Old 06-07-2001, 09:23 AM
Bob Womack
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Gee, Chris, I didn't mean to pour salt on an open wound. I know exactly where you are. I went from starving college student (I saved four years for a Les Paul) to married and trying to raise a family on a mission income. I'm forty-four and have only recently been able to get a decent acoustic. I hope it all comes quicker for you.

Bob
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  #13  
Old 06-10-2001, 12:46 AM
buddiesorg buddiesorg is offline
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Today, I played what I think is the worst sounding Taylor I've ever played ... and it was a brand new all-koa K-14c. Now, you all know how much I love the sound of koa done right ... but this was awful. I'd rather have my muddy-thuddy K-22 back than this one. The only word I can think to describe it is jangly.

I'm not sure if it was caused by something as being strung incorrectly ... the action seemed to be perfect ... I'm glad I've played other K-14s ... or I wouldn't want to play one again.
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  #14  
Old 06-11-2001, 01:25 PM
Bob Womack
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Funny thing: I played a really jangly sounding "new" 2000 model K14c at a dealer in the last couple of weeks. It was really thin sounding. Though the action was reasonable, the strings felt thin and wirey. Ugggg. I have lost the will to live. I wonder if it had extra-lights on it or nanowebs or something?

Bob

I also played a 714 at another dealer which felt the same way... But it had really dirty strings, so much so that I couldn't slide on them. Ick!

[ 06-11-2001: Message edited by: Bob Womack ]
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  #15  
Old 06-11-2001, 08:15 PM
buddiesorg buddiesorg is offline
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The one that I played didn't seem thin ... it actually just sounded kind of loud ... just very metally ... no buzzing ... I shudder just thinking about it.

Was the K-14c you played a koa-top as well?

Anyway, I guess it doesn't just happen on the koas, if you heard it on a 714 ... but the old strings could have caused that one ...
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