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  #46  
Old 10-11-2023, 08:45 PM
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Dirk Hofman Dirk Hofman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beninma View Post
Honestly my thought is that a lot of this reputation of Taylor = bright actually comes from people who try:

GS Mini
Academy series
100 series
200 series
300 series

In general my feeling has always been as you go up the line with Taylors they get less bright/brash and have a more rounded/refined top end to their sound.

That said I think the Taylors 400 series and up all have different approaches to the bass end of things too. Sometimes the 800 and 900 series have seemed too refined to me.. maybe people think they are bright more cause the bass is too refined and reined in.
Respectfully disagree on that. I had an 810, my first really nice guitar. Super instrument, no excuses no question. But soooo much brighter than the subsequent Martins I've owned, or even the Collings'. Just a totally different tonal curve. I've been lucky to play a lot of so many brands, and that experience stands up to the large sample size. I have played some surprisingly warm individual Taylors, but as a brand, to me, no question they're brighter.

Not a criticism, sound preference is totally subjective. But I don't feel like there's any question about it.
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  #47  
Old 10-12-2023, 01:47 AM
BrickGlass BrickGlass is offline
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I'll take a Taylor any day over anything else out there. I've played them all over and over...but Taylor is hands down the best, including in the tone department.
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  #48  
Old 10-12-2023, 09:22 AM
leew3 leew3 is offline
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Originally Posted by GCWaters View Post
I disagree. I have an 814c that I'll put up against any other brand for sustain and tone. Not overly bright at all...
Same for me. Granted, my 814 was a little bright when I got it 12 years ago. At present, the bottom end is rib rattling and it's a loud and balanced guitar that is my favorite.
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  #49  
Old 10-12-2023, 09:36 AM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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I had a 2002 Taylor 410 that went to bluegrass jams a lot during its tenure with me. I often described it as "...a D-18 sound character with far better playability and intonation...". The GP may not be your best choice for bluegrass use. Try it and see before giving up. I actually take my carbon fiber guitars most often to bluegrass jams. If the purists get their panties in a bunch, it's not my problem. Before you give up, try different strings and especially different flat picks.

Those of us that have been around the Taylor brand for a while think that the apex of their tone was the AP bracing that predated the "V". I don't recall exactly what years that was. My 410 was a well-aged, X-braced guitar. It is not clear that you can get that voice any longer in this era of universal V-bracing. (Yeah, I went there).
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  #50  
Old 10-13-2023, 07:51 AM
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To me, one of the reasons why Taylors probably seem bright is their low action from the factory. Also, the opposite for Martins with high action.

I've owned several high-end Taylors and for all of them, I put in a new saddle that raised up the action, and suddenly they had a lot more bass — mainly because I could attack the lower strings with more force without buzzing the strings.

Give them higher action, and suddenly they don't sound bright, but rather more balanced across low/mid/high. I don't think you can turn a Taylor into a Martin, but if you can sacrifice that "electric guitar action" that Taylors are known for, you get a much fuller acoustic sound.

That said, for a lot of Taylor customers, they are there for the plugged-in sound, so why not have low action, since you can just turn up the bass knob to compensate? Food for thought, anyway.
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  #51  
Old 10-13-2023, 09:01 AM
jjbigfly jjbigfly is offline
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Alright, I know I am old and weird, so keep that in mind…
If I feel a guitar tone does not suit my taste, but it plays well, I change strings. I have had many Taylors that I felt were more to my taste after using warmer sounding strings. My Breedlove needed brighter strings, The Eastman Jumbo was right in the middle, and the all Koa Takamine simply likes good quality strings of most types.
String material and gauge make tone changes.
So there……
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  #52  
Old 10-13-2023, 10:22 AM
Lillis Lillis is offline
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I've become a big Taylor fan this year. I've bought four (3 used and one new). I haven't been a big fan of the spruce topped models I've played. I sold the one spruce top I purchased. I have two hog tops and a cedar top and love their tone and playability. The used 2015 322 might actually be my favorite guitar that I own. Having said that,my other guitars aren't going anywhere anytime soon. I love variety.
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  #53  
Old 10-13-2023, 10:26 AM
Talk2Me Talk2Me is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjbigfly View Post
Alright, I know I am old and weird, so keep that in mind…
If I feel a guitar tone does not suit my taste, but it plays well, I change strings. I have had many Taylors that I felt were more to my taste after using warmer sounding strings. My Breedlove needed brighter strings, The Eastman Jumbo was right in the middle, and the all Koa Takamine simply likes good quality strings of most types.
String material and gauge make tone changes.
So there……
Old and weird doesn't make you wrong. String choice and pick choice(!) are major tonal factors...especially with Taylor guitars. Easy to tone down or brighten up really.
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  #54  
Old 10-15-2023, 02:10 AM
rabbuhl rabbuhl is offline
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The 417e is rosewood back and sides so it would be brighter than mahogany. I'd say try other strings. Try the Martin MA-540 set and maybe also the M-140 set.
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  #55  
Old 10-15-2023, 08:36 AM
donlyn donlyn is offline
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Taylor brightness (guitar or player....)

I like Taylors a lot, at least the X-braced ones.

And I do not find them too "bright".
They don't even have a light bulb inside them.


My 818e rosewood Grand Orchestra had overwhelming bass sounds, so in late 2014 I switched the Mediums {.013 - .056} out for the Elixir PB HD Light gauge {.013 - .053}, which resulted in a nicely balanced sound. Now I use the HD gauge on most of my six stringed guitars.

I also fingerpick all my guitars using my nails as picks, and I find this also contributes to a sound I like.


BTW, If a guitar is too "bright", how many lumens does it produce? Now that's a measurable quality.


The guitar's so bright, I gotta wear shades.
Oh wait; I think that was about the future, not a guitar.

Don,
.
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Last edited by donlyn; 10-15-2023 at 08:42 AM. Reason: proof-reading
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  #56  
Old 10-15-2023, 11:14 AM
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I really like Taylor's tonal DNA personally, especially for fingerstyle. I used to have a sapele top Martin, and as much as they have a charming tone, it just wouldn't do it for me overall. Many "darker" sounding guitars remind me of that, and so I lean more toward wider dynamic range paired with some sparkle and treble. I understand that not everyone likes Taylor's treble forward tone and that is okay.



i do agree with others though that the Taylor's which grab my attention the most are the X braced versions, even the cheaper ones from the Academy, 100 and 200 series over the C and V Class braced guitars I've tried so far.
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  #57  
Old 10-16-2023, 05:36 AM
EZYPIKINS EZYPIKINS is offline
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Originally Posted by Steve DeRosa View Post
Definitely the guitar - I've seen plenty of Taylor players who weren't particularly bright...
HA HA HA HA HA HA

Gave Taylor an honest shot, a while back. Couldn't make 'em work for me.

Good news, More Taylor's for you.
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  #58  
Old 10-18-2023, 08:39 AM
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I’d suggest that if you are comparing Taylor’s tone with other guitar brands and you primarily flatpick or strum, your pick selection and attack will probably have more bearing on whether your guitar sounds bright or dark/warm.

If you play solo fingerstyle, the x12 series Taylors are all quite good IMO/IME if you want the melody to really stand out.
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Last edited by SprintBob; 10-18-2023 at 03:08 PM.
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  #59  
Old 10-18-2023, 09:29 AM
FingahPickah FingahPickah is offline
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Default Taylor: "The Necks Generation"

From a previous post:

I remember when this was Taylor's slogan back in the 80s.. they gained rapid popularity for their playability.. I may have mentioned this in an earlier post, but I was a Guild and Martin guy - and although Taylor offered what so many players wanted: easy to play necks, to me some necks felt a bit too shallow (low profile) and also many guitars, although beautiful, seemed a bit sterile .. a little too precise.. even their dreadnoughts lacked a full dread voice IMO.

I got a new sense from present day (Andy Powers influenced) models about a year ago. I played an X Braced 2017 (pre-VClass) 324e (Tropical Mahogany top/Tasmanian Blackwood b&s) with an a-typical chunkier (old Martin style) neck shape...very familiar/comfortable, still played great, dead-on intonation, satin finish (love that), no bling, the sound (voice) blew me away and I became a Taylor owner nearly 40 years after I first played one.


I'd still own that guitar if a hadn't been struck by the thunderbolt of a 2022 Martin D-18 1935 Sunburst last November. No trade-in remorse.

On a side note: I still struggle with trying to understand tone described as "bright". I know I am by no means alone. I'm not suggesting I have a better word. I wish I did. My most reasonable interpretation is "clear". Which for me is a plus.

That is all. I'm putting the can-o-worms opener back in the cupboard and stepping away slowly.

Last edited by FingahPickah; 10-18-2023 at 10:00 AM.
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  #60  
Old 10-18-2023, 11:56 AM
SRL SRL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SprintBob View Post
If you play solo fingerstyle, the x12 series Taylors are all quite good IMO/IME if you want to the melody to really stand out.
This is definitely a factor that I think about a lot. I have a few guitars that I reserve for fingerstyle because of exactly that, and they are honestly a bit too bright for use with a pick (except maybe the all-hog ones) but they are perfect for fingerstyle.

I used to have Taylors for this, but I migrated to Breedloves (the modern, post-bridge-truss ones) for fingerstyle because they have a bigger low end. Mainly this is because they are lighter builds with deeper scalloping on the bracing and thinner tops, plus they are tap-tone hand-voiced for all their Oregon-built models, even the lower-end ones. The sound is a little more direct and less shimmery than most Taylors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FingahPickah View Post
On a side note: I still struggle with trying to understand tone described as "bright". I know I am by no means alone. I'm not suggesting I have a better word. I wish I did. My most reasonable interpretation is "clear". Which for me is a plus.
Yeah, "bright" is one of those words that can mean different things but mostly people seem to use it as a shorthand for "EQ is tilted toward the trebles and voicing is tilted toward clarity / note separation". I think that's a fair characterization of most Taylors, less so with the short scale and hardwood top models.
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