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  #61  
Old 10-24-2023, 05:14 AM
geewhiz geewhiz is offline
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Keep in mind that the "Taylor brightness" topic, while generally true, is also perpetuated by people who spend more of their time reading internet forums and repeating uninformed rhetoric instead of spending their time playing, practicing, and refining their craft as a musician.

I've seen some very strong opinions come from people who can barely play.

Taylors, to me, do have a certain brightness and zing to them. But that general rule doesn't apply to all models I've played, and fairly big changes can be had by the choice of string, the technique of the player, the choice of pick, etc.

I've owned a couple Taylors and I think they're fine guitars but their ES2 pickup system is a no-go for me. I've only heard one (out of many) that sounded nice plugged in. To my ears, and in my opinion that is.
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  #62  
Old 10-24-2023, 06:01 AM
Eastbound Eastbound is offline
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You can play and explore bluegrass on any guitar. Don't let anyone tell you different. The only reason people want a loud guitar is because they are trying to keep up with banjo, fiddle and mando for volume. If you're plugged in, it makes no difference. You can turn up as loud as you need to be.
You'll be happy if you ever need to get a neck reset on the Taylor. With bolt on neck, you can get it done for $100 or possible even do it yourself. Neck reset on a Martin is gonna cost around $500 or more
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  #63  
Old 10-24-2023, 07:52 AM
Talk2Me Talk2Me is online now
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I prefer to call the Taylor sound "clarity" rather than "brightness".
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  #64  
Old 10-24-2023, 11:01 AM
waterlooz waterlooz is online now
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Originally Posted by Talk2Me View Post
I prefer to call the Taylor sound "clarity" rather than "brightness".
I just traded my Collings 001 14 fretter for a 2014 Custom Taylor GC 14 fret with a Cedar top and Blackwood back/sides with a forum member. I would characterize this Taylor's tone as having a little sparkle but not bright like many other Taylor's I have owned/sold. The tone is dark, a bit scooped, and lush. I have been pleasantly surprised. Also, the ES-2 in this guitar sounds really good. Is it the cv bracing? who knows? all i know is it's really different from other Taylor's I've known.

I thought my Collings had more clarity per se than this particular Taylor.

I have reached a point where I no longer am worrying about the woods, etc. I am just focusing on playing what I have and wearing/breaking them in as much as possible. To me, the best guitars I have played are the ones that have been played the most.
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Last edited by waterlooz; 10-24-2023 at 03:51 PM. Reason: spelling
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  #65  
Old 10-24-2023, 11:05 AM
Charlie Bernstein Charlie Bernstein is offline
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I'm not real bright, so it must be the Taylors.
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  #66  
Old 10-24-2023, 11:10 AM
Charlie Bernstein Charlie Bernstein is offline
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Originally Posted by geewhiz View Post
Keep in mind that the "Taylor brightness" topic, while generally true, is also perpetuated by people who spend more of their time reading internet forums and repeating uninformed rhetoric instead of spending their time playing, practicing, and refining their craft as a musician. . . .
Harsh. I tried Taylors way before I tried web forums. No one had to tell me they're shrill and icy. My ears took care of that.

I've played a couple of their mahogany-top axes, though, and they sounded good. Not good enough to want one, but good enough to enjoy playing them. They basically struck me as expensive bedroom guitars.

So am I perpetuating or just opining?
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  #67  
Old 10-24-2023, 03:15 PM
Scoobtay Scoobtay is offline
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I've had a few Taylor guitars over the years, even some weird ones (Rosewood 416 and a Hog 512), and the biggest difference I noticed was how flat the fretboard radius felt (they are a normal 15" radius I think), and how little the tops vibrated. I guess I chase the vibration of the guitar almost as much as the tone. They aren't for me anymore, but they are definitely easy to play.

Oh, and they are definitely bright guitars. My Maple OM is less bright than my Mahogany Taylor was
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  #68  
Old 10-25-2023, 08:14 AM
geewhiz geewhiz is offline
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Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
Harsh. I tried Taylors way before I tried web forums. No one had to tell me they're shrill and icy. My ears took care of that.

I've played a couple of their mahogany-top axes, though, and they sounded good. Not good enough to want one, but good enough to enjoy playing them. They basically struck me as expensive bedroom guitars.

So am I perpetuating or just opining?
I actually agree with you, which is why I said the topic is "generally true", didn't mean to imply that you/everyone is simply repeating information. I should have phrased my post a bit better, perhaps by stating that the brightness thing is also sometimes perpetuated by people who read forums.

I've seen manufacturer marketing language repeated verbatim on forums by posters who are representing it as their own opinion. But we all know this is the deal with forums.
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  #69  
Old 10-25-2023, 10:02 AM
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Dirk Hofman Dirk Hofman is offline
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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.
That certainly maps to how I use the word, and agree, that's a very fair characterization of the Taylor sound.

Really don't get why that characterization is even debatable, you go into Gryphon and play 5 Taylors and 5...any other top brand, and it's obvious.

Seems to me that "bright" has a negative connotation on these forums, so we get folks defending Taylor as not bright, but...I don't see how that holds up to any examination. Bright isn't bad. It's just bright. Taylor have a tonal signature that's worked for them over the years. I think it's changed a bit over time, but it's been a tweak to the signature sound, not a total revolution.

Strings and picks, sure. They affect the sound of any guitar. But they don't make a Martin sound like a Taylor or vice versa. And some guitars are so bright they can't be tamed, and some so murky they can't be brought alive.

What really seems to turn everyone's crank, regardless of tonal signature is responsiveness and liveliness. I've played ultra responsive guitars which had a dark tonal signature, bright tonal signature, clear tonal signature, whatever. All wonderful. And I've played hundreds of guitars which didn't have that responsiveness which didn't work even if the tone was just what I was looking for.
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  #70  
Old 10-25-2023, 05:55 PM
Mycroft Mycroft is offline
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Ah yes... Taylors. Thin and reedy.












I'll see myself out...
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  #71  
Old 10-25-2023, 06:00 PM
steelvibe steelvibe is offline
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Default Taylor brightness (guitar or player....)

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Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
Ah yes... Taylors. Thin and reedy.












I'll see myself out...

  1. adjective
    having a tone of a reed instrument
    synonyms:wheezy noisy full of or characterized by loud and nonmusical sounds



Hardly. Don't let the door hit ya......
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Last edited by steelvibe; 10-25-2023 at 11:04 PM.
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  #72  
Old 10-25-2023, 06:17 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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How is this for a take on describing tone?

Martin = old style analog TV, muddy, boomy, low resolution, low-fi
Taylor = modern HD digital TV, crisp, great resolution, audiophile grade

Words often fail when trying to describe sound quality or character, something that is subjectively perceived. How I hear is not how you hear. All I can say is that when I have mixed live shows, audience members have commented afterward that they could hear and understand the lyrics unlike most shows. Artists have also complimented my mixes.
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  #73  
Old 10-25-2023, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Earl49 View Post
How is this for a take on describing tone?

Martin = old style analog TV, muddy, boomy, low resolution, low-fi
Taylor = modern HD digital TV, crisp, great resolution, audiophile grade

Words often fail when trying to describe sound quality or character, something that is subjectively perceived. How I hear is not how you hear. All I can say is that when I have mixed live shows, audience members have commented afterward that they could hear and understand the lyrics unlike most shows. Artists have also complimented my mixes.
I wouldn't call either of those guitar brands low-fi. Don't think either would have garnered the success they have if that were the case.
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  #74  
Old 10-25-2023, 06:46 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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That is kinda how I perceive them in general having owned several examples of both brands. Again, describing sound with words is always a challenge. I took a shot...
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  #75  
Old 10-25-2023, 06:58 PM
Marty C Marty C is offline
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Originally Posted by Stratcat77 View Post
I agree, but Iíll admit Iím biased. I love my Taylors. I havenít found a Martin that feels as nice as far as playability. Thatís not to argue they donít exist. I just havenít played one.

As far as tone, I do think that my heavy Dunlop Gator picks have a big impact. They have a softer feel and are 2.0mm so that fattens things up.

My Tasmanian Blackwood 426ce has a wonderful tone that I get complements on often. Both my 816ce and my 814ce have a beautiful full tone. Of my 4 Taylors, the one with my least favorite unplugged tone is my 616ce. Itís a gorgeous tuxedo black finish and I use it a lot for my live performances as I can get a nice plugged in tone out of it.

Lighter strings can make it a bit thinner sounding. I tried 11s and did not like the tone at all.
If you donít mind me asking, what type/brand/gauge string do you use on your 814?
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