The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > General Acoustic Guitar Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 06-20-2019, 10:15 PM
Ozarkpicker Ozarkpicker is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Missouri
Posts: 566
Default Consistent Quality. Does it exist?

I just read a thread here about guitars you’ve owned that disappointed you, I’ve also read tons of posts that say the vast majority of guitar manufacturers produce instruments that are horribly inconsistent in build quality, tone & playability.

Let’s flip that around. Which high-end guitar manufacturers have you found that build good or even great guitars with great consistency? I mean...they can’t all be flaky!

Or can they...?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 06-20-2019, 10:55 PM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,232
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ozarkpicker View Post
I just read a thread here about guitars youíve owned that disappointed you, Iíve also read tons of posts that say the vast majority of guitar manufacturers produce instruments that are horribly inconsistent in build quality, tone & playability.

Letís flip that around. Which high-end guitar manufacturers have you found that build good or even great guitars with great consistency? I mean...they canít all be flaky!

Or can they...?
I think you're overstating the issue when you say "the vast majority of guitar manufacturers produce instruments that are horribly inconsistent in build quality, tone & playability." Unless you're producing products of absolutely identical parts and subject them to identical human interaction, you're going to have differences of opinions on quality. Just because Player A deems a certain guitar a poor instrument, doesn't mean that Person B can't come along and deem that guitar exactly what they were looking for.

Since guitars are made of wood, and all wood is going to be a little bit different, even from the next cut of the log, you're never going to see anything approaching 100% consistency from any builder, even the small ones.

The biggest problem with your question is determining what is a great guitar. Everything to do with tone is going to be highly subjective so you'll never be able to come up with a universal definition of greatness by which to judge any guitar.
__________________
Jim

2017 Circle Strings 00 bastogne walnut/sinker redwood
2015 Circle Strings Parlor shedua/western red cedar
2009 Bamburg JSB Signature Baritone macassar ebony/carpathian spruce
2004 Taylor XXX-RS indian rosewood/sitka spruce
2002 Taylor 814ce Limited cocobolo/sitka spruce
1988 Martin D-16 mahogany/sitka spruce


SoundCloud link
Spotify
YouTube
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-21-2019, 12:12 AM
ChalkLitIScream ChalkLitIScream is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 909
Default

Taylor is probably my pick for the big brand that makes consistent, quality guitars. All of them sound nice.
But a step above would be Furch. A little lesser known, but imo sound better.

Still, variation exists and that inevitably means some will be better sounding than others. I like Taylor’s playability, sound and build quality. It surprises me that most other guitars have their nutslots set too high. Sure it’s a buffer for those who like it a big higher, but since virtually EVERYBODY gets that lowered, it hints that they’re set too high.
__________________
The past: Yamaha AC3R (2016) Rose, Eastman AC822ce-FF (2018)
The present:Taylor 614-ce (2018) Clara, Washburn Dread (2012)
The future:Furch Rainbow GC-CR (2020)Renata?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-21-2019, 02:35 AM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is online now
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Chugiak, Alaska
Posts: 24,956
Default

Based on all of the large scale manufacturers and boutique brand guitars that I have played, there's no other company with the quality control and tonal consistency of Collings Guitars. That doesn't mean I necessarily prefer their instruments - I like their Gibson-inspired models more than I like their Martin-inspired models - but there's no other firm out there that reliably makes guitars as consistently excellent as Collings does.

Of the larger companies, I would probably agree with Chalk's assessment: Taylor is very consistent. But every guitar company out there is getting better at producing consistent instruments, as both the market demands it and the ever-improving manufacturing technologies provide it.

But Collings is the overall champ. No question about it in my mind.


Wade Hampton Miller
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-21-2019, 02:52 AM
lt20dbl lt20dbl is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,248
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade Hampton View Post
Based on all of the large scale manufacturers and boutique brand guitars that I have played, there's no other company with the quality control and tonal consistency of Collings Guitars. That doesn't mean I necessarily prefer their instruments - I like their Gibson-inspired models more than I like their Martin-inspired models - but there's no other firm out there that reliably makes guitars as consistently excellent as Collings does.

Of the larger companies, I would probably agree with Chalk's assessment: Taylor is very consistent. But every guitar company out there is getting better at producing consistent instruments, as both the market demands it and the ever-improving manufacturing technologies provide it.

But Collings is the overall champ. No question about it in my mind.


Wade Hampton Miller
Agreed! I bought my Collings in 97. When the salesman at Elderly called and said it was in, He said it was (forgotten superlative). Then he added, "I've actually never heard a bad Collings". Nothing I have heard since, has led me to believe anything has changed.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-21-2019, 06:23 AM
Paddy1951 Paddy1951 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 1,749
Default

Wooden guitars are organic. The best QC one could have wouldn't prevent sonic inconsistencies.

A carbon fiber guitar would get you closer to consistency.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-21-2019, 07:21 AM
Goodallboy Goodallboy is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: East TN
Posts: 5,079
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by lt20dbl View Post
Agreed! I bought my Collings in 97. When the salesman at Elderly called and said it was in, He said it was (forgotten superlative). Then he added, "I've actually never heard a bad Collings". Nothing I have heard since, has led me to believe anything has changed.
Iíd agree that Iíve never played a bad Collings. Iíd go on to say that is true of most boutique brands Iíve played and is not exclusive to Collings. BTW, their electric line is better than any major brand Ive played as well. They just do it right!
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-21-2019, 07:48 AM
llew llew is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Coastal South Carolina
Posts: 8,507
Default

Another vote for Collings builds. Consistant quality in every guitar they build. A real tribute to Bill. And the Santa Cruz models I've played have been very similar.
__________________
Jim
You can never do the wrong thing by doing the right thing...
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-21-2019, 07:49 AM
gr81dorn gr81dorn is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 873
Default

Taylor makes more guitars than anyone else and no matter where you go, whichever corner of the country, overwhelmingly Model A in a boutique shop in Boston feels, looks, plays and sounds pretty much exactly like Model A in Guitar Center in Los Angeles, etc. I can't even pretend to say that about anyone else pumping out even a modest volume compared to them. They also completely focus on that element, over lots of other things. They are truly and innovative and progressive manufacturing company from which manufacturers in other sectors can take notes.

I think you can't really talk about consistency with companies that make very few instruments because that's not a true body of work to base anything on. Make 20-50 guitars a year even, you should be able to agonize over every detail. That doesn;t necessarily translate to tone, but fit and finish should be exceptional every time when you're making so few and can take as long as it needs.

PRS, I feel, has become the Taylor of the electric guitar world with a growing offering and I can't say I've seen any new PRS over the last 5-6 years that weren't perfect. Solidbodies can be tough with weight and some appearances, but they are remarkably great one to the next and wherever I roam, they seem to be the same standard, which is quite high.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-21-2019, 07:50 AM
Kerbie Kerbie is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 18,058
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade Hampton View Post
there's no other company with the quality control and tonal consistency of Collings Guitars.
True for me too... easily.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 06-21-2019, 07:55 AM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 7,860
Default

I think Taylor guitars are the most consistent of any major brand I've ever encountered. I suppose you can love or hate that I love it.
__________________
Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:

http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 06-21-2019, 07:56 AM
Guest 728
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ozarkpicker View Post
I’ve also read tons of posts that say the vast majority of guitar manufacturers produce instruments that are horribly inconsistent in build quality, tone & playability.
Tons of posts that say the vast majority of builders are horribly inconsistent? I'm not buying it.

Last edited by Guest 728; 06-21-2019 at 08:03 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 06-21-2019, 08:15 AM
Treenewt Treenewt is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 3,705
Default

Collings are certainly the cream of the crop, IMHO. Way out of my range, too. But everyone I've ever had the pleasure of playing was incredible.

For my money, the builder I've had the best luck with is Larrivee. I've purchased 3 of their guitars over the last few years, all online, and all were stellar. In fact, every new Larrivee I've had a chance to play in person were equally impressive. There is a consistency there that I appreciate. Perhaps the consolidation to one factory in CA a few years ago helped this along? Whatever it is, I think they deserve a place in the discussion for factory-made instruments.
__________________
Treenewt

Larrivťe OM-03
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 06-21-2019, 08:21 AM
RP's Avatar
RP RP is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Posts: 13,290
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie Voltaire View Post
Tons of posts that say the vast majority of builders are horribly inconsistent? I'm not buying it.
We tend to complain louder and more frequently than we compliment...
__________________
FOR SALE 2017 Taylor 710e https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...d.php?t=544964
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 06-21-2019, 08:32 AM
jaymarsch jaymarsch is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: North of the Golden Gate, South of the Redwoods, East of the Pacific and West of the Sierras
Posts: 6,114
Default

In my limited experience, I would have to say Collings as well. When I visit high-end guitar stores if they have any Collings, Santa Cruz or Huss and Dalton's, I usually want to check them out. Of those three, I find that Collings is the most consistent. I find that it is harder, for me, to judge the consistency of both Martin and Taylor because they make so many different models at different price points. I have pretty much experienced Gibsons to be all over the place in terms of consistency.

Best,
Jayne
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > General Acoustic Guitar Discussion

Thread Tools



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:09 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=