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  #16  
Old 10-18-2019, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Silly Moustache View Post
I quite like Richard. He seems like the sort of chap that I'd buy from him.

Yes he rambled. I ramble on my videos too - perhaps it's just an old Englishman thing !? Funny thing is , people write and tell me that they enjoy listening to my rambles ... which is nice, but I try to keep my videos to around ten minutes now.

What he is saying is that Far Eastern made products are now as good as , shall we say, the budget end of American made products and far better value.

There are exceptions of course, and the Chinese made products are NOT made in "sweat shops" or by forced labour. Their current cost of living and standard of living makes them more competitive than the US equivalent.

This is what business competitiveness is all about.

The important message, is that Eastman generally make pretty good products.

I run an acoustic music club, and attend others, and I see a lot of people come to play with a large variety of guitars.

There are three or four regulars who are rabid budget guitar buyers who seem to be collecting guitars under a certain value.

With my knowledge of their playing it is very interesting to hear the quality of the various budget brands played by them.

One guy has two modern Gibsons, two Taylors, and two Eastmans, and a Yamaha with some awful "built in" reverb electrics.
The Eastman that he brings along mostly now is a small round bout jumbo with a cutaway that looks suspiciously like a Taylor - not my style of guitar at all, but, it is the best sounding guitar he owns in my opinion.

In a common duo - the lady plays a now pretty mature Blueridge Gibson Jumbo style guitar - which sounds beautiful.

Other makes that consistently impress are Faith and Ayers (Indonesia?)

Sigma, Recording King and "Vintage" guitars all tend to fall below the bar.

We also see higher range Martins and Taylors and they show their price levels as far as tonality and projection.

This is all just my opinion but based on some careful listening experiences.
I have three American Made guitars that I consider higher end instruments (Gibson J-45, Taylor 710, Martin 000-17) and they are all wonderful. However I find myself reaching for either my Ibanez AVC6 or my Farida OT-22 more often than not. They are just really good sounding and well built guitars. It is great to live in a time when there are so many quality guitars for all budgets.
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  #17  
Old 10-18-2019, 08:04 AM
tbeltrans tbeltrans is online now
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In my personal experience, at least one of Taylor's V-class guitars sounds great to me, and others that I have tried do not. That tells me that there is variability here, and it may depend on the choice of woods, the particular model, or whatever. To pick one guitar that has V-class and judge V-class by it seems to me to not represent the entire Taylor product line. But, then, the video the OP linked is talking about budget guitars. Maybe V-class isn't the right bracing for those instruments (?).

I can't ignore that V-class is really hyped up, but then we have seen that with other makers over time. I remember the Ovation ads, for example back in the 70s. The problem is that when there is that much hype, it sets the bar very high, which will lead to much disappointment once the reality sets in. I recall similar discussion about the Ovation "bowl" guitars vs all wood instruments. Maybe it would have been better for Taylor to simply mention that They now use V-class, but leave it to the players to add (or not), the superlatives. I suppose marketing just doesn't work that way.

I will admit that many of the V-class guitars I have now tried didn't do it for me. I was particularly disappointed with the 914ce V-class I tried. But, then, I owned an X-braced 914ce for a time and was disappointed in its sound too. I have played several 914ce, both V-class and not, and while they look really nice, for me the sound isn't up to the looks.

However, I recently played a K14ce Builder's Edition V-class guitar and it sounded astonishingly good. I bought it on the spot. Whether all K14ce models sound this good or if it is just a fluke, I have no idea since I have only tried that one. I don't see them in stores very often. Maybe it is the particular combination of "baked" Sitka top and Koa back and sides and maybe it would sound even better if it had the more traditional X-bracing. These things I readily admit to not knowing.

I became curious about the K14ce after reading an interview with Mimi Fox (jazz fans will recognize her name), where she talked about her K14ce V-class and the then new album she made (This Bird Still Flies) solo using just that guitar. To me, that model (at least the sample I played) lives up to everything she said.

All I can say is that I finally found a V-class Taylor that sounds astonishingly good, rich with deep bass and clear highs and great note separation, and a consistency all the way up the fretboard. But, then, I have played many non V-class guitars from other makers that have these characteristics. There is something about the sound of this particular Taylor, that I knew if I passed it up it would haunt me as the one that got away.

So, as to my opening sentence, I can't judge ALL V-class Taylors by this one, saying broadly that V-class sounds great. Just as I don't think one not-so-great V-class example represents all V-class instruments, neither does my K14ce. All I believe (not "know" for sure) is that there is a good possibility that there are other good ones out there too. I suppose that is the rub - if V-class is so great, why don't ALL Taylor guitars that have it, live up to the hype? With V-class, I suppose it really is a must to try before you buy. If the shop that had my K14ce had more than one to try, would they all have sounded this good? I will never know.

As for Eastman, I have liked every Eastman that I have played, so no argument there. However, I particularly like Taylor's neck and overall playability. Finding a Taylor that REALLY sounds great is something I just couldn't pass up. I have very mixed feelings about Taylor's V-class. I know of two K14ce guitars that sound great (mine and Mimi Fox's from listening to her album), but that doesn't represent all the V-class guitars I tried that simply didn't do it for me.

Edit: I wanted to add that I think we are living in a GREAT time for budget guitars. I see no reason for folks to not be satisfied for a long time with these instruments.

Tony
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  #18  
Old 10-18-2019, 08:12 AM
musicman1951 musicman1951 is offline
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I have conflicting opinions on this video. The guy is a salesman and that's fine, but it obviously colors things a bit.

My first thought is that if all you play are the full strum chords in the video I'm not sure you want any of these guitars (at least I wouldn't). I hope that doesn't sound snarky, but for my ears they have considerably more jangle than I appreciate. Having said that, I have no idea what microphone he used, how many mics, or if he just used the build in on his video camera/phone. And I have an absolute personal bias for more depth in the sound, which is just a personal preference (as opposed to good or bad).

Did it seem a little disingenuous to use a Taylor in need of some work? Probably.

I have played some really lovely Bourgeois guitars and came close to buying one when I opted for the Lowden. A step above a Rolex? I think that's the salesman talking again, but that's really neither here nor there.

I worked as a guitar salesman when I was in college. I suggest you take everything from a guy who wants your money with a grain of salt.

Some nice looking Eastman's there. I played one a while back and thought it was a lot of guitar for the money.
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  #19  
Old 10-18-2019, 08:13 AM
Pillendreher Pillendreher is offline
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The Taylor 314CE V sounds a bit like a Furch Yellow GC-CR I played a month ago or so. It's like the 4th and/or 5th string are just way too dominant and one almost has to either mute them or not play them at all while strumming to "de-muddy" the sound. Yet I think that's more of a singular issue with an individual guitar and not something that affects the whole series. Hell, I hope it's the former and not the latter.

EDIT: The first Eastman is probably an E1D. The 2nd one is an AC322CE I think. The 3rd one is a AC522CE I think.

EDIT2: Oh, I see he made a video about Dowina. Now that's just what I need since I might buy one of them
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  #20  
Old 10-18-2019, 08:24 AM
rokdog49 rokdog49 is offline
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I have watched many of Richard's videos. He definitely is pro-Eastman and that's fine with me.
Sadly, anyone who does these demos should fully expect every possible reaction including the hateful stuff that gets posted. It would happen here if it weren't for the rules being enforced by the Mods and we all know it.
At the risk of being highly redundant...it's just guitars folks, nothing more.
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  #21  
Old 10-18-2019, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Dbone View Post
Well thanks for that Bob...That was very useful. lol
I'd just never heard "dude" used to describe ligitimacy so I laughed and that clip came to mind immediately.


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  #22  
Old 10-18-2019, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by tbeltrans View Post

I will admit that many of the V-class guitars I have now tried didn't do it for me. I was particularly disappointed with the 914ce V-class I tried. But, then, I owned an X-braced 914ce for a time and was disappointed in its sound too. I have played several 914ce, both V-class and not, and while they look really nice, for me the sound isn't up to the looks.

However, I recently played a K14ce Builder's Edition V-class guitar and it sounded astonishingly good. I bought it on the spot. Whether all K14ce models sound this good or if it is just a fluke, I have no idea since I have only tried that one. I don't see them in stores very often. Maybe it is the particular combination of "baked" Sitka top and Koa back and sides and maybe it would sound even better if it had the more traditional X-bracing. These things I readily admit to not knowing.

I became curious about the K14ce after reading an interview with Mimi Fox (jazz fans will recognize her name), where she talked about her K14ce V-class and the then new album she made (This Bird Still Flies) solo using just that guitar. To me, that model (at least the sample I played) lives up to everything she said.

All I can say is that I finally found a V-class Taylor that sounds astonishingly good, rich with deep bass and clear highs and great note separation, and a consistency all the way up the fretboard. But, then, I have played many non V-class guitars from other makers that have these characteristics. There is something about the sound of this particular Taylor, that I knew if I passed it up it would haunt me as the one that got away.
I tried that model at a show, great guitar, and for 5K, it should be! I saw the Mimi Fox piece after that, and she does play it well. But it also reminded me, that's not the sound I'm going for in my playing.
I was also flirting with the 814ce dlx, trying at different stores but not buying. I think they're overpriced, and 4K will buy a lot of great guitars.

The thing that stands out for me about those guitars is they are very comfortable ergonomically, and play balanced and evenly across the range and up the neck. That experience won't come through in a video or recording.

Still, you have to like the sound. I like those higher end Taylor's- until I compare them to a Martin. I know it's a Ford vs. Chevy thing, but when I played a D-18 GE, then picked up an 814ce, the Taylor was weak. Eastman is a high-end Hyundai- I've played a couple of their archtops, and they're better than an Indonesian Epiphone, but the sound is kind of bright and lacking depth.
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  #23  
Old 10-18-2019, 10:06 AM
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For a video that is supposed to compare the sound quality of two guitars, Iím surprised he didnít use a proper musical recording setup. I canít hear much of a difference between the two guitars and, in any event, it is almost impossible to assess a guitar by an internet video. My personal experience with recording is that you can completely and utterly change the sound of just about any guitar by moving the mic around.

Regardless, heís not going to change anyoneís mind with that video, particularly since his sample size is one guitar of each brand (one of which is used). Iíve never played an Eastman but believe itís possible they sound great. Of course, their value proposition depends 100% on cheap labor and a different standard of living.
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Old 10-18-2019, 10:16 AM
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It's funny that you can flat out say that Taylor sucks, but don't ever touch the golden cows of Martin and Gibson.

I can't say the V class has impressed me yet, but I have only played 1 and I haven't heard how they sound ~8+ feet away. I was more of a fan of the old 810e DLX and 618e, which have sadly both been discontinued.
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  #25  
Old 10-18-2019, 10:24 AM
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It's funny that you can flat out say that Taylor sucks, but don't ever touch the golden cows of Martin and Gibson.

I can't say the V class has impressed me yet, but I have only played 1 and I haven't heard how they sound ~8+ feet away. I was more of a fan of the old 810e DLX and 618e, which have sadly both been discontinued.
Has v class been adopted by Martin and Gibson as well? Did I miss something?



Let's just be clear on, and remember, what this thread is talking about...
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  #26  
Old 10-18-2019, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by justonwo View Post
For a video that is supposed to compare the sound quality of two guitars, Iím surprised he didnít use a proper musical recording setup. I canít hear much of a difference between the two guitars and, in any event, it is almost impossible to assess a guitar by an internet video. My personal experience with recording is that you can completely and utterly change the sound of just about any guitar by moving the mic around.

Regardless, heís not going to change anyoneís mind with that video, particularly since his sample size is one guitar of each brand (one of which is used). Iíve never played an Eastman but believe itís possible they sound great. Of course, their value proposition depends 100% on cheap labor and a different standard of living.
I will give you that the first Eastman at 1/3 the price was closer, but I still heard a nicer sounding guitar even there. It was the second eastman at just under half the price of the taylor where it became much clearer.
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  #27  
Old 10-18-2019, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Womack View Post
I'd just never heard "dude" used to describe ligitimacy so I laughed and that clip came to mind immediately.


Bob
AH okay, got it! ;-0

I guess I was just tryin' to keep things casual ;-)
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  #28  
Old 10-18-2019, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by tbeltrans View Post
In my personal experience, at least one of Taylor's V-class guitars sounds great to me, and others that I have tried do not. That tells me that there is variability here, and it may depend on the choice of woods, the particular model, or whatever. To pick one guitar that has V-class and judge V-class by it seems to me to not represent the entire Taylor product line. But, then, the video the OP linked is talking about budget guitars. Maybe V-class isn't the right bracing for those instruments (?).

I can't ignore that V-class is really hyped up, but then we have seen that with other makers over time. I remember the Ovation ads, for example back in the 70s. The problem is that when there is that much hype, it sets the bar very high, which will lead to much disappointment once the reality sets in. I recall similar discussion about the Ovation "bowl" guitars vs all wood instruments. Maybe it would have been better for Taylor to simply mention that They now use V-class, but leave it to the players to add (or not), the superlatives. I suppose marketing just doesn't work that way.

I will admit that many of the V-class guitars I have now tried didn't do it for me. I was particularly disappointed with the 914ce V-class I tried. But, then, I owned an X-braced 914ce for a time and was disappointed in its sound too. I have played several 914ce, both V-class and not, and while they look really nice, for me the sound isn't up to the looks.

However, I recently played a K14ce Builder's Edition V-class guitar and it sounded astonishingly good. I bought it on the spot. Whether all K14ce models sound this good or if it is just a fluke, I have no idea since I have only tried that one. I don't see them in stores very often. Maybe it is the particular combination of "baked" Sitka top and Koa back and sides and maybe it would sound even better if it had the more traditional X-bracing. These things I readily admit to not knowing.

I became curious about the K14ce after reading an interview with Mimi Fox (jazz fans will recognize her name), where she talked about her K14ce V-class and the then new album she made (This Bird Still Flies) solo using just that guitar. To me, that model (at least the sample I played) lives up to everything she said.

All I can say is that I finally found a V-class Taylor that sounds astonishingly good, rich with deep bass and clear highs and great note separation, and a consistency all the way up the fretboard. But, then, I have played many non V-class guitars from other makers that have these characteristics. There is something about the sound of this particular Taylor, that I knew if I passed it up it would haunt me as the one that got away.

So, as to my opening sentence, I can't judge ALL V-class Taylors by this one, saying broadly that V-class sounds great. Just as I don't think one not-so-great V-class example represents all V-class instruments, neither does my K14ce. All I believe (not "know" for sure) is that there is a good possibility that there are other good ones out there too. I suppose that is the rub - if V-class is so great, why don't ALL Taylor guitars that have it, live up to the hype? With V-class, I suppose it really is a must to try before you buy. If the shop that had my K14ce had more than one to try, would they all have sounded this good? I will never know.

As for Eastman, I have liked every Eastman that I have played, so no argument there. However, I particularly like Taylor's neck and overall playability. Finding a Taylor that REALLY sounds great is something I just couldn't pass up. I have very mixed feelings about Taylor's V-class. I know of two K14ce guitars that sound great (mine and Mimi Fox's from listening to her album), but that doesn't represent all the V-class guitars I tried that simply didn't do it for me.

Edit: I wanted to add that I think we are living in a GREAT time for budget guitars. I see no reason for folks to not be satisfied for a long time with these instruments.

Tony
I, for one, hope they fine tune things and have all the success in the world with it...For all I know that success is already happening despite these kinds of not isolated rumblings you hear about people commenting that v class is thin etc ...I'm not up on their sales numbers...

In thinking about yours any other comments in here, perhaps there is just variability and some of them are absolutely stellar...I can only speak, really, about the 5 different v class setups I've tried in person, and the various comparisons on the web...All were consistent in my mind towards the thinness that people like to describe, and that I have personally experienced.

I do certainly have the suspicion though that this type of experience is pretty wide with v class...
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  #29  
Old 10-18-2019, 10:33 AM
sakar12 sakar12 is offline
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Good comments, Juston.

I'll just add that I own two V Class guitars, the 717 and 814ce dlx.

The 717 wows me every time I pick it up.

The 814 is a bit more fickle. I put some 80/20s on it last week and it became way too chimey, jangly, thin. This morning I went back to EJ16s and within one song it reminded me what I loved about it when I got it.

Same with my D-18GE, except the opposite. A thick pick or the wrong strings and it's a muddy mess. 80/20s and it's woody, crisp, loud, beautiful, a lifetime keeper.

I just really think many guitars, and especially Taylors, need to be experimented with.

Out of the 28 guitars I've owned, only my Lowden has sounded great (to me) no matter the pick, string brand, or song.
Quote:
Originally Posted by justonwo View Post
For a video that is supposed to compare the sound quality of two guitars, Iím surprised he didnít use a proper musical recording setup. I canít hear much of a difference between the two guitars and, in any event, it is almost impossible to assess a guitar by an internet video. My personal experience with recording is that you can completely and utterly change the sound of just about any guitar by moving the mic around.

Regardless, heís not going to change anyoneís mind with that video, particularly since his sample size is one guitar of each brand (one of which is used). Iíve never played an Eastman but believe itís possible they sound great. Of course, their value proposition depends 100% on cheap labor and a different standard of living.
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  #30  
Old 10-18-2019, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by s2y View Post
It's funny that you can flat out say that Taylor sucks, but don't ever touch the golden cows of Martin and Gibson.
....
Interestingly I didn't hear/see a Gibson or Martin comparison in that video. Martin and Gibson shouldn't have even come up in this thread.
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