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  #31  
Old 10-04-2023, 12:53 AM
s2y s2y is offline
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Originally Posted by Stratcat77 View Post
I agree, but I’ll admit I’m biased. I love my Taylors. I haven’t found a Martin that feels as nice as far as playability. That’s not to argue they don’t exist. I just haven’t played one.
I initially avoided Martins because my shops "informed" me that they're supposed to have high action to sound good and you need a Martin so you can play bluegrass. Wrong and wrong. It's quite possible to shave down the saddle and get low action. It may or may not be as low as a Taylor, depending on the fret quality and neck pitch. The 2nd problem is that there's zero bluegrass in my area, making their measuring stick basically pointless.

I have 2 Martin style guitars by Bob Thompson and they play like my Taylors. They also have thinner necks very similar to Taylor. My goal was a Martin tone with a Taylor feel and I feel he accomplished that.
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  #32  
Old 10-04-2023, 01:54 PM
Br1ck Br1ck is offline
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I'm sure Martin loses sales every day to people who like low action and don't realize any guitar can have low action. If you don't buy your guitar from a good shop where they will adjust your action to where you want it, well, shame on you. If as part of the process your shop doesn't educate you, you aren't in a good shop.

Taylor is the last brand I think of when I think bluegrass. Bluegrass is also a style well suited to a stock Martin setup. I don't know how my Santa Cruz came from the builder, but when I got it, it had a very flat neck, maybe .004 relief, with .085 on the low bass string at the 12th fret. and carry a buzz anywhere. .013s on it, also typical bluegrass.
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  #33  
Old 10-04-2023, 02:25 PM
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SFCRetired SFCRetired is offline
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I'm not sure where all this thought that Taylor guitars plays any better than any other guitar with a good set up comes from myself. Maybe back in the day they were better at setting up a new guitar than other builders were. That comes with good and bad. I would rather have my guitar set up for me, so I will over look a new guitar that needs a set up if I like the guitar. I have never played a Taylor that plays any better than other guitars. To me its a myth. And I have played plenty of them.

But I am not knocking Taylor guitars or their owners. I don't care what guitar you have and I don't claim mine is any better than any other guitar either. I have my preference and you have yours.

I am glad you like your guitar. I have tried to find a Taylor I liked but so far I have not.

This is all more like a chevy-ford thing imo.
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  #34  
Old 10-04-2023, 02:47 PM
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IMHO the factors that affect a guitarīs tone are in this order, the first being the most influential in overall tone, and the last the least:

1. Body size

2. top wood type

3. setup (strings height) and strings type

4. Back and sides woods

5. Type of finish

6. type of neck, joint, shape and size.

7. the bracing

8. Other stuff (bridge pins, saddles, etc)

9. the brand


So, you could find a bass heavy sounding guitar of any brand. Your guitar is a big body, with deep sounding woods, and in my opinion that is more determinant in the sound thant the brand.

Brands have more famous models, and people associate that with the whole brand, but that is not the case.
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  #35  
Old 10-04-2023, 03:18 PM
Charlie Bernstein Charlie Bernstein is offline
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Originally Posted by Chrose1201 View Post
S. . . The guitar as is will sound great on things like the Eagles, America, classic rock, fingerpicking, blues, folk etc. I bought it primarly as I want to explore bluegrass. A local music store has a beginners BG get together coming up which I think I will attend and see how it stacks up.
Any general thoughts on this?
1. They're certainly brigher than my Guild. I like Guilds because I like lots of bottom. You don't have to. If it sounds good, it is good.

2. 1. As-is? What are you going to do to it?

3. A good guitar will be great for any acoustic style. All the theories about which is for finger-style and which is for strumming and so in is pure superstition. Good is good.

4. Sure. Go. Why aren't you sure?

Last edited by Charlie Bernstein; 10-04-2023 at 03:23 PM.
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  #36  
Old 10-04-2023, 03:20 PM
BlueBowman BlueBowman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeah View Post
IMHO the factors that affect a guitarīs tone are in this order, the first being the most influential in overall tone, and the last the least:

1. Body size

2. top wood type

3. setup (strings height) and strings type

4. Back and sides woods

5. Type of finish

6. type of neck, joint, shape and size.

7. the bracing

8. Other stuff (bridge pins, saddles, etc)

9. the brand


So, you could find a bass heavy sounding guitar of any brand. Your guitar is a big body, with deep sounding woods, and in my opinion that is more determinant in the sound thant the brand.

Brands have more famous models, and people associate that with the whole brand, but that is not the case.
Interesting list. I'm not sure that I could really refute any of it, but I did think bracing would perhaps be a little higher up. Or maybe not. Again, cool list. I've never seen someone lay it out in order like that, so thanks.
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  #37  
Old 10-04-2023, 03:45 PM
Dogma Dogma is offline
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Second the suggestion about trying different picks. I found that a 1.0 BlueChip mellowed out the tone of my guitars quite a bit. Aren't they Vespal (vespel?) Plus, I'm pretty sure that owning at least one BlueChip pick is required for any investigation of bluegrass! It will help counteract the fact of the Taylor
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  #38  
Old 10-04-2023, 04:51 PM
Chrose1201 Chrose1201 is offline
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Sooo interestingly enough, when I put the new strings on I was playing in my basement which had a carpet and an act tile ceiling. When I took it out in my bedroom practie room though it seemed to come alive quite a bit more. That is interesting because its a smll room with a lot of hard surfaces in there to bounce sound. I also plugged it into my FM3 on a clean rock setting and wow high end all day! So acoustics matter greatly to acoustics! I think I still like the way Martins sound straigtaway, but my 417 is a beauty and I like the way it plays. So to paraphrase the old commercial "my guitar, I think I'll keep her"
And FWIW I am using a Bluechip TP48 pick.
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  #39  
Old 10-04-2023, 04:51 PM
Stratcat77 Stratcat77 is offline
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Originally Posted by SFCRetired View Post
This is all more like a chevy-ford thing imo.

Ha! Well said!!!
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  #40  
Old 10-06-2023, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by BlueBowman View Post
Interesting list. I'm not sure that I could really refute any of it, but I did think bracing would perhaps be a little higher up. Or maybe not. Again, cool list. I've never seen someone lay it out in order like that, so thanks.
Hey, glad you liked the list.

Yes, maybe you are right about the bracing. I guess I havenīt actually tried enough different bracings to be an expert on that.

I just put it so far behind because, in my opinion some brands exaggerate the whole scalloping and hand scalloping and I donīt think it affects the tone tha much. I also think the same with regards to the Taylor v bracing thing, it just does not change the sound as much as they say.

Anyway, this list is just my biased and non-expert opinion.

The point I was trying to make is that the name on the headstock does not define the tonality of the guitar. Or at least it is not a key factor to it. I see too many people asking "should I buy Taylor or Martin?", when ther really should be wondering wether too choose a dreadnought or a parlor, or between a hog top or a spruce top.
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  #41  
Old 10-06-2023, 04:19 PM
BlueBowman BlueBowman is offline
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Originally Posted by Yeah View Post
Hey, glad you liked the list.

Yes, maybe you are right about the bracing. I guess I havenīt actually tried enough different bracings to be an expert on that.

I just put it so far behind because, in my opinion some brands exaggerate the whole scalloping and hand scalloping and I donīt think it affects the tone tha much. I also think the same with regards to the Taylor v bracing thing, it just does not change the sound as much as they say.

Anyway, this list is just my biased and non-expert opinion.

The point I was trying to make is that the name on the headstock does not define the tonality of the guitar. Or at least it is not a key factor to it. I see too many people asking "should I buy Taylor or Martin?", when ther really should be wondering wether too choose a dreadnought or a parlor, or between a hog top or a spruce top.
I agree completely with this statement, and I think so many people would be better served by playing every guitar (yes, literally, EVERY) guitar in the store. I've snagged a couple of killer yet "lesser" brand guitars by doing just that. However, in the internet age of buying "unplayed" guitars, I do sympathize with posters on this forum looking for info on well-known brands. It makes sense to go with a brand that is known for consistency IF you have to buy via the Internet. But get to a store, or better yet, travel to many stores if you can.

As for the OP's question, the subjectivity of our hearing has to be taken into account when it comes to the brightness, or lack thereof, in a guitar. See Laurel/Yanni. A very eye (ear?)-opening experience learning about that one.
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  #42  
Old 10-06-2023, 05:46 PM
zoopeda zoopeda is offline
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Originally Posted by Chrose1201 View Post
During my search I played Eastmans, Blueridge, Breedlove, Taylor, Martin, Gibson, Yamaha, Guild and even an Ovation! None to me had the playability of the Taylor. That being said I thought Martin overall had the best sound throughout the models I played, but again none played for me like the Taylor.
Congrats on the new guitar. Sounds like you will be happy with it!

FYI, any guitar can be made to "play like a Taylor" with the right setup. I guess, notwithstanding neck carve. Out of the factory, Taylors are more consistent and setup lower than a factory Martin, but a good tech can make a Martin or any healthy new guitar play like a Taylor if that's the goal.

Last edited by zoopeda; 10-07-2023 at 06:42 AM.
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  #43  
Old 10-06-2023, 10:03 PM
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Agree with the characterization of Taylor Guitars as being generally bright, with the exception of my Taylor 322e 12 Fret V Class. Super nice, balanced tone and I love the neck.
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  #44  
Old 10-10-2023, 10:59 AM
Chrose1201 Chrose1201 is offline
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All that worry for naught... I took it to a beginners bluegrass jam session this past weekend. Granted I had the most playing experience of anyone in the room and there were only a handful of guitar players represented by Martin, Gibson, Eastman and my Taylor. And the 417 sounded great and stood out very well. One person setting to my right and slightly behind me said it was plenty loud and I wasn't even playing that hard. So I guess all is good in Taylor town after all! Now I just have to get involved with better musicians, or I should say more experienced. Even though I am new to BG as a genre I have been playing guitar for a long time and so a beginners group is wayyy too basic for me at this point!
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  #45  
Old 10-11-2023, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by 6L6 View Post
Taylor’s main reason for great success is the easy playability of their guitars.

However…

When it comes to tone and sustain, any decent Martin, Collings, Santa Cruz, or USA-built Guild will win the blindfold test every time.

Since you like bluegrass, I strongly suggest you try out Martin guitars, find one you like, and then have it set up by a pro so it plays comfortably.
I heartily agree with this. My first acoustic 50 years ago was a Tak D-28 knock-off. I kept the Tak (still have it), but a few years later I bought a used 1970 D-28. That was the guitar I really learned to play on. Unfortunately it was stolen out of my home in 1978.

I eventually bought a very clean, used 1991 HD-28 from Norman's Rare Guitars that I love (and still own). Two years ago, I bought a new D-18 from our long-time sponsor Maury's Music (really great guy to business with, and I love supporting fellow Sponsors).

In short, as most have said in this thread, nothing beats a Martin Standard D Series box -- typically a D-18 or D-28 -- for that traditional Bluegrass tone and feel.

BTW, I just saw a used D-18 on GC for $1500. I almost always prefer to buy used, but I don't do it long distance, only if I'm able to get with the guitar and play it before purchase. Also, unlike some friends of mine who seem to change guitars like underwear, when I buy a nice guitar it is with me for life.

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Last edited by Charmed Life Picks; 10-11-2023 at 08:17 PM.
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