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I was browsing in Guitar Center yesterday and decided to pickup some higher end guitars.

I picked up a Taylor Grand  Auditorium (can't remember the model #), and started to play a bit.  I was SHOCKED with how awesome it felt and sounded...so pure, felt like velvet when I played!  Very glossy finish...truly amazing...

It was $3999.99!!!

No wonder it played so well!

I've never played a Martin...but I"m assuming they are similar.


Which guitar brand do you think is better and why?  Any who have played both?

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Well said and a very good observation Jason.That explains why I enjoyed 2 particular Taylors I played in a shop today, and just loved them. a Terrific Doyle Dykes Signature model, and a very different but equally appealing (used) Chris Proctor Signature model. Guess what - both with 24 7/8" or "short" scale length. One in Maple back and sides, the other in Indian Rosewood. I also played and enjoyed a Martin OMJM (John Mayer Sig), except that I didn't enjoy its narrow nut. Generally Martin's OM models have 1 3/4" wide necks @ the nut.
I am a finger style player, and I guess the appeal of "finger style guitars" are just that for me nl. small body, very focused tone, rapid response and light build together with the playability-touches such as nut width, scale length and choice of materials. The latter I believe are the secrets behind which guitar one always tend to reach for first.
Most major builders generally produce short scaled models too besides their "regular" standard scale length.
Hounestly I would have gone for a Taylor too. Everybody who owns one said the sound is awsome. It is alot more expensive because the quality is their. A Martin is also a good brand, you pay what you get. But is you buy both instruments for the same price, you'd get most out of the Taylor. It is the better end guitar
I think that ANY decent guitar, after settling in to your environment, can be set up to play well if you know a good luthier and are patient. If you have not played any good Martins, you are in for a treat when you do.
I have only played a few modern-day Taylors that I enjoyed very much and they were all way over $1000 and usually over $2000. Back in the late 60s early 70s I used to hang out at the Taylor factory in San Diego and play the hand-made stuff they were making and every one of them were monsters. I suppose you'd pay through the nose for one of those!
The only disadvantage to the modern UV acrylic finish is; it does not age like lacquer.
I bought my Martin D-35 new in 1971 and it has been worked and reworked over the years, new bridge, braces shaved, new frets, refinished 3 times, recently a new bone compensated saddle (I made it!), bone nut and fossilized walrus ivory bridge pins. She plays so easily it's like napping and her tone after all these years is like a grand piano.
In all fairness, I played a sweet 814 last summer for about an hour or so. It sounded like a Taylor to me, and I really really liked it. It did not sound like a Martin. I can appreciate both. The action was low, and it played "buttery smooth."

I love Martins, but I could have been quite satisfied with that Taylor. I also know that the owner visited the factory a couple years ago or so, and it was given a setup while he toured the factory.

Chocolate v. vanilla..... Sometimes I like both. Is one inherently better than the other? I don't know.

I also played a sweet Gibson B-25 from the sixties a while back, but that's another story.
I've been playing since I was 18, which was way back in 1972. Started on a Morris 12-string and quickly moved to a Martin D12-28 (solid Indian Rosewood and Sitka spruce top). I had that lovely guitar for more than 20 years and never considered the action as anything more than "normal"... at least until a friend borrowed it and ruined the top by taking it in an out of the cold to gig with. After the top nearly imploded I had the Martin factory professionals put a brand new top on. It took six months and cost more to repair than the guitar did when new... Not too bad if the sound had stayed intact but it didn't... not even close! I learned two valuable lessons the day that guitar came home. One, NEVER lend a great guitar to an idiot-savant, no matter how good he plays and two, the top has a lot more to do with the overall tone than most people appreciate. The aged Sitka spruce that was lost made such a huge difference in the tone that I hurt every time I played it and two years of suffering through didn't help. I sold it to a friend who had a Gibson 12 and she was very happy with it. I have been on a quest ever since and have owned a lovely Yairi 12, a Taylor 555 (jumbo), which was very nice, Taylor 754 ES, which I still own and is a superb smaller (grand auditorium) body style 12 and then there's the Taylor K65ce, a superb jumbo koa 12-string. One thing is certain... Taylor guitars have great action across their entire product line. They also have great tone woods and superb craftsmanship regardless of the price range. It comes down to personal taste to size the body to your comfort and playing style and to then select the specific woods that make you feel like you've found home... for me it's the K65ce due to my preference for big "percussive" rhythm guitars and the overall tone of that instrument. I would not consider a new Martin 12-string, even though memories of that 22 year old lost brother of mine still tug at my heartstrings. I do still love their large solid wood six strings... I grew up on that big sound and their is no issue of "ease pf play" there as with a 12-string model.
hi all! taylor were designed for the electric guitarist in mind. martin has acquired this thinking in there newer guitars .I feel taylor all play the same where martins lends to different playing styles. i am not a big taylor fan . but i did play an older model at Guitar Center it was great in every way the feel and sound it is stuck in my head ,it had no joint at the head stock , fancy binding and koa wood it was 6.000 it sold in days. but none of the lesser priced taylors knocked me out.
Assuming two manufacturers guitar are "similar" is like saying all birds are similar. The fact of the matter is that two identical looking guitars can be quite different... even when made by the same person with the same woods. Woods within a species all vary... hand made guitars are all slightly different from one another. That they might possess similar characteristics is most likely true but within that broad description various tonal qualities can be quite different. How the bracing was done will affect how much the top does (or doesn't) resonate. How well aged the guitar is will determine whether or not the solid woods have "opened up" to their full potential. Then add in the vast variations in strings available and that adds a whole new complexity... are they brand new and "too jangly", broken in perfectly and "just right", or are they on their way out and becoming dead... one string at a time? I started near the top (luckily) with a Martin D12-28 that I bought new in 1971 when I was 18. My friend ruined that MINT guitar 22 years later and I was forced to put a brand new Sitka top on it. Six months later I got my brother Martin back from the luthiers at Martin and although he looked the same I felt like they had given him a frontal lobodomy. The tone sucked to my ears because I had grown to expect the vintage sound that only 22 years of loving play can bring out in such a superb instrument. That incident is what set me on my lifelong journey looking for the "perfect guitar". I've come close many times but there always seems to be a trade off. What's best for finger-picking may not be well suited for heavy "percussive" strumming... and on and on. Rather than wax poetic (forever) on this subject let me share a few simple thoughts and one reference page. 1st: SIZE DOES MATTER. 2nd: Wood choices DO make a HUGE difference in tone and playability characteristics. 3rd: Good quality is worth whatever you can afford just for the joy of playing it... but to find your perfect match you'll need to get lucky and hope that the instrument whispers gently in your ear... and when it does reach deep, swallow hard and pay what's it worth... don't skimp on the diamond here folks. Finding your "perfect guitar" is AT LEAST as hard as finding the perfect mate... when you do, dig deep, swallow hard... and... (lol) oops that's another subject. Here's a great reference page I found at Taylor Guitars: http://taylorguitars.com/guitars/features/woods/TopWoods/?tw=espruce Enjoy the journey... Patrick Alaggio @ IOS
There is no such thing (IMHO) as a "BEST" guitar. I play a Larrivee LV-10 (same price range as the Taylor you mentioned). I tried several each Taylors, Martins, a pair of Collings and a Gallagher before I spent my $$$. There wasn't a bad one in the bunch. The worst of the lot was fantastic. A high end guitar is a very personal thing. That's why there are so many differant ones available. Take your time, play as many guitars as you possibly can. Make effort to go to multi brand dealers so you can A/B/C models back to back. Try them acoustic and plugged in through a variety of amps and PA's. Get invited to jams where guitar swapping is common and play differant guitars and ask their owners why they like them, Check out websites and become an educated consumer. When you pick up and strum the perfect guitar for you, no one will have to tell you. You will know.
You just need to remember one thign a good guitarist will make a $200.00 guitar sound great to listen to, cost is the last factor when buying and frankly I tend to think most good folks get caught up in which gutiar is better posts, there are good guitars in every brand, so please don't look at the head stock look at the sound and forget about the name, its like that old argument how many guitarists does it take to change a light bulb four the fiorst to do it and the other three will tell you how much better they could have done it.
In others words make it about the music first and forget the rest, its always nice to dream about that last guitar but in reality there is no such thing, unless you've gone to meet you maker.Ship
Well put ship. That's exactly what I was trying to say earlier. I play a Washburn Limited Edition. I've rarely seen anything I liked nearly as much.

J.
Which Washburn do you have Jason I have 6 in my collection use to be a bit more (The last count was 21 ), but once retirment hit I didn't need as many I have a rover, a D-68 Washburn Yamaki, a J-52SW,a D-78SW ( US Custom Shop ) a D-2003S Millenium Limited Edition,A D-2000 Millenium Limited Edition ( and I am still looking at a few other Washburns that I want to add to my collection.Ship.......oh nad there are others in my present collection

I'm looking at a gorgeous looking brand new Washburn banjo. The thing is absolutely beautiful in appearance, but I never played a banjo, so it very well could look like a beauty but play and sound bad. I'd have to take a chance on buying this one.

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