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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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Blake,
This discussion is going to be like Macs vs. PCs! I can't wait. The two have very different, and distinctive, sounds. I like them both, but went with a low end taylor (210e) because it just seemed right for me. Now I'm looking forward to others' comments on this subject. Should be fun.
Walt
Fire in the hole!
Hi Blake...talk about your can of worms! first off, any guitar in the 3k and up price range should be a pretty decent instrument regardless of brand name. I own Martin's, and have played many Taylors, have friends who own them. In comparing guitars it's sorta like "Who's Your Mamma"...the one that speaks to you, that moves your muse, tantalizes your ear, that's the one to buy. My D28 is now almost 48 years old, and I've never played another one that I thought was better. I've played Taylors that I thought were excellant guitars...but didn't quite do it for me. I've Played other Martin's that I can say the same thing about. I've also played sub 1000.00 dollar guitars that amazed me with their construction values and sound.
If you like it, the Taylor, and can afford it....get it. Most players, over the years, will wind up with more than one Instrument anyway...I have 2 Martins, a Yari DYM95V, A Blueberry Parlor, and a Non discript Nylon string Guitar.
Jim
They are different, but both are good. Taylor better have that velvetie feel at 4K, but not all Taylors you pick up will play like that, though setup does make a difference. Taylors are known for their bright sound, while Martins are known for a more woody, traditional sound, and depending on the model Martins are bassier. Taylors are known for their balance. Each one has its' place. If you can do both, God bless you!
Never played a Martin? Well, what are you waiting for? Try out a few the next time you go back to Guitar Center.

When I bought my Martin 000E-15C (all mahogany), I had never heard of Taylor. Sure have now. They're wonderful guitars for the most part, but like any instrument there's a certain amount of variation between guitars. Martin has always been my dream guitar, and I'm quite happy with it -- although my next one is likely to be a Larrivee. As soon as I win the lottery, that is.
Blake,

Like everyone else here, it's not really which is better. It's sound that you are looking for that should determine which is best for your application. Know what kind of sound you are looking for. If you're not sure then start playing ANY kind of guitar and work it from there. When you play a lot of different ones in your quest you'll find things that you like and don't like.

I've probably repeated this story in several posts. So here goes again. When I was searching around for a new acoustic I would play a guitar and compare it to another. All the while listening to what I liked or disliked about the instruments. When I found one that had qualities I liked I'd put it aside and compare other guitars to it. If I found something I liked better I'd swap the two and continue. This went on for a while and I was sure I was going to purchase a Martin. But then I started comparing Taylor's to the Martin. Eventually I hit on a 716ce that replaced the Martin. The Martin was good, but it was mellower than the 716ce. The 716ce was still mellow but it was a tad brighter than the Martin. I compared the 716ce to some of the 800 series Taylors and I still liked the 716ce better. This is what I eventually purchased.

Bottom line, be critical in your search to find what you like. Don't rush spending $1000's. Take your time and enjoy the ride to finding the one that talks to you.

John
Thanks for your input, John. There are SO many guitars out there. I have only been playing for about a year and have an older Washburn D10. It was very affordable, and not bad for a beginner. I put some new strings on it and it sounds pretty good! I came to this discussion area to find out what many of you have to say about guitar choices. I think you are correct in saying don't rush! As I become more proficient, my playing will sound better. I know at some point I'll want a nicer guitar. I know people who would play nothing but a Martin, and others like Taylor or Gallagher, etc. I think it has to come down to the sound you seek, and that takes trying many different guitars over time. So I'll just save my money for now and enjoy the journey.

Thanks!
For clarification (after re-reading the initial post)...I did not buy the Taylor. Wish I coudl afford it. :)

But I think I will start saving for my next purchase a year or two down the road...
Both brands are well established, with great guitars to cater for almost every taste. Martins are more traditional or "old school" construction, vs Taylors' contemporary approach - they pioneered the NT neck, allowing a neck re-set to be performed by merely loosening the neck bolts, and replacement of a shim. Bob Taylor also was a pioneer in the use of a new age finish that cures within minutes under UV light.
I love Taylor's Grand Auditorium 514CE in Cedar/Hog, their GS in Cedar/Rosewood and Martin's OM's and Dreadnaughts are awesome, not forgetting the incredible 0-45 Stephen Stills model.
I've been to both factories, did the tours etc. and have played several Martin and Taylor models and also gotten my hands on several different brands of guitars as well and here's my conclusion: it's not the instrument, it's the brain behind it. This also applies to any possession in life, be it a car, shotgun, running shoes, whatever.
I have a Martin D28 and a Taylor DN5. I enjoy both and use the Martin for bluegrass flatpicking and the Taylor for my fingerpicking. I wouldnt part with either.
Nice to see another Ham interested in Guitar music
73
KG6XJ

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