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Martin or Taylor?

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  • Taylor

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I tend to gravitate towards the Martin (and Collings) camp of acoustics. A few years back, I went through the racks and ended up with a Taylor. Played fantastic and had a bright crisp sound that is very appealing but after a few hours, I brought the guitar back and did an exchange. The sound grew a little tiring (lack of a better word). I had a similar experience a couple month back when I purchased a Martin OM-21. The reps. were big fans of the Taylor's but after a few strums, I moved on quickly to the Martin's.

Which brand do you fancy? There is no better and it boils down to personal preference. So...Is it Martin? Taylor? or just a fan of Martin Taylor(!).
 

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I am definitely a Martin fanboy. Both my guitars have a very balanced sound. Very crisp, thick trebles but lots of power on the bass side. I grew up with the Martin sound and Taylors always sounded anemic on the bass side. Kind of like half a guitar there. Most of the ones I've played have not got near the volume that a Martin puts out. Botht the Martins I own are very light builds and just resonate and vibrate in my hands like no other.
That being said I have a GS Mini in the house that I bought for my Grand daughter. I find when you get down to the GS Mini they seem to be better built and sound better than the comparably priced Martin. Namely the Martin Jr.
When you get to the higher end of Taylor and Martin its just a preference. They both make good guitars.
 

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Taylors are nice to play and a great guitar in a multi-guitar jam (they cut well acoustically), but for pure tone, I'm more of a Martin guy. I've always loved D35s.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
I am definitely a Martin fanboy. Both my guitars have a very balanced sound. Very crisp, thick trebles but lots of power on the bass side. I grew up with the Martin sound and Taylors always sounded anemic on the bass side. Kind of like half a guitar there. Most of the ones I've played have not got near the volume that a Martin puts out. Botht the Martins I own are very light builds and just resonate and vibrate in my hands like no other.
That being said I have a GS Mini in the house that I bought for my Grand daughter. I find when you get down to the GS Mini they seem to be better built and sound better than the comparably priced Martin. Namely the Martin Jr.
When you get to the higher end of Taylor and Martin its just a preference. They both make good guitars.
I had a Baby Taylor that i fancied quite a bit - The headstock broke off a few times and then my kids got to it and that was that....but it was a really good sounding guitar.
 

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Taylor for me, but I'm guilty of not trying a lot of guitars. My side by side comparison was the Eric Clapton signature model from Martin (000) and a Taylor GA model. Don't remember any other specifics, and likely not an apples to apples comparison, but I did like the Taylor sound better. I did not purchase at that time, but the mold had set and when I stumbled on a trade in deal that made me move, a Taylor came home with me.

I'm not sure this makes sense, but to me, Taylor represents a more modern acoustic where Martin is still building the tried and true. And for an acoustic guitar, I want to play the modern.

Now when it comes to electrics, I'm the tried and true. When it comes to amps, I'm in the modern camp. Go figure!
 

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Either or both, it would depend on the specific instrument. I love a nice Martin D-18, but I've played a great Taylor all koa too. Most of the better factory guitars, Collings, Santa Cruz, Breedlove, Larrivee, Seagull, Gibson, et al, have their attributes and more than meet the threshold requirements of a fine guitar. Luckily, I've played scores of brands, from the big names to the unknowns. Shopping for such guitars is what led me to individual small shop luthiers and away from the factory brands. That said, there are more than a few Collings I would buy if I had the coin. As it is, I'm happy with my current crop of guitars.
 

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Taylor over Martin, in general, but not by much. I favour the Taylor neck. I like that Taylor shimmer/chime, a little bit better. I just recently bought a Taylor CS Mini Mahogany. I slightly preferred that over the Dread Jr.
 

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I spent a couple hours at L&M trying Taylors and Martins, and they both sound excellent. But I preferred the Taylor over the Martin.
 

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I wouldn't count out owning a Taylor and they make excellent guitars but I prefer the Martin sound over Taylor. If I had to pick one or the other, it would be a Martin. But I own a nice Alvarez which is closer to the Martin sound than a Taylor but not quite as full a bass.
 

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I want to like martins, but the Taylor's I've played just sound so lively, bright, "wide spectrum" for lack of a better term. In comparison, the martins sound a little dead after hearing the Taylor.
 
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I want to like martins, but the Taylor's I've played just sound so lively, bright, "wide spectrum" for lack of a better term. In comparison, the martins sound a little dead after hearing the Taylor.
To me the Taylor vs Martin thing is like solid state vs tubes. Taylor is bright and brash. Martins have that low end growl and very musical complex overtones.
 

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To me the Taylor vs Martin thing is like solid state vs tubes. Taylor is bright and brash. Martins have that low end growl and very musical complex overtones.
Some of the newer designs from Taylor might surprise you. They've been redesigning their lines the past couple of years with Andy Powers and there have been some good reports. I am keen to try one of the newer 700 series models.
 

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Some of the newer designs from Taylor might surprise you. They've been redesigning their lines the past couple of years with Andy Powers and there have been some good reports. I am keen to try one of the newer 700 series models.
Yes I have heard that and as far as I know I haven't played any of those newer designs. I do pickup some of the higher end Taylors when I visit L&M.
The only other thing that would ever keep me from buying a higher end Taylor is the neck. I don't like slim necks. I think Taylor diesigns their necks to appeal to those who are used to the modern electric guitar necks. I have always preferred the Gibson 50's baseball bat necks and the Fender nocaster large necks.
Even the standard series Martin low profile slim necks aren't to my liking. The necks on my 2 authentics are closer to what I like although the D-28A 41 just barely.
 

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The neck on my taylor is huge compared to the neck of my ovation. There's a guitar with an electric sized neck
 
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Yes I have heard that and as far as I know I haven't played any of those newer designs. I do pickup some of the higher end Taylors when I visit L&M.
The only other thing that would ever keep me from buying a higher end Taylor is the neck. I don't like slim necks. I think Taylor diesigns their necks to appeal to those who are used to the modern electric guitar necks. I have always preferred the Gibson 50's baseball bat necks and the Fender nocaster large necks.
Even the standard series Martin low profile slim necks aren't to my liking. The necks on my 2 authentics are closer to what I like although the D-28A 41 just barely.
I just played some Taylors at the 12th Fret on my lunchtime, along with a couple of Martins and some Eastmans. My favourite of the lot was a 618e Furst Edition. So much so that I was tempted to whip out the card right there, but eventually decided to jive it some time and a few more visits to see if it really is worth the investment. I tried the 800 series, but it didn't do much for me. The 610e of the same series also sounded a bit bright and brash, but the balanced, warm sound with deep bass and some sparkle from the 618e really gave me pause. I also like a hefty neck and this didn't feel too slim.

My favourite guitar so far is my J-45 True Vintage, so for this one to knock that off its perch it would have to be special. Most of the time, when I have a moment like this, I go home and play my J-45 and the GAS attack goes away
 

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I wish the 12th fret was close enough for me to visit on my lunch. I'm in Stoney Creek so the only store close enough is the Hamilton L&M. Always the same old guitars that don't seem to sell. A couple of nice Martins a bunch of bright sounding Taylors and a whole mess of dead sounding Gibby acoustics. Having said that I'd really love to try the Hummingbird True Vintage. Gibsons for the most part all sound like they have dead strings even when the strings are new. But I remember a 60's Hummngbird that my dad owned in the 70's that was heavenly.
 
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