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Author Topic: Taylor Guitars  (Read 7872 times)
Darrell111
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« on: August 18, 2006, 08:57:48 PM »

Ok so here we go  wacko

I dare not post this on ACG but....

Do you think that Taylor guitars are going to far over into the mass production realm of guitar making?  I honestly don't know enough about guitar building to have an accurate opinion which is why i bring this up.  Work has been a little slow so i have found time to watch all the videos on the Taylor website about how they build their guitars.  Seems to me there just isn't the personal touch anymore, SO MUCH CNCing or whatever they use. 

There is no way that these guitars cost the manufacturer near as much as they are charging for them to produce.  I would think with the quantity of wood they buy and the streamlining they have done to the building process that they are making a KILLING profit off of their guitars.  Now of course the point of owning or running a business is to make money but would anyone here consider a Taylor overpriced? 

Anyway.. its just a thought.  I really feel like my Larrivee is a great value.  It sounds better then most Taylors in a higher price range that i have played against it (IMO of course).  I know Larrivee also does a lot to mass produce their product but i still feel there's a bit more of a personal touch and the inspection of the guitar is all there for Larrivee..

Im just rambling now..
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knight_lite_1974
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« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2006, 09:41:43 PM »

Hey Darrell.  I agree completely with your observation.  With all due respect to the Taylor Guitar Company, I've always felt the prices of their instruments to be way overpriced, especially as you say, considering the amount of automation that goes into their guitar building process.  I'd be VERY interested to know what the difference is between the cost involved to produce any particular guitar, and it's suggested retail price.  It's in this area particularly that I feel Larrivee smokes them...just plain ole value.  Looking at the specs of a 03, 05 or 09 Larrivee model for example, you'd easily expect to pay almost double that amount for a Taylor guitar with similar or identical appointments.  And it's not like you're getting rubbish for the price with a Larrivee either.  We all know that the workmanship on Larry's is superb, and that they hold their own against Taylors in the tone department easily...if not exceeding them, IMHO.  And in case it needs to be clarified, this is by no means intended to be a Taylor bashing rant on my side.  However, I do believe the facts speak for themselves in this regard.  Ultimately, we all purchase the guitar that "speaks" to us and that we can afford, but you'd be hard pressed to find a better all-round deal than what's coming out of California and Vancouver.
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Darrell111
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« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2006, 09:50:07 PM »

Hey Darrell.  I agree completely with your observation.  With all due respect to the Taylor Guitar Company, I've always felt the prices of their instruments to be way overpriced, especially as you say, considering the amount of automation that goes into their guitar building process.  I'd be VERY interested to know what the difference is between the cost involved to produce any particular guitar, and it's suggested retail price.  It's in this area particularly that I feel Larrivee smokes them...just plain ole value.  Looking at the specs of a 03, 05 or 09 Larrivee model for example, you'd easily expect to pay almost double that amount for a Taylor guitar with similar or identical appointments.  And it's not like you're getting rubbish for the price with a Larrivee either.  We all know that the workmanship on Larry's is superb, and that they hold their own against Taylors in the tone department easily...if not exceeding them, IMHO.  And in case it needs to be clarified, this is by no means intended to be a Taylor bashing rant on my side.  However, I do believe the facts speak for themselves in this regard.  Ultimately, we all purchase the guitar that "speaks" to us and that we can afford, but you'd be hard pressed to find a better all-round deal than what's coming out of California and Vancouver.

Yea i dont take it as a bash at all and i hope others dont think thats what i intended either.  Just an observation :)

Now Taylor does have some really beautiful guitars, they sound great, and their are some very unique designs in their products but if i were to drop double what i paid for my LV-05 I just couldnt do it without considering a Collins, Morgan or even a higher end Larrivee to a Taylor. 

Another reason i bring this up today was because recently i was talking to a very respected dealer/repair man in the DFW area that went on about some of the ways taylor is saving money.  He showed me how The 1 and 200 series Taylors didnt use any bracing on the back of these guitars.  Basically a one peice molded back.  Let me be strait, that is just CHEAP considering you could get into a used D-03 that is ALL wood and much better built.  Goes to show how a name can give false impressions of quality.

Wait am i bashing now .. :( Sorry  :TON>
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Ratishna
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« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2006, 10:12:46 PM »

What does 'going too far over in the mass production realm.  They make over a thousand guitars every day.  Does that mean the guys that only make 500 per day aren't in the mass production realm yet?  How about the guys who make 100 per day, or the ones that make 50?

In my opinion, the guy who makes a batch of 12 guitars in 3 months, which is what most of the hand builders do, is the only guy who *hasn't* entered mass production.  The rest are already there.  As to how far, I would ask what the difference is between the numbers above.  So 1,000 per day is somehow more mass production than 500 per day?  I don't think so.

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Darrell111
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« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2006, 10:21:26 PM »

What does 'going too far over in the mass production realm.  They make over a thousand guitars every day.  Does that mean the guys that only make 500 per day aren't in the mass production realm yet?  How about the guys who make 100 per day, or the ones that make 50?

In my opinion, the guy who makes a batch of 12 guitars in 3 months, which is what most of the hand builders do, is the only guy who *hasn't* entered mass production.  The rest are already there.  As to how far, I would ask what the difference is between the numbers above.  So 1,000 per day is somehow more mass production than 500 per day?  I don't think so.

E. Shoaf

Actually i ment nothing about how many guitars are produced each day, i ment how personal the build is.  Machines churning necks, sound boards, sides and backs out does not seem very personal.  Again, i know Larrivee does alot of the same.  But if im correct Taylor does not do as much fret work on their instruments as say Larrivee.  I did not need a fret level on my instrument from the factory.  My Fender american strat did. 
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« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2006, 10:31:07 PM »

You really can't blame Taylor for what they're doing.  It's good old American capitalism.  As long as the buying public continues to purchase Taylor guitars in the numbers they do, they'll keep on doing what they're doing.  The almighty "buck" will always be the determining factor in the field of commerce.  When sales slow down in any industry, you'll see incentives and great deals on a particular product.  Anybody wanna buy a big ol' SUV right now?  They'll make you one helluva deal anywhere you go! :GRN>
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« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2006, 11:14:29 PM »

The pricing of Taylor, Martin, et. al. is in a large part responsible for my choosing a Larrivee as my first good guitar (OM-03r from Jason on order).  When you look at pictures from the factory and see the care involved in producing them it makes their relative low cost seem almost too good to be true.  Considering the workmanship and materials in the Larrivee 03 series, I don't see how Taylor could be competitive if not for their very effective marketing ability.  That said, some people just love the sound and playability of Taylors and I really do appreciate their outreach programs, bringing excellent guitarist-clinicians to music stores all over the country.
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knight_lite_1974
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« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2006, 11:42:43 PM »

Quote
In my opinion, the guy who makes a batch of 12 guitars in 3 months, which is what most of the hand builders do, is the only guy who *hasn't* entered mass production.  The rest are already there.

Agreed again.  I certainly don't mean to suggest that Larrivees aren't mass produced guitars.  They no doubt have their fair share of automation in the building process.  Although, this fact is wonderfully reflected in their economical prices.  If I'm spending upwards of 2.5K or 3K on a guitar, I'd definitely be wanting to check out a true custom, hand-crafting luthier.  Fortunately in this day and age, the growth and health of the guitar making industry makes this kind of route more and more feasible.
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Caleb
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« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2006, 01:26:42 AM »

i always liked taylors. but recently i have found myself not that impressed with them for a couple of reasons.

1 - my ear has changed. i used to like that "modern" sound they give off. i used to like it alot, but now i tend to like the open, airy, and woody sounds of an old traditional guitar. that bright and snappy taylor tone just doesnt sound that good to me anymore.

2 - i think the "hip" marketing by taylor has officially turned me off. they now remind me more of starbucks than a guitar company. it used to seem like it was about the guitar, and the music, but now it seems to be more about "image" and a certain kind of person playing their guitars. this very thing probably appeals to lots of ppl, but to me it is a turn-off.

its like going into starbucks. its not really about coffee - coffee is the by-product of the entire "vibe". its more about social status and how cool it is to blow $6 on a cup of joe than really enjoying what you get.

taylor makes me feel the same way. seems like getting one of their guitars these days is more about "arriving" in social status than about playing music.

ive also been playing music in churches and christian circles for many years and taylor has somehow convinced a large part of that community that you simply cant do without owning a taylor.

just seems like a terribly cliche these days to own one.

but then again, im usually pretty out-of-the-loop on whats "cool" and "hip" and have always been turned off by trends.

i still think they make some great instruments, but to me, theyve become the cabbage patch dolls of the guitar industry.
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bigmo
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« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2006, 02:34:30 AM »

its like going into starbucks. its not really about coffee - coffee is the by-product of the entire "vibe". its more about social status and how cool it is to blow $6 on a cup of joe than really enjoying what you get.

I think Starbucks taste more like Copenhagen than coffee! I roast my own beans and it's much, much better  -_-

Taylor builds the way they do because they sell a zillion guitars. Now they pitch "R.Taylor" guitars if you want a bit of personal touch.     I've owned a couple of Taylors, but some how got into Tacomas and am happy with a more traditional tone like someone else mentioned.  Once a company gets so big, there are always those folks that despise them even if just a bit. Microsoft is a great example. Some might say that about Martin, but their roots are so deep into Americana that they are stedfast and deservingly so. Taylor comes off as that "cool", "hip" must have guitar if you have a good chunk of change and follow the crowd. I still wonder how they became the choice guitar for worship leaders? They are nice guitars and very consistent so it's hard to diss them.

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« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2006, 03:38:04 AM »

I think taylors are overpriced, but only cause I don't like how most of them sound. On the personal touch issue, it's nice to think you guitar was hand built with care. I see that as a good thing but I don't see the lack of it as a negative thing. Mass production is a neutral thing for me and the personal touch is a bonus.
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« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2006, 02:50:31 PM »

I bought my Taylor new in 1997.  I had very few choices of dealers in Atlanta at that time.  They were anything but trendy at the time.  The price was fairly steep back then, it cost about $800 more than a comparable Gibson (I had not even heard of Larrivee at the time).  I'm glad I paid the extra $$ now to go for the Taylor over the Gibson.  Of course my 814ce has a one piece neck and had the Fishman electronics, which I replaced with an LR Baggs Imix.

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« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2006, 05:05:40 PM »

I have a 2000 Taylor 710CE with a cedar top, and really enjoy it.  I bought it used (ebay) for just about 1/2 the cost of a new one through one of the major online music stores.  As nice as it is, there is no way I would pay twice as much for a new one.  I used to own a Larrivee DV10E and an OM03RE, and bother were (in my opinion) better sounding guitars.  When a new Larrivee 03 series can be had for about 1/3 the price of a Taylor 700 series, the choice becomes pretty clear if you are judging on sound alone. 

As for the new low end Taylors - a friend of mine just bought one.  I don't know what model, but I did play a few chords on it, and looked it over.  I was surprised to see that the plastic strap button didn't go through the heel of the guitar, but instead went through the side next to the heel.  Inside there was a block of wood that the button screwed into.  But when I looked at the heel I understood why - it was so thin that it would split as soon as any stress was put on it.  I couldn't believe how cheap and cheesy it looked.  But the Taylor on the headstock looked about the same, and I guess that is all you would see from the front row...  :WNK>

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« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2006, 05:14:45 PM »

I was surprised to see that the plastic strap button didn't go through the heel of the guitar, but instead went through the side next to the heel.

If you were to look at any guitar (high end or not) that's where the strap buttons are installed.

Give me a break!   :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
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« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2006, 05:51:28 PM »

I was surprised to see that the plastic strap button didn't go through the heel of the guitar, but instead went through the side next to the heel.

If you were to look at any guitar (high end or not) that's where the strap buttons are installed.

Give me a break!   :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Most times the strap pin is located on the treble side of the neck heel.  My impression, from reading the prior message, is that this one was installed through the guitar itself, next to the heel.  But maybe I misunderstood.

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« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2006, 06:08:06 PM »

Perhaps I was unclear in my description of the strap button placement.  I found a couple pictures to illustrate.  Here is the strap button on an older Taylor 110:

Notice how it goes through the heel of the neck.  Now here is a new Taylor 110:

Do you see how much thinner the heel of the neck is?  There is no way it can handle a stap button, so they put it through the side of the guitar and into a block of wood glued to the inside.  No high-end guitar maker I know would do something like that.  The price of that Taylor 110 online is $600 new. 
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« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2006, 08:03:39 PM »

Placing a strap button as it is shown on the Taylor 110 isn't really that uncommon and is perfectly acceptable as long as there is a block placed inside the body for the screw.

I've seen Tacoma guitars with the strap button in that location and I believe Guild's new Contemporary Series (with a new neck block design) have the strap button similarly placed.


Tom
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« Reply #17 on: August 23, 2006, 09:16:14 PM »

Sure... pleanty of people put there strap button there.

I think Larry's point is that the heel block is so small.  I've never seen that before.   :huh:

-josh
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« Reply #18 on: August 23, 2006, 10:42:51 PM »

Taylor necks don't need the mass that a dovetail joint requires. They are certainly manufactured instruments. So are Larrivees, Martins, Guilds, Gibsons, Alvarez, and on and on. A really critical and experienced eye can pick out numerous flaws in any of them.  I don't subscribe to the theory that one guitar is worse than another because it is more manufactured than another. They all make good instruments. I think it's a great thing for players to have choices between manufactured, small shop, and individually built instruments. It's really a matter of what inspires you as a player. The criteria for " what is best for me" is partly objective and partly subjective. It's hard to completly ignore whats on the head stock and be totally objective when evaluating a guitar.  If an instrument inspires me to get it out and play it for what ever reason then I'm glad to have it. My favorite guitar is the one I just built. Full of flaws but it sounds and plays great. At least it does to my very subjective ear. I wish I had put a block in it to attach a strap next to and not in the neck heel.
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Larry V.
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« Reply #19 on: August 23, 2006, 11:41:12 PM »

Not being a guitar tech, it would seem to me that the thin side wood might be prone to split easier once the strap button hole is drilled in it.   :huh:
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