Pages: 1 ... 11 [12] 13   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: What's With The Taylor Bashing?  (Read 44508 times)
Danny
Donuts?
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13137




Ignore
« Reply #220 on: July 15, 2012, 06:22:48 PM »


If you're trying to make every guitar and its parts to the same specifications, then CNC might be better at reaching that goal. Guitar players are too sentimental. Larrivee forumites proclaim the small boutique and one off builders aren't any better for being more hand made, that Taylors aren't handmade enough, that Larrivee was a pioneer using the CNC machines, that the traditional dovetail is best, and so on. It's a lot of wasted time trying to rationalize one's feelings. Guitar players arguing build techniques is like video gamers arguing military tactics.
Exactly. And it also just shows that caring about the name on the head stock is in every camp.
Logged

Too many guitars... But I keep thinking one more may just do it.
ewalling
Senior Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 381




Ignore
« Reply #221 on: July 15, 2012, 11:10:08 PM »


If you're trying to make every guitar and its parts to the same specifications, then CNC might be better at reaching that goal. Guitar players are too sentimental. Larrivee forumites proclaim the small boutique and one off builders aren't any better for being more hand made, that Taylors aren't handmade enough, that Larrivee was a pioneer using the CNC machines, that the traditional dovetail is best, and so on. It's a lot of wasted time trying to rationalize one's feelings. Guitar players arguing build techniques is like video gamers arguing military tactics.

Yes, but it's so much fun!!     
Logged
ducktrapper
Donuts?
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 10999




Ignore
« Reply #222 on: July 16, 2012, 05:50:49 PM »

I'm not talking merely CNC. If you've seen this program or video or whatever it is, it's a robotic plant with robots handling the guitars through nearly the entire process. More like an auto plant than a lutherie. Practically, the only human handling was to bolt on the neck (another subject) and attach the strings. Seriously and all kidding aside, if robots are going to be putting your guitar together, shouldn't these savings be passed on to the suckers buyers? No reason the Chinese couldn't do this just as well and surprise! They are.     
Logged
Danny
Donuts?
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13137




Ignore
« Reply #223 on: July 16, 2012, 05:56:42 PM »

Sadly for American builders the Chinese who make the better guitars draw on a work force that costs them peanuts. Yet some of them are becoming adept craftsmen.

  Doesn't Martins factory have a lot of robotics as well?
Logged

Too many guitars... But I keep thinking one more may just do it.
ducktrapper
Donuts?
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 10999




Ignore
« Reply #224 on: July 16, 2012, 06:08:49 PM »

Sadly for American builders the Chinese who make the better guitars draw on a work force that costs them peanuts. Yet some of them are becoming adept craftsmen.

  Doesn't Martins factory have a lot of robotics as well?

I'm not sure about Martin but I'm pretty sure that robots are not "craftsmen". I don't think that replacing craftsmen with robots should be used to maintain high prices that would be incurred if craftsmen were used. I guess what I'm saying is that it seems to me like it is screwing both the worker and the buyer.
Logged
Danny
Donuts?
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13137




Ignore
« Reply #225 on: July 16, 2012, 06:11:43 PM »

  Every builder in America is doing this, except the very smallest. Even then you would probably find a CNC machine somewhere.

Martin does use robots, I just don't know if they use as many as Taylor.
Logged

Too many guitars... But I keep thinking one more may just do it.
jeremy3220
Gold Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4598




Ignore
« Reply #226 on: July 16, 2012, 06:44:45 PM »

People that put parts in the CNC machines or work somewhere on an assembly line aren't craftsmen either. If the guitars are made to uniformity and the robots and cnc machines produce the desired results the rest is sentimentality. I don't really care how people spend their money. If part of the reason you buy a guitar is because someone you admire who has laid their blessed hands upon it, that's fine, but let's not kid ourselves about what's really going on. This idea that Larrivee uses the perfect mix of innovation and old world craftsmanship isn't a legitimate argument in itself; perhaps it's a conclusion one could derive from specific evidence and understanding of how different techniques affect the outcome but it can't stand without that.
Logged

ducktrapper
Donuts?
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 10999




Ignore
« Reply #227 on: July 16, 2012, 07:54:07 PM »

People that put parts in the CNC machines or work somewhere on an assembly line aren't craftsmen either. If the guitars are made to uniformity and the robots and cnc machines produce the desired results the rest is sentimentality. I don't really care how people spend their money. If part of the reason you buy a guitar is because someone you admire who has laid their blessed hands upon it, that's fine, but let's not kid ourselves about what's really going on. This idea that Larrivee uses the perfect mix of innovation and old world craftsmanship isn't a legitimate argument in itself; perhaps it's a conclusion one could derive from specific evidence and understanding of how different techniques affect the outcome but it can't stand without that.

Jeremy, please don't put words in my mouth. I'm sure there are many small luthiers who are more hands on than these larger builders, Larrivée included. It has always seemed to me that what we are paying for is the craftmanship not the wood. If it takes, let's say, an hour to do a dove tail neck and five minutes to bolt one on, we shouldn't pay equally for that process. Assuming they are equal in quality or end result, if we are merely paying for the end result then it is stupidity to pay more for A than B. I've made that argument for Larrivée guitars and I can make it against them, I suppose. If someone can sell me a guitar that I like as much as a Larrivée for half the price, why would I insist on buying the Larrivée? I mean, if someone figures out how to wave a magic wand and the result is a top of the line product, yet no better and no worse than another product, I might buy it but why would I pay more for it?
Logged
Danny
Donuts?
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13137




Ignore
« Reply #228 on: July 16, 2012, 08:04:36 PM »

Here is a story I heard a few days ago from an ex Collings employee. He told us quite a few, but y'all may like this one.
   The Collings workers were having a very hard time getting the necks set properly and Wild Bill came out to the work station and began a rant. He then turned to the work table next to them and picked up a tool and punched holes all over a Brazilian guitar laying there.

No robot could have made the point as well as wild Bill did
Logged

Too many guitars... But I keep thinking one more may just do it.
jeremy3220
Gold Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4598




Ignore
« Reply #229 on: July 16, 2012, 09:09:48 PM »

It has always seemed to me that what we are paying for is the craftmanship not the wood.

Yeah, that's why marketing an image of hands on craftsmanship by a family owned company who cuts their own trees down is so effective. What is hands on craftsmanship and what effect does it have? Well, people don't know that part.
Logged

Mr_LV19E
Gold Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 6500




Ignore
« Reply #230 on: July 16, 2012, 11:35:24 PM »

Robots do not perform the work cheaper than craftsmen, usually it just makes the process faster. When those robots start breaking down they cause production delays and special craftsmen to be able to fix them at a very large cost. They are very highly over rated.
Keep in mind that much of the repair work on the robots is not mechanical, there is a lot of logic controlling whats going on.

Guitars are all the same, just some wood, glue and a set of strings. 
Logged

Roger


"Live simply so that others may simply live"
rockstar_not
Gold Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2310


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #231 on: July 17, 2012, 03:16:06 AM »

I'm sure I've posted this here before, but I will tell you that on the individualized tour that I got of Oxnard from JCL (well, an uninterested co-worker was with me), one of his proudest areas in the plant was the CNC machine that was rough-cutting neck blanks.  JCL said something to the effect of "Bob Taylor showed me this - it's great.  He and I share ideas all of the time."

That was completely unsolicited from JCL.  He had no reason to say it other than it was how he truly felt.  FWIW, programming the CNC takes a great deal of skill to make it efficient.

With all of that said, there were two Larrivee employees in the plant that day, JCL, and a guy that was polishing bodies.  JCL was there hand matching dovetail joints on the California model that they had just announced earlier that year and were a bit behind on orders.

JCL was also proud of their vacuum clamping operation, which some could argue is automated and robotic, compared to an entirely hand crafted instrument.

I used to hang with a guy back in Michigan that 'hand-made' actually rather ugly electric guitars.  They sounded great and played great, however.  He had a cool multi-axis jig for rough-sanding the radius on necks, both the back and the fretboard side, setup with a big belt sander.  I can't describe it very well as to how it worked but it had this kind of monkey-motion for getting a consistent radius transition to the back of the neck from the bridge to the nut.  Is that hand crafted or automated?  Man made or robotic?  While the jig wasn't computer controlled, it was relied upon to consistently cut neck shapes.  He also had a rig to help him wind his pickups consistently.  Patterns function this way as well.  What is the difference?  You won't see any mostly glued up guitars getting assembled by robots - yet, just like automobiles are still hand assembled in essence where it is critical - doesn't matter the country of origin.  German made, Japanese made, American made - assembly is done with human guidance and intervention.

-Scott
Logged

2000 L-03-E
2012 Epiphone Nighthawk Custom Reissue
1985 Peavey Milestone
2004 SX SPJ-62 Bass
2008 Valencia Solid Cedar Top Classical
2015 Taylor 414ce - won in drawing
2016 Ibanez SR655BBF

My Sound Cloud
ducktrapper
Donuts?
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 10999




Ignore
« Reply #232 on: July 17, 2012, 12:29:31 PM »

I don't think we are talking about the same thing. You'd have to see the video. It's one thing for a human being to be working on a guitar using something mechanical and another for a robot to be holding the guitar while another machine does its job.
To say that robots are more expensive is just silly. Why would anyone use robotic manufacturing to increase the cost of building? I would hazard a guess that there is an increased start-up cost but if the result is that you can make twice as many guitars in the same time and they will be identical to the work of a skilled craftsman, then the savings are obvious and profits very attractive especially IF you can sell the guitar for as much as the more handcrafted one.
I have no problem with CNC or robotics, or combination thereof, if they deliver a fine instrument. I've always argued that Larrivées are as good as other top of the line guitars and better because, at least when I was making the argument, they cost less. If part of that is CNC and other cost saving practices passed on to the buyer, I'm beyond good with that. Logically, however, the savings should be passed on to the consumer. Is Taylor doing that? Is Larrivée? The maker who manages to bring the best instrument to the player for the most attractive price should be the one who wins this game. Can I be any clearer?
Logged
bluebear
Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 33




Ignore
« Reply #233 on: July 17, 2012, 06:39:07 PM »

You may also consider the resale values of Taylor, Larrivee and Martin.  I do not believe that Larrivee would be the winner.
Logged

Taylor: GS6,12 Fr Cust,418E,214CE,GS Mini K,150E 12 st,214CE DLX;Guild:D50BG,F-20;Gallagher:Cust SG 65;Larrivee: 00-03MHVS,L-10, 00050TSB,L03ZW0,OM03MH0,SO40RWO,P03MHO,D-40 QM,0040 Pearl;Pimentel Classical;Martin: OMC FS1,DVM,D15MB; Yamaha: NTX1200R, CG 162C;Giannini: Craviola,Pro GC-2 MAH,classical Crav.;Gibson 1964 C-0; custom uke;EPI  DR 500MNS;
ewalling
Senior Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 381




Ignore
« Reply #234 on: July 17, 2012, 06:52:08 PM »

It has always seemed to me that what we are paying for is the craftmanship not the wood. If it takes, let's say, an hour to do a dove tail neck and five minutes to bolt one on, we shouldn't pay equally for that process.

On the occasions when I've forked out a fair amount on a guitar, I'm paying for quality, not man/woman-hours put in. I'm expecting a straight neck, a good neck-to-body angle, quality parts, a good balance between solidity and finesse in order to have strong guitar that also has a good tone. Exactly how the maker achieves those things and whether they demand painstaking craftsmanship or the mere pressing of a button is of less interest to me than that they are able to turn out a quality instrument at the other end.
Logged
Danny
Donuts?
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13137




Ignore
« Reply #235 on: July 17, 2012, 07:08:46 PM »

On the occasions when I've forked out a fair amount on a guitar, I'm paying for quality, not man/woman-hours put in. I'm expecting a straight neck, a good neck-to-body angle, quality parts, a good balance between solidity and finesse in order to have strong guitar that also has a good tone. Exactly how the maker achieves those things and whether they demand painstaking craftsmanship or the mere pressing of a button is of less interest to me than that they are able to turn out a quality instrument at the other end.
  Thats well put. I think we all want these items and hopefully the headstock has our favorite logo on it as well.
Logged

Too many guitars... But I keep thinking one more may just do it.
ducktrapper
Donuts?
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 10999




Ignore
« Reply #236 on: July 17, 2012, 07:35:03 PM »

  Thats well put. I think we all want these items and hopefully the headstock has our favorite logo on it as well.

And are both of you saying that the price has no bearing on this decision? Are both of you saying that if given a choice between two equal guitars and one is a fraction of the price, you wouldn't take the lesser priced one? If you are, well, carry on. If not, we get back to the point that I am so painfully trying to make and you are so assiduously trying to avoid. Very expensive guitars are very expensive because Ryan, Olson or Traugott build so few by hand. Less expensive yet high quality factory-made guitars should be judged not only by their end results but by how this factory process serves the consumer. If you're willing to pay Kevin Ryan prices for Bob Taylor's, Chris Martin's or Jean Larrivée's processes, you're crazy. However, if you're willing to accept savings through mass production, aren't you interested in how it's done, how these savings are realized and if they are passed on to you? Are we all rich?
Logged
jeremy3220
Gold Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4598




Ignore
« Reply #237 on: July 18, 2012, 03:44:59 AM »

Less expensive yet high quality factory-made guitars should be judged not only by their end results but by how this factory process serves the consumer.

I disagree. I'm not going to walk into a guitar shop and after finding a guitar I like ask the salesman for a breakdown of the factory process including man hours, how many robots were used, did someone with a well known name touch it,etc.

The end result serves the customer. Other than the end result, how does the factory process serve the consumer?
Logged

teh
Gold Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1414




Ignore
« Reply #238 on: July 18, 2012, 09:25:46 AM »

My son has a Taylor 214 (Solid wood all around) which plays and sounds sweet. My two Martins (Standard Series 35 models) were built 30 years apart: One mostly by hand and the other with many of the repetitive motion processes completed or enhanced by machinery being debated here but with a lot of hand fitting and tweaking. The bottom line is to my ear, eye and hand both sound, look and feel great  or I wouldn't have bought them. For my budget, they are my "high end" guitars. If money was no object, I would be calling on Linda Manzer or Jim Olson (The builder, not the cub reporter from the Daily Planet) to build me a custom guitar.

Since I live on the east coast, I won't be touring Larrivee or Taylor anytime soon. However, I have been to the Martin factory 10 times since 1976 and I am planning to go on Monday since I will be in the neighborhood and I will make sure I ask a few questions based on this thread while I am on the tour.

When I was a kid we traveled 12 miles to the Windy Hill Dairy Farm (owned by the President of Quaker State Oil) for milk every weekend and it was packaged in glass bottles. Even back in the 60's the process of milking cows had switched from an old guy in bib overalls using a stool, milk pail and two hands to an automatic milking machine and clear glass pipeline (Not unlike an oil refinery) to collect the milk to be pastuerized and homoginized. Today, I have to walk through aisles of processed food with additives, preservatives and artificial flavoring to get to the milk cooler in the back of the store and grab a gallon in a plastic bottle and doesn't taste as good as I remember. (When I am in Canada, I can even get it in plastic bags which never ceased to amaze my kids who thought it was cool). I paid $3.37 for a gallon of milk and $3.55 for a gallon of gas last night. Go figure.

The bottom line is: Don't overthink this too much. It appears that a number of people don't like Taylors and they just keep marketing, building and selling guitars in record numbers. They have a different business model than Larrivee, Martin or Gibson and it works for them.

Logged

TEH

Larrivee Parlor Flamed Maple
Larrivee LV-03 12 string w/ Mahogany Top 
Martin D-35 Shade Top
Martin OM-35 Sunburst
Martin 000-18 custom w/3 piece mahogany back, 12 fret slotted headstock
Martin Backpacker w/Nashville tuning
Oahu Square Neck
Danny
Donuts?
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13137




Ignore
« Reply #239 on: July 18, 2012, 01:32:24 PM »

            Take some pics of the Martin factory if you care to and we can see how they are building now.
  I think Taylor makes a good guitar overall. I have had only two, but they both were close to flawless. However they got to that level of build was to their credit, I would think.
            How they sound or look to an individual is all subjective. Many Taylors and Larrivees look very similar to me, unless you spot the headstock or the bridge. JCL and Bob Taylor tend to use different tonewoods at times but they still seem to be fruit from the same tree to me. But I didn't arrive at that conclusion after playing one or two at a store. I've owned many guitars, of many different logo's. I know I will not be applauded for saying these things, but it's the way I see it. Which of course doesn't mean a whole lot.

          The best guitar out there is the one you can bond with, play comfortably and be content in owning. Taylors can be that.
Logged

Too many guitars... But I keep thinking one more may just do it.
Pages: 1 ... 11 [12] 13   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to: