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Author Topic: Tacoma Guitars  (Read 10967 times)
alieu
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« on: December 13, 2005, 04:50:57 AM »

Hi Guys,

I was just wondering, what's the consensus on Tacoma guitars....specifically the C1C chief.  I'm gonna be able to try one soon and it's on a great deal right now.  The solid woods , small body, 1-3/4 nut, and the offset sound hole just look very appealling to me.  How can you describe the sound compared to a more traditional central soundhole?

As well, in your opinion, where does Tocoma fall within the Guitar Brand Heiarchy???  Basically what other brands are they comparable to?  Unfortunately, I'm not the most familiar with this brand.

Thanks for looking and I appreciate any replies.
Andrew
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« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2005, 02:56:19 PM »

I had a Tacoma EKK19C, which was excellent. The only problem I have with Tacoma's, and a prime reason for selling it, was the number of photo's of their guitars with finish lifting off the guitar problems. Not saying every guitar has that, but it seemed to be more prevelent on theirs versus Taylor, Larrivee, Martin, etc.

Saying all of that I would like one of their baritones and a mandolin.

Andy
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« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2005, 03:42:06 PM »

I have owned maybe eight or ten Tacoma's.....the finish problems stated above were from a very small window one year when they were having some humidity problems (from what I am told anyway)   There were probably a lot of guitars built then, so you see one now and then with the "finish lifting" problem.    Some of the instruments I had (mostly dreads) had an impressive voice initially, then after I had them for a while, they started sounding rather "mechanical" for lack of better terms.....I think it may have something to do with the innovative bridge etc.   They are loud and sound pretty good out of the gate, but I never ended up keeping one because there was a certain quality that I have a hard time articulating in words that they all seemed to have....kind of a hard, non woody sound.    That's my story......by the way, there is a Tacoma Forum:

http://www.aimoo.com/forum/freeboard.cfm?id=542897&NoCaches=Yes

I'm sure the opinions you will get there will be a little more biased ^_^
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« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2005, 03:45:08 PM »

I just bought a Tacoma Roadking RMM9 (all mahogany).  It is in transit to me.  As you probably know, it is a similar style to the Chief (a "wings" model), except it is dreadnought size.  I'll let you know what I think of it when I receive it.  Hopefully, it will arrive before the end of the week.  Otherwise, I will not be able to play it until after Christmas.

Guitar hierarchy?  They have a solid reputation of producing a quality solid wood (in most cases) guitar for a relatively low price.  Funny, that is one of the main reasons I was attracted to Larrivee.  The fact that Tacomas are made in the USA is also appealing to me.  I think the acquisition by Fender raises lots of questions.  Based on initial feedack on the Tacoma Forum (and a recent plant tour), it sounds like the devotees believe that it will not have a negative impact on the brand.  It may even have a positive impact...it remains to be seen.
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« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2005, 03:47:53 PM »

Tacoma Guitars is an example of a good company that tried to grow way too fast (thank you Larrivee for not doing this) and got in over their head. In addition to finish problems, a number of their instruments needed neck resets right out of the factory.  If you are looking at a new one, then neither of these issues should be a problem.  The company was purchased by Fender last year.

E. Shoaf
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« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2005, 07:27:59 PM »

I know several people with Tacomas.  All have been happy with them.  The one's I've played (DR-20 and a mahogany jumbo), have been top-notch.  I like their neck profile.

If you want hear a DR-20 go here: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/berchtold (don't feel obligated to buy...)

Most songs have lead guitar, and nearly all the leads are done on a DR-20.  I think it sounds great, but I guess I'm a bit biased.  The lead player's a good friend of mine.
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« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2005, 07:54:39 PM »

The Tacoma plant is now producing Guild guitars.  Recently I played a couple of Guild jumbos right out the factory.  They were both superbly made and sounded great.

So I would think that the Tacoma line should be well constructed.
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« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2005, 08:04:07 PM »

Unless the guilds came from China.

Andy
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« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2005, 08:04:10 PM »

I had a RoadKing a while back.  Solid spruce top with lam mahogany back and sides.  That guitar was fantastic.  Got it for $325 and traded it in for $300 almost 3 years latter.  Still, wish I had kept it.  I would have no problems getting another Tacoma in the future.

-josh
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« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2005, 10:26:30 PM »

I had a Tacoma Chief a few years back.Ended up trading it in after I noticed a few small cracks in it. I had little knowledge about humidity at the time. It was a nice sounding guitar but it never blew me away. The neck just didnt seem right for me-think it seemed a little wide. Also never quite warmed up to its looks including the cutaway, offset soundhole and the bolts on the back . I have heard a lot of positive things from other Tacoma owners with only a few negatives. The company itself reminded me a little of Larrivee, though as mentioned I think they tried to grow to quickly, and thier guitars had more of limited appeal due to bridge shape, etc.
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« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2005, 10:32:52 PM »

Based on feedback I have gotten on the Tacoma Forum, the necks on the Chiefs and the Roadkings are 1 3/4".  However, they are thin (in terms of depth).  I have seen them described several times as feeling like the neck on an electric guitar.  Some people seem to love it, a few don't care for it.
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« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2005, 12:16:22 AM »

I owned a Tacoma Koa Parlor at one time. I didn't mind the nut width or the shape of the neck. So far, the best neck as far as shape goes to Guild. It's fat, but not overboard.
I also understand that the finish issues with Tacoma were very limited and I would get their tranferable warranty on any guitar I bought.
Good luck,
Fred
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« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2005, 03:25:58 AM »

Obviously I am biased, but I don't believe in fluff either. Tacoma nearly went defunct due to shoddy QA and horrible marketing. Thier finish recipe was crap for a while and way too thick. Serious adhesion problems. All legitimate warranties were honored though and they refinished Lord knows how many. I have a re-finished DR20 and it is perfect. That is all in the past thank goodness and the finish process has been totally re-vamped with new procedures and a thinner finish. Being bought by FMIC has given them some badly needed capitol and they are once again rolling to stock dealers.

Come visit us at www.tacomaguitarforum.com

As for the Chief, I like the body style and the cutaway is sweet. They are very comfortable guitars to play. The body is thin, so it isn't a boomer. To me it has a sweet sounding grand concert feel to it. Plugged in it is great-sounding and rather versatile. Peter Frampton tours with a Chief and it sounds incredible live.  One thing is for sure, Tacomas are unique! Different body styles, soundholes, bridges, headstocks, bracing, etc..  Here is my current stable. 1999 DR20, 2004 EMM30 Forum Guitar & 2004 C1CE7 Chief

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« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2005, 03:29:10 AM »

Nice looking stable, Bigmo.  Dig that mahogany top!  Every had a chance to compare it with a Larrivee OM-03 or 05 hog top? 
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« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2005, 03:44:50 AM »

Nice looking stable, Bigmo.  Dig that mahogany top!  Every had a chance to compare it with a Larrivee OM-03 or 05 hog top? 

The EMM30 is a heavier guitar and not quite as "lively" as an OM03MT, but is no slouch either. With new strings (not unlike many all-hogs) it sounds like a piano and has a great bluesy-punchy sound. These are flat-out gorgeous and truly rare. We had 10 made for the forum and I have #1!





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« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2005, 04:06:23 AM »

 bigmo all I can say is    .Very pretty.
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« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2005, 08:54:42 AM »

I had a Tacoma DM9 for a while before I sold it because needed the money.  By far, the best for the money.  I got that guitar for around 300 used, and sold it for about that much used.  It sounded rich and clean, but lacked complexity.  Of course, it was a low-end model.  I once played a Jumbo Koa at Sam-Ash in Hollywood that sounded amazing!

Overall, I agree that Tacoma had great guitars, but needed to improve a bit on the "business" side of things.  Too many models, in my opinion.  I really like how Larrivee keeps it relatively simple with its lineup, although I think their had to cutback on their lineup as well in years past.

This sort of thing is interesting to me since I'm studying business, and would like to be involved in guitar production in the future.
I believe Tacoma will spring back and continue to make great guitars at a great price.
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« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2005, 02:02:31 PM »

Like Larrivee, I see Tacoma as solidly made "working musician's" guitar. I've played a couple of DM9s (comparable to a D03) that were exceptional examples of that wood combination. A musician friend of mine has 3 Tacomas of various types. My favorite is mini jumbo spruce/rosewood 12 string. I've also played a Thunderchief that was pretty cool...

The local Guild dealer has several of the Tacoma made Guilds including a D-55. It's very cleanly made and has the Guild sound and feel.

Re the finish issue--I've heard that they are still doing refinishes, even for non-original owners.
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« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2005, 01:35:39 PM »

I agree, they are nice guitars and the one I had certainly had a nice neck which was exceedingly smooth and easy to play. It was just the finish concerns which made me sell mine. I just got an email where they are raffling off a custom Papoose all black. Looks really nice, go to their web site to enter. I still wouldn't mind getting their baritone and possibly a maple mandolin.

Andy
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« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2005, 05:27:59 PM »

Ring Music in Toronto was blowing out a lot of old stock last month, including quite a few Tacomas at really amazing prices.  I played a bunch and liked the sounds.  One thing I noticed is that the dreads all felt very light compared to my D-03R -- which isn't especially heavy, but just feels a bit more substantial to me.
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