What has happened to Taylor?

Mike I

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I bought my first Taylor Acoustic, a 710, new in 1995. Loved it and still do. It has aged nicely and still can get a little chimmy, but has a really nice neck and plays so nice.

So last month I decided to buy a new 714CE. Been gassing for one for a long time, and wanted to try the new V class bracing, as Taylor promotes it like it's the perfect bracing for acoustics.

Was playing a beautiful 714, but must say I'm not a fan of the wooden pick guards. It sounded kind of muted and dull unless you really hit it hard. So the sales guy put new strings on it, which helped. I bought it. When I get home and play in my music room, again it just sounded muted. I kept looking in the sound hole to see if someone left a rag in it. My cheap Fender acoustic blew this thing away.

So two days later I take it back. Can't deal with it. I know this shop well and it's where I got the 710, and it's a mom and pop shop, so I don't want to just return it, so I start looking at the 814CE they had.

The 814 sounded like it should, and as I'm getting settled in and checking it out, they announce the store is closing soon and for at least a month due to Covid. Well it sounded better, so I paid 450 more and took the 814 home.

Get home, and continue checking out the 814, and I should have noticed in the store, but the action measured with my string height tool at the 12 fret was 8/64's. 1/8" if your prefer. My 710 sits at 6/64's which is perfect. The neck on the 814 was already flat, which means it'll need some saddle massaging when the shops open back up and I submit a warranty claim to Taylor. Not what I expect from a 3500 dollar guitar.

Then, two days after I bring the 814 home, I get an email from Taylor that If I buy a 300 series Taylor or better, you can get a Taylor GS mini for 99 bucks, Normally right around 500 bucks. I replied to that and said thanks, but I bought my 814 two days before the email, but it would have been nice to hit that deal.

Well a few days later I get a reply from Taylor that said, good news! Your request has been forwarded for review! I'm thinking ok, maybe there is a silver lining here to this mess. The a day later I get another email from Taylor. It said Yep! The 99 dollar Taylor offer is a great offer! But you don't qualify. Be safe. Hmm Ok. I really wasn't expecting to get the offer from the beginning, and even told of the 714 saga, but first they get my hopes up, then send a dear john letter.

So I think about that for a day or so, and them I write a letter to their customer service and outline the whole story, and state that I'm going to sell the 814, and that I just don't seem to be a match for their guitars any longer. The reply I got to that from their C/S Mgr. was, I won't make any excuses. Take care.

Hmmm. OK. I sold the 814 on Craigslist 2 days later, and I'm personally done with Taylor.

Not trying to bust their balls, and maybe I just got two bad Taylor's in a row. And maybe the C/S Rep and Mgr were having a bad week. Who knows.

But on the bright side, I took the Taylor funds, and bought a Dr. Z Z plus amp, and I've got my eye on a 1959 Gibson ES 125, and both together will be a direct replacement for the Taylor, cash wise.

I wish Taylor well in the future, it'll just be without me.

This is one of those things you just have to get off your chest.

Cheers!
 

Rhust

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idk man, I just bought my 717 from a local shop and it was perfect. play-ability is as good as a good electric, and better than most. I played martins, taylors, yamaha, and a PRS SE... the taylors were all very consistent. my shop didn't start the $99 taylor until the day after they shipped my 717... they immediately sent me a GS mini for the $99.

I can't speculate what happened with yours, but I love mine and did not have any of the issues you described.
 

Pappy58

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I bought my first Taylor Acoustic, a 710, new in 1995. Loved it and still do. It has aged nicely and still can get a little chimmy, but has a really nice neck and plays so nice.

So last month I decided to buy a new 714CE. Been gassing for one for a long time, and wanted to try the new V class bracing, as Taylor promotes it like it's the perfect bracing for acoustics.

Was playing a beautiful 714, but must say I'm not a fan of the wooden pick guards. It sounded kind of muted and dull unless you really hit it hard. So the sales guy put new strings on it, which helped. I bought it. When I get home and play in my music room, again it just sounded muted. I kept looking in the sound hole to see if someone left a rag in it. My cheap Fender acoustic blew this thing away.

So two days later I take it back. Can't deal with it. I know this shop well and it's where I got the 710, and it's a mom and pop shop, so I don't want to just return it, so I start looking at the 814CE they had.

The 814 sounded like it should, and as I'm getting settled in and checking it out, they announce the store is closing soon and for at least a month due to Covid. Well it sounded better, so I paid 450 more and took the 814 home.

Get home, and continue checking out the 814, and I should have noticed in the store, but the action measured with my string height tool at the 12 fret was 8/64's. 1/8" if your prefer. My 710 sits at 6/64's which is perfect. The neck on the 814 was already flat, which means it'll need some saddle massaging when the shops open back up and I submit a warranty claim to Taylor. Not what I expect from a 3500 dollar guitar.

Then, two days after I bring the 814 home, I get an email from Taylor that If I buy a 300 series Taylor or better, you can get a Taylor GS mini for 99 bucks, Normally right around 500 bucks. I replied to that and said thanks, but I bought my 814 two days before the email, but it would have been nice to hit that deal.

Well a few days later I get a reply from Taylor that said, good news! Your request has been forwarded for review! I'm thinking ok, maybe there is a silver lining here to this mess. The a day later I get another email from Taylor. It said Yep! The 99 dollar Taylor offer is a great offer! But you don't qualify. Be safe. Hmm Ok. I really wasn't expecting to get the offer from the beginning, and even told of the 714 saga, but first they get my hopes up, then send a dear john letter.

So I think about that for a day or so, and them I write a letter to their customer service and outline the whole story, and state that I'm going to sell the 814, and that I just don't seem to be a match for their guitars any longer. The reply I got to that from their C/S Mgr. was, I won't make any excuses. Take care.

Hmmm. OK. I sold the 814 on Craigslist 2 days later, and I'm personally done with Taylor.

Not trying to bust their balls, and maybe I just got two bad Taylor's in a row. And maybe the C/S Rep and Mgr were having a bad week. Who knows.

But on the bright side, I took the Taylor funds, and bought a Dr. Z Z plus amp, and I've got my eye on a 1959 Gibson ES 125, and both together will be a direct replacement for the Taylor, cash wise.

I wish Taylor well in the future, it'll just be without me.

This is one of those things you just have to get off your chest.

Cheers!
I've never really been a big fan of Taylor. I've never owned owned one, but one of my BFF's manages a small shop. He carries both Martin and Taylor, knows Bob Taylor etc... I've always been a Martin man and he tried to sell me on Taylor but to me they were inferior.....and their electronics were always an issue. Good luck with the new direction! Dr Z makes some killer amps. ! :cheers2:
 

Mike I

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idk man, I just bought my 717 from a local shop and it was perfect. play-ability is as good as a good electric, and better than most. I played martins, taylors, yamaha, and a PRS SE... the taylors were all very consistent. my shop didn't start the $99 taylor until the day after they shipped my 717... they immediately sent me a GS mini for the $99.

I can't speculate what happened with yours, but I love mine and did not have any of the issues you described.
Glad you got a good one, and they took care of a good customer.

I've been a strong promoter of Taylor for 25 years, and have steered numerous buyers to Taylor's, which they bought.

Like I said, maybe the stars and moon were not aligned for me that week, or not aligned for Taylor, but I'll work only just so hard to spend my hard earned money. After that it's time to back up and punt.
 

Mike I

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I've never really been a big fan of Taylor. I've never owned owned one, but one of my BFF's manages a small shop. He carries both Martin and Taylor, knows Bob Taylor etc... I've always been a Martin man and he tried to sell me on Taylor but to me they were inferior.....and their electronics were always an issue. Good luck with the new direction! Dr Z makes some killer amps. ! :cheers2:
Yea, once the stores open back up, I'm going to test drive some Martin 000-28's! :thumb:
 

Rhust

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drive a D18e too... man I was close to the D18e liked the tone of it better than the D28.
 

Mike I

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drive a D18e too... man I was close to the D18e liked the tone of it better than the D28.
Yea, I'll try the D-18 and 28, but I already have a Dreadnought with the Taylor 710. The 000-28 is a slightly smaller grand auditorium . I'll try several, as I'm going back to my tried and true mindset:

I'll let the guitar pick me, and not the other way around.

Should have done that with the Taylor, but in all fairness was a bit rushed by the virus closing the store.
 

matthew bear

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Once upon a time I had a 416 (jumbo) and it was awesome...

The only Taylor’s I’ve ever liked tone wise were the 410 and 416, the other models sound super brash and tinny to me. Traded the Taylor away for a Orville LP, no regrets :D
 

spoony

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I spent 2011 and 2012 looking for an acoustic. In the summer of 2011 the local GC had a passel of amazing Gibson acoustics but the time wasn't right for me. All the Taylor's I tried out seemed like they were well built but just ended up sounding thin to me? I know sound is subjective from one person to the next but something about them reminded me of an old Silvertone I once had.

August 2012 I made up my mind to buckle down and get it done. I spent a lot of time in the acoustic rooms, of different shops, just listening. I would noodle around with different guitars, walk away, return in a few hours, sometimes a few days later and play those same guitars again.

The guitars that I kept coming back to was the Martin OM 28V. For me it ended up being between a couple different OM 28Vs. All the ones I played seemed exceptional and I ended up buying a 2012. It has the same body size as the OOO but with a longer scale length and I preferred the sound over the OOO. Don't think Martins making them, shame, anymore though.

If I had to do my search all over I would go back to that summer that GC had all those Gibson's just to have that experience once again. I've spoken about this with the manager a few times and he has acknowledged that they received a pretty exceptional batch and there hasn't been anything like it since.

That said I am so thankful for the Martin! I have played some beautiful guitars but the OM ended up being just right!

Happy hunting.

s
 
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Barnaby

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I've had various acoustics on my bench for different players and my experience is that Taylors are consistent but bland. If that's what you're after, I find Takamine to be a bit more bang for the buck, and the electronics are better. The Martins I've encountered are a bit less consistent, but have generally been a step up.

Then again, maybe I'm being unfair to Taylor. I've had a few high-end luthier-made guitars come in for work over the years and played many more here in Tokyo, and such instruments tend to throw off one's perception of how a 'normal' guitar should sound and feel.
 

Mike I

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After I posted this I started thinking about the 4 Taylor's I've owned, and all had factory issues.

The finish on the back of the neck and head stock of my 710 is turning milky colored.

My T-5 had electronic issues and a bad neck pup after 2 weeks.

The 714 sounded like ass.

And the 814 needed bridge/saddle work.

Yep, I'm done with Taylors.
 

spoony

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Taylors always seemed overly bright to me.

Martins on the other hand seem to have a more earthy wood tone in general which IMHO is a characteristic of a good acoustic.
Yeah kind of bright sound. I was going to say tinny in my original post but that sounded kind of harsh!

Pun intended. :rofl:

I know a lot of people love their Taylors, but I just didn't find them pleasant too the ear.

s
 

Mike I

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The 814 was way more Tinny, there I'll say it, than my 710.

Sounded like it was being played through a Twin Reverb with the treble dimed.

Martin sounds much more woody, as someone pointed out, and natural.

Shame on me really for just blindly following brand loyalty, and not taking my time to try the new Martins, Yamaha's, etc.

Even if it means trying ones I would not normally consider.

Which supports my Mantra, that I didn't follow, and that's to let the guitar pick me!
 

efstop

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Taylors have never appealed to me, not even enough to try one. When I was ready to buy I had already decided on a Gibson, but which one? The only Martin I like was the '74 D-35 I sold many years ago.

I played a walnut bodied J-15. Way too bright.
Next was a mahogany bodied J-35. Better, but no D-35.
Then I played the J-29 with a rosewood body. I found what I wanted, with a shorter scale than a Martin but with all the warmth. I bought an NOS 2014 for less than half the cost of a D-28.

I still wouldn't consider a Taylor, but then I don't need any more acoustics.
 
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you ended up in the wrong section of the acoustic room, Should have began and ended your quest where the Martins start and finsih!


Lol, on a serious note maybe you just got dud or have been unlucky? the few taylors ive played recently at GC were nice on the ear?

MAybe it needed new strings?

I member a saying an old Cat that went by River would say around here, "if you think your guitar/ sound isnt right/good its time to change the strings"!

it was something to that affect but always rang true.

Good luck in your search!
 

Mike I

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As I mentioned in the op, they replaced the strings on the 714, and the 814 needed bridge work.

2 duds.
 


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