Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Taylor 810

The Taylor 810 is the Martin D 28's number one competitor in the US market for a full sized, solid wood construction, rosewood and spruce guitar. ....and I don't care what the Martin nuts, or anyone else says about Taylor guitars - they DO compete, and they do it very, very well.

I do NOT consider this guitar to be a copy of a Martin D 28, it's dimensions are different, and Taylor has it's own unique bracing system, and so their guitars are voiced differently than are Martins, and they do have their very own unique tonal characteristics (as do, in fact, every single last guitar ever made...) - and folks like myself can actually hear the difference between a Martin and a similar or competitive model by Taylor.

I've known about Taylor guitars for quite some time - longer than this guy who's put together this website that I'm going to link you to, but I do like his site, and ....basically, I just already like people that like acoustic guitars!

What you need to know is that though older guitars - played guitars, broke in guitars - always sound better than they did new, and that all Taylor guitars have always sounded great to begin with.....Taylor DID change their bracing provide even more volume than they already provided.  Taylor guitars, and I do mean this - are built for volume, tone, and clarity - they also happen to be beautiful.    Have a bit of a listen:

Now, I truly like this little clip up above, this guy is playing a fine old traditional blues tune that lots of folks play, but is especially associated with Doc Watson.  This guy isn't showing off himself at all here, he's playing at a very reasonable temp, playing loud and clear.  I think he's showing off his guitar, and as awesome as his Taylor 810 sounds - hell, I'm showing off his guitar too!

Now the Taylor 810 is a rosewood body, spruce top, and mahogany neck dreadnought of all solid wood, fourteen frets clear of the body - and with various and sundry combinations of rosewoods and spruce available - but as is standard for D 28 style guitars these days, we're primarily talking about Sitka Spruce, and East Indian Rosewood.

You can always identify a Taylor guitar by their distinctive pick guard shape, and by their trademark head stock shape - very fine instruments, one and all.

On the net I'm pricing these first rate studio or professional and serious amateur level dreadnoughts based on the Martin D 28 theme, but not the D 28 design used for around $1,300.00 - $1,900.00

I'm finding new ones for just under three thousand dollars.  Most Taylor guitars come with Fishman electronics - basically, they're ready to plug in, or play acoustic.

Obviously, if you find an older one that is Brazilian rosewood, or one that was custom ordered with a rare species of spruce for a soundboard - the prices will go higher.

Whenever someone asks me about buying used guitars - I tell them to find the ugly scratched up one that's got a straight neck, and sings like an angel - I'm into tone and play-ability -cosmetics or beauty on an instrument is just icing on a cake.


Togen said...

I own a 1986 Taylor 810, a 2012 Martin D28 and a 2008 Martin CD28 E. Frankly I love all 3 guitars. All 3 play and sound both different and great. I have found over the years that you can pick up a 1965 Gibson Hummingbird that plays and sounds completely dead, then move down the shelf and pick up a Yamaha FG180 that, despite being mostly plywood, plays and sounds just fine, sometimes no matter what the price, make and model, any particular guitar may sound great or lifeless, I am not sure if comparing a 28 year old Taylor to a two year old Martin is fair just because the wood has mellowed and warmed in those years. I had played a Guild for many years before I could afford my first Martin, but age seemed to have little or no effect on it, so I will go ahead despite the difference in age.
Buying the D28 was a no brainer. I had wanted one for years had played several in stores and at friends houses numerous times, One day I was old and now had the cash to buy one so I tried one out, it was everything they say it was, I bought it and was and never have been disappointed in it. If possible the CD28 E I bought a year later was even better, if that's possible, good luck in finding one Martin stopped making them, I have no idea why, but I promise you I would never sell it, so good luck.
I had for several years read a lot of insulting trash about Taylors on the net. When I told my guitar specialist I was considering getting one he gave me a worried look, and mumble something about the older models having problems with their necks.
A few weeks later I found the 1986 810 in a little pawn shop in the backwoods of Georgia. Its strings had turned brown and there were dust bunnies in the thing. I gave the neck a good going over, it was straight and solid. Then I played it. First it was easy to play, it actually seemed to be helping me play it. Even with old, I figured maybe twenty years since it had be restrung, It had a rich, bright voice and complex overtones, its voice was very different from the D28's sound. It was priced at half what I paid for the D28. Even at that I offered to do the pawn broker a favor and take it off his hands for a tad less, and it was mine.
I put new strings on it, Martin strings of course, and after a month I named it "Angel". Now I mostly play the 810. Of course when I am in a bluegrass state of mind I pull out the d28's and they are great guitars. I know they use different woods now and Taylor "invented" a factory style bolt on neck system that they sue now, odd we used to see bolt on necks as a sign of cheaper Japanese guitars, but I am old and my memory isn't what it used to be. But my experience is Taylor makes a great guitar.
My advice is if you should ever get old enough or rich enough or lucky enough, Get yourself a D28 and a Taylor and keep both, leave em to your children, but don't sell em, play em. . But when you go out to buy one or the other don't buy one till you find the one that you have played no matter what the label, make or model.

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