Is an 88 Vintage Taylor 810 worth more than a new one?


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11-16-2008, 01:44 PM
My guitar shop here in china is selling a used vintage Taylor 810 for around 3000 US. I think that is a bit more than what a new one would cost. The dealer said that the wood was different in 1988. Is there any validity do this?


11-16-2008, 05:36 PM
Actually an 810 new is around 3000 US. I don't know much about vintage Taylors, though. Not sure about the wood quality/woods used. Sorry.

11-16-2008, 05:38 PM
Well, it might be the same kind of wood that they still use, but the one from 1988 will probably sound sweeter. It's already been aged for 20 years.

11-16-2008, 06:05 PM
Even if the wood was of a higher quality than now, there should be no reason to warrant such a high price. It is OLD, meaning that its price has to have depreciated. Anything used will depreciate in value, and a Taylor 800 series is by no means a collectors item.

Of course, I could be wrong, but generally speaking... the price should not be that high.

11-16-2008, 11:30 PM
I'm no expert on vintage (read: used) Taylor's either, but I think that price is WAY too high.


11-16-2008, 11:51 PM
Actually, I think I read somewhere that Taylor had an overhaul in the mid 90s and started using different woods because they were trying to be eco friendly. However, they replaced it with woods with near-exact tonal qualities. I don't remember where I read it, but I did.

Either way though, that is WAY too much for a used guitar, well, for that one anyway. Even 2000 is too high.

11-17-2008, 05:43 PM
I think 88 was the last year Taylor made the guitars completely by hand, but I'm not aware of any other changes. You might think the 88 and older guitars would be worth more because they are hand made, but I've actually always heard that the 89 and forward guitars are higher quality.

11-18-2008, 04:20 PM
wow great advice guys. looks like i will try to find a good new one as i am absolutely in love with it's neck. does anyone have other suggestions for my first REAL acoustic guitar?

11-18-2008, 05:22 PM
how much can you spend?

11-18-2008, 11:11 PM
i would like to spend around 1500 if that buys me a quality guitar. is taylor the way to go if i already love the neck of an 810?

11-18-2008, 11:30 PM
I'm not sure if you can get a 300 series Taylor over there for that price, but the neck should be the same.

You should try the Epiphone Masterbilt guitars. They're made in China and are excellent quality. Under $1000, but the quality can definitely compete with anything under $2000.

11-19-2008, 12:28 AM
I dunno if i will like a masterbilt because of the neck. i have never been fond of gibson necks. will it be the same? i am looking at the 310 taylor right now and seeing if that is the right fit. i am not sure what the difference is between that and a 800 so i will be searching UG all day today

11-19-2008, 12:34 AM
Well...the first answer is "no". There's nothing intrinsic about a 'vintage' Taylor that would make it worth as much as a new one.

I would qualify this by stating that, IF it has survived the extreme humidity of Asian countries in general without bowing it's top, popping any glue joints or just generally sounding like cardboard, and IF it is in mint condition, and IF it sounds and plays like your dream guitar, then it might be worth trying to negotiate the price down to something closer to your comfort level.

The woods in all Taylor guitars, with the exception of their newer laminated models, are of the highest quality, and a Taylor from that time is indeed an all hand-made guitar. These are serious guitars.

I had a friend who bought a nice, higher-end Taylor in Singapore from a shop that was going out of business...I think he paid about $500usd for this guitar, BUT...the guitar was totally saturated with moisture just from hanging in the store. He took appropriate measures to return the guitar to its correct moisture content after weighing the guitar for the sake of comparison. After the guitar was sufficiently dried out, he weighed it again and calculated that it'd had approximately TWO CUPS of water in was that much lighter in weight. This was just absorbed into the guitar from hanging in a shop in Singapore.

Oh and, BTW...he also had to have the neck reset after everything shrank back down.

11-19-2008, 12:36 AM
I'm not a fan of Gibsons either. The Masterbilt was very comfortable to me though. I found the guitar to be especially comfortable for fingerpicking. I'm also a Taylor neck lover, but I just don't like the sound of Taylors. Hence, why I don't have one.

The difference between a 300 series and the 800 series is..
1. The woods(quality and species)
2. Visual appointments
3. Build quality(although all 300 series and up taylors are well built)
4. Bracing patterns
5. Other small details(saddle/nut materials, etc)

11-19-2008, 12:50 AM

Thanks for the suggestions. Maybe he thinks the hand mad quality of the guitar makes up for the price? I live in beijing so its not as humid as singapore but it does get EXTREMELY dry here. As in my walls crack every 3 years because of the disparity between a somewhat humid summer and a bone dry winter. Is this something to consider when buying my guitar? humidifiers all around? my ovation has kept up ok as well as my crap yamaha but maybe i should do a bit more of thinking when it comes tot his...


good to hear that the necks might be different. i do think the taylor is a bit bright sounding but for finger picking (which is what i am learning) it might be the right sound. i will mos def check out the masterbilt. Looks are important to me as well because i will be on stage performing with it. i know it sounds vain but i am a pop singer here in china and it pays the bills. but playability first!

11-19-2008, 01:00 AM
Dry climates are the more common problem with guitars and will cause a whole different set of troubles (cracks, protruding fret-ends separated glue joints/bindings, etc) if the guitar hasn't been kept properly humidified all it's life. They do make in-case and sound-hole humidifiers that will maintain your guitar's humidity.

Ovations are known for being especially resistant to humidity problems due to their construction/materials, although a better one with a solid top can still have the top develop cracks and warpage due to dryness. As far as a "crap" Yamaha goes, if anyone cares, these are also resistant due to the fact that it's probably made of plywood and will outlast all of us.

11-19-2008, 01:16 AM
ok so i should invest in one of those humidifiers that looks like a shoe horn kinda thing. my solid top has warped a bit. its seems like the bridge has "pulled" some of the wood up a bit. my tech said there was nothing i could do about it.

11-19-2008, 01:17 AM
oh and does that mean i have to get a BETTER taylor like a 410 510 or 810 because it will stand the weather conditions better? or do you think the build quality should be good for all taylors 310 and up?

11-19-2008, 01:31 AM
No. Any acoustic guitar made of solid wood are equally susceptible to humidity and it's effects.

All taylors have decent build quality. What I was trying to get at is that they probably take more time to ensure absolute perfection on their more expensive models.

I'm going to take a wild guess, but your Yamaha is probably a solid top, right? Laminate wouldn't belly up. It's too stiff. Humidity doesn't affect laminate nearly enough to let it belly up like that. Or... that's what I'm guessing at least.

11-19-2008, 02:13 AM
There are some things that a really good luthier can do to mitigate a bowed top, however I doubt that the cost would be justified, considering your characterization of this as a "crap Yamaha". This is the kind of effort and expense that could be justified in restoring a vintage Martin, et al.

All of the "better" guitars...those with solid woods, are much MORE susceptible to climate extremes and they require more care, especially with regard to managing humidity. A $4000 acoustic can be quickly transformed into a planter box by the same conditions that would leave an 'EL KABONG' guitar untouched.

11-19-2008, 06:42 AM
whoops should have said it was my ovation that was bowing. the Yamaha has no signs of warping yet. my crap yamaha just meant that it was my beginner guitar... its not a terrible guitar to be honest. just not the QUALITY that i now understand... nonetheless, the journey goes on