I'm asking for an acoustic-electric for Christmas... I want a nice one. Somewhere around 2k probably. I'm debating between an Alvarez Yairi and a Taylor. Which would you prefer, and why?
Either is a fine choice. Doesn't really matter what we prefer, does it? It's all about you.

I've actually never thoroughly enjoyed a Taylor in my life, to be completely honest. They just sound too refined and precise to me. I want passion, not engineering. That's just me though.

As for the Yairi, I've never played an Alvarez. They're hard to find up here in Toronto. However, being Japanese, I can assure you that the build quality will be just as good, if not better than the Taylor. Guaranteed.
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well with Taylor you can try the CE714 at around that price...but i think they are 2700$, the CE714 Taylor is what i use...of course before you spend that amount of cash, be sure to invest in some humidifier type stuff...having a 2k priced acoustic can feel like you are on thin ice when using it...for example....

i slowly.....sloooooowwlly take it off the stand...
i always check the neck straightness...
slooooowwwwwwwly place it back on the stand...

all this because i love the sound and i doubt i will be able to afford a 2k acoustic ever again lol.

great acoustic though.
I've compared the sound between both the Taylors and the Alvarez/Yairis, and to my ears, the Yairi's blow the Taylors away. I've got two guitar dealers in my town, one stocking new Taylors, the other has Alvarez. So I go to both and from time to time sample their goodies.
The Yairi's are truely fantastic guitars. Now, there's another option that you should be considering, and that's Larivee. This is another of those brands of guitars. The one I played around on at the music store a couple weeks ago sounded as good if not better than either of the other two brands.
Oh and here's a little tidbit of info for you in regards to Yairi. K. Yairi has an excellent supply of tone woods which he has collected over the years and is seasoning as we speak. His father used to be a luthier before him, and he inherited the whole shebang from him. Some of those woods are already 60-70 yrs old, and not even made into guitar soundboards yet! Imagine buying a "new" guitar and having it sound like a seasoned, old timer right away!
Another aspect of the Yairi's that I like is the fact that they are all handmade the old fashioned, traditional way. Taylor, while great guitars, has gone the route of many of the big ones and become assembly line made, to be able to compete in the mass production market. Yairi has not. So say you wanted a DYM500 Yairi. You'll have to wait a minimum of 6 months to get it. Special order only.
I remember a night that I was at a party and some hot chick asked if I could play the song Tangerine. I looked down and realized that there was an Alverez 12 string guitar in front of me. I strummed those first few measures and the sound filled the room with aesthestic clarity. I looked at the girl and she was bitting down on her bottom lip. If you have a budget of 2k, check out an Alverez 12 string, damnit.
Yairi's tonewoods are ridiculously good. They season their woods in the natural wind blowing across the japanese hillside and also use the "aging" process. They stick the woods into a room and blast different types of music at the soundboards. (I watched a documentary, ahaha)

As for the Larrivees... I really like their low end guitars like the 3 to 5 series, but anything in the higher end that I've played, I haven't enjoyed. My friend has a D10 special edition. Don't remember which one, but I really don't like playing it.
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
i think my sig says enough but...

i picked up by dy61 at a pawn shop for $170 but when i compare it to many high end guitars (taylor, martin, gibson) it easily beats out most $2k guitars. The playability, the sound, and the LOOKS are outstanding. Everytime i pick up my Yairi i fall in love again, and i marvel at its beauty. I'm not a fan of assembly line guitars, so Taylors are out for me.

As for Larivee, i haven't seen many around but the ones I've played i really enjoy.

Hope whatever you choose you love playing!
When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix

Yairi DY-61 and I don't need anything else
^What the? Only $170? They could have easily gotten over $1000 for that guitar, assuming it's in good shape. You got a steal of a deal. Some of the DY61's out there are going for about $1500 atm.