Ive been shopping around for a guitar recently. Im looking for something under 1500. Whenever I play a Taylor (lets say a 214ce) it sounds like a Piano compared to a martin (even martins in the 2k range). (played back to back). However, everytime I watch a live performance of someone playing a martin It sounds better than a Taylor recorded. Is this because guitar centers stock martins with MED and Taylors with LIGHTS? I really want a Martin and am trying to get blown away by one, but in person if I play a Taylor right after... it always sounds better.

Im leaning toward buying the Taylor 214ce, should I not buy this because it has lamenate back and sides? Should I go with a Martin? (I strum and Pick strings Mainly, Dont finger Pick too often) Thanks for the input.
Last edited by redwar1 at Aug 20, 2013,
I hear in shops Taylors are strung with Elixers and Martins with Martins. Any other factors?
Taylors trend tward being bright, while Martins have a warmer sound.

Played solo, the brighter Taylor is probably more attention grabbing.

But the recording process tends to sand off a bit of transient attack and high end. I suspect recording engineers are EQing the Taylors into the mix as they see fit as well.

You don't always need a strident acoustic guitar, but OTOH, it could help to have a bit of sparkle to give away.

I don't know that I'd select a guitar on how you're perceived the recordings to sound. If the Taylor speaks to you, go with that. They do seem to be grabbing more and more market share as time goes on.

The better Takamines are excellent stage instruments. You could test out a couple of those to round out your shopping experience.

The difference between the sound of brass strings (any 80/20 alloy), and phosphor bronze is fairly dramatic. So there, the question becomes , "which type of Elixirs, as opposed to which types of Martins". The body type and material can affect string alloy choice as well.

I did read an article about strings at Musician's Friend, that addressed itself directly to the issue of Taylor brightness. An owner claimed the his Taylor's top end was a little too extreme for some types of material, (great for acoustic shredding, but lousy for a good chunky rhythm), and recommended toning it down a bit with, (I believe but ???), some type of DR brand strings.

Fender is going for twang even with their acoustics and do ships them with a bright 80/20 brass string. Ibanez and many others, go for the more subdued phosphor bronze approach.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Aug 20, 2013,
taylors don't sound better than martins to me - maybe you just like taylors, but when a recording engineer tweaks martins in recordinds, whatever you don't like about them is changed. or maybe it's because the strings on taylors are elixers, which keep their freshness longer - maybe the places you play have old crusty strings on their martins, keep the store (s) too humid or not humid enough.

the best recordings i've heard of martin guitars, they sound just like they do in the stores i play them in, and that can be a good thing.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
i think myself that it's a tonal style differential. taylors tend to have a "newer" more progressive sound characteristic while the martins still sound bluesy. the bluesy sound satisfies the more traditional players.
i have both brands and love each for what they do/are.
over on the AGF forum there have been a few threads asking about what brand of guitar you like and your age. it seems that the younger players tend to gravitate toward the sound of taylors and older players stay with the sound that they are most used to.
need more gear and a lot more talent(courtesytuxs)