#1
Though I've been playing on and off for something like 15 years, I still feel like I'm very much a beginner when it comes to technical, recording, and brand/model knowledge and stuff, so please bare with me

So I currently have a Taylor GS Mini and I've been mostly happy with it, but I'm a bit concerned/unhappy with a few things.

Mainly, it's that I can't plug it into an amp. Now, I'm not a gigger or traveler, but I really would like to start recording. I do a gaming stream on twitch.tv and so for that I have already purchased a Blue Yeti microphone and a pop filter, which I understand, isn't the best, but I am on a pretty tight budget. Also, for the eventual-goal of doing some music recording, I picked up a Mexican made Fender Strat, a Yamaha THR-10 acoustic/electric amp, and a Yamaha P45 digital piano. I haven't been touching the electric or the piano much at all, so I'd really love to start trying to record some music and use them to add a little flare to my songs, so on that note, my next thought is, "How do I record my acoustic?" My Taylor doesn't have pickups and the guy at the store said it'd cost me $150-200 to have them install them on it,

so that's concern #1: I spent $400 for this guitar and would like to avoid spending ~50% its price for a modification.
And concern #2 is: the same guy(s) at the guitar shop in Boulder, CO that uses Martin for their main guitar. They like to say that they went with Martin instead of Taylor because the former are much thicker and more resistant to heat/cold and low humidity. Is this true? Should this be something I worry about? I did buy a small gauge and yeah, my room would fluctuate between like 15% and 25%. I've been using a crappy humidifier and hanging wet towels since (again, $$... ) and I can usually keep it around 25% - 35%.

And so, that's got me looking at other guitars. Specifically, a non-Taylor acoustic/electric. The Martin Performing Artists series looks amazing, and I'm even looking into some synthetic instruments so I don't have to worry about the heat/humidity stuff at all, and if I could get $400 for this guitar, spend 500-600 on a new(er) one, then I feel like that would be win-win and give me a bit more peace of mind regarding its longevity.

Specifically, there's someone in my area who is selling a used Martin GPCPA5 for $570. He's the only owner and he says it's in great shape. Is that a good price? What do you all think, do I have the right idea with this stuff or has the shop lead me down the wrong path?

Thanks so much!!
-Andy
#2
I personally would stick with the Taylor, no contest at all in my mind. The reason is that the Taylor has a fully bolt-on neck that can very easily be reset by any tech, including amateurs such as myself. That means that if your low humidity causes problems, it stands a lot more chance of being easily fixable than it would with the Martin, which has a glued neck joint. Glued joints typically cost about $500 to reset.

Regardind a pickup, I would be thinking about a magnetic soundhole type - but get one with adjustable pole pieces!
#3
I guess you could pull a microphone close to the guitar like the old timers did back in the old, old days.
#4
Well, a few points. If I were a shopkeeper, I would be trying to sell you what I:
1: Had in stock
2: Whichever whatever, had the higher profit margin
3: Something which sells itself by reputation
4: The instant & convenient testimonial, "I play one of these myself". (Which makes the seller prejudiced, as much as accurate).

The offer of the Martin seems to offer most, or all, of these criteria.

From where I sit, the only step-up Taylor series you have the funds for are the 1xx "Mexi-Taylors". Not a problem, they're great sounding and very popular guitars. Plus, you already have a Taylor, which makes you accustomed to the company's sound philosophy. That sonic profile follows, more or less" throughout Taylors line. Basically, a 110e or 114e, would give you what you already have, but with bass in abundance. In short, a much fuller, but similar sound spectrum.

One thing about Taylor's pricing, the electronics are in most of the 1xx series, but the cutaway on some of the models is $100.00 more, in and of itself. This differs from the bulk of mid-line acoustic electrics, in that the electronics and cutaway are both included in the step up package, at around the same $100.00 option price.

It's not a big deal. If your acoustic playing doesn't require a cutaway, simply don't spring for one.

Were I the one to be doing this deal, I would opt for the 114 series, "Grand Auditorium", over the 110 "dreadnought". The dread will have more, but possibly sloppier bass, while the GA will have somewhat less bass, but it will be tighter.

In general, I prefer large body guitars with a waist. "Jumbo", "grand auditorium", "grand symphony", "0000", whatever, call them what you will, they're all styles with a definable waist. (That's what helps control the guitar's bass).
#5
i, too, like the 114, but although you could look at the $150 or so to add electronics to the GS mini from a standpoint of 50% of the cost of the original purchase, you could look at it as the cheapest way now to be able to plug in. if you really like your GS mini, that's what i'd suggest. or you could install the pickup yourself and save some bucks.

martins thicker and better able to withstand temp changes? i think not, and you know what? martin thinks not, too - they won't ship in certain heat and cold periods when they do warranty work. plus i've handled a lot of martins and taylors and had friends who owned a lot, and there's no difference between them except that if you're talking about a martin X series, you can't easily fix the HPL back and sides - fixing normal laminate is much easier. a laminate b&s guitar like the GS mini or 114 is going to withstand humidity changes a little better than an all solid guitar, but there are limits - i've seen all lam guitars that cracked due to dryness.

i used to have a composite acoustics cargo, which is a carbon fiber guitar. if you don't want to worry about humidity, you can't beat 'em. the blackbird rider is a great sounding smaller guitar to my ear, probably my favorite of all of the carbon fiber guitars. i wasn't happy with emerald. rainsongs are a little bright for my taste, but the owner of the company is super cool (he sometimes posts at AGF, and is very responsive to suggestions).

you could get hard case for your mini and keep a sponge/soap box humidifier in the case.

what - if anything - don't you like about the tone or feel of your GS mini?
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#6
Wow, amazing answers all around but quite a bit for me to digest all at once. I hope it's ok if I take some time to read, think about and respond to intelligently.

I will just quickly say that I also looked at the 114ce extensively and it's in that same camp of ~200 more than what I currently have so it definitely is an option for me.

Thanks again for all the thoughts everyone. I'll be responding more thoroughly soon!

-Andy
#7
Just wanted to pitch in my two cents on guitar brands/vendors. I know a dealer in town and his shop carries decent stuff. He sells Rainsong, some CA models, and wood guitars by Fender, Godin, Seagull, Larrivee and Martin. I asked him one time why he didn't carry Taylor and he told me that since we're in a desert he'd be worried about humidity concerns. Really? What the hell does he think the rest of those guitars are made of?
#8
^^^^^ The Taylors mentioned in this thread have laminated b&s, so are in the same kind of risk class as the Martin under discussion regarding what might happen to the body. The easy repairability of the neck joint is what separates Taylor from all the rest of the non-synthetics.
Last edited by Tony Done at Jun 20, 2016,
#9
Quote by Tony Done
^^^^^ The Taylors mentioned in this thread have laminated b&s, so are in the same kind of risk class as the Martin under discussion regarding what might happen to the body. The easy repairability of the neck joint is what separates Taylor from all the rest of the non-synthetics.


not really. martin's HPL is - according to several luthiers i've spoken with and some i talked to online - virtually unfixable. i do know one luthier that works on it. standard laminate is much easier - they all work on it and say it isn't a problem.

aren't there a couple other bolt-on necks? i know taylor has a proprietary neck joint, but i'm sure other acoustics have a not-much-harder to work with bolt on, no?
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#10
Yes, quite a few luthiers and boutiques do bolt-ons, eg Bourgeois, Collings, but none that I know of are cheap and none have the simplicity of the Taylor system. LaSiDo (eg Seagull) used to have a fairly simple bolt-on, but now they use epoxy. I'm waiting for the day when the Chinese do a bolt-on neck. I would be really interested to know if they are already here.

I might suggest it to my mate, who is selling his own importer brand. The factory he gets them from seems pretty capable, they can do things like front and back body bevels, so if they can get the CNC program....
#11
Quote by patticake
aren't there a couple other bolt-on necks? i know taylor has a proprietary neck joint, but i'm sure other acoustics have a not-much-harder to work with bolt on, no?
It seems that once upon a time, Fender did!

I also thought that, 'once upon a time", Carvin's import line of acoustics, "Cobalt" (now discontinued), may have had bolt on necks as well! (That's a huge "IIRC", I'd go for a 2nd and 3rd opinions about it).
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jun 21, 2016,