What characteristics does each brand have? How are they tonally different? and which do you prefer personally?

Im looking to get either a taylor 314ce or a martin d15 any advice?
Taylors seem to have a bit more of a brighter sound, whereas Martins are a bit deeper.

I like Taylors personally.
Taylors ftw
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Taylor ftw
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Two completely different guitars. I'm guessing you haven't played either of them?

You really need to play them and decide what you like better, because as I said, theyy are two completly different animals.
It's Only Rock and Roll, But I like It
Yeah, brighter is a good way to describe Taylors. Personally I like the Taylor sound over a Martin but you can't really go wrong with either.
I've never like a single Taylor guitar in my live. I've played everything from the 100 to the 600 series and also all the acoustic series such as the GS, GA, etc. The taylor has a more comfortable neck, that's for sure, but the sound is very bright and whimpy. Definitely not for me. They usually possess a tight bass and a bright and cutting high end.

The d15 martin offers a very unique sound. Mahogany/Sapele guitars have a dark and bassy tone to them. If you add bright strings to a martin, you get a toned down brightness of the Taylor while maintaining the full bodied and bassy sound of the Martin.

I want you to note that everyone who posts here has their own bias. Even me. That's the downfall of asking for personal opinion. It's just best to try them out and see where you stand.
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Ya know I have to take my decision back. I love em both. Just wish Taylor did V-necks.

Oh wait. I'd personally say it's a tossup, Taylors sound nice plugged in and have a great neck. Martins have that bassiness that is so macho when you fingerpick or strum.
The best is the sound and feel you like the most. Nobody can direct you as we all have different tastes. I wouldn't leave out other brands [Breedlove or Seagull for instance?] as often they are better value because your not paying for the Martin or Taylor name or listening to their fan clubs.
Last edited by Akabilk at Aug 26, 2008,
On the topic of naming other brands worth looking at... Larrivee's are very nice, although I think they just raised their prices so I'm not really sure how expensive they are now.
It's Only Rock and Roll, But I like It
Get the Taylor. And that particular model 314ce is the greatest value for price. I'm getting the same in a few months. Taylor pwns Martin.
I played my buddy's new Taylor 314ce and totally love it. I really like its bright sound, but it doesn't lack in bass -- very well balanced guitar. And then there's the spruce top, sapele sides and ebony fretboard ...