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INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.

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Willie-O 12 Mar 99 - 10:23 PM
Rick Fielding 13 Mar 99 - 05:26 PM
Sandy Paton 13 Mar 99 - 05:34 PM
Roger in Baltimore 13 Mar 99 - 06:09 PM
Sandy Paton 13 Mar 99 - 06:44 PM
Liam's Brother 14 Mar 99 - 10:09 AM
Rick Fielding 14 Mar 99 - 02:08 PM
Paul Wentworth 14 Mar 99 - 02:32 PM
Sandy Paton 14 Mar 99 - 02:44 PM
j0_77 14 Mar 99 - 03:23 PM
Sandy Paton 14 Mar 99 - 05:28 PM
catspaw49 14 Mar 99 - 08:04 PM
Willie-O 14 Mar 99 - 09:27 PM
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Subject: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: catspaw49
Date: 12 Mar 99 - 06:21 AM

I figure about 2 more after this will cover thebases on guitars and I'll remind everyone that comments for Guild, Martin, Gibson, Epiphone, Ovation, Takemine, Yamaha, are on other threads.

This thread is for the High line and smaller guitarmakers. It can include whomever you like and have info about in the bigger bucks category from the more mass produced like Taylor to Bourgeois to Collings to Froggy Bottom or Laskin or..........Santa Cruz,Larivee,Lowden,Lakewood.....whatever.

I'll start another shortly on "Affordable" others as a counterpart to the Ovation, Takemine, Yamaha thread. Then a last on what was (and is still around) such as Kay, Harmony, Stella, etc,


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: catspaw49
Date: 12 Mar 99 - 08:53 AM

AND A SPECIAL NOTE OF SADNESS............

A promising business announced today that they are folding. 'Paw and Cletus have gone under. It was their fervent hope to take many of you out hunting and also to acquire some vintage instruments at the same time as this type of acquisition had worked so well with the late and lamented Buford. Unfortunately I was introducing Cletus to the Mudcat when he ran across the Immaturity Test Site on the Lighten Up thread and something snapped. He sat and stared at it for 3 days without food or sleep and finally had to be committed to the "Neil Young Center for the Terminally Screwed" with a prognosis that doesn't look good. 'Paw became distraught and was last seen wandering around the wastewater plant muttering, "Beware of Algerian pants pressers." Very sad...thought you should know.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: catspaw49
Date: 12 Mar 99 - 06:19 PM

I can't believe no one has anthing to say on these!!!


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: Willie-O
Date: 12 Mar 99 - 10:23 PM

Look out Cletus thars a white truck comin up the laneway...

Sorry this is such a complaint but there's a luthier mentioned somewhere down the page...

Well what is there to say about really expensive guitars except that some people can obviously afford them, (perhaps not here?) for the rest of us its just too depressing. When you could get a really good handcrafted guitar for 800 or a thousand bucks or so, that was a lot of money but conceivable; now that it's more like $3,000 and a grand might get you an "entry level" guitar from a maker that started small and is now a small factory rather than a shop...

But if I did have the three grand, it wouldn't go far from home. It would go to Oskar Graf just down the road, who is every bit Grit Laskin's equal as a luthier if not as an inlay artiste. Kind of makes me happy just thinking about it. Don Ross and many other serious talents play Oskars guitars.

A friend of mine, against my advice, bought an overpriced (IMO) D-28 in lousy playing condition, paid Oskar $600 to recondition it, took it to Michigan and sold it to Elderly, tripling his investment by the time he converted the proceeds back into Canadian dollars (its about a 3-2 ratio these days), and _then_ ordered a guitar from Oskar. Boy I wish overpriced Brazilian D-28s grew on trees. The dramatic difference in the dollars is having mixed effects: it's a major reason for the success of Seagulls (and the various other brands made in La Patrie Quebec) down there where you're all saying, oy vey such a bargain,; that's good I guess; but all the Martins and other good guitars are going south because there is such a buck to be made in flipping them currency-wise. (Something which shrewd Yankee carpetbaggers have figured out.) The same is true for used tractors incidentally. Possibly Cletus wuz here.

Bill


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 13 Mar 99 - 05:26 PM

A few years ago I made a visit to Denmark street in London. (one of the few good things about being a professional musician is it allows me to visit music stores in a lot of places) Now Arabic literature has it's street of a 1000 whores, but London has it's street of a 1000 vintage guitars, all at 3000 pounds! I have to admit that the snotty attitude of the staffs in virtually all the stores was a huge turn-off, but not as much as coming to the realisation that most vintage instruments and all the current high end ones are way out of the price range of most musicians. I've talked to literally hundreds of store owners over the last 10 years and the market these instruments are aimed at is one made up of University educated 45+ businessmen who remember their teen folkie years with fondness (and their beloved Harmony guitars) and are back in the market with a vengeance. Several folks in this demographic are currently students of mine, and although they have enthusiasm, they all complain of having "no time to practice". Along with hundred thousand dollar salaries, a lot of them are carrying 60 hour weeks, and once you add on "cottage time" and family duties, the brand new Collings, Laskin, Graff,(I agree with Bill, they're superb) or Clapton endorsed Martin, gets pretty lonely. I get a lot of chances to play these instruments from my students (if I tried to sneak a new Collings past Heather she'd stab me with her claymore) and generally I find them excuisitely made. I'm dumbfounded at just how much attention to detail goes into the aforementioned instruments. Others that have impressed me are Santa Cruz,and Bourgeois. The only thing some are missing is "soul", and that gets played into them over time. Larrivees are still a good buy, but are generally soft voiced instruments. Biggest dissapointment in new guitars for me are the Gibson re-issues. Most I've seen are vastly overpriced and decidedly under-toned. Sloppy inside work as well, from what I've seen. And know what? They're selling like hot cakes. (even the $7-8000 ones) Maybe the answer is for the succesful corporate guys to quit their jobs, leave their families, back-pack around Europe and... oops..that Collings would get ripped off on day one! Now where's that old Harmony Sovereign!


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 13 Mar 99 - 05:34 PM

I guess I'll have to confess that I have a Laskin as my primary guitar, and two Larrivees (one is my backup guitar and the other is on permanent loan to my son). The loaner I bought used from Bob Zentz, many years ago, the other I found in Toronto a few years ago and fell in love with. The Laskin, however, is extra-special to me. About fifteen years ago, I expressed an interest to Grit Laskin, who was here with us at the time, in getting a guitar with a "green man" (Folk-Legacy's logo) on the headstock. He said, sure, he could do that. But the cost of a Laskin was much more than I could afford, and the waiting period for one was at least a year.

Len Domler, of the Greater Hartford Folksong Society and the Sounding Board Coffeehouse, heard about my dream. He got in touch with many of the Folk-Legacy artists, plus the members of the Hartford Society, secretly raised the money, and arranged with Grit to have the guitar made for me. Caroline and both of our sons knew of the conspiracy for a full year, and never did I get even so much as a hint that the plot was afoot. At the Folk-Legacy Festival the following year, Len had me sit down center-stage to begin the second half of the evening concert. Caroline covered my eyes, and Grit brought the guitar out and placed it in my lap.

Well, folks, I went completely to pieces. Really lost it. Blubbered like a baby while "friends" of mine took photos to remind me forever of how little self-control I possess. I have played that guitar in every concert/program we have done since that night. (Even now, just writing about it, I find myself choking up again!)

I might also tell you that Laskin guitars cost a lot less then than they do these days, but even so I could never have afforded one. Grit, you know, was honored with the prestigious Bronfman award last year, the top prize in Canada for outstanding crafts, a well-deserved honor for his superb instruments.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 13 Mar 99 - 06:09 PM

Taylor is the last guitar brand that I can say I know anything about.

In my nectk of the woods, Taylor is "the" guitar. There are a couple of reasons for this. One is a local vendor called Appalacian Bluegrass Shoppe. The owner committed to Taylors early in the game and has been a top vendor for Taylor many years, all in a little shop with a bare wooden floor and not much square footage. Emory Knode's father was a music store owner and muscian, clarinet I believe.

Emory is down home and his shop is real comfortable. Sales are low pressure and John Thurston, the repairman, has a good reputation for fixing guitars.

But Taylor also has a good product. Taylor's bigger guitars fit in a bluegrass band as well as the Martin's do. They make some very nice singer/songwriter guitars as well. To my way of thinking, Taylors are exquisitely balanced in tone and no one part of the musical spectrum stands out. Some people love this, others say the Taylor's have no "personality."

Taylor has also emphasized putting electronics in their guitars and the Fishman blender system they use has one of the most natural sounds of any direct system I have heard.

They can be right expensive also. Another draw back to me is that either Taylor or their dealers seem to love "cutaway" body styles, I still like acoustic guitars without cutaways, and I seldom get that far up the neck playing the music I play.

If I had $2200 dollars to buy another guitar, I could be very tempted to buy a Taylor 814 CE. This guitar is a bit smaller than a dreadnought but has pretty good punch. I've played a couple, and they are very nicely toned guitars. They have an excellent sustain. Played throught a direct, they sound very acoustic and having the blender right up there on top gives the performer a good deal of control over the electric sound of the guitar from on-stage. It's a right pretty number, even if it does have a cutaway. Another thing about many of these new guitars is their lightness. They are no where near as heavy as those old D-28's

Taylor is right up there with Takamine in terms of the number of performers I see using those brands. Taylor has more snob appeal. I think the Taylors sound much better played acoustically than do the Takamines. Played thought direct input, I think Taylor still has an edge, but it is not as great.

The Taylors are not out of the ranger of the acoustic musician who is working full-time. In fact just last Thursday I watched a local guy with a national reputation who has put his Takamine down and is now playing an 814CE. But Taylor is a bit expensive for the hobby guitarist.

I bet there are more opinions out there about Taylors.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 13 Mar 99 - 06:44 PM

I've just finished recording John Sherman and Carol Barney playing tasteful guitar duets of some lovely (and occasionally lively) Irish tunes, and both were playing Taylors. Recorded them through AKG 414s and they sounded splendid. Neither used directs. The CD will be available soon (I'll let you know when) and you can judge for yourselves!

On the other hand, I sat in the "expensive" room at McCabe's a few years ago and played a variety of Martins, Taylors, etc. Didn't find an instrument that tempted me to replace my Laskin as the primary instrument at our gigs. I've also played a couple of nice instruments from Santa Cruz. Same reaction. But (Rick will tell you) I hardly put an instrument through the mill. When he plays my loaner Larrivee, I find it possesses chords I never knew were in there!

Sandy "Never above the fifth fret, and rarely above the third!" Paton


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 14 Mar 99 - 10:09 AM

Not long ago, Bob Conroy and I had a 2 hour ramble through Mandolin Brothers, the "high end" retailer that always has a few hundred guitars in stock. Despite spending a lot of time in the "Rainforest Room" of vintage Brazilian rosewood Martins, etc., the single best sounding guitar on premises in that vist was a brand new, standard Santa Cruz Tony Rice model dreadnought... not a cheap guitar, not one every Mudcatter will have in his or her attic, but 1/10th the price of some at the store that day! Loud, very evenly balanced, crisp, deep... beautiful to hear.


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 14 Mar 99 - 02:08 PM

Don't let Sandy fool you about his guitar playing, like Jack Elliot, Del McCourey, Peggy Seeger, and not a whole lot of others, his accompaniments are spot on, always complimenting the song being performed. It's called subtlety and can be a little more difficult to recognise unless you've been playing (and loving) the guitar for many years. A number of years ago I complimented Sandy on his guitar playing, and he said "grummph,mumblummmph!!?*" which I've come to know now as meaning "bullshit in a polite way". He probably thought I was just making conversation with the only other smoker at the festival (one of us has since quit) but were that the case I could have complimented his beautifully inlayed Laskin rather than it's player. Besides when I'm messing around at the 14th fret hunting for a chord..he's already found his.


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: Paul Wentworth
Date: 14 Mar 99 - 02:32 PM

As a hobby guitarist/songwriter/and sometime performer(three piece acoustic band) I woud tend to agree with the thread that commented on who buys the top end guitars. It seems according to that thread, its mostly rich persons that like to acquire things and don't truly play anywhere near enough (if they play at all) to get the full pleasure and the supreme joy out of hearing a truly fine instrument. I really have trouble with guitar magazines and stores that target these folks while the rest of us just make do with 700 dollar mediocre guitars. Gibson and Martin found that if they charge outrageous sums like 5,000 dollars for their top end acoustics, they can make money from the older upper -upper income James Taylor or unplugged Eric wannabes. I believe that it is possible for someone to make a 1000 dollar guitar that could blow away a Martin (heresy say you?) D-35 . Gibson Humming bird. I think that person would become a billionare, but for the popularity and the established markets of those companies. I do like Gibson and Martin instuments; infact I bought a Gibson triple pickup Les Paul custom for 150 dollars thirty years ago. But I just feel that they have left the rest of us in the dust. Nuff Said.

I bought a Martin Shenendoah about 10 years ago and thought it was the best sounding guitar that I heard after spending about 5 hours in a music store practice studio trying out Guilds, Epiphones, Gibsons, etc. As I remember., it cost about 650 dollars.

Then I started playing with this acoustic band and a woman in the band played a Taylor that she bought about 5-6 years ago for about 1400 dollars. Price notwithstanding, I though it had some much wider ,even , sweet , sound. It was a reall joy and pleasure to my ears and of course changed my feelings about the sound of my own. So I guess my vote would be with Taylor, although I haven't played ( but would like to very much to ) a Santa Cruz, or a Larrivee, Collings.


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 14 Mar 99 - 02:44 PM

Shucks, Rick: when you only play three chords, they're real easy to find in the first three frets.

Sandy "Fingers" Paton


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: j0_77
Date: 14 Mar 99 - 03:23 PM

I'm out in the boonies so I rarely get to try any of these wonderfull instruments. Just a thought - mostly I find Rosewood boxes too harsh and even tried a Maple -but again did not like it that much. I notice some of the better records of folk Guitar are made not with Gibson or Martin but with some of the Instruments listed above. I do know Doc W played a Gallagher (Mahogany) on some of his recordings and if a I wuz a wannabe I would be aiming at that happy sound. Sooo if given the chance I would love to get hold of a 'vintage' Gallagher.

Feed your Guitar on home made music - it's good for their health :)


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 14 Mar 99 - 05:28 PM

When I first asked Grit Laskin about the possibility of a guitar with the Green Man inlaid on the headstock, I was playing a Guild D-70 (the only one I ever owned). Grit said, "I can make you a guitar with your logo on it, but I doubt that I could make a guitar that sounds any better than the one you're playing." High praise for a factory instrument from a guitar genius. Sold that Guild to a local farmer who played it while singing with his church's folk trio. Wish I still had it. Being broke so often really bites! Makes you do things you later regret.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: catspaw49
Date: 14 Mar 99 - 08:04 PM

Well I'm glad we got some comments, and very astute ones at that. Personally, I am in no position to comment on any of these or many others as my closest association has often been a half hour at my favorite store on any of them.

I too have noticed the abundance of Taylors being used everywhere. Karen and I went to a Lilith Fair concert last year, and for awhile I thought that Taylor must be sponsoring the damn thing! They do have a powerful sound, seemingly stonger in mid-range, that gives an even "Throatier" sound than Martin. Generally they are similarly priced and discounted so as to be comparable and makes them a strong competitor.

I was interested in Rick's comment about Larrivee being soft voiced instruments. I also find them to be very sweet and unique in tone. Always think of Larrivee when anyone mentions blindfolds and turned backs. They also seem to have a very comfortable fretboard and neck. Since they are still available with some customizing at an affordable price, there is also that "one off" element. I can no longer afford to buy guitars for the hell of it and Larrivee is my last "dream."

Loved all your comments on Laskin and others. There is also Ferrington, possibly too weird too mention? The others I've spent a happy half with have all been wonderful instruments that were undoubtedly wondering when this hack was going to leave them alone. You can always here a collective sigh of relief from the megabucks rack when they realize I got NO money!!!! Elderly keeps saying this is the "Golden Age of Lutherie" and I gotta' agree. But most of us can't afford this stuff and when I consider what I have invested currently, it's somewhat humorous..... A Martin copy Tak bought for next to nothing and in desparation, sounds absolutely superb! We may all disagree on this, but my 17 year old Ovation 12 sounds good and I think it was $425.00 used. My D-28 I stole from an idiot who was about to be evicted for $550.00. Including Karen's Ovation, which I detest, I've only got about $1300.00 in guitars at the moment...just enough to pay for the soundhole on a Collings!!!

catspaw


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: Willie-O
Date: 14 Mar 99 - 09:27 PM

Yup, we can dream, can't we? When it comes down to it, I'm lucky to still have one good guitar that's a keeper. Not yet mentioned, but one that I fell head over heels in love with in no time at all, was a Lowden. Don't know the model, but it was the lightest guitar I ever picked up. They really seemed to have structurally redesigned how a guitar goes together, and came out with something different but very very comfortable and balanced sounding. (This was in the midst of the Grand Opening Day for the Ottawa Folklore Centre's new location. Very very noisy and distracting environment--which I briefly found myself quite oblivious to.) When I win the 649 I'm definitely buying the Lowden shop.

Sandy you have obviously amassed a huge amount of good karma in this and your past several lifetimes. Now you'll have to start from scratch again... ;)=

Bill


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 14 Mar 99 - 11:00 PM

Hell, I'm just about to make a quick buck by offering Catspaw a Laskin sound hole for a good price. I'll even ship it for free! Then maybe I'll go down to Mandolin Brothers and try out another Santa Cruz. Sure glad they got Cletus locked away somewhere, though. Don't think I'd want to mess around with him!

Sandy


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: BK
Date: 14 Mar 99 - 11:32 PM

'Been in the shop mentioned in 'Balmer, (Catonsville) Appalacian Bluegrass, & bought a few things. They are pleasant but probably not big enough to offer discounts, in spite of the competition down the next block.. ("Bill's").

I'm glad they championed Taylors. They also used to sell Seagull. BUT, other stores in the D.C. metroplex/'Balmer area carry Taylors at much lower prices, & stand a good chance of getting my Taylor business, AGAIN, next time I'm back east.

I'm sorry, but as a mostly hobbiest musician, price is an exquisitly sensitive issue to me, ('n also my wife!!!) 'N the difference in price from Catonsville to Wheaton Triangle, & some other places in the Metroplex, is so dramatic that the few miles, even in DC Metroplex traffic, is tremendously worth it, AND then I can eat at favorite ethnic restraunts in the Trangle!

One of our friends in the guitar store business tells us that a 40% discount off the nominal MSRP is the starting place for "real" prices

Cheers, BK


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 15 Mar 99 - 12:28 PM

BK,

You bring up an issue with which I struggle. Baltimore just acquired two "big box" music stores, MARS and "Guitar (something)". As you note, they offer some nice discounts on guitars. I have spent a few hours in their acoustic rooms and they are very tolerant of people "trying out" guitars.

Growing up in a small town (outside of Baltimore) I have valued building a relationship with local stores. So I buy at Appalacian and also my local dealer (Coffey Music) when I can, knowing that I might get a cheaper deal at MARS, etc. I don't know anybody at MARS (despite the hours spent there), but I have a talking relationship with people at the two "little" stores.

If, one day, I get money together for that Taylor 814CE that prices above $2000, where will I go to buy. They are available at all four stores. Will my relationship with Emory at Appalacian or Mike at Coffey's carry the day. How much money saved at MARS is worth putting another nail in the coffin of the small businessmen? I don't know.

BK, you noted you were just passing through and therefore I think price is the object, because you are not establishing a relationship. But what might you do in your home town? Any opinions from others?

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 15 Mar 99 - 12:49 PM

One of the nicest guitars I've ever played is a Martin Classical owned by Caroline Paton. (New England's reigning folk Godess) Martin have made classicals for 150 years and I don't think ONE serious "Segovia type" has ever owned one...but folk balladeers...that's another story. Reason is they're so un-classical! Narrow rounded necks..hence perfect for "Froggy..." type songs but not Tarrega pieces. Caroline's was owned by Hally Wood, a Texas ballad singer, who was THERE at the beginning of the New York folk revival, and when I would wander Folk-Legacy's cavernous halls at 3am quietly strumming it I would soak up it's history, knowing that Woody himself had undoubtedly carressed it a few times.


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Mar 99 - 01:18 PM

Rick...You often have a truly wonderful way of evoking the sense of history, tradition, whatever, that we often feel and I can relate immediately to strumming that Martin. Don't know what else to say...very beautiful...

Roger at al...I don't have a problem with the MARS types-to hell with them. I have a huge problem with Elderly, which is in essence a small business that's done well and expanded. The ambience is still small business friendly. But my favorite store about 50 miles away is a smaller operation, ma & pa folk speakers, so..........I've bought lots of things from them over the years and my purchases from Elderly have pretty much been used stuff. I think if I were to go get something new I'd opt for cutting the best deal I could locally.

Sandy...Sorry Sandy, I think I waited too long to buy that soundhole, but it's still tempting. It was one of those heat of the moment things. It's partly Roger's fault as he got me to thinking about food and sex on that food song thread and the soundhole urge passed. It is a shame about Cletus...another small business snuffed out early on.

catspaw


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 15 Mar 99 - 02:43 PM

My catspaw, how you wrapped it all together. What was it, a 5 thread reference? I am impressed with the breadth of you 'Cat-ichsim.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Mar 99 - 07:11 PM


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: McMusic
Date: 15 Mar 99 - 08:49 PM

I've got a Taylor 510 and LOOOOOVVVVEEE!!! it. I don't have very big hands, so that slender neck is a godsend--and the longer I have it (got it in '95 or so) the sweeter it sounds. Hope to get a Lowden one day, and a Kevin Ryan (they're out of California). Peace and blessings to you.


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: BK
Date: 15 Mar 99 - 11:34 PM

Rick: the problem is, I have worked & lived in a variety of places; spent a long time in texas, and come originally from back east.

'Couple years back, at Christmas time, I bought a new Martin DM @ Rockin' Robin in Houston, then got the same % discount offerred to me on a very nice Taylor in Nagcogdoches - a small town - a lot smaller than the 'Balmer area, maybe as small as Catonsville. (Had I known, I would've bought the Taylor, truth be known!)

Some time earlier (that same year, if I remember correctly), Appalachian would've sold me a Seagull for slightly more than I paid for the Martin, & though I like the better Seagulls, I think my new Martin is considerably better yet. (Had to take a heck of a ribbing on stage from friends who know how bitterly unhappy I've been w/Martin in recent years!)

As for my current hometown, it is a larger (BY FAR!) college town than Nagcogdoches, but has very limited access to decent guitar selection or prices. There are several stores in town. None has that great a selection, but in the store which has the nominal best, many "new" instruments that are clearly factory seconds, (in my opinion), full of flaws, (called, I am told a "b-line") hang on the wall at outrageously inflated prices, from which a "discount" still leaves you paying a great deal more than the MSRP at a smaller "ma & pa" type neighborhood store that sells the same brands in Milwaukee, near my brother-in-law's house. That's a small private store that survives well by good relations w/the locals & ALWAYS has a decent discount, off that believable MSRP, on their instruments.

I conclude that our friend who recently quit the music business & went to work for the University was correct in telling me that "real" prices base around 40% off a realistic MSRP. ie, that the pricing structure is pretty much designed that way for most brands. While I can see that a really small, low volume store might have some difficulty, I would think that a store w/the volume & stock of Appalachian ought to be able to do better.

Just 1 man's opinion.

Cheers, BK


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: catspaw49
Date: 06 Apr 99 - 07:01 AM


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: JedMarum
Date: 29 Aug 99 - 10:15 PM

This is an intersting thread.

When you go to any of the blues clubs in Dallas, on a jam night, where several acts appear ... you will probably see 20 guitars (not counting basses) - 19 of them will be Strats. When you go to folk session in Dallas and you see 20 guitars, 15 of them will be Martins. I guess that means folkies are not as set in their ways as blues musicians!

I love to hear the discussion on fine instruments like Larrivee and Santa Cruz; yeah they're darn expensive, and affording one is very difficult on an average income ... but it is possible.

My Larrivee J10 is a most impressive instrument. It has a huge splashy piano sound with a powerful bottom and crisp highs. I walked into a club I had never played in Dallas one day last month, and as I opened my case to prepare my set, one of the other musicians said, "Oh, you're the guy with the Larrivee - I've been waiting to hear this!" I had to laugh. My guitar's reputation had preceeded me!


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: JedMarum
Date: 30 Aug 99 - 10:34 AM

By the way, while I love my Larrivee, and have been very impressed with Santa Cruz and several other fine instrument makers, I am a huge Martin fan. They have certainly earned a reputation for excellence over the years.

There is one equalizing factor though, for all of these guitars and it has been hinted at several times by comments made in this (and other) threads. An acoutsic instrument that is used in performance must have
1) good electronics (and sometimes the best guitars sound no better than middling guitars through even the best pickups) and
2) it must be able resilient to the rigors of the performance life.

These two factors often make performers choose Taylor (fine electronics, quality workmanship, great necks, comparatively low price) over Martin, Larrivee or any of the higher priced axes.


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: catspaw49
Date: 09 Jul 00 - 10:41 PM

Refresh for Crowhugger

Spaw


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: JedMarum
Date: 09 Jul 00 - 11:25 PM

Glad you brought this one back, Spaw - I still love my big Larrivee, and it gets plenty of use!


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: catspaw49
Date: 09 Jul 00 - 11:40 PM

Did you know there are about 7 0r 8 of these we ran on Martin, Gibson and others? They were supposed to be just the beginnings of a reference list that we could keep adding to. I need to do a "mega thread" with links to all these and some others that we could refresh as part of the answer to questions about guitar buying. I'm a lazy sot or I'd get on it!!!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: Crowhugger
Date: 09 Jul 00 - 11:44 PM

Thanks, Spaw. I found this and other threads just searching seagull, not with 'guitar.'

CH.


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: dwditty
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 12:00 AM

I now play a Gallagher 71 Special - I love it and it has nothing to do with the fact that my last name is Gallagher.
dw


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: catspaw49
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 12:02 AM

....and you are a lucky cuss dw!!!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: kendall
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 08:30 AM

Every time I hear Sandy play that Laskin guitar I remember that incident in Hartford when we folk legacy types presented it to him. Got news for you my friend, even I get choked up!! You have done so much for folk music, that guitar really is a small token of our esteem.

In 1956, I bought a Gibson J-45 new. Had it for years. Then, decided I wanted a Martin hd 28. It had a killer bass and all. One day I walked into BUCKDANCERS CHOICE in Portland Maine, and the owner, Phineas Martin, handed me a Taylor 810, insisted I try it. Love at first sound! Bought it one the spot. Gibson went under the bed, and the only time it came out was when Dave Mallett dropped by. He always loved that old J45. I told him it was his when I was through with it. Sold the Martin. It couldn't hold a candle to the Taylor.

One day, Dave, (Inch by Inch, row by row) called, said he was coming by, could we do lunch. I met him at a restaurant, handed him the Gibson. He looked at me oddly, said "Why are you giving me this?" I said "'cause I want to make sure you get it." He said "Are you ok?' I replied sure, I'm fine, why?" He said "OH good, I was afraid you got a bad pap smear!!"

So, when I met the Taylor, I sold my Martin and gave away my old Gibson. The kicker here is, the Taylor was used, and I paid $850.00 with a new hardshell case.

The only guitar I have been more impressed with is a Santa Cruz coca bola.


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: bflat
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 08:51 AM

I've got a Taylor, a Larrivee and a Yamaha. If I don't make too many mistakes while playing they sound good. Each has it's own characteristis. Love them all.

If I had to choose which one I'd like to be stranded on an island with it would be the Larrivee. Nice curves; it would be narcissistic.

bflat


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: JedMarum
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 08:56 AM

great story kendall - let me know when you're finished with that Taylor!!


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: JedMarum
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 09:01 AM

... by the way; I have old Gibson, a Heritage model, built in 1969. It has had many years of playing (and it looks it) but it has really mellowed beautifully. I haven't played it for years (the slender finger board is more then my fat fingers want to stand, now that I have other guitars) - and now it needs a bit of work to correct the action. One music store owner I showed it to was sure it needed to have the neck reset.

Has anyone had experience with neck resets? Is it risky? I'd like to restore this guitar to a good playing condition, even if I only pass it on ...


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 10 Jul 00 - 09:02 AM

I own a Lowden and a Larrivee, and heartily recommend either. The Lowden is my main guitar -- it's an O32-C that I bought just last year, after drooling over it for quite a while. Spruce top, rosewood back and sides, a jumbo shape with a soft cutaway. It moves a lot of air, and has a unique personality -- you would never mistake it for a Martin, or really for anything else. It's warm, resonant, "big" sounding without sacrificing any sweetness of tone. Not the slimmest neck, or the most playable guitar I've ever owned, but I find that its tone and responsiveness make me rise to the occasion. Street price is between $2500 and $3000 (American), I believe.

The Larrivee is a 1994 OM-10, which is a similar body style to a Martin 000. Spruce top, rosewood back and sides, beautiful inlay (which Larrivee is known for). This one was made before Larrivee got into its current mass-marketing approach, although I don't know if that really means anything (I don't have any reason to believe that the quality of their higher-end instruments has suffered from their recent focus on mid-priced instruments). As someone else mentioned, they are quieter instruments than some others, with a very even, piano-like response; as someone who came to steel-string acoustics by way of the classical guitar, this works just fine for me. In fact, I remember sitting in the shop before I bought it, comparing it to a Martin OM -- I instinctively played the two instruments very differently, because they clearly had different strenghts -- the Larrivee was more suited to quasi-classical fingerpicking, the Martin responded better to a more aggressive attack. I believe I paid about $1800 for it back in 1995. It is my second Larrivee -- I owned an earlier model in the early 1980s, which I had to part with for financial reasons.

I string both the Larrivee and the Lowden with medium-guage phosphor bronze strings, and use both for flatpicking, fingerpicking, alternate tunings, and anything else I can think of. Both have flattish fingerboards -- again, for someone with a classical guitar background this is nice, but others who are accustomed to Martins and Gibsons may find that it takes some getting used to.

I have owned three Taylors, and ultimately sold or traded them all. They're great instruments, very well made, good woods, good design -- I especially like the 14 body style, which is bigger than an auditorium size but smaller than a jumbo. They tend to seem a little generic to me -- that "lack of personality" that others have mentioned -- but that is a very subjective thing, and I wouldn't put too much emphasis on it. I just never really bonded with any of mine to the extent that I have with the Lowden and the Larrivee.

Electronics deserve a separate thread (to my ears the onboard Fishman Blender system on my last Taylor never lived up to its advance billing, no matter how much I fiddled with it). Thanks for starting this thread; I am following it with much interest.


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: GUEST,murray@mpce.mq.edu.au
Date: 11 Jul 00 - 06:28 AM

Sandy, why don't you offer spaw a complimentary pick to drop in the soundhole. Make it clear to him that he is only allowed to drop it in and not to drop it out of the soundhole.

Roger, when there are small stores that really offer something I would certainly patronize them. After all, for the extra money, you get the benefit of their knowledge and experience passed on to you. Even when you don't buy. Sydney seems to have very few stores that specialize in fretted instruments (as opposed to being music stores with a guitar department). There is only one that I like. He really does specialize in guitars and sells keyboards, computer hard and software, etc. to support his "good guitar" room upstairs. I always go to him first. His guitar prices are not bad compared to the large stores; but he charges somewhat more for strings and accessories. I still go there. Buying strings is a good excuse to say hello and talk to him and some of his better assistants. Getting on track. He has this beautiful small-bodied Taylor. I can't remember its name--its not a baby--it is an "0" shaped guitar. It is one of the nicest guitars I have ever seen. But it sounds blah. It doesn't come anywhere near my small-bodied Maton with laminated sides and back.

Murray


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: GUEST,Marion
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 02:31 PM

I went guitar-shopping recently and what caught my eye was a Taylor 314 CE, with a spruce top, cutaway, and Fishman "Prefix Plus" pickup. No specific questions right now, but I'm refreshing this thread in case there are new Taylor connoisseurs around who have anything to add.

Marion


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: JedMarum
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 04:52 PM

corner sewers?


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 06:18 PM

Marion, if the one I think it is, I JUST played it! Didn't even have time to tell you that I think it's superb! Go for it!

Rick


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 11:24 PM

Jed's guitar does sound mighty fine! I am assuming it is the one he used for his album. Has a lovely sound to it!

Certainly an impressive array of folks here who have played a lot of different types of instruments. I've never seen a Taylor so don't have a clue there. But I am getting one huge education on these pieces of wood!

I made it a point quite a bit back to only deal with my local shop. We are a small town and the amount of small businesses going under is scarey. Of the 8-9 on the two sides of the street where Shaun's shop is all but two are going under. Wally world and the K marche have killed them. Shaun has a wonderful way about him and a very nice cluttered store that smells of music. He will meet or beat any price by anyone. He told me that for his loyal customers he will discount to the point of being rediculous (he made $.50 on a guitar once-no that is not a typo) - I refuse to let him - it is more important to me that I don't have to drive 50 miles to buy a new pick, or to talk guitars, or pick up a set of strings, or a host of other things I like to do on occasion. He can have anything I need within 3-4 days - and that works for me.

This new Tacoma I am looking at can be had for under $900.00 through him - I guess I may pay a bit much now for some things but I'm somewhat of a dinasaur anyway.

Steve


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: 53
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 11:32 PM

i have a taylor big baby, and i also have a takamine ltd 90 which i use on stage, the taylor is a 15/16 size guitar but it is a superb guitar,if you have a chance for a taylor go for it. BOB


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: DonMeixner
Date: 04 Dec 01 - 11:36 PM

As many of you know I recently bought a new Martin JC 16 GTE. A great guitar in the $1500.00 price range. The runner up was a Larrivee. Taylors never came close in that price range. In fact the only guitar that was I liked in the Taylor collection at Elderly was Koa wood model way beyond my budget.

Don


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: GUEST,Frank
Date: 05 Dec 01 - 11:32 AM

I have tried Taylors. I've tried Larivees. Tried Collings. Galllaghers, and some of the other makers.

I have come to this conclusion. It all depends on the player and the style of music. Also, what sounds good live in concert may not sound so great in recording.

I have a Martin 0021 with a Sunrise pickup. The neck was adjusted by John Carruthers in California and I haven't touched it since. I can't find a guitar that I like better than it. I like it's versatility and have used it on folk, jazz and classical music gigs. I've played it in bands and solo.

These are all fine guitars. It depends on the affinity that the player has for any one of them. A lot of players I know stick to one main guitar because they've grown into it. There was something that attracted them to it in the first place and they developed that by perfecting their skill on that particular instrument.

If I were to advise someone to buy an instrument it would be based on a subjective attraction.Money would be a secondary consideration. Kinda' like pickin' a marriage partner. If you're in love with the instrument, your chances of playing it better improve.

One of the things I like about my guitar is the range of music that I can play on it. I have eclectic tastes. Most of the above mentioned guitars are kinda' specialized in my opinion.

Also, I think you need to own a quality instrument for some time before a decision on it's merits for you can be reached.

I feel that every instrument has it's own "ghost" inside. It wants to play a certain type of music. I think you gotta' go with that.

Frank


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 05 Dec 01 - 04:44 PM

I'm in the early stages of looking for a new 6 string. After playing several Martins, Gibsons, Guilds, Taks etc at Mars Acoustic showcase, I found the Taylor 310 ($849) was my favorite. Very light and resonant, beautiful action, and the range of tone was better than anything but the Larivee I played a few days ago. The Larivee was twice the price, however.


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: catspaw49
Date: 05 Dec 01 - 05:02 PM

Hey Leej.....have you read this thread? Worth a look......

Spaw


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: Pete Jennings
Date: 05 Dec 01 - 05:52 PM

Seems to me us guitarists are all a bit introspective about what we play. I've got a Taylor 514 Custom (no cutaway, no electrics) I bought in NYC, a Martin HJ28 and a Santa Cruz 000. I'm a resident in a folk club (St. Neots) in England. I tend to take to the club whatever guitar I'm in love with on the night and guess what? Nobody but me (and maybe the guest act) can tell the difference!

Sometimes it ain't what you play, it's how you play it...just make sure it's kept clean and the strings aren't too old.

qf


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 05 Dec 01 - 08:31 PM

Geez - I found a Laravee to try out - Unsure of what model it is but the guy said the sale price is around $1100 - down from $1600.00? That sound right?

All I was looking for was a humidifier!

My Luthier said I shouldn't use a humidifier on Old Mose. He says it is an old guitar and humidifiers should only be used on new ones - and mine has been raised on wood heat (little subtle encouragement to play well or "The Axe" brought out a shiver of fear) - and Mountain Home has an annual rainfall of about 10 inches in a good year. So I don't know - he wants to look at the one I've opted for and will render an opinion.

Well well well - now what!

Steve


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: 53
Date: 05 Dec 01 - 08:45 PM

i'm real confused about humidifiers, i've had my takamine ltd90 for 10 years and i've had my gibson j-40 for 21 years and i've never used a humidifier in either one and now i bought a taylor big baby and that's all they talk about is a humidifier, maybe it's just the manufacturer that suggests it, need more info. BOB


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: GUEST,G
Date: 05 Dec 01 - 09:39 PM


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: UB Ed
Date: 05 Dec 01 - 10:55 PM

Leej, I've gone back over this thread twice; the Larivee was twice the cost of a Taylor. Doesn't seem right. May not have an apples to apples comparison...

Ed


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 06 Dec 01 - 01:46 PM

Since this thread has the name Larivee in it I'll add one more - Morgan sound familiar? Morgan was the head luthier at Larivee and was the only other person, besides the family, to be able to declare an instrument ready to go out for sale. He is apparently making his own - all hand made - just him. They are a bit more spendy $2200 - but I'll find out if it is as good as they say tomorrow. They have three of them - all spruce tops but the back and sides are Koa, Rosewood, and one other. All Ebony fretboard, bridge, pins, - ought to be interesting at the least.

Damn Rick - I was pretty careful and had Jan pretty OK with $900 for the Tacoma - but $2200 may be a bit of a stretch -

I know!!! I could get it for her for Christmas! Since she is learning piano I'd have to play it, you know - break it in and all - until she mastered the piano and then opted for the guitar - - - What do you think??

Steve


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: 53
Date: 06 Dec 01 - 06:54 PM

go for it. BOB


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 07 Dec 01 - 08:27 PM

The Morgan's were gorgeous in real life - but they certainly didn't sound as well as I thought they should for $2500. The Larivee blew it away forty ways from Sunday on sound, sustain, and articulation.

I also played a DR-20 Tacoma. I was really disappointed in it. Had a great neck, but fingered a bit stiff, and certainly wasn't playing on air like its little cousin I played at Shaun's shop.

As for fit and finish none of them impressed me. For the money the Tacoma was the best. For sheer beauty of finish and workmanship the Morgan was gorgeous - although the top was not as nice and smooth as I thought it could be - maybe a little better sanding and another coat of clear? The Larivee had some little blems where the neck joined the body. Like the varnish didn't settle in right in a couple of small places on the underside. Either that or the neck had been reset after assembly.

Price wise the Larivee beat them all. The Tacoma DR-20 was $900 with case, the Larivee was $1200 with case and the Morgan was $2400 with case. They didn't have a mirror to look inside so have no idea what the top bracing looked like. What I could see looked very nice on all of them. No glue sticking out or lack of finish issues of concern that Spaw had mentioned to look for.

Jan went with me and I spent about two hours playing the three. Jan thought that Old Mose sounded as good as any of them - the only exception may have been the Larivee with a better bottom end boom. And I haven't played Mose yet with the Buzz Feiten work done. I'll get him back tomorrow afternoon so will have an opportunity to compare them.

Steve


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: 53
Date: 07 Dec 01 - 08:34 PM

old mose sounds like my old j-40 you just got to love her. BOB


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: catspaw49
Date: 07 Dec 01 - 08:53 PM

Well...........If you didn't mind the neck on the Larrivee, you should be okay with the Blueridge and I'm tellin' you, THAT guitar is a BUY!!!!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 08 Dec 01 - 12:14 AM

Sure starting to sound like it Spaw - If Old Mose is what I think - I probably won't buy a second guitar. I can't see buying anything that is not as good as what I have - and the price I'd have to apparently spend to improve is out of my league.

I'm going to wait and see what Mose sounds like Feitenized. My Luthier tells me that it really makes a difference - helps develop the bottom end, and Mose already had that, and - how did he say that? Wakes them up a bit? I'll see.

Although it was fun to see all of the guitars, and to play them, I just wasn't impressed. Too weird. Maybe I got my hopes up too high - Sure going to be good to have Mose home though - - I'll be beating on it tomorrow night for a fact!!

One thing for sure - I could tell the difference on the woods for backs and sides. I definetely like Mahogany the best. Koa was a bit mushy and the Rosewood was pretty good - just not the solid sound that Mahogany gave. For pure crisp sound it exceeded the others. The Spruce tops were all very similar and the Morgan may have been weak on the bottom end due to a bad string - the grain was a bit wider - the others had a lovely mix of close grain and medium grain blend in the top. So the midrange was as good as the bass. I learned a lot through this and think I am still going to keep looking. Mose is so beat up that I ought to be ashamed of myself. We'll see - have to try a Blueridge again and this new DR 20 Tacoma coming in to Shaun's shop.

Steve


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 08 Dec 01 - 12:19 AM

Norton, I was pretty interested in the Blueridges until I blew the budget on the Gibson I've mentioned in the new thread. Still love to play a couple though.

Love the name "Old Mose" (probably 'cause I have a friend who IS "old Mose" (Scarlett that is). My Gibson has been christened "Agnes"....'cause Heather's birth mother was Agnes Gibson.

Rick


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: catspaw49
Date: 08 Dec 01 - 01:05 AM

Steve, that was a great post because you got yourself into a position to hear for yourself and "sense" the difference in woods. No matter how beautiful they are or how much we try to describe the qualities they possess here, nothing beats hearing these sometimes striking and sometimes subtle differences. Always need to throw in the bit about apples and oranges and not comapring a mahoghany Larrivee to a koa Martin or whatever, but you had yourself a great experience......so far.

Mose may be better and more wonderful than before, but then anyone who already owns a guitar of a lifetime still needs a spare.......right? Tell that to Mose who will be flattered and agree and then to your wife who will have you comitted.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 08 Dec 01 - 11:46 AM

Spaw - That's funny! Jan read it and went - "Yeah right." Then - "Who's Mose?" Mose has always been "Steve's Mossman" or from Jan - "Your Mossman." I don't know about committted but I know she has been wondering why in the heck I would want another guitar. But Jan is convinced I can play a rock and make it sound good - (Nothing like an adoring Fan Club :-)).

Rick - Blew your budget? Ahem? This the same person who was saying in another post about paying off something or another?? Too funny!!

On the way home yesterday Jan was asking me why in the heck I would want another guitar. I could, after all, only play one at a time. Then she goes, "Oh, I get it." And I was trying to figure it out and the look on my face must have set her in motion - She says, "Horses." I really had to laugh then. I have two horses and Jan has six. Now why would anyone need eight horses?? Because they are beautiful and we love them each for their respective qualities. When they are new borns for their potential and exuberance, and as they grow for their abilities as they develop, then as mature adults for the steadiness they display - dependability - and the sheer beauty and strength they embody. Ever ridden a well trained cow or trail horse? If you've played a beautiful old guitar that was broken in right and used a lot - then you have the perfect analogy.

So I'll be getting me another guitar - just going to have to play a lot of them to find the magic one.

BOB - Thanks for your support - you don't mince words and I certainly like that!


Steve


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: kendall
Date: 08 Dec 01 - 03:55 PM

I do have to admit that I have heard some very fine guitars besides the Taylor. Moonchild has a nice Larrive, Midchuck has a nice Collings, and a guy in Florida has a nice Collings. He wouldn't let me play it, but, it sounded good to me. I was surprised at how much Ricks old Martin had to offer. It sure doesn't belong in the back seat. Jeds' guitar is a sweetheart too.


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: GUEST,Riley Stokes
Date: 19 Jan 02 - 08:27 PM

Being a neophyte net grazer, I'm not at all sure of what I have stumbled into here. I just plugged in "Larivee OM" into Google and all these opinions popped up. Very interesting. I have to say, though, that I hear a lot of apples-to-oranges comparisons. When you sit down to compare guitars against each other, you are also comparing sizes, woods, strings (light, medium, new, worn-out), action setup, price range.... Even the relative age of "new" guitars is important. One may have just arrived at the shop and be only a few weeks from all its components having been separate slabs of wood. It still has internal tensions that will kill the sound for a while. And on top of that, guitars are just plain individuals, which is one reason we're fascinated by them.

Concerning price and price range, a high percentage of guitars made by individual luthiers (those who know what they're doing) and the top-end small shop makers like Collings and Bourgeois, etc., will be great guitars. They have the advantage of being made of choice woods and are the beneficiaries of a dozen decisions, large and small, made by the luthier or luthiers along the way. They are tweaked, in other words, and have every chance of being great instruments. But that doesn't mean you can't find equally great-sounding guitars in other price ranges, and from the big factories like Martin and Taylor--or the even bigger factories in Asia. Very often there's the serendipity factor; a certain happy combination of pieces of wood come together in a certain way and you've got a great instrument, no matter whose name is on the headstock.

All this comes into play when you compare guitars. So when you go away from a comparison session in which you've had a chance to play only a few instruments, and you're thinking, well, I like Taylors better than the new Gibsons and Guilds and... you're doing both the makers and probably yourself a disservice. A really good time to comparison-play guitars is when you're not looking to buy one. You just stop in at the showroom once in a while and pick around on stuff. But if you make that a practice, don't be surprised someday if a particular guitar seems to jump off the wall and into your arms and says "Buy me!" The best thing to do then is walk out... and sneak back in a few days and try the thing again, and it still speaks to you, ask yourself: Is buying this guitar worth straining the family budget and therefore my marriage? If the answer is yes, you may have found yourself a new guitar.

Riley Stokes


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: catspaw49
Date: 19 Jan 02 - 08:35 PM

I think you'll find all of that rings true here Riley and has been said about a hundred times before around here. These threads were simply meant to be places to log specific info and all.

Welcome to the 'Cat......You'll find an active guitar community here too with loads of opinions and everything from openminded to very biased folks....which makes it fun. Enter the word guitar in the filter box and set the refresh for 3 years and see what you get. Like any folk session, lots of guitar and other instrument talk too.

Glad to see you here.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: GUEST,Fortunato -- That ain't hominey grits.
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 08:03 AM

Welcome to the 'cat Riley. Your opinions will be noted and appreciated here. If you followed 'spaw's suggestion to search threads, by now you know that we've discussed woods and glues and small shops and big discount stores, large luthiers and small. Hell, we've discussed picks to the nth degree and finishes and inlays and so on. There are young and old here, professionals and neophytes. Guitar builders and sellers and players sign on here. Some are guesst and you won't know who unless you know them personally. Some names are household words, most are not, but whoever they are their opinions are welcome and often the least experienced of us has much to contribute and shake up the 'old hands'. It's a great commnunity. Regards, Fortunato


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: Rolfyboy6
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 12:24 PM

Mindful of Spaw's instructions to enter a guitar maker's name in the search/filter box and set the time box for three years,and wanting info about one of my guitars, I entered Gallagher and three years. Result: Nothing. I tried variations and got nothing.

So should I start a new thread seeking information about my well loved G-45 (and other Gallghers)? The G-45 is baldly listed on Gallaghers site (at the bottom of the "G" model list) without description, pictures or apparent interest. I've e-mailed Gallagher twice over the last year without response. Maybe there's nothing to say about a "bottom-of-the-line" mahogany/spruce dreadnaught.


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: catspaw49
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 12:34 PM

Try Gallagher in the forum and DT search Rolfy. A lot of names didn't have individual threads and Gallagher has come up....But if you want to start a thread re: opinions on Gallagher...Do it! Several Gallagher owners around here. Matter of fact, start one with two names in the title that would be good to have a single commentary place on....

Info/Opinion-Gallagher&Doherty Guitars

Spaw


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: Midchuck
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 12:41 PM

Rolf, try going to the Flatpick-L Archives and running a search under "Gallagher." But allow plenty of time to read the results. You might want to search under your specific model #.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: michaelr
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 03:38 PM

Norton1 - you mentioned getting the Buzz (unfortunate name) Feiten tuning system installed. I'd like to know if anyone has had this done, and how they feel about it.
In a recent issue of Guitar Player, renowned luthier Rick Turner says that while the System improves in-tuneness of the open strings and lower positions, capoing or playing up the neck is a no-no. (Maybe I'll start a thread on the subject.)

I bought a used Lowden O10 for a grand, and I love it!! Mahogany back and sides, spruce top, no-pin bridge - it all adds up to one of the sweetest sounding guitars I've ever played. And the sound is quite distinctive from the Martin/Taylor/Collings crowd.

Michael


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: Rolfyboy6
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 05:12 PM

Thanks Spaw and Midchuck. I did as you suggested and found some stuff about Gallagher guitars, but only three post in either place which talked about the Gallagher G-45. And those were of the 'gee whiz, I love it' type. Most comments are about the Doc Watson model and the G-70.


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: catspaw49
Date: 21 Jan 02 - 12:03 AM

Sorry Rolfy.....I think dwditty still has his 71 he bought a few years ago.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 21 Jan 02 - 03:39 PM

michaelr,

The beauty of the Feiten tuning is that capoing is so easy. With the guitar in tune with itself there appears to be no changes necessary as I move the capo around the neck area. I've gone as high as the 10th fret with no audible difference in being in tune. Before I had to retune every time I changed where the capo was located.

It does require a special tuner though - a Korg DT - 7.

Riley - Welcome to the Cat. Searching for a new guitar has been an ongoing thing for me over the past 20+ years. It wasn't until I hit this space in time that I started figuring out what sound I liked and what woods came close enough to make that sound. I'm having one built for me. I know the tree the Mahogany is coming from and the luthier and I have been friends for many years. After all of the playing and researching I have a pretty good idea of what I want now. You are right about having one jump in your lap and saying "ME ME ME" as that is what happened with myself.

Steve


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: michaelr
Date: 22 Jan 02 - 09:19 PM

Norton1 - could you provide more info on the Korg DT-7 tuner? How is it different from others?
Cheers, Michael


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 23 Jan 02 - 03:56 PM

Here's a link (Clik) that explains what it does. I believe you could plug Korg DT-7 into any search engine and find one.

The really high end Washburns are all coming from the factory with Buzz Feiten tuning now.

Hope this helps you -

Steve


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: Spotty
Date: 23 Jan 02 - 05:21 PM

Erm, me again, erm sorry for bein tedious.... Nothing does everything quite like a Lowden... Erm for me ,anyway, and I've had a few over the years. More than my dear wife cares to remember!! Erm, Lowden is spelt L...O...W...D...E...N! I just love mine - sorry!!


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: GUEST,SlickerBill
Date: 24 Jan 02 - 03:58 PM

Interesting point from Norton1. I was guitar hunting and had it down to two Morgans; mahogany auditorium (slender neck, bright lively tone), or the concert (wider neck for fingerstyle, richer tone). couldn't decide. Happen to be looking around at Larivees, picked up the LO-5; sold. The only thing I'm finding with the Larry to watch is humidity. It's such a light construction that it reacts to humidity and temperature in quite a significant way. In southern Manitoba in winter that presents a challenge. In winter you just have to keep it in the case with the humidifier. Summers I keep it on the stand. Otherwise a terrific guitar. SB


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: Marion
Date: 22 Dec 02 - 08:52 PM

I recently saw an ad for Taylor that said: "You're right. It's probably too late to get into the rock and roll hall of fame. But it's not too late to give the world another cover version of Smoke on the Water."

Although Rick said way up at the top, "I've talked to literally hundreds of store owners over the last 10 years and the market these instruments are aimed at is one made up of University educated 45+ businessmen who remember their teen folkie years with fondness (and their beloved Harmony guitars) and are back in the market with a vengeance," I was surprised to see Taylor deliberately marketing themselves as a mid-life crisis instrument.

Marion


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 23 Dec 02 - 07:18 PM

Interesting.

No-one mentions Taylors being a bit sort of brash - like a bit twangy, and tizzy in the treble: very sort of country sounding. It was teh way I always felt about them, and I've seen some silly money paid here in teh UK for them - several thousands of pounds sterling (like up to about seven thousand, adn with the dollar as it is that's a lot of dollars) - and never really felt they justified it.

Now I know of two players who used to feel the same way, and just in the last few months both have gone and fallen in love with different Taylors. I havene't seent he instruments yet, just heard the stories.

Does anyone think Taylors are growing up a bit - less immediate impression and more maturity and soul in the sound?


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: GUEST,Sleepless Dad
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 04:32 PM

It looks like Taylors were well thought of a few years ago. I'm wondering if people still feel the same way ?


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 05:08 PM

Interesting to see this refreshed. One of the players who fell in love with a Taylor has just sold both his Taylors to buy a Gibson.


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 07:44 PM

I bought my Martin D-18 in 1969 and have never thought much about buying another guitar ~ certainly not another wooden guitar.; (I've had plenty of daydreams about steel-body resonators I could never afford.)

For quite a few years, I quit playing in public, and gradually quit playing very much at all. Not only was I not in the market to shop for guitars ~ I wasn't even part of a "scene" with anybody else shopping for guitars (acoustics, anyway).

When I first poked my nose into the Mudcat a couple of years ago, I began encountering new and unfamiliar guitar brand-names for the first time, including all those mentioned in this thread title (and most of the others mentioned within the thread, too). The last time I was in touch (in the mid-1970s), Yamaha and Ovation were the newest "names."

I'm still not seriously considering a purchase, but I've become somewhat interested and a bit more knowledgeable about these newer high-end nameplates. A few months ago, while my one-and-only was at the luthiers for new frets and a neck reset, I started hanging out in guitar-store showrooms, just to be able to play a few hours a week.

While I was mostly interested in getting my hands on as many different resonators as possible, both wood-body and metal, I took the opportunity to play some nice wooden instruments too. The only one that really spoke to me was a Lowden; if I could possibly have afforded it (i.e., if I could have spent the price of a decent used car on a second guitar), I would gladly have grabbed that Lowden.

None of the other guitars I tried seemed at all special to me, not even the new Martins. Not even the Eric Clapton signature-model Martin, for that matter.

The Lowden that I played that day ~ sorry, I have no idea of the model number, which woods it was made of, etc., etc. ~ was different enough from my own good old Martin for it to make sense to me as an alternate instrument: much lighter, a little smaller, with a very different, brighter sound. Fantastic sound, in fact. Not to mention newer and shinier, too, of course.

But I'm happy with the one guitar I have. Some of the comments above, specifically those endorsing the sound of the mahogany body as opposed to rosewood, etc., make me feel better than ever about owning such a wonderful intrument. When I bought the D-18, price was the main consideration ($495, I believe, in 1969). I figured I was being smart not to spend extra money on ivory and mother-of-pearl (frills in which I still have no interest), but didn't realize that part of the price differential was due to the 18's mahogany construction, as opposed to the rosewood used for the pricier dreadnaughts. Now I'm pretty much convinced that mahogany, while chaper than rosewood, is not at all inferior, just different, and to some tastes (including my own), it's better.


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: GUEST,Sleepless Dad
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 08:01 PM

Yep - those D-18's are wonderful guitars. Sometimes I almost think I could be happy with just one guitar.


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: PoppaGator
Date: 30 Mar 05 - 08:20 PM

That was me, two posts ago at 7:44. Don't know why I was anonymous ~ I got in via the FRONT door (!!???!?)


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Subject: RE: INFO/Opinions:Taylor,Larivee,Collings,et al.
From: Wesley S
Date: 31 Mar 05 - 02:02 PM

PoppaGator - I love my D-18 also. It's a 67 but I bought mine in 1969. Still have it too. I hope I'm able to pass it down to my son someday. But the guitar that gets the most action right now is a new Collings OM. Martin still makes some great guitars but for my tastes Collings has a more consistant product. I think being a smaller shop gives them the time and ability so produce a great guitar time after time. Right now it looks like Martin is caught up in trying to mass produce a lot of good guitars and Collings is willing to make fewer - but better instruments. But like the lady said who kissed the cow - "Everybodies got their own tastes".


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