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NSXBill
10-28-2008, 11:30 AM
Once again, ole moneybags here is on a quest for a musical instrument for one of my children. So far, I have bought: two flutes, a piccolo, a sax, Fender MexiStrat, Line 6, crappo drums and bass w/ Fender, Shure mic, full Yamaha 600w club pa.........)

Being the cheap bastard, I am looking at USED guitars...Taylor accoustic-electric guitars for my 12 year old daughter.

If I just went and bought new, I would probably go with a 414 ce ($1900 at Guitar Center). I figure this or a 314 ce are the lower-level serious guitars. the 100 and 200 series have some laminate in them now.

Question 1: Is it worth it to get a newer model (2004+, I think) that has the Taylor Expression system instead of the Fishman that comes in older models? I was thinking yes.

Question 2: Do any of you have 514-814 and recommend highly over a 414?

Question 3: What to avoid?

This is for semi-paying coffee shop and small amature shows, performing own music, strum and pick...hopefully to progress to a little more...

I would like to spend less than $1000 for a nice 414 w/ Expression or not-so-nice +models w/Fishman...

Would also like to hear from any Taylor owners...

Thanks,

Bill

JimN
10-28-2008, 12:00 PM
Re: Fishman pickups- Taylor didn't get a reputation for being a great recording/live instrument using their own system and I really think that if you look at their artist user/endorser list, you may find that Fishman were used on most of the best sounding recordings and live gigs. She's doing coffee houses, not the White Album.

I'm not a big fan of the sound of most of the Gibson acoustic guitars I have played but with a Fishman, I have heard them sound great. Also, a great pickup through a bad or OK system will hardly produce great sound and through a great system with an incompetent sound guy, it can sound like total crap.

Better to get a guitar that plays well and work on technique/songwriting than drop a ton on something just because it has the new pickup. I know a lot of people who have used a Shure mic on an acoustic and it sounded fine.

It's the songs and getting the message across that are important, not the equipment.

edited to add: Why do you go to GC when you have other guitar shops near you? GC is like the fast food of guitar stores and if you go to a good, small guitar shop, they'll actually know how to make adjustments.

damaged442
10-28-2008, 12:30 PM
I gave my brother a call on this question. He presently owns 14 guitars of various brands and used to work at Guitar Center back in the day. He basically said that if you are going to buy your 12 year old daughter a Taylor, he would gladly take the place of your daughter anytime!

Even though I only have three guitars, I don't have much experience with Taylors. I've played a couple over the years and they were amazing.

I'll answer these one at a time. First, he has played several Taylors with either the Expression and Fishman setups and he said both are excellent. With used, you might save a few bucks and have it already nicely broken in. Not necessarily a bad thing. In my experience, the used guitars always seem to sound warmer.

A 414 is an awesome guitar. 514 - 814 are even better. He said it's all about what you're willing to pay. I don't think that I could highly recommend the 514 to 814 over it. Personally, neither one of us would complain at all about a 414.

There isn't much to avoid. There really isn't any such thing as a bad Taylor. Like I said, it's all in what you're willing to pay. My brother ended up with a Martin D-15, but is still going to buy a Taylor sooner or later. I'd love to get one too, but it's hard to explain to the wife why I need a 4th. They just don't understand. Oh well, good luck and keep us posted.

Good luck! Keep us posted.

JimN
10-28-2008, 12:44 PM
"but it's hard to explain to the wife why I need a 4th. They just don't understand."

Oh, yes they do! Add up the total she has spent on shoes and compare it to your guitars. I bet her shoes cost more. A lot more. And don't tell us that she doesn't buy a lot of shoes. If you do, it's because you just haven't seen all of them in one place.

NSXBill
10-28-2008, 02:11 PM
.....................edited to add: Why do you go to GC when you have other guitar shops near you? GC is like the fast food of guitar stores and if you go to a good, small guitar shop, they'll actually know how to make adjustments.

Thanks Jim,

I don't go to GC. I was using them as a price guide for a NEW guitar. I plan on buying used at a good deal from a private party with the blessing of my daughter's teacher. :)

NSXBill
10-28-2008, 02:40 PM
Let me clarify (ramble) a little :). I usually come across wrong...so bear with me.

I have bought a lot of music stuff for my two kids. And they have rewarded my efforts greatly, especially for their ages. My process has been to buy stuff that will hold its value AS MUCH AS PRACTICAL, in case they lose interest, or whatever. This does require a higher initial investment. However, except for the new flutes and piccolo, I can sell most of what I've bought for near what I paid, including the sax. That's because it was all used and brands & models in relatively high demand. I also want it to be relatively good stuff the first time, in case they don't lose interest. That way, I won't be buying again (hopefully ever :)).

In the case of a $1000 414 ce guitar (if I can get one for that price). It will still be worth most of that for a long time, and will never really require an "upgrade" no matter how good she gets. If you got good and progressed, you may long to upgrade from a Taylor big baby or 114 with a mic...that's why there are so many BB's for sale...cheap.

I will provide the tools, as long as they produce. When they don't, I'll sell the tools.

The wife and I would like a new refrigerator or mattress/boxspring (or tower :cool:). But I'll gladly forego for a while longer to see her enjoy playing the guitar.

Thanks for all you inputs and keep 'em coming.

Bill

damaged442
10-28-2008, 03:23 PM
Let me clarify (ramble) a little :). I usually come across wrong...so bear with me.

I have bought a lot of music stuff for my two kids. And they have rewarded my efforts greatly, especially for their ages. My process has been to buy stuff that will hold its value AS MUCH AS PRACTICAL, in case they lose interest, or whatever. This does require a higher initial investment. However, except for the new flutes and piccolo, I can sell most of what I've bought for near what I paid, including the sax. That's because it was all used and brands & models in relatively high demand. I also want it to be relatively good stuff the first time, in case they don't lose interest. That way, I won't be buying again (hopefully ever :)).

In the case of a $1000 414 ce guitar (if I can get one for that price). It will still be worth most of that for a long time, and will never really require an "upgrade" no matter how good she gets. If you got good and progressed, you may long to upgrade from a Taylor big baby or 114 with a mic...that's why there are so many BB's for sale...cheap.

I will provide the tools, as long as they produce. When they don't, I'll sell the tools.

The wife and I would like a new refrigerator or mattress/boxspring (or tower :cool:). But I'll gladly forego for a while longer to see her enjoy playing the guitar.

Thanks for all you inputs and keep 'em coming.

Bill

I definitely agree with your perspective here. I've had quite a few people come up to ask me what to get their beginner kid to start on and I always try to recommend something that isn't a coffee table with strings that actually has a value, should you need to resell. Sometimes it's more than they initially want to spend, but I think that it'll be worth it regardless if they stick with it.

JimN, I know what you mean about the shoes...:mad: Believe me...I know. BTW, do you have a bigger pic of your avatar? What year is that? Looks very nice!

mccobmd
10-28-2008, 06:21 PM
I looked at taylor's and Martins. the taylor 714 is what i was most seriously considering. I played a Korean guitar Crafter. They have the best sound for the money, the pickup is a high end LR Baggs. Action, fit and finish are good. Got into a similar model Crafter GAE-15 for abou 600. Played it next to the taylor and not a lot of difference but then I'm not recording the White album either. I am planning on the 714 in the next year or two so I can keep it at home and travel with the crafter. It is easily the best guitar for the money and I reasearched it as in depth as I did my X1. May be worth a look.

JimN
10-28-2008, 08:51 PM
Thanks Jim,

I don't go to GC. I was using them as a price guide for a NEW guitar. I plan on buying used at a good deal from a private party with the blessing of my daughter's teacher. :)

I try not to go there, too but when they had a particular model for a ridiculously low price, I had to buy one. Other than that, it's usually called "Weedley World" because that's the only sound most of the metal heads can make with any reliability. The sales dweebs usually spend most of the time I'm there calling everyone Dude!. "Dude, that axe is 'da bomb, dude! It's gonna make you sound so good, dude!"

For used, don't forget Craig's List and rummage/estate sales.

I remember you buying some kind of instrument before, but not what it was. If she has a good teacher, see if they're interested in doing some duet gigs, even if it's at her school. If she has a bit of stage fright, having her teacher up there with her should help. Once her confidence is there, she should be OK. Also, have her play with as many really good players as possible. If she does that, she should play for them, not any audience- the logic being that there are less of them than audience members (hopefully). If she does have stage fright, maybe playing on a park bench will help.

You're right, though. good instruments usually hold their value well, especially if it's a name brand.

NSXBill
11-10-2008, 04:43 PM
Picked up a 2007 Taylor 414 ce. So we'll see how she does :)

Thanks for all the advice

JimN
11-10-2008, 05:07 PM
Cool. She definitely won't have to struggle with the guitar, like I did when I started. My first was an old Stella that my uncle sent from AZ. He was bed-ridden with rheumatoid srthritis and there was no way he could play it, so I got it when I was about 9. Old strings that were about 1/2" off of the frets and it was funky as he!!. I wish I still had it for slide and blues.