Why is the Taylor 110 Acoustic Guitar Better than Martin
The Best $600 Acoustic Guitar, Period.
Not too long ago I decided to purchase a new acoustic guitar.
I’d grown tired of my 7-year-old Ovation Celebrity Deluxe – the shallow-bowl Lyrachord backing makes for a plastic-sounding attack. I gave myself a budget of $1500 and set out to find an all-wood guitar that would meet all of my criteria: a natural, woody sound; even tone between strings and throughout the higher registers; and a great playability. My main buy targets were Martin and Taylor guitars, both well-respected guitars.
Down in Florida for Memorial Day weekend, I decided to hit the local guitar center to sample some guitars, figuring I would get a taste of what I wanted and refine my search later back in my home state of Tennessee. I found the acoustic section and began to look around.
Since a clearly deranged individual occupied the “expensive” room, yowling and banging away on a two thousand dollar guitar, I decided to sample the budget guitars first just to get warmed up. The first guitar I picked up was a Taylor 110 Acoustic Guitar, which I eventually took into the classical guitar room in hopes of escaping the sounds of the Lithium-deprived individual and some nu-metal kid playing the same riff over and over.
What struck me almost immediately (even before moving out of the noise) was how easy it was to play the Taylor 110 Acoustic Guitar. I knew the strings were mediums (I play custom lights on my Ovation), and I had been out of practice, but it was still easy to play all my songs, even the technically difficult ones. Jumps from 1st to 5th position were just as easy as on my Ovation, and the narrower neck kept my hand from getting fatigued when playing hand-stretching chords.
After playing on the Taylor for a bit, I picked up a Martin at about the same price and went back to my sanctuary. I was surprised to notice that the build quality of the Martin seemed inferior to the Taylor – there was a fair amount of buzzing on the frets (although the intonation was fine), and the Martin just felt more clunky than the Taylor for some reason.
The strings unfortunately were rather dull – Martin strings their guitars with their own strings; Taylor 110 acoustic guitar uses Elixir Nanowebs, which in combination with the Martin’s darker, woodier tone made it difficult for me to get even sound on the higher strings, particularly in higher positions on the fretboard. I tried a more expensive Martin ($1100) that had less of the same issues but enough that I was a bit dissatisfied.
By this time the psycho’s girlfriend or sister (or maybe his parole officer) had convinced him to leave, and I was able to venture safely into the “expensive” room. Unfortunately there was only one guitar in there below my budget of $1500, another Martin.
I played it for a bit, but it just didn’t have the same feel as the Taylor 110 acoustic guitar and suffered from dull string syndrome as well. I went back to the Taylor, having fallen for its simple beauty, nice sound, and excellent craftsmanship.
I was a little floored that the Taylor sounded and played better than a guitar more than twice the price and pretty excited about shaving $900 off my budget. The sale actually pushed the price down even further on an already on-sale guitar, so when I added an SKB hard case, the total came to about $600 including tax – a steal.
The Taylor 110 Acoustic Guitar isn’t perfect – it’s got a Sitka spruce top with Sapele laminate sides and back, which combined with the Elixirs creates a tone that’s almost too bright. The finish and inlays are plain, and for this price you don’t get a preamp.
However, I couldn’t argue with the sound of the Taylor 110 Acoustic Guitar- I had a friend play the guitar for me, and it was “that sound” – the sound I’d come looking for.
For about $600, you simply can’t get a better guitar than the Taylor 110 acoustic guitar.
Visit Taylor 110 Acoustic Guitar for more information.