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Unread 01-10-2003, 07:16 PM   #1
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Alvarez vs Taylor

I know what you Taylor guys are thinking from the subject but hear me out. Im not predisposed to either brand.

I went to go my music lesson thurs and I was gunna stop at the bank, well I forgot to stop so I was 30 min early.

so I went into the acoustic room to play soem guitars. I just randomly pick one up and start playing it. So I pick up this alvarez with lots of inlay and an ebony fretboard (beautiful guitar) and start playing it. It was amazing. the action was as low as my jackson, the neck was very comfortable, but the amazing part was teh sound. I couldnt believe it.

so after that, I picked up a Taylor and thought to myself - if an alvarez can do that then this must be incredible.

I was wrong, the Taylor sounded lifeless, thats without life...
So Im like well there is bound to be one bad one, so I pick up another, than another. Up to the $4000 list guitars. They all lacked the shine. of the alavrez. (Not to mention the playability for my hand at least)

I could appreciate the Taylors if they were just a darker sound but that wasnt it. I actually prefer Darker instruments. Im still amazed at the difference. If the Alvarez had electrics in it I would sell my left lung to get it. Actually Im still considering it.

I didnt notice what model it was, it looks a lot like the Mastercraft SLM80, but I remember other then teh tree of life inlayed in the fret board, there was also some designation s*** in between one of teh lower frets. and I cant find an SLM80 that has that..

So im going back tomarrow to ask.

JP

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Unread 01-10-2003, 11:40 PM   #2
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it's all personal preference...taylors are generally bright guitars..if you want warm or dark then sounds like you found it! if you want to check out some similar sounds try martin guitars...some of them are even what i'd say is boomy...
and you can always get a pickup installed in that guitar...so i wouldn't let that be what kept you from getting it...if i were buying a new acoustic i'd find a guitar i like (the main thing) THEN put in a pickup....
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Unread 01-10-2003, 11:46 PM   #3
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It's also according to the model.

I played a 610CE NAMM edition (Taylor) that is the warmest sounding Taylor I've ever played...and with a faster action than the 814CE....oh and it's green too...go figure.
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Unread 01-11-2003, 02:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by gg7
it's all personal preference...taylors are generally bright guitars..if you want warm or dark then sounds like you found it! if you want to check out some similar sounds try martin guitars...some of them are even what i'd say is boomy...
and you can always get a pickup installed in that guitar...so i wouldn't let that be what kept you from getting it...if i were buying a new acoustic i'd find a guitar i like (the main thing) THEN put in a pickup....
that was my thought. if you want a darker sound try martins. taylors have a much brighter sound than martins do. i like the darker sound personally, hence having a martin but even so, every guitar maker can occasaionally make an excpetional guitar that will just blow away other models. that's why you play a ton until you find a great on... i think this shows up most in the acoustic world and less so in the electric. but hey i may be wrong...
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Unread 01-11-2003, 08:00 AM   #5
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My general thoughts are that rosewood guitars have a darker sound than mahogany, which have a darker sound than maple. IMO, Taylor makes the best maple guitars that are available in most places. I own a Mahogany Taylor. So I can see where people say that Taylor makes "brighter sounding guitars." But it's always seemed to me that it's the mid-high response that gives a guitar "life" against all the other tendencies of a big-bodied wooden chamber, which are generally to sound thuddy and dark.

My first guitar was a $400 Alvarez that in my book "beat out" its $1500 Kazuo Yiari cousins sitting down the way in every way. It's not impossible for a guitar that comes from a maker of lesser repute to be superior to a guitar (or several guitars) that come from a maker of higher repute, but I wouldn't expect to waltz into any store and find the same thing...

Nate
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Unread 01-11-2003, 10:08 AM   #6
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Generally I prefer a darker sound, and im not really in the market for an acoustic, but the alvarez's bright confident sound blew me away.
There is a similar alvarez, in the artist lineup there, but it sounded more like the taylors

What options would i have for aftermarket electrics in this guitar? Installing a endpin jack woudl not be a big deal, but I would prefer to keep the preamp and EQ outside of the guitar. So as not to stand a chance of hurting the tone.


JP
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Unread 01-11-2003, 11:08 AM   #7
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You're going about everything all wrong! You compared one guitar to another guitar. One happened to be a Taylor and the other was a Alvarez!

You didn't give model names so how do we know you didn't pick up the highest priced Alvarez and compared it to a big baby taylor? You can't compare two brands by playing two guitars. I measure a brand by it's consistancy. Taylor has the most consistant made guitars in the market. IMO! Martin has some guitars that are WAY better than some Taylors. Alvarez has some guitars that blow some Taylors out of the water. I just find all thoes other brands to be inconsistant in the way they make guitars.

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Unread 01-11-2003, 11:30 AM   #8
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Unread 01-11-2003, 01:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Aaron
You're going about everything all wrong! You compared one guitar to another guitar.
Well if you read my origonal post I stated that I played/compared it to many Taylor guitars, not just one. I also stated that I compare dto the higher priced Taylors - not a big baby.

and I meant to stress the point that I thought this was a "find" not the norm for alvarez. Actually I even compared it to other alvarezs, with disappointment on the competition. I will not say either Alvarez or Taylor makes better guitars, because frankly I dont know. All I know is that, that one guitar sounds awesome.

the model was as I thought SLM80 ($900), and I compared it to about 6 different taylors. Im not sure on models but im pretty sure I picked up at least one of each 8** 4** 3**.

Aaron,
Please dont contradict me in such an obtuse manner, if you have not even taken the time to read what I had to say.

JP

I also measure a company on their consistancy, and if I had researche dthe guitar beforehand I probably would not have even played it, thus loosing out on a great experience. I have decided not to purchess the guitar as the extra money I currently have it for an amp for my new electric, and having an acoustic would only be for my amusement.

If teh guitar is still there in a couple months maybe Ill take a second look.
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Unread 01-11-2003, 07:18 PM   #10
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I like Taylors because like Aaron said, more consistent product.. that to me is the mark of a good company.
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Unread 01-11-2003, 07:22 PM   #11
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I love my Alvarez... I've compared it to all my freinds guitars, and It sounds better than even my freind's martin!

Some of the ones I've compared it too are, another Alvarez, a Gibson, Martin, Epiphone, Carlo Robelli, Danelectro (I think that's what it was... not sure though... And mine sounded better than all those... Go figure..
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Unread 01-12-2003, 08:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
What options would i have for aftermarket electrics in this guitar? Installing a endpin jack woudl not be a big deal, but I would prefer to keep the preamp and EQ outside of the guitar. So as not to stand a chance of hurting the tone.
I've got an L.R. Baggs Ribbon (in the neigborhood of $180 installed nowadays) and preamp mounted in my guitar, but there's no controls on the guitar (thus no hole cut in the side either :ksmile: ).

I run that out into a SansAmp Acoustic DI (mine was $180 5 yrs ago... maybe it would be less now???), which is where I can control the level, EQ, and warmth of the tone. For me, the setup works very well and played live (which is what I do), sounds top notch. I'd still use a mic to record, but that's just because I'm a perfectionist in that department.

The only maintainance I have to do on the system is occasionally check the endpin jack to make sure nothing's coming loose (so far so good after 6 years) and change the 9-volt battery in the preamp every 600 hours (I estimate by changing it once a year).

Nate

Last edited by nate95366; 01-16-2003 at 10:36 AM.
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Unread 01-12-2003, 10:09 PM   #13
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well, as far as electronics go: since you like a more bass heavy sound i'd say check out the i-beam from l.r. baggs...get the passive version then a good outboard eq..maybe the baggs gig pro....all that should cost you about $180.....it sticks under the bridgeplate not under the saddle itself...

or check out one of the b-band's that mounts in the same way....

or if a pure acoustic sound isn't a must, and a little electric edge is okay maybe even try one of the fishman rare earth soundhole pickups..

i don't own any of those...i'm just giving you info based on the opinions of quite a few guitarists...i try to stay up to date on equipment...

i do own a pickup from http://www.pick-uptheworld.com
these are also VERY good pickups that stick on underneath the bridgeplate...you can get one of their preamps to go along with it for around $100..and the pickup for around $100....
mine is actually made for electric guitar (it goes underneath the saddles under the adjustment screws) but i've since taken it off there and tried it on acoustic with pleasing results..

lots and lots of options...
read reviews of acoustic pickups at:
http://www.harmon-central.com/Guitar
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Unread 01-13-2003, 01:34 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by nate95366
[qutoe]What options would i have for aftermarket electrics in this guitar? Installing a endpin jack woudl not be a big deal, but I would prefer to keep the preamp and EQ outside of the guitar. So as not to stand a chance of hurting the tone.


I've got an L.R. Baggs Ribbon (in the neigborhood of $180 installed nowadays) and preamp mounted in my guitar, but there's no controls on the guitar (thus no hole cut in the side either :ksmile: ).

I run that out into a SansAmp Acoustic DI (mine was $180 5 yrs ago... maybe it would be less now???), which is where I can control the level, EQ, and warmth of the tone. For me, the setup works very well and played live (which is what I do), sounds top notch. I'd still use a mic to record, but that's just because I'm a perfectionist in that department.

The only maintainance I have to do on the system is occasionally check the endpin jack to make sure nothing's coming loose (so far so good after 6 years) and change the 9-volt battery in the preamp every 600 hours (I estimate by changing it once a year).

Nate
[/QUOTE]

yeah that's the pickup i have in my martin. the L&R Baggs ribbon. it's great. i thought about changing to a dual source but cutting a hole in my precious martin made me decide against that. it's a great pickup though. i've had maybe 2 problems with it and none recently. actually i'm not even sure what one of the problems was cause it's gone now and hasn't bothered me for a long time...:kconf: oh well... best that way
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Unread 01-16-2003, 09:15 AM   #15
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I chose Alvarez (2 of them) for the price.

A 6 string and 12 string. love-um...

Maybe next i'll have to get a Jumbo Alvarez.....ooooooh!

Have a great day.......
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