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Old 08-13-2017, 10:09 PM   #1
mcquinnsr
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Default make my Martin sound like a Taylor?

Think these will make my Martin sound like a Taylor?
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Old 08-13-2017, 10:14 PM   #2
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We can only hope not......
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Old 08-13-2017, 10:16 PM   #3
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Wonder what prompted that? Only reason I get Martin Lifespans is to save $5.00 ,the strings are as good to start with.
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Old 08-13-2017, 11:06 PM   #4
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I dunno - but while I admire Bob Taylor as a luthier and as a pioneer in guitar sustainability, we must bear in mind that he didn't displace Guild as The Third Big Acoustic Maker without a certain knack for marketing.
(I loved the old magazine ad with the guy playing on the couch while a babe holds up a lighter: "It's much easier when your wife and your groupie are the same person")
Myself, I use some D'Adarrio or another on everything - none coated.
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Old 08-14-2017, 09:00 AM   #5
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Elixirs sound like Elixirs but a Martin sounds like a Martin.

I can't recall ever putting Elixirs on any of my Martins but I can say all of the strings I put on my Martins had to admit to themself they were on a Martin. Now, not all Martins sound alike but most can be identified as a Martin without a lot of effort no matter the strings.

I'd think you'd have better luck getting close to a Taylor sound if you did one of two things. A) Put the Elixirs on one of your other guitars. B) Trade one of your guitars for a Taylor.

If you decide to try the latter, try a Bluegrass festival. I understand all of those guys are just dying to own a Taylor. NOT!
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Old 08-14-2017, 07:03 PM   #6
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My Pastor is a Taylor fan and he gave me those. With my hearing after lifetime of abusing ears operating large presses and listening to some very loud music I cannot seem to hear some of the nuances you folks hear. I use coated strings because they are a good compromise between changing strings and they are more consistant for longer . He rattles about Taylors like the guys at work talk about sports people. I like to play his and it sounds good and plays well ,the body looks like contact paper to me , but that is most of the unfinished tree hugger woods . Just my opinion.
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Old 08-14-2017, 09:23 PM   #7
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Don't get me wrong, I like Taylors - I'd love to have one. Right after I get some Martins, Guilds, Gibsons, Santa Cruzes, Collingses, Bozos, Mossmans, Gurians, Larrivées, Nationals, Larson Bros., Strombergs...........

You're right, coated strings last. I just find their sound not as satisfying as uncoated, and I don't like the way they feel. Plus, I Beta-tested D'Addario's newest ones, and found thtey lacked the tuning stability of their regular ones (oddly enough, always going sharp after sitting).

A few years back I got my hearing tested (after She insisted because i wouldn't believe I was going deaf. Audiologist says "Your hearing is as good as to be expected (gawd, I'm getting tired of hearing this next part) for someone your age."
"Kewl - my wife insists I'm half deaf after a few decades as a rock'n'roll soundman."
"Oh - in that case, your hearing's perfect!"

Last edited by Cozmik Cowboy; 08-15-2017 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 08-15-2017, 09:43 AM   #8
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I was not making a comment on the quality of a Taylor guitar. In fact, one of "the best" guitars I remember ever playing was a Robert Taylor model I auditioned several years ago. It was well out of my price range but, if I could have parted with the money, that guitar would be in my house right now.

I was only describing my experience with various manufacturer's products.



When I was actively selling high end audio gear, I was constantly discussing the sonic and musical differences between any number of very good products, very few of which could have been described as identical to another. That's simple subjective listening and thinking; "I" am the "subject" in subjective opinions. My thinking is based upon my reaction to what I perceive when I am exposed to "X".

Objective thinking comes down to what a buyer might see on a test report or on one of our tests benches. It is, in the case of audio equipment, a matter of on paper numbers alone, not on any listening experience. In fact, objectivists believe two amplifiers which measure the same, will sound the same. Therefore, they have already assured themself that "good sound" is only found in "good numbers". The "object" and its measurements guide an "objectivist" in their purchases and preferences.

Objectively, there are many very good guitars available today. We all agree on that. Though I think an objectivist would have a difficult time making sense of the thousands of guitars, from hundreds of builders, with specs which read "solid spruce top, solid rosewood back and sides". More measurements would be required to determine whether a real difference exists between, say, a Martin and a Taylor with those generic specs. If you buy your guitars by specs, I suppose you'd want those measurements. Most of us, however, buy our guitars based on their sound and playability.


Subjectively, I prefer "X" and you may prefer "Y". We may both like "A". No one is trying to diminish the quality of either A, X or Y, they each are allowed to have "good sound" and to "play well".

Some folks will take either side of their preference to the extreme. Some will simply accept that other people prefer things they themself do not. For instance, I offered my old coffee grinder to a neighbor when I purchased a new, "better" grinder. Now, you can spend several hundred dollars on a very good coffee grinder - I didn't - or you can buy ground coffee in a can and not even own a grinder of your own. My neighbor has always, and will always, buy ground coffee. Mostly because he doesn't notice any differences in various coffee roasts, he buys whatever is on sale. He loads his coffee up with lots of sugar and milk and he's happy. I buy fresh beans, grind them just before they go into the pot and I slowly pour the water over the coffee to achieve what I think is a tasty cup of coffee. My neighbor really doesn't care, and doesn't care to learn, about Ethiopian and Arabica and Robusta beans. Coffee is coffee to him.



Most subjective decisions ride somewhere on a line between extreme objectivism and extreme subjectivism. Guitars are no different in that respect. You won't find many bluegrass players using a Taylor because Martin has "the bluegrass sound" and Taylors generally don't. Martins play as a bluegrass player prefers and mostly Taylors do not. The decisions being made, aside from the tribalism of showing up to a bluegrass festival with a Taylor, are decisions made by playing with a sound in your head. The traditional sounds of bluegrass were built upon the sound of a Martin dreadnaught.

Gibsons tend to be the preferred label for singer/songwriters due to their "sweet" midrange tones. If you play acoustic blues, you probably want a "blues box" type of guitar somewhere along the line. A lot of this is driven by our guitar heroes and some is a matter of what sounds we imagine we will produce with X or Y - or an A - guitar in our hands.

House sounds - the identifiable markers of a specific manufacturer - are often the guidestones to what we buy and why we buy it. Once we identify with a label, we are often proud to buy their T-shirts, belt buckles and coffee mugs to let the world know we are in "this" manufacturer's house. Marketing has suggested to us this idea of buying into a product beyond the product itself.

Marketing and NASCAR.



Elixirs, Martin strings and Martin guitars and Taylors all have fairly identifiable house sounds. It's long been acknowledged that the house sound of a Taylor in the demo room is a matter of the Elixirs which come as OEM strings. Bob Taylor was a keen observer of how guitars were being sold and he noticed how many guitars had worn out strings before they ever left the demo room. As Cowboy said, Taylor guitars are well marketed. They're also pretty good guitars on their own.

There's nothing specifically wrong with marketing a product you believe in. You won't exist unless you get noticed and any new guitar builder must get their share of attention in the demo room. Bob Taylor did/does a lot of smart marketing to get his guitars into the hands of a lot of prospective buyers. Other mass market, factory built manufacturers have had to step up their game to compete. Elixirs also did their share of marketing to get noticed.

So, if you saw someone wearing an Elixir T-shirt, would you think they also liked Taylor guitars? It's interesting to see (some) Elixirs are being marketed as being developed in conjunction with Taylor guitars.



Putting Elixirs on your Martin should make a discernible difference in comparison to Martin Strings on a Martin guitar. Though the guitar will always dominate the pairing. If you drop a Chevy small block into a VW, it's the VW personality you will still notice the most.

If you put a set of Martin Retros (my favorite string for now) on a Taylor 800 series, you wouldn't have either a Martin or a Taylor house sound. But you might have a sound you like.

Subjectively, the Martin house sound is sometimes described as 'warm" and the Elixir house sound as "bright". Subjectively, those are almost polar opposites. Whether your preference is to pair "like with like" to achieve a synergy of personalities, or to pull one sound in another direction by adding its opposite to the system, is one I've discussed with many, many audio buyers.

There is no one answer to any pairing and there is no "right answer" for everyone. How you respond to Elixirs on your Martin is your choice. Let us know what you think. IMO, they certainly should noticeably change the personality of your guitar if you are accustomed to Martin strings.

Your Martin won't sound or play "like a Taylor" but that's OK too.
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Old 08-15-2017, 08:35 PM   #9
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I have used both Elixers and Martin strings, neither sound as good as a new set of Martin Marquis do for a couple of days but after the brightness wears off the coated strings sound better longer to me. I just buy whichever brand is on sale ,I can't tell much difference .
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Old 08-15-2017, 10:02 PM   #10
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If you're ever in Dallas, mcquinnsr, I'll buy you a cup of coffee.
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Old 08-16-2017, 07:48 PM   #11
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Might take you up on that after I retire next year.
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