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Guild vs. Taylor

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I've narrowed it down between those two brands as to which acoustic I want to get. I play blues like SRV and Clapton as well as newer rock like Alice IN chains. I am leaning more toward Taylor than GUild. Which brand makes higher quality ACOUSTIC guitars?

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Both Taylor and Guild make high quality guitars. You need to narrow down your search according to how much you want to spend and what type of feel and sound you prefer. Set a price limit, get out to as many stores as you can find, and just play some guitars. This will demonstrate clearly the differences. Also, do not limit yourself to only two brands. You should also consider models from Gibson, Martin, Larrivee, Tacoma, and even the less expensive Seagull.

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Taylor has guitars which price either below or above Guild's guitars. Both make high-quality acoustic guitars...

While I love Taylors, if I were to play in bars and clubs...and a fight was to break out, I'd prefer to have a Guild. IMHO, the Taylor is more or less fragile than the Guild.

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All Taylors except for their really cheap brands are solid wood. Guilds tend to be plywood except their top of the line models.

Taylors have a better bolt on neck which can be removed easily for a neck reset. Guilds use the old dovetail which is major surgery when the inevitable neck reset is needed. Guilds use basswood for the linings of even their top of the line models while Taylor uses mahogany which in my opinion is better.

 

Taylors are a little more expensive for similar features. A Jumbo Rosewood Guild might sell for 1,300 but a Taylor 710CE might be 1700...etc...

 

I'd have to say play them both and let the sound dictate 95% of your decision once you are paying over 1,000...but I have to say the edge goes to Taylor.

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Originally posted by guitarcapo

Guilds tend to be plywood except their top of the line models.


Not true anymore. Fender has pared down the Guild acoustic line and the body on 25 series is solid mahogany.




Taylors have a better bolt on neck which can be removed easily for a neck reset. Guilds use the old dovetail which is major surgery when the inevitable neck reset is needed.


I agree that bolt on necks are easier to reset. On a properly constructed guitar this should be 20 years or more down the road, however.




Guilds use basswood for the linings of even their top of the line models while Taylor uses mahogany which in my opinion is better.


Are you sure that this is still the case in Fender Guilds? And does this have any bearing on the sound of the instrument?




Taylors are a little more expensive for similar features. A Jumbo Rosewood Guild might sell for 1,300 but a Taylor 710CE might be 1700...etc...


I'd have to say play them both and let the sound dictate 95% of your decision once you are paying over 1,000...but I have to say the edge goes to Taylor.


Agreed, agreed. Sound and playability should always dictate your purchase.

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I'd take a good Guild any day of the week over a Taylor. Taylor makes a good quality, purdy guitar, but it all rests in the tone department and I've never found a Taylor that sounded better ( IMO ) than a good Guild.

 

The question/statement is moot however since both pale in comparison to my Martin

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find yourself an older guild. The 60s-70s was a great time for guild. I have three acoustics from that era and wish I had three more.

 

If you're set on a new instrument, I haven't found anything that sounds much better than a Larrivee right out of the box for about 5 years now.

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I still think Guild is a good guitar but if you want the Glory years find a used early 1970s model or in the years 1986-1991 Jerre Haskew of the Cumberland Trio owned the company and they had some MASTER luthiers there. In fact some people even think those years were fantastic.

 

I am not in general a slammer of Guild and I love the rich solid highs that a heavy built guitar produces. Some guilds really knock me out !

 

Taylor has yet to knock me out but they just aren't for me.

 

To each his own. If you want a Guild those are the good years. For Taylor some years dont have a bolt on neck and newer ones are revoiced to address customer complaints about no bass.

 

Most of this common knowledge. Just be your own judge is my advice. Compare the guitars as individuals. There are some great ones in both brands. And some dogs in both brands.

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I bought a jumbo rosewood JF55 in the early 1990's and it was Guild's top of the line guitar. It had basswood linings. It also wasn't scallop braced which I think is the heart of Guild's brighter sound. Anyway after 8 years I got tired of trying to get enough bass out of it fingerpicking and traded it in for a Taylor 710CE which I like better. The Guild was really good for recording though. Sounded gret with a mike stuck in front of it because it wasn't boomy. But not a fun guitar to sit on your couch and play while watching t.v.

 

I also had a 1984 Brazilian Rosewood D28 Martin made to pre-war specs. It was an awful sounding guitar. I was a kid then and just bought what I heard was a good guitar. The thing sounded like mush when you strummed it. Traded it in for a Gibson J200 I love and never looked back.

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Originally posted by guitarcapo

All Taylors except for their really cheap brands are solid wood. Guilds tend to be plywood except their top of the line models.


Actually, the Guilds with the arched backs have laminated backs ONLY...sides and tops are solid. Guild with flat backs are solid wood throughout.


I've never seen a "plywood Guild"...has anyone else?



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I would agree that Guild is a better guitar from the old days, now that Fender owns them the quality has dropped off. Today, Taylor by a long shot, 15 years ago, Guild by a long shot. Built like a brick wall. Sound better as they age. Taylor is getting better in some respects but they tend to need to compete with the cheap market and this can be their downfall. BTW, I wont knock the Big Baby, I have 3 and love them all.

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Originally posted by guitarcapo

I bought a jumbo rosewood JF55 in the early 1990's and it was Guild's top of the line guitar. It had basswood linings. It also wasn't scallop braced which I think is the heart of Guild's brighter sound. Anyway after 8 years I got tired of trying to get enough bass out of it fingerpicking and traded it in for a Taylor 710CE which I like better. The Guild was really good for recording though. Sounded gret with a mike stuck in front of it because it wasn't boomy. But not a fun guitar to sit on your couch and play while watching t.v.


I also had a 1984 Brazilian Rosewood D28 Martin made to pre-war specs. It was an awful sounding guitar. I was a kid then and just bought what I heard was a good guitar. The thing sounded like mush when you strummed it. Traded it in for a Gibson J200 I love and never looked back.

 

Man, a clunker JF55 and a clunker Braz RW D28. You've got terrible luck!!

 

:D

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Terry is correct - even the 4 series Guilds had solid sides and tops. Only the arched backs are laminate. Non-arched backs are found in the 30 series and up - hardly the "top of the line."

 

With regard to bracing, Guild began scalloping their bracing sometime in the 80's. Traditional Guild bracing is tapered rather than scalloped.

 

Finally - while there are differing opinions regarding bolt-on vs. dovetail necks - I have NEVER heard anyone consider a dovetail inferior as Guitarcapo seemed to imply. It is true that the bolt-ons are easier to repair - no question there. It is also true that a number of high end luthiers are using them. But it is also true that there are a significant number of builders who continue to believe that the dovetail joints are superior. Think about it - a dovetail is more expensive and more difficult to execute than a bolt on. Why would anyone use the dovetail if they didn't believe it offered advantages?

 

Martin, Guild, Larrivee, Everett, Gibson, & Lowden are among the brands using dovetails. I will agree that there is substantial opinion that a guitar with a bolt-on neck can sound very good - as good as one with a dovetail - but to cite a dovetail neck joint as a sign of inferiority is a bit wrongheaded in my view.

 

Ultimately, both Guild and Taylor make fine guitars of roughly equivalent quality. Buy the one that speaks to you.

 

Ken

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Actually dovetails aren't bad...just more difficult to repair. Hate to burst your bubble but Martin is slowly switching to bolt on necks too. I toured their factory 4 years ago and they were bolting them on. The dovetail offers no advantages in sound and I think it's just another vintage holdover.

 

The Guild Jf55 I bought in the early 90's wasn't scallop braced. if they changed their bracing pattern since them I think it's an improvement. I just never had one like that.

 

I will agree that there is substantial opinion that a guitar with a bolt-on neck can sound very good - as good as one with a dovetail - but to cite a dovetail neck joint as a sign of inferiority is a bit wrongheaded in my view.

 

If they sound the same and the bolt on is easier to repair I guess we agree. I never said the dovetail was inferior. But I do have to wonder about your logic there. What's the advantage of the dovetail?

 

Guild uses keywords like "arched" to mean laminate. Also unless they specifically say "solid" don't expect it to be. 3 ply mahogany plywood is still "mahogany back and sides"

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Originally posted by guitarcapo

Actually dovetails aren't bad...just more difficult to repair. Hate to burst your bubble but Martin is slowly switching to bolt on necks too. I toured their factory 4 years ago and they were bolting them on. The dovetail offers no advantages in sound and I think it's just another vintage holdover.


If they sound the same and the bolt on is easier to repair I guess we agree. I never said the dovetail was inferior. But I do have to wonder about your logic there. What's the advantage of the dovetail?


 

Well, there are some builders who believe a set neck offers superior sound and stability just as there are those who don't think it makes that much difference. Jean Larrivee talks about this very issue in a video on his website - he still believes in the dovetail joint. You see a lot of archtop people who look down their nose at bolt-ons as well. I'm not saying that I agree or disagree - just that there are respected authorities who still believe the dovetail is superior. I personally wouldn't hesitate to buy either if the individual guitar sounded right.

 

Do you think that Martin is going to eventually start using bolt-on joints on the D-18, D-28, etc? That would be a major break with tradition.

 

Ken

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I can remember a time when there was no such thing as plywood on a guitar with "Martin" on the headstock. Talk about breaking with tradition....

 

They also never did endorsement model guitars. Times change. Now every pop star seems to have a Martin model.

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Originally posted by guitarcapo

I can remember a time when there was no such thing as plywood on a guitar with "Martin" on the headstock. Talk about breaking with tradition....


They also never did endorsement model guitars. Times change. Now every pop star seems to have a Martin model.

 

 

I can remember a time when Taylor did not make any plywood guitars either. So what's your point?

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My Gibson Gospel has an "arched" back and it is plywood and it is arched. It also sounds fantastic. The arch eliminates the need for any bracing on the back so it's very light. It has a solid top and sides. Would it sound better with a solid back? Can't really say, but I can't imagine it would make THAT much of a difference. In the recent thread about the Carvin with the plywood back-I'd be upset if I got plywood and was promised solid, but would you be able to tell the difference without cutting it open? My point is, don't be afraid of the Guilds with arched backs if they sound good to you-try them next to other models. I chose my Gibson over the Taylor 410, Martin D16 and D1, and Guild D4 and D6 I believe-most of which are all solid-it just had that sound I was looking for. Try out as many as you can side by side even if you have to drive to different stores to try different brands. Larrivee's are also great sounding guitars if you lean toward Taylors but want a little more bottom end without losing the highs.

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I got a Guild DV4 a few months ago - the V indicates a solid mahogany back against the D4 which is the same guitar but with an arched laminate back. The DV4 is a great sounding guitar, particularly for country blues with the alternating bass kinda style but does folk a la Bert Jansch well too. This particular guitar was built in 1999.

 

I got to try a used Guild JF4 when I was in the UK just recently too - not sure of the year, but it had an arched laminate back on it: it too sounded great. It had just the right amount of bass and a great woody, bluesy tone. I contemplated buying that one but in the end plumped for the DV4 because it was cheaper and unused. I'd have been happy with either though.

 

My point? Don't discount the arched-back Guilds. Try one first - you may be surprised!

 

Oh, and to enter the Guild vs. Taylor debate, I don't think it's fair to pick a brand like that. Play them and pick one then, not before.

 

Cams

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Mike Gillum played an archtopped F-5x at our jam it was one of the best sounding guitars in the entire house and NOT the most expensive. It was astonishing as a matter of fact and it did not lack anything but a wider neck that I would have like more. The archtop was beautiful too.

 

Terry, don't worry about G.C. he has a differing opinion on almost everything and the only good guitars are the one's he owns ;)

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Oh by all means laminate back and side guitars can sound great. Alvarez Yairi proved that. But all things being equal most people would value solid wood more. And what's up with calling plywood "arched"? Seems a little deceptive. Call it plywood or laminate.

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GC,

 

They aren't called "arched" because they are laminate; they are called "arched" because they are arched. As I'm sure you know, an arched back or top can either be laminate or solid.

 

Ken

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Originally posted by LittleBrother


Terry, don't worry about G.C. he has a differing opinion on almost everything and the only good guitars are the one's he owns
;)

 

LOL...duely noted! ;)

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