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Taylor Expression system vrs Fishman system


Starr man
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Hello all... I have been looking at some Taylor 310s, and am having trouble deciding which style electronics to go with. The older models had the Fishman (prefix I think) and all the newer one have the expression system. Can you guys share your thoughts and comments about both?? How do they compare in sound? Is one better than the other?? Please advise... Thank You! Starrman ( Forgive me if this has been disussed already)

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Like wilsonmak said people either love or hate ES. There seems to be no inbetween. The earlier ES systems had ALOT of problems but I think the reliability problems are fixed now. The way the preamp for the ES is made I don't know of any way to uninstall it for a future upgrade. My ES quit on me 2 times but like I said those problems are supposed to be fixed now. Another problem mine had was "hotter" "B" and "E" strings, the unwound ones. In the end there are alot of great pickup systems out there that sound great and you don't have to destroy your guitar to install. I'd recommend buying a guitar without factory installed electronics but if it's a choice between these two Taylor's I go with the fishmann. It's reliable and the extra cost of the ES isn't worth it.

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Yeah, all 300 and above Taylors come with ES. There have been a lo of people (Taylor fans) who have been REAL unhappy with the ES. Thay seem to go dead on people an awful lot. I am a fan of Taylors and almost bought a limited, but didn't want to pay $1200 for a guitar with what I feel are unreliable electronics. Try the www.acousticguitarforum.com for all of the ES info you need (that used to be the Taylor Forum, but people complained so much about the ES, Taylor shut it down, so people think).

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I'd buy one with NO pickup system and install your own. There are just too many BETTER options that sound better than both of those systems and in most cases cheaper. Buy a bare guitar then shop until you find the state of the art.

 

The ES system in my opinion invades the guitar WAY too deeply with far too many cables, components and single points of failure.

 

Look at all the parts in an ES system. It's insane... IMO

 

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Thanks for the replys.... I have heard the expression sytem is sensitive to dimmers and or certain lights... But can anyone give me more feed back on how they compare sound wise? I like the simplicity of the expression system, but the Fishman seems to offer more in terms of EQ and the blend thang... Please advise.. Starr man

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Me B and E strings sound a lil hotter than the other four...it makes me sad....but I hardly play plugged in so that makes me happy!! The thing that pisses me off the most about the ES is that the batteries don't last as long and there's no power indicator.

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Thanks for the opinions gang... I took another ride to our Guitar Center, and tried out the 310 with the ES.... It sounded good, but I think it is more brilliant sounding. Has more of that high-end sparkle which would sound better for strummers.I also tried a Taylor with the Fishman blender. It seemed a little deeper sounding, and offers more control. I think the Fishman is better for lead work and such... I think I'm gunna go with the Fishman....If anyone else has more comments about this please share them... Starr man

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I've got a Taylor 314ce with the Fishman prefix (not blender). Its horrid! - Totally unusable for recording (I'd use a mic anyway) and very one-dimensional live. I would hope the blender system would improve on this because it has internal mic(?). I havn't tried the es system so can't comment. I would probably agree that retro fitting is the way to go, especially if you're interested in guitars per se rather than just playing. I'm a total guitar nut so I'd probably enjoy the process of researching the purchase and waying up the odds!

redstevo

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As LB stated, there are way to many failure points in this system.

Other problems like: Batteries rattle, Taylor's solution is to wrap the batteries in Post-It-Notes to stop the rattle. Complaints of hot B string, Taylor states that's the way it is supposed to sound!

Batteries do not last as long and give no warning when getting low, the system simply quits.

 

Go to the former Taylor Guitar Forum and read the posts. It's actually amusing to see all of the "in fighting" that goes on between the members concerning the system.

 

And to top it off, if there is a problem you will in most cases have to send the guitar to Taylor to fix.

 

If this is State of the Art technology I'll do without. We are, after all is said and done, talking about ACOUSTIC guitars are we not.

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Yall bring up many good points. This is one reason I stopped buying acoustics with any factory system. There is literally no good reason to do it. The after market systems provide much better choices and options and sound way better because not only are they installed better but you have more time to relax and find the right solution. Often times factory systems lag behind the market in technology.

 

I also think the ES system was a huge blunder by Taylor. They also came out too strong with way too much hype like they usually do. I played them at the NAMM shows and the ES did not do anything for me. Hardware wise it is not really anything revolutionary except it is far too excessive for such an average result.

 

If you do end up with a fishman UST the clay shim trick on my website under TIPS and TRICKS works wonders on it tonally.

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Now MY experience with this stuff is VERY limited, however, is it possible that Taylor has made changes to the ES system? When I bought mine, I compared the electronics to several other guitars. To MY ears, the ES was the only system that sounded linear and I heard NO hot strings, whereas I did from a couple others. As a matter of fact, I thought it sounded the best of the instruments I looked at. That was actually one of the selling points for me. I'm far from calling myself a musician yet, but I've been involved in some amplifier design and high end audio components for many years and my ear has been fairly reliable up to this point. I just didn't hear any of the complaints mentioned here. I'm very curious now if anyone else likes the sound of the ES system.

 

Also, as far as battery life, what should I expect? AA batteries are cheap, and now they have lithiums, so maybe that'll help.

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Originally posted by hempomatic

Also, as far as battery life, what should I expect? AA batteries are cheap, and now they have lithiums, so maybe that'll help.

36 AA's for $13 at Home Depot.

 

8 AA Lithiums for $9 at Home Depot, too.

 

pretty nice prices.

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Originally posted by hempomatic



Also, as far as battery life, what should I expect? AA batteries are cheap, and now they have lithiums, so maybe that'll help.

 

When I first got mine batteries wouldn't even last an entire gig, (usually 3 45 min. sets) I learned to change them after the second set. After Taylor repaired it(the first time) battery life got alot better. I could use the same set for a couple weeks. It will start sounding thin and distorted right before they die. Taylor claims the batteries should last 20 hours. If you leave it plugged in, even if you aren't playing it the batteries are still being used, but you probably know that.

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  • 16 years later...
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I love my 2002 Taylor 310CE with Fishman Prefix electronics. It sounds like an acoustic. It's got good lows, mids and highs, very balanced and the eq is awesome. The best I've heard actually. I was surprised to find the majority of the 310 CE's came with the less reliable and often complained about "Expression"system. I'm grateful I have mine. I'm recording with it this weekend in fact! Enjoy!

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