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Acoustic guitars for recording?

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by audiokid, Feb 19, 2016.

  1. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I owned the Taylor 314CE for years and passed it off to my daughter. I need a new Taylor or something comparable to be able to earn some extra income. I don't really want the electronics. I'd much rather have nothing inside the box.
    That being said, I have been considering the 414CE for some time because I've read its a choice studio acoustic. I also read the Taylor GC8 is really nice too. The slotted peg system in intriguing.

    I'm still undecided.

    Or, what do you recommend for acoustic guitars?
  2. Makzimia

    Makzimia Active Member

    Hi Chris,

    As you know I own a number of nice acoustics, including the Taylor 413ce ltd. may I suggest in your considerations, also a Gibson studio and an Ovation. I own a 76 Ovation Balladeer. The tonal balance of Ovations are renowned.

    Played almost exclusively by people like Glenn Campbell, Melissa Ethridge and more. Although I have not done mine justice on recording compared to your abilities, I'm sure you would be over the moon with the sound.

  3. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I corrected your spelling of "Balladeer" in your quote above ( but not in your post).

    I agree, they do sound nice ( I personally don't think they sound as good as a Taylor or Gibson, but they sound nice), but like all Ovations, they can be difficult to play while sitting, because of the bowl-shaped back.

    Much of the tone will also be dependent upon the room, the mic, and the pre.... but I'm not saying anything here that Chris isn't already well aware of. ;)
  4. Makzimia

    Makzimia Active Member

    I have two words for you Donny, guitar strap :p. But seriously I've been playing them since the 70s not personally had handling issues. One exception, the really shallow one I had for a bit. I like all my acoustics for various reasons. It's why we buy more than one lol.
  5. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I agree... I have more guitars than any drummer should be allowed to have. ;)
  6. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    guitars are like socks or underwear. we all have preferences. personally i like Martins. i never heard a Taylor i cared for (honkey and midrangeish). Jeff Larson was big on them when i was producing for him but i would always ask him, "Where's your Martin?"

    an acquaintance that passed recently owned an international guitar business. he told me one time"Kurt, there are three types of guitars. Martin's, Gibson’s and Fender's. Everything else is an also ran." God bless Bob November.
  7. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    I've played many different guitars both live and in the studio in my time, but have recorded other guitarists playing a huge number of different makes and models. I usually play a Martin on stage, but prefer to record Taylors.
  8. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    I recently went to music store that has a really nicely stocked acoustic department. I was looking for something mid-priced (with a pickup sysytem) that I could donate to a church for live performance. I was pleasantly surprised by how many of them sounded really good acoustically, before plugging them in. I was very impressed with the PRS acoustic's tone and playability, and after playing everything they had under $1k, I left with a reasonably priced Martin dreadnaught. Acoustically it was very warm and well balanced and the electronics did all of that justice.

    I've played some incredibly nice Taylors and Martins, but if you're laying out that kind of cash you would want to play it before you bought it. And if you're going to a big store, play them all and you might find a gem by someone else. I've heard and played some great Alvarez, Yamaha, Guild, Takamine too over the years.
  9. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Thanks for all the suggestions guys.
    Between the Taylor, Martin, Gibson dealers here I haven't found a Taylor I've liked so far but I found two others (both spruce and mahogany) I like a lot.
    1. Martin Grand Performance
    2. Morgan Dreadnought

    The Martin was close in feel and size to my last Taylor with electronics. The Morgan is without electronics.
    I'd rather not pay for electronics and add that expense into the build.
    I've never played a Morgan before. It was beautiful.
    Apparently Morgan is someone who used to build for Larrivee . I've don't like Larrivee, owned one before, and this is not anything like a Larrivee so kudo'd for Morgan. They are built in Canada.

    I want this guitar to play a bit live but more for recording. I've always used smaller bodied, spruce top, mahogany body guitars for recording so my question is, Dreadnaught's are known to be more prone to boomy, less "balanced" tone?
    I love this Morgan guitar.. I will be picking and strumming. This has to do it all for me.

    What are your thoughts on Dreadnaught's for recording a (mix of picking and strumming)?
  10. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    i have never had issues recording dreadnought's. i mic them @ the 12th fret, pointed away from the sound hole. i never mic the sound hole. if i need more lows, i'll put a mic on the lower bout.

    i agree about the electronics. they get old and fail. if i needed a guitar with electronics, i would get an inexpensive one with plywood sides. they feed back less. i still lean towards Martins. better resale but i agree there are plenty of nice guitars that aren't name brand.

    are they both new?
  11. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Yes, both new and close in price. Morgan a few hundred more. I can't find any used acoustic so far. But wow... the Morgan acoustic is amazing.
    I was thinking this too. The sound of the Morgan is fuller and the neck is marginally better. Its definitely more inspiring to me.
  12. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Man, can't stop thinking about it. Since I lost my Taylor, I feel like a lost puppy or a kid without his blanket lol. I haven't been without an acoustic guitar for 40 years.

  13. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I have a lead on a used 814ce.

    Check this out, pretty well done:
  14. Makzimia

    Makzimia Active Member

    @audiokid I'm positive it's the fact I listened on iPhone speakers, but with exception of the short scale guitar and one other, sounded very similar. Because of the player during first part being spot on with his notation. I expected, even on iPhone to hear slightly more low mid and upper lows as we hit the 800 series. I've played them in store too.

    I have to say, personally, my purchase of the 413ce ltd was still a great purchase for that style of guitar. If you can get the newer 814 for a good price of course, worth getting.

    Just my thought. I refer back to my statement of why I have more than one acoustic, lol.
    audiokid likes this.
  15. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I agree as well. I noticed the 814ce sounding more open and fuller. I'm reading this improvement is partly do to the rosewood back and sides and some construction.
    I do love Taylor guitars.
  16. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I can't try this 814 as its 2000 miles away but could return it. Looking at the top grain, its looks pretty nice, what do others think? Its not overly wide grain near the bridge, outer grain looks nice. Grain wise.... Thoughts? Looks like pieces. hmm.
    Reading up on acoustic guitar wood grains, http://www.frets.com/FretsPages/Musician/Guitar/ToneWoods/tonewoods1.html

    Attached Files:

  17. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I could never afford this is a $10,000 martin, but its fun to use it as an example. Notice the grain on this gem. Nice. :love:

    Attached Files:

  18. Makzimia

    Makzimia Active Member

    Chris, rear of sound board behind bridge, middle doesn't look as it should FYI.
  19. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    What do you see?
  20. Makzimia

    Makzimia Active Member

    Initial look seems like a possible repaired wooden fracture.
    audiokid likes this.

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