Say hey Benjamin,
I own two Taylors: the 614ce (maple -2009) and 518e (mahogany 2013). What a guitar! I use medium-lights on the crisp maple, and mediums on the volubleness mahogany. When I first heard Taylor guitars in San Diego, where I lived back in the mid-seventies, I thought, ‘Yuk’! They sounded like banjos. Then something happened within Taylor in the nineties and their product burst forth with colorful sounds. And it is only getting better. Looking beyond the product and into their supply, operations, and dedication to communities all around the World is one of the most remarkable stories I have ever heard.
There are two, ever present, philosophies: handmade vs. manufactured by automation. If these two Taylors of mine where tediously and lovingly made by hand with simple hand tools, the cost would be outrageous. The quality of each individual handmade guitar varies considerably.
Using Rolls Royce as an example, history says it better to the bottom line to automate. When Rolls Royce finally let go of nineteenth century mentality, surprisingly they found the quality vastly improved. Look at that company today. Wow!
Any hooters, let’s get back to the philosophies of handmade vs. automation. On the other side of the coin there is a handful of; die-hard must be “handmade” luthiers today, of which I don’t understand their logic. Are they really making them by hand? Or, are they miss-leading adverts? Those I do checkout can only make a few hundred to a thousand guitars a year. How does that kind of company support itself and its employees? HIGH COST!
If only Lowden would convert… such a troubled company and personal history to stay “handmade.” That is hardheaded. They can implement a Custom Line of guitars, and be automated. I’d get one if they where affordable! They have a unique rich tone.
Taylor is fully automated. If I compare a 2009 614ce made today, I don’t think I would see much more than plus or minus of .010 of an inch deviation between the two. Taylor offers high quality, repeatability, dependability, and it’s affordable. Taylor goes further, competing with the best in the world. Taylor is an awesome company. If Taylor was a less compassionate company, I don’t think I would own a Taylor. To me, what a company does beyond their product to support people and preserve the dignity of the land and those who survive in it is paramount. Taylor is all this and more.
Enjoy your Taylors, Jim Lair
Reply posted 3 months ago by Jim Lair