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Taylor 214CE, Gibson J45, Martin D15, Martin D35


MorrisrownSal

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I threw this together early this morning. Ipad recorded, using an Apogee MiC. 2105 Taylor, 2015 Martin, and 2016 J45. The Mic was positioned about 3 feet from me, probably at forehead level - probably not an optimal placement. When I listen back myself, I hear a representation that I don't find true - the Martin sounds more muddy here than it is. Anyways, maybe I'll try to do it with better placement later, but for now here is a little imperfect playing for sure, and I was hoping it would showcase how different each of these are. I find the Tayor most bright, and thinnest.... the Martin more bassy and "overtoney", and the Gibson is the Goldilocks.

 

Hope you enjoy it... let me know what you think, and how I can make the comparison better... including different selection of tunes.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1qICIzyLkg

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Holy mic placement! Makes a huge difference, no? And it actually favors the Taylor chime. That placement would be a good one to keep in mind when recording that guitar.

 

Yes, Martin goes to mud easily with that mic placement; may be a recording levels-thing, too. Are those mediums on the Martin? All strung similarly?

 

The J-45 can handle that setup, and it's strong mids save the day.

 

Thanks for doing that.

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Enjoyed that and agree with 62burst, the mike placement favours the Taylor and based on this recording i thought it sounded actually very well, definitely held its own against the J--45 and thought overall sounded stronger than the Martin, which did sound kinda muddy. (wonder if 80/20's could be a good option for it, my J-40 favours them)

 

That 214ce does sound a lot warmer than my old 214ce, and that a good thing - what strings are you using on it Sal ? Today I played a few Taylors from entry to high end, all equiped with fresh Elixirs and honestly could harly tell the difference between a solid rosewood or laminate mahogay b/sides .... they all sounded the same frankly, bright and metallic.

 

But i hear genuine warmth in your Taylor, and thats a good thing.

 

But overall I thought the J-45 was the clear stand out. Just has everything, warmth, clarity, balance and character .... and out of the three, definitely the best burst.

 

Thanks for making the effort.

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I don't know that I would think that a good comparison would involve a 200 model from taylor. I think the Martin and Gibson are in a totally different ballpark quality wise..just in cost the Taylor 200 series is about one thousand less than the J45 and about 1,500.00 less than the Martin...I understand what you are doing but not really a "fair Comparison in my humble opinion but it is interesting to hear...thanks for posting.

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Oddly, on my laptop speakers the Taylor sounded the best, but lacked some bass and warmth. In second place came the J-45 which had the best mix of bass and trebles, but sounded a bit subdued. 3rd place was the Martin, which sounded very muddy and quite dull - for the reasons you mentioned perhaps?. Very strange results, as usually the J-45 would be my favourite followed by the Martin, though I'm sure yours sound great in person...I should probably listen on decent speakers and that might change things!

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I know I'm prejudiced, but the J-45 was the clear overall winner. It was hands-down #1 on "Hide your Love Away", and a slight preference to the D-35 on the fingerpicking. D-35 was a dud flat-picked, for some reason.

 

The Taylor just does nothing for me. If you hear it without hearing the others, it's fine. I chose it as #2 flat picked, #3 fingerpicked.

 

Edit: Went back and listened again, on my Bose computer speakers rather than the fairly average headset I use with the computer. The differences were more apparent through the headset, even though it nominally isn't as high-quality as the speakers. Getting rid of any ambient noise by listening through the headset usually helps, even though the only ambient noise in my office is the fan in the computer. I'm running flat EQ through the headset

 

Overall results didn't change, but the J-45 was a bit less dominant though the speakers than through the headset.

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Took a chance and listened (my computer is sick and has a tendancy to crash playing videos).

 

I will say that the playing of all 3 is a good example of some of the reasons why acoustic flat-tops are great to play regardless of what they are.

 

This might be a study in mic placement as much as the differences between guitars. But I will also add, regarding the differences between a typical Martin and a typical Gibson (and in particular the J-45 and D-35), is that these guitars develop in tone at different distances, and sound different often because of that.

 

To be fair, I think the Martin would shine with the mic placed farther away compared to the Gibson.

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To be fair, I think the Martin would shine with the mic placed farther away compared to the Gibson.

 

 

I would agree with that. We've heard Sals D-35 in past vids and it sounded really rich, but also with good shimmer.

 

Although rosewood Martins are traditionally hard to mike up, sound engineers cant stand recording them from the couple i spoke to.

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Although rosewood Martins are traditionally hard to mike up, sound engineers cant stand recording them from the couple i spoke to.

 

 

Depends on the setting, and whether it's recording or live performance. Not to mention the style of music, of course. Rosewood guitars can be tough strummed because of the overtones, especially with warm PB strings. As a sound guy, mahogany guitars are usually your friend by comparison.

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I would agree with that. We've heard Sals D-35 in past vids and it sounded really rich, but also with good shimmer.

 

Although rosewood Martins are traditionally hard to mike up, sound engineers cant stand recording them from the couple i spoke to.

I can see that.

 

Bass is the hardest frequency to deal with, in most things. And as it is, the thing that sets the rosewood Martin dreads apart is the bass, and often, the best of them that I have heard, the bass frequencies have this magical effect on reinforcing the treble and perhaps making them louder and punchier in the treble as a result.

 

I know it's the treble everyone things about when they think of the "Martin sound", but to me I think it's the interaction of extremes that make the Martins sound like they do.

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I KNOW my D35 sounds great. This is a great example of poor recording choice and method. I wish I could do it over now...

 

I see it as Taylor bright, good mids, little bass thin. Martin Big bass... but I control it when I play it. You cant blam away on a D35. J45... Goldilocks. It has it all for me.

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On my iPad speaker(s?), the Taylor was the clearest with your 'far mic'ing' technique.

 

 

We do ALL get used to hearing 'close mic'd' guitars, but with a vintage style tube condensor, some great sounds can be had for vocal/guitar by sitting about the distance away from the mic Sal did, except he used the ApogeeMic. [biggrin]

 

I was the guinea pig for a friend years back - he had a severe case of mic and mixer GAS. Unnerving and terrifying singing and playing to a tube mic that picks up everything! And then he would listen back and edit noises in the spaces out, like lip smacking and rustling shirt and nervous foot tapping and....and...and.....

 

The further away that mic sucker was - the better!

 

 

BluesKing777.

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I liked 'em all. If its got 6 strings, will hold its tuning, it is a worthy instrument in my book. I observe a bit of that Martin holding back - if its anything like mine it really excels at roar level, and finger picked - gotta be 80-20 strings for me. Did you know your new Taylor is missing a section? [biggrin] Each of these guitars has its strengths and usefulness. Yep, they're all good.

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Listening again, I apologize for polluting the forum. The intent was noble, but the execution was poor. Mods...zap this. I'll try again at a later time, and mic it right. The guitars are good and deserving enough, that I should do them each justice, and this was not it.

 

Don't be so hard on yourself... absolutely no apology necessary (you call that pollution?). That was enjoyable, many of us had the same type of Saturday morning. I was amused at the biomechanics of the a/b/c guitarist, wondering how many of us do that same move when no assistant is present to quickly/safely do the hand-off : ).

 

You did us a service showing how mic placement can be such a big part of how a guitar presents itself. And who said no do-overs? Looking forward to the next one.

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I'd be interested in hearing these guitars again in five years. They all seem so new. You've still got miles to go before the solid woods mature. But you know that. Just like you know your Martin is a killer no matter how it sounds here.

 

You are also developing into a fine fingerpicker. Your dedication is inspiring.

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Well I listened and listened again and I like the Martin. To my ears the Martin sounds like an acoustic guitar should sound - I like that hint of (what I can only call dullness - as opposed to shrillness or brittleness of the Taylor). The J45 is really the one guitar on my bucket list - yet over recent days I have seen various videos and comments about the tone/sound of the J45 that I am moving towards a Martin and the 35 seems to be the one. It's scary after saving for so long with a single goal in mind. Aaaaaggggggghhhhhhhhhhh!! [confused]

 

Please help!!!

 

P.S. Sal do you get many comments about the kid with the cig?

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Listening again, I apologize for polluting the forum. The intent was noble, but the execution was poor. Mods...zap this. I'll try again at a later time, and mic it right. The guitars are good and deserving enough, that I should do them each justice, and this was not it.

 

Don't need to apologise! I found your video very interesting and you have a great collection of guitars. I myself had a similar experience to you with mic placement. A while ago I randomly recorded my Gibson Dove next to my Fender CD160SE 12 string and listening back the Fender shone through more than the Dove! I realised it was recording device that picked up the higher frequencies of the Fender better than the Gibson, when in reality the Gibson sounds far and away better than the Fender!

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These tests are so entertaining - one scrolls back and forth like a video-game.

 

All four land well in my cans and I'm sure the thinner Taylor is superb for certain tunes.

 

No doubt the 45 comes across like a strong fat beef, but that 15 holds a promise of something street-cool that shouldn't be underestimated.

 

Heard the 45 more bassy than the D-35 in finger-p section when hitting E-minor - am I wrong. .

 

Sorry, but no vote is cast - impossible as the foursome sums up some kind of basic clue : The privileged joy of being able to move around between them.

 

"They are 1 guitar - they are 2 alone - they are 3 together - they are 4 each other"

 

Approximately S. Stills

 

 

 

Btw. with the finger-picking in progress, why not learn that one - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doIEwzc6k_k

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