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African-American Music Appreciation

Thank you for [last issue’s] wonderful celebration of African-American music! Absolutely beautiful. It is not talked about enough, and I have sent links to it to all my students, friends and anyone who will listen. As a white musician and teacher, I have deep regard for African-American musicians and everything they have brought to us. Would there even be a genre we could call “American Music” without the profound contributions of our Black and Brown brothers and sisters?

Tom McMail

Fire Escape

I wanted to thank you for the quality of your products. I recently bought the 214ce-K and fell in love with the guitar. Unfortunately, this week my family and I suffered a devastating house fire that destroyed all of my and my father’s musical instruments and equipment. Once the fire was put out, a firefighter brought the guitar in the case outside the house. The cover was burnt, covered in soot, smelled like smoke, and was soaking wet from the fire hose. I thought my new guitar was done for. However, thanks to the high-quality craftsmanship you put not only into your guitars but also your cases, the guitar was the only thing that survived. It just needed a little cleanup to get rid of the soot that seeped through and it was as good as new! I am beyond grateful for this guitar surviving and even more grateful for your company putting so much work into your instruments and cases. I will always purchase acoustic guitars from your company.

interior still-life photo of Taylor acoustic guitar

Marcelo Gazel Drummond Costa

Living Up to Our Reputation

I simply want to thank you for producing such fine products. I purchased a 414ce-R in February. I am in love with my guitar. It sounds so good. Its quality is superb. I took a chance by ordering the guitar without playing the specific one I bought. Your reputation inspired my trust. I was not let down at all. Seriously, I’m very grateful.

Casey Hancuff

Another Happy Owner

Why is my Taylor 214ce so vastly superior in every way to every other guitar I own, especially much more expensive electric guitars? Taylor offers instruments going up to 10 times the cost of this guitar? How much better can it really get? How can I purchase an electric guitar that has the kind of precision and response that my little Taylor 214ce has? What does it feel like, knowing you are the best instrument company for guitars, bar none?

Jared Thompson

Fortunate Find

On December 6 of last year, you built a 224ce-K DLX model with solid koa top. Sometime between then and now, the guitar went through an original sale at Music Villa in Bozeman, Montana. I am fortunate that the original purchaser apparently did not like the guitar. Who knows, it might have been a gift.

Last week, the first owner traded it in on a Telecaster. His loss. I bought this guitar the same day it was traded in and feel very fortunate. I am also very fortunate to own an all-solid 1975 Martin D-35, an all-solid early ’80s Gibson Dove, and a 1974 Ramirez 1a, which has pear laminate sides. All three guitars have stellar sound and quirks like all great guitars do. But you have created a spectacular instrument using a laminate, and at a price point that is pretty amazing.

Sound. To. DIE. For. Right out of the box. No waiting 10 years for the sound to open up. Alternate tunings sound breathtaking, especially double drop D; Neil Young’s “Don’t Let It Bring You Down” will make you cry. Stays in tune. Good reproduction of the acoustic sound when pickup used. On top of that, I’ve never had what I consider a “beautiful” guitar, but I do now. The surface work is immaculate (and apparently sweat-resistant!).

Also, the staff at Music Villa couldn’t have been more helpful. Their selection of instruments was unparalleled. Gino, Paul, Abel and Josh were very thoughtful and pleasant and always available. They set me up with a sound room with any and all guitars I wanted to play. They let my friend and I drive them nuts over two visits for a grand total of six hours before I finally was able to make a decision. Awesome!

Please accept my thanks.

Robert Roeper Missoula, Montana

This Is the One

I’ve owned a few guitars, never anything high-end, and actually had to stop playing for a couple of years due to arthritis. Then, with the magic of meds and a great rheumatologist, I was able to start playing again. During my hiatus, I didn’t notice that the neck on my guitar got badly warped, so time for a new one. I had read about guys picking up a guitar and thinking, this is it, this is the one, the guitar I have looked for all my life. I bought a GS Mini Rosewood, and this is it, the tone is as good as possible, and the ease of play is as good as possible. While I no longer have pain from arthritis, my bent fingers don’t do my playing any favours, but the small neck makes playing at least possible, even if on some days, G7 or a barred F are close to impossible. Thank you for putting a smile back on my face.

Gord Lefort

Great Guitar, Great Picks

Greetings from Belgium. I just bought another Taylor guitar in the unbeatable 300 Series. As I already own a 314ce, a 355ce, and an Academy 12e-N, this is my first V-Class guitar, a wonderful 327e. If I were a richer man, I would have opted for a 524ce, but they are well above my budget, as I am a working (but non-professional) freelance musician. Nevertheless, the 327e simply blew me away, as it is a very warm-sounding instrument. I had seen some tests on the Internet where the V-Class instruments were described as having “marginally less bass response,” but the bass response of my 327e contradicts that — it booms like my old [other brand], but in a more balanced way, without overpowering the trebles! Lovely in fingerstyle, and just as nice with a pick.

While I more or less stopped using picks about 10 years ago, as I found that the standard picks, no matter the thickness, material or brand, made me sound shrill and brittle, I happened to see that Taylor also has picks on offer. I ordered some six-packs of various materials and thicknesses and, lo and behold! The Thermex variety made my jazz boxes sound like a dream, and the acoustics came alive like never before, sounding warm without losing clarity and focus.

Of course, being a player for nearly 50 years, I was well aware that thickness and material of a pick have a huge influence on the sound of a guitar. But these new ones exceeded all of my expectations and renewed my enthusiasm in playing fast articulated (acoustic) guitar solos, something I haven’t done in more than ten years.

While Taylor is a leading manufacturer of the finest acoustic guitars in the world, I do appreciate that you devote time and energy to something as humble as a pick. This is where our tone, our voice as a musician, starts. Whatever expensive woods and pickups you attach the strings to, if what triggers the strings to vibrate in the first place does not sound OK, these technological wonders and woodworking skills can only amplify those horrors.

Marc Steenhaut

Heirloom in the Making

For the last two months, I have ordered and returned five different guitars from online stores. I have never owned a guitar that cost more than a grand, so I was ready to look for a good acoustic that I can cherish and pass on to my kid. I’ve tried [several brands], and none of them satisfied my playing needs and visual preferences. I finally came across the Taylor 317e Grand Pacific and went ahead and ordered it. At this point, my expectations were low. When my guitar came, I opened the box and was immediately delighted by the country western case. I opened the case and immediately inspected the guitar all around. FLAWLESS! Beautiful craftsmanship. So far so good. After playing it I was blown away by neck and ease of play. It is hands-down the most comfortable neck on an acoustic guitar I have ever played. It delivers the exact sound I was looking for and more. I am not a famous musician or well-known on social media, but I have told everyone I know about how wonderful this guitar is. I know I am just one person and it might not mean that much, but Taylor has earned a lifelong customer. This guitar was worth every hard-earned penny. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart!

Chris Yonker