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Slej's New Acoustic (Really!)
Well I stopped by GC on the way home from work and asked to exchange or return my Yamaha 12-string.

The shop tech looked at it and said it needed a truss rod adjustment. So he did ... and it really played much better. But still not quite what I wanted ...

So I banged around on a bunch of 6s - another Yamaha, a Fender, Ibanez, Ovation, Takamine, but nothing really turned my crank (so to speak.)

I was set to walk out with my cash, when... I had one of those moments in which you remember something you had long forgot, an innoccuous passing phrase that had secretly planted itself in your head waiting for just the right moment to be remembered. I turned to the sales guy and asked, "Hey, you don't carry the Taylor Big Baby do you?"

He smiled. "Of course we do."

He led me to another room, one apparently reserved for the "good" guitars. Martin and Taylor only in here. A secret den for a secret society. Oh baby!

Now, most of the guitars in this room had some VERY big price tags. But the little Big Baby was priced right, so I sat down with it.

First impression: it's small. 2nd impression: it sounds big! 3rd impression: it's a joy to play - the neck is perfect, action is low, the sound is bright and jangly ...

Sometimes you know when something's just right. The feeling was the same when I first shot with the Canon 70-200 f/4L lens. So I got it!

Pics and more to follow.

[Image: Big-Baby_detail_body_front.jpg]
Everybody got to elevate from the norm!
Oh boy!

I've wondered, (recently), about the Taylor BB's. I dont know how small they are though................ How small is it Slej??

In what ways would you say it is better than yer average Jap/Korean jobby?
How much?
Please describe the action.
Please deccribe the tone.
What strings?

Does it smell good??? (Serious question!).
Cave canem
I'll bold when I get to a topic you asked about:

The adverts say it's a 15/16th scale dreadnought. That might be true if you measure from the bottom strap pin to the tip of the headstock, but the body itself is more like 3/4 scale dreadnought. I think it's classical guitar size, but a little thinner.

It has a surprisingly big sound for the size of the body. The back is slightly bowl-shaped - not like an Ovation, but there's a definite rounded hump. 1st-term pregnant woman's belly, for example. I'd think that helps project the sound.

It is NOTHING LIKE the average Korean/Chinese acoustic body. You really have to hold one - I don't think it's for everyone.

First of all, it weighs next to nothing. I couldn't believe how light it was. The finish is a very light varnish, not the thick plasticy gloss you see on the cheaper Asian imports. The back feels very thin and delicate - I would worry about longevity except it has a lifetime warranty. The closest comparison I can make is that the back feels like rosewood used in violins. It's made of "sapele" wood, sometimes called African Mahogany, but I've read that the hardness is more like maple than true mahogany. The top is solid spruce and the neck is American mahogany with an ebony fretboard.

There was a similarly-priced Martin DXM in the room too. Couldn't be more different. The Martin weighed a ton! The Martin had the classic full deep Martin sound, whereas the Big Baby's tone is lighter, more trebly yet still rich - I think of it as a jangly retro sound, and it really doesn't have much deep end. Fits my style perfectly. To use electrical guitars as examples, the Taylor is like a Fender Telecaster with it's twang and single-coil pickups, while the Martin is more like a Gibson Les Paul with its darker sounding double humbucker configuration. Country vs. metal. Different styles entirely.

How much - I paid US$360 after talking the sales guy down. It comes with a Taylor padded gig bag, and comes with Elixir 12-gauge nanoweb strings (relatively expensive) and a Tusq bridge and nut. So that's about 200GBP? Something like that.

Action is perfect in my opinion. It's not as low as on my Ibanez electric, which is very low, but lower than any of the Asian 6s I played today. No fret buzz anywhere. The neck is surprisingly fast. Maybe with 13s it wouldn't feel quite the same, but the 12s feel very good. I was truly impressed by this little guitar's playability and sound. Oddly, I've heard a couple of people complain that the 12s are difficult to fret on the Taylor BB - I find the opposite! This is an amazingly easy guitar to play, and that's THE PRIMARY REASON why I traded the Yamaha for it. None of the others (except the Martin) played like this.

The smell is non-descript. As far as I know, only cedar tops smell good. But it doesn't smell bad, and that's a good thing.

Last, I find this guitar very responsive to finger-picking, which I wasn't expecting with 12s. I'm generally a flat-picker, but I want to get into some celtic style music and need to get better at finger picking - this guitar will be good for that.

Oh, and the soundhole inlay is actually etched into the wood - not a decal! Cool

[Image: Big-Baby_detail_soundhole.jpg]
Everybody got to elevate from the norm!
P.S. One more comment on size: the Taylor Baby (not "Big Baby," just "Baby") is classified as 3/4 scale. To me, it looked like it was 1/2-size. Something my 6-year old might play. The Big Baby isn't nearly that small - it's definitely okay for an adult to play without looking silly.
Everybody got to elevate from the norm!
P.P.S. Nice to have this board active again. Please respond to my Capo thread.
Everybody got to elevate from the norm!
Man, that sounds like it sounds great.

I like the look too!

A lifetime warranty??? Smile That cant be a bad thing!

The capo thread........................... Hmmmm, I'll respond, but when I do, you'll see why I didnt previously! :o
Cave canem
Wow, you're making me drool, slej! It's going on my list of things to buy after I have paid off my house mortgage... Big Grin Big Grin
I want a Taylor Big Baby!!!! Nicely done slej!
God has placed me on earth to accomplish certain things.
Right now, I am so far behind that I will never die.
Well now let me give you an updated review:

Mine has a problem. In fact, with the help of a chromatic tuner, I finally figured it out this morning: Intonation on the low E is way off. I'll get it in tune with the tuner, then I'll play an A and it's sharp. So I retune relative to the A string and then the E string is flat when open! Ugh!

To make matters worse, the low E doesn't seem to resonate well. I'm going to take it back this weekend and let the tech see if there's a quick fix; otherwise it's back to shopping. :o
Everybody got to elevate from the norm!
Must be either dud strings, or mispositioned bridge!!
Hope it isnt the latter. :o
Cave canem
Congats sledj. Taylors are sweet. The church has one as does my youth pastor. I have picked it up to play on a few occations. They sound awesome, much better than that first list you rolled off. Try to get a new one as opposed to a fix. No one is perfect. I would kill for a Taylor. Don't let this mis hap deture you from one of the best guitars out their.

Nikon d70
Nikkor 18-70mm 1:3.5-4.5g ED
Nikkor 70-210 1:4-5.6 d
So Slej, what's happening????
Cave canem
MMMMmmmmmmmmm! yes the Taylors are very nice!!!!!!!!!

I've had a few people comment on the smell of my Martin before... haha...! it's nice
Heading to GC right now ... though I've already got the new axe. Back to square one with Yamaha! But a different one ... limited edition cutaway acoustic/electric. More info and pics to follow ...

Right now I'm going to spec out some acoustic amps!
Everybody got to elevate from the norm!
Bumpus maximus.

Any news?
Cave canem

I took the Taylor back and explained my concerns to the salesdude. No sustain in the low E stringl. Salesdude completely agreed with me. Another one in the store (different store) sounded similar. So it was time to say goodbye to Mr. Taylor ... though I did play around with some of their higher-end models, including the one that Peto has a picture of in the current challenge. Sweet! If I could afford it, I would definitely buy one, but I can't, so I didn't...

Well once again I played every guitar in the shop within my price range and some quite a bit higher. (Actually this was a different shop with even more selection, so it took a while!) I was very impressed with the Epiphone Masterbuilt series - comparable to Gibson at 1/2 to 1/3rd the cost - but they were still a little too expensive for me.

Salesdude wanted me to try a particular Yamaha, but I told him I had already played it and it sounded dead. He said, "no, not that one on the floor - that one needs new strings and a neck adjustment. Let me get you a brand new one out of the box." So I waited while he opened the box and tuned the guitar. Then he said, "here, this one will blow away anything in your price range, and some a lot higher." And he was right! So that's the one I got.

[Image: yami.jpg]

WHAT I REALLY LIKED: 1. The neck and the action: Fast! The neck is relatively thin - more like an electric guitar neck. 2. The tone: very rich sounding, with crisp highs that gently roll off, and full resonant bass. The midrange is a little "chimey" when strumming but more subtle when finger-picked.

Does it sound like a US$1500 Taylor or Martin? No, obviously not. But for what I paid (US$300 after negotiations) it's an all-around excellent acoustic, and in my opinion compares well to any acoustic-electric up to US$600.


Yamaha FGX Limited Edition. This model is not on their website, but the specs put it somewhere between the popular FGX413SC and their handmade LLX series.

Solid Engelman Spruce top for great resonance. (How much do you have to pay for an Engelman Spruce Taylor?!)

Rosewood back and sides for outstanding projection. (I'm assuming it's a 3-ply with something else as the core, but it's definitely rosewood outside and in!)

Decent-sounding electronics. As good as any Takamine or Ovation in my price range or somewhat higher. Separate contour control for the midrange, too.

Cosmetics: Abalone soundhole inlay, triple layer cream and black binding on the body and neck. Ebony fretboard and bridge. I would prefer a Tusq nut and saddle, but I can upgrade these later.

I'll replace the stock strings with Elixirs when it's time. The Taylor had Elixirs and I thought they were great for fingerpicking.

So now I'm back with Yamaha and perfectly pleased. Cool
Everybody got to elevate from the norm!
Some 3rd party reviews:

Quote:Sound: 10
This may be the best sounding $400 guitar I ever played (I've played at least 200 guitars in shops over the past few years). Action matches my Taylor 314Ce at fret 12 but with .012-053 (regular lights), it plays almost as effortlessly as a Taylor. This guitar beats my Taylor through an amp, but not acoustically, but it is right there with it acoustically. The Yamaha is a little louder and more 'punchy' (percussive) and a smoother sound with a very good balance across the strings. Its bass is good and the trebles do not 'clang' when amplified like some lesser guitars. To be fair: this guitar is a 10 for sound when compared to any other $400 guitar and beats most Martins and Gibsons at the $2500 range. It sounds better than a number of Taylors in the $1600-2000 range. Cost is a guide and adds features, but tone is in the 'build' and the wood combination. This Yamaha has a good spruce top and good electronics.

Sound: 10
It has a completely great low end, yet has crisp brights to die for as well. Considering that it's $400, I'll give it a "10" rating. Otherwise, I'd give it a "7" or "8" in comparison to $1500 Taylors, Martins, Gibsons and so forth.

Sound: 9
This guitar is very bright and the basses jump out of the soundhole. Maybe not quite as loud as an unfinished Martin or Seagull without a cutaway, but really good for my purposes. The sound was as good as any other acoustic/electric cutaway I tried, including the Taylors.

Sound: 10
Brite and deep. Lots of ressonance. I'm no expert but a good accoustic/classical guitar will almost sound like it is singing in the way they resonate. This one is just beautiful sounding. No feed back issues either on the pick-up system. Absolutely blows my Ovation away as well as all the Ovations in the <$1000 price range I tried.
Everybody got to elevate from the norm!
Mitch, your reviews always make me want to run out to the shops and buy three for myself! Sounds like an awesome guitar! Big Grin
Heh heh ... you should hear it through my NEW FENDER ACOUSTASONIC AMP! Wink

Cool Cool Cool
Everybody got to elevate from the norm!

Specs please. Links please. Price please. Review please. Everything-else too please. Send money. Big Grin
Cave canem

here's the link:
Fender Acoustasonic Amps

Mine is the small-fry 30 watter. It is loud enough for my purposes and has a line out (unbalanced) for plugging into a recording device or mixer (an outboard DI box would be useful.)

I tested acoustic amps by Crate, Marshall, Roland and Behringer, and found the Fender to be the most neutral with my guitar and it's particular pickup. That's important to keep in mind when shopping - a particular guitar/pickup combination may sound very different from amp to amp.

Most interesting is the DSP effects, of which I'm generally not a big fan, but I have to say that a small dose of the chorus+reverb setting really opens up the sound.

It also has a "string dynamics" feature which I think acts like a compressor, smoothing the highs when you've got a piezo pickup.

It can be tilted up and used as a monitor, too. And I can plug my Artcore into it for an extremely clean sound. Smile

Price: They are available on line for US$320, but I negotiated down to $260 which included a set of Elixir Polywebs and a handful of thumbpicks. Big Grin

If I could have afforded another US$150 or so, I'd have gotten the Jr. model, which has two speakers and a built-in XLR output. It's notably louder. And for serious gigging, the SFX model was really sweet, but at US$799 is way out of my price range.
Everybody got to elevate from the norm!
Since I'm "off the air" on my PC, I'll briefly say.............

OooooH! Send a sound file!!!! Big Grin
Cave canem
Nicely done slej! I think after all the hard work in testing out every gutar you could lay your mitts on, you truly deserve to be happy with what you've purchased.

Despite the use of CNC technology in the guitar manufacturing process and the consistency that it's supposed to have, there can still be variations in the final product that make it a lemon or an extremely lucky find. I think your new Yamaha falls in the latter category!

Say anyone tried out the new Taylor T5?
God has placed me on earth to accomplish certain things.
Right now, I am so far behind that I will never die.
Rufus Wrote:Since I'm "off the air" on my PC, I'll briefly say.............

OooooH! Send a sound file!!!! Big Grin

Okay, I just ordered a connector so I can record on the PC. Gimme some time to figure it out.
Everybody got to elevate from the norm!

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