Gibson Vs. Taylor
When you talk about acoustic guitars, Gibson and Taylor are two brands that come to mind. Taylor, a relatively new company, has quickly grown to be one of the most sought after brands for acoustic guitars.
Taylor is responsible for the development of NT bolt-on neck design and sensor based pickup design and the patented Grand Auditorium design. Gibson, more known for its Les Paul electric guitar line, also makes high end acoustic guitars since 1930s.
The argument of which is better between the two has never been settled.
In this article, we examine the general characteristics of the Gibson and
Taylor acoustic guitars to help you find the best for you.
Body, Neck and Construction
Taylor guitars are usually made up of Western cedar and Indian rosewood. Their standard model has a gloss body finish with a satin finished neck. Gibson guitars, meanwhile, are made from a variety of rare types of wood like the AA-grade Sitka and mahogany.
Gibson guitars are known to sport the sunburst finish which was the company’s strategy decades ago to hide wood imperfections. As the process is streamlined, Gibson slowly introduced natural finished acoustic guitars.
Taylor’s fret shoulders can impose a problem to some players. Their strings are placed near the edge of the fretboard.
Players often find it difficult to play the high E chord because of this. The solution is to have the neck adjusted. Some retail shops selling Taylor guitars do adjustments for free.
On the other hand, Gibson fret boards are made of mother of pearl.
Gibson guitars, as expected, are heavier but some people don’t notice its weight as much. As for the necks, Gibson acoustic guitars have wide and flat necks. Taylor’s are much narrower.
Taylors have plenty of resonance but the incredible thing is that the notes can still be clearly distinguished. Taylor has a warmer or darker tone as compared to the sharp and brighter sound emitted by Gibson guitars.
Taylor acoustic guitars are generally not meant for strumming. They respond to the lightest touch with a full and even sound. If you strum too hard, the sound has a tendency to get compressed.
Eventually, the action flattens the guitar’s sound. Taylor guitars also have their share of criticisms. They are mainly criticized for their bass sound which has a lot to be desired.
However, it has been reported that the Taylor Grand Symphony (GS) series has an improved bass sound.
On the other hand, Gibson guitars are made for strumming. It can also be used for finger picking but has excelled more as a chord instrument. Gibson guitars create a brilliant bass response without the muddiness when strummed. In addition, it has impeccable sustain for both live and recorded music.
Gibson acoustic guitars have a good midrange and treble sound and they can play high notes without being tinny. Some people think that it’s a great feature but other people feel that it affects playability.
Also, experts agree that Gibson sounds better as its wood ages. This is basically why models from the 1970s can still command a thousand dollars in the market.
In terms of prices, Taylor guitars can cost as much as Gibson’s. Just like
Gibson guitars, they are typically locked up in glass cases when sold in shops. Taylor acoustic guitars though have several budget models which are sold for less than a thousand.
Choosing the best guitar shouldn’t be based on name alone. No matter what your idol uses or what your friend recommends, the decision should be based on you. A large factor of this should be on what kind of sound are you after.
Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Emmy Lou Harris, and Johnny Cash have all been seen using Gibson acoustic guitars.
Neil Young, Jason Mraz, Dave Matthews and John Foreman are all photographed with their Taylor acoustic guitar.