Taylor 310 vs. Larrivee D-03

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by unsunder, Jan 29, 2007.

  1. unsunder

    unsunder Member

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    I recently started leading worship at brand new church. Which is a new thing for me. I've always been an electric player. Sometimes I lead with electric or I borrow the pastors Jumbo Guild.
    Basically I want to get my own acoustic. I've narrowed it down to these two models.
    My requests.
    Dreadnought
    Non-cutaway
    No electronics
    Used
    Not Fancy
    Around $600

    I do like the way the Taylor ES sounds but it's really hard to find one in a non-cutaway. I think they were only available in a recent anniversary model.

    I'll probably install K&K PWM and use a Para DI to give it a boost and control the sound. I like what people say about this pickup being transparent. And the price is well within reach.

    I'm going to Chicago next weekend to play around on some because I've actually never seen a Larrivee let alone played one.

    What are the ups and downs of these instruments and is there anything else I should consider?
     
  2. daddyo

    daddyo Guest

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    I have a Larrivee L03R so I am biased to Larrivee. I think that you get a better guitar for the $$$ with Larry but Taylor makes fine guitars, too. I suggest you play both and buy the one you like the best.
     
  3. texasdave

    texasdave Member

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    The D03 is a great bang for the buck. Both are worth playing, but if I had to spend your $600 sight unseen I'd be buying the Larrivee D-03. (I own Larrivee and Taylor so no bashing/unfounded bias here.)
     
  4. mcknigs

    mcknigs Supporting Member

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    I don't know that Taylor model specifically but I tested a bunch of Taylors before buying a Larrivee D-03R a few years back. I liked the guitar then, still like it now. I thought it sounded better than the Taylors and was far less expensive. To be fair to the Taylors, most of the ones available for testing had on-board preamps, which I think really hurts the sound.

    -Scott
     
  5. Monkey23

    Monkey23 Member

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    I know tone is a hard thing to describe, but if any of you Larrivee owners can describe what they like about their guitars (over other brands or by themselves), I'd appreciate it. I tried one once and I remember liking it but the Larrivee dealer in my area is far and I'm not sure I want to make the trip just yet.
     
  6. Big White Tele

    Big White Tele Member

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    Id buy the Taylor 310ce with the electronics installed. Its a great guitar for the price, and those electronics are very good for live use. If your dead set against the cutaway, then I guess youd have to install your own pickup like your already thinking, but Id give the 310ce a good try. I really like them. Good luck!!!
     
  7. vchizzle

    vchizzle Member

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    i've been contemplating the same purchase. i feel the Larrivee is the better sounding/value. its hard to describe the differences. they both sound great. the Taylor seems to have more "airy" midrange while still being balanced. the Larrivee, to me at least was a little bigger sounding. more robust maybe? also very balanced. the note definition of the Larrivee seemed a little better though. very hard to really pinpoint differences. people hear different things. the guitars i tried were:

    -Taylor 210
    -Taylor 310
    -Taylor 314
    -Larrivee D-03(mahogany)
    -Larrivee D-03 Sapele(this is the current replacement of the one above-from now on the D-03's will be Sapele instead of Mahogany) Sapele is just another breed of Hog as i understand it. Sapele being more available, more cost effective. the sound difference between these 1st two Larrivee's is very minimal. i couldn't say that one sounded better or worse. blindfolded, i don't think one could tell.
    -Larrivee D-03 rosewood
    -Larrivee D-03 walnut
    -Gibson Gospel(used 1994)

    the Larrivee D-03 mahogany and D-03 Sapele sounded best to me for my playing style. i'm an electric player primarily also. i like big midrange heavy acoustic sounds. strong and powerful sounds. i do a bit of half assed fingerpicking(mostly improper), some strumming with my fingers instead of a pick. these 2 guitars sounded strongest while being very balanced. the Gibson was also big and strong sounding, but string to string balance wasn't as good as the Larrivvee's.

    i'm certainly no acoustic expert. i was actually set on buying a Taylor when i started looking. Larrivee has swayed me to them. they just seem to sound best to me and are very well constructed. best you can get for your money, that i have found.
     
  8. unsunder

    unsunder Member

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    Great words guys. I guess I just have to try them out. I'm concerned about people saying the Larrivee's are a little higher action than the taylors. I hope if this is the case and i fall for the larrivee that it's an easy fix by a good luthier.

    Hopefully I can find a shop that has both models on hand.

    Keep it coming.
     
  9. R.J.H.

    R.J.H. Member

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    The action is a very easy fix. I think I read somewhere that they set them high from the factory so that the end user can put it anywhere they'd like, high or low.

    I own a Taylor 414ce and use it with a Para DI to lead worship and love it. The soundguy (who's fairly experienced) says its one of the best acoustics he's heard plugged in. From my experience, I think a decent pickup paired with a good preamp can make just about any acoustic sound alright plugged in. Especially if you're playing with a band, in which case you loose subtle nuances anyway.

    I've also played numerous Larrivee's, though I've never owned one.
     
  10. Terry Hayes

    Terry Hayes Member

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    I tried a lot of Taylors and Larrivees when I was looking for an acoustic a few years ago. In the end, as much as I wanted to buy a Larrivee, the guitar just didn't speak to me as much. Note, I didn't buy a Taylor either. The point is that, after comparing all the specs, wood, appointments, action, etc., you will know which one to buy simply by trusting your ears and hands.

    Of course, this is impossible if you are not able to buy locally!

    Terry
     
  11. Shemp

    Shemp Member

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    If you're going to play it plugged in I'd recommend moving to a 314CE. IMHO the Grand Auditorium body shape is better balanced tonally than a dread and as a result will sound better amplified or recorded.

    I like dreads for banging out rock rhythm, bluegrass or folk music, but for anything with a little finesse I prefer the smaller acoustics.
     
  12. Lerxst2112

    Lerxst2112 Member

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    Larrivee. I've tried a few Taylors, and they didn't do too much for me. I own a D-03R that is simply phenomenal!
     
  13. unsunder

    unsunder Member

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    Guitar center had a D-03RE in used. It was amazing, exactly what I'm looking (listening) for. Such warm dark low tones and pretty highs that aren't too shimmering.
    The guitar top was had lots of picking scratches and the frets were really worn down. It still played and sounded great. It was a model with the B-Band pickup and clear pickguard. The asking price was $1100 I didn't even want to bother asking for a real price.

    How much different are the mahogany models? I doubt they're as dark and warm. The rosewood models seem to be harder to find used.
    I have a friend who knows someone that gets a great deal at Sam Ash anyone knows what cost is on these?
     
  14. Lerxst2112

    Lerxst2112 Member

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    I have no played any of the mahogany ones. I have a D-03R and a DV-09. They're both fantastic guitars!
     
  15. tbp0701

    tbp0701 Member

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    I've tried both, along with several others (including Martins, Gibsons, Takamines and Seagulls). In all honesty, you really have to try them out, because the tone is quite a bit different between the two, and I think you'll have a clear preference once you hear them. You also might want to bring a friend who can play, as well, so you can hear the guitars from both the player's and listener's perspective. Of course, while I'm going into an ideal world scenario, they'd all have fresh strings and be set-up, too, but that may be pushing reality too much.
     
  16. Tycho

    Tycho Member

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    Another vote for the Larrivee. Nothing against Taylors, I'm just a huge Larrivee fan (I've got four of them).

    I've got a D-03R and a friend has a regular D-03. I find the rosewood a bit more complex-sounding, for want of a better word, but they both sound great. It just comes down to preference.

    In a perfect world, you'd get a chance to try them both. With acoustics, I'm a firm believer in trying before you buy, because there's so much subjectivity involved.
     
  17. Songman

    Songman Member

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    mmm...Larriiivaaay!:AOK
     
  18. ford

    ford Modz Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Yep, the action on my Larrivee was a little high, but it was a simple tweak for my guitar tech. He took the nut down a little and tweaked the truss rod and it was great. I was planning on buying a 310, but left the store with the Larrivee after playing several of both at a store.

    Both are nice guitars for the money. The Larrivee's just sounded better, more volume and a broader eq spectrum, at least to me.

    rock

    bford
     
  19. vchizzle

    vchizzle Member

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    on a 2nd session of tryouts, I found I liked the D-03WL best. the walnut back and sides seem to fall in between the the mahogany and rosewood. the big, punchy open midrange and bass of the mahogany and some of the complexities, definition and less shimmery highs of the rosewood. I ended up buying the D-03WL. likey alot so far!
     
  20. unsunder

    unsunder Member

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    Yes I just saw your post. Thats a great looking guitar. I'm really excited I get to go try them head to head on friday or saturday. Hopefully they have all those models. It looks like larrivee has won the battle.
    Do you have pickup plans?
     

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