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What makes the tone differences between Taylor 214 and Guild

New Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 1
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Hi All,

I recently played on a Taylor 214 and a Guild AD5.

Both in the same price range and both have laminated rosewood( back & sides) and sitka spruce(top), the neck is mahogany on the Guild and sapele on the Taylor which should be similar-sounding.

Overall the taylor was very light and comfortable but it had a much brighter sound and the overall sound of chords(especially strummed chords) was not too "together" and was a lil' "all over the place".

The Guild on the other hand had a warm, fat, rich sound with a very lucid and clear sound of the strummed chords with every note/string having a distinct "place of it's own" in the mix of notes/strings(which is the opposite of "all over the place" in my lexicon :P ).

These two guitars seems pretty close on paper, so I wonder what makes them sound so different?

Link to Guild Specs:

Link To Taylor Specs:

I also tried a few other models by Guild and Taylor and it most cases that bright&scattered vs. warm&stable distinctions seemed to stick.

I know that there aren't two guitars who are a like and obviously the fact that three of the main wood parts are the same kind doesn't mean it's exactly the same kind or the same woods, and obviously these are two different manufactures, but still I would like to know what your opinion is on what are the causes for the differences.

Thanks in advance for the info, ZBBZ.

P.S. - I hope my words choices was reasonable, as we all know sound is hard to describe verbally and the of course some of these attributes are related to personal taste.

Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 4933

Much of the characteristic sound from an acoustic guitar has little to do with the wood - it's in the bracing. Wood makes a difference, but you can only tell the difference from the wood if the other factors are the same.

When your strings vibrate, the bridge transfers that energy to the top. Different frequencies cause the top to vibrate in different ways (if you're curious about how, Google "Chladni lines"). The stiffness of the top affects the way the vibrations are distributed, and one of the ways makers control this is through braces on the underside of the top.

Both Guild and Taylor use variations of "X bracing", and both scallop the braces. But the Taylor 214 uses a forward shifted bracing pattern - so the braces aren't in the same place. That, and the fact that the cutaways aren't the same shape, give the two tops completely different vibration characteristics - which explains most of the difference in tone. Other factors (like the arched back on the Guild) also contribute, but for my money the bracing is the main thing.,

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL

Illustrious Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 8306

different strings can make a large difference appear when there isn't much of one. other than that, noteboat's answer.