Martin vs. Taylor: What’s the Verdict?

We were determined to get to the bottom of it.

We asked you: Which of these two highly-accredited acoustic guitar brands do you prefer? Martin vs. Taylor?

Based on a Facebook poll that reached over 15,500 people, Martin takes the race by a mere foot with 59% of the vote compared to Taylor‘s 41%. We wouldn’t consider this a black-and-white result. The entire duration of the poll was a pretty even game of tug-o-war.

That’s not to say Martin shouldn’t have technically “won,” but it’s a strong indicator that players do [most likely] have an allegiance to one or the other. All of the feedback we received in addition to the votes helped us better understand each’s strengths. These strengths helped identify the types of players that each brand tends to cater towards. No two guitars are alike, just as no two players are.

What did you have to say about it?

“While I think Martins are nice guitars, Taylor actually feels like they justify their high price tag. Taylors more affordable options also feel way better to me than the affordable Martins.” – Sam R.

What could you see yourself buying? A Little Martin, or a Baby Taylor? Let’s compare the Martin LX1 Little Martin and the Taylor BT1 Baby Taylor. They boast strikingly similar features, such as a small body, solid spruce top, and a padded gig bag for $349. The BT1 has an ebony fingerboard, whereas the LX1 has Richlite. Is that a win for Taylor? Some would say so!

However, when comparing Taylor’s 114ce to Martin’s new Road Series D-10E, you will find that you are getting a little more bang for your buck with Martin. The all-solid wood D-10E rings up at $829, while the 114ce is $899 with layered back and sides.

“2010 Martin DC-16RGTE. Got it as a grad present and is my prized acoustic. Picked up guitars 3 times the price of it and to this day haven’t found anything that beats the low and and warmth. Very impressive guitar!” – Ryan H.

Ryan’s comment about his Martin’s low end and warmth is something we hear from a lot of people who pick up a Martin. Martins are known for their projection and low-end – but overall – remain incredibly balanced in tone.

“Each guitar has its own characteristics and tone. It varies from the manufacturer’s design, to the woods that are used and the luthier who built the instrument. I have played, owned and demoed high end Martins, Taylors and other boutique guitars. They each have their own beautiful tone and feel. This is one reason that guitar players always need “one more” guitar. It is difficult for me to just to put one over another. With that said I need to make sure that my wife doesn’t see this post. ✌️😁😉🎸🎶” – Jim R.

Amen. Thank you, Jim.

Here are some other comments and photos you shared with us!

“I want to love Martin, but every time I pick up a Taylor after playing a Martin, the Taylor sounds so much more clear and alive.” – Joel H.

“Martin. Love the classic design simplicity.” – Alan A.

“K24CE. Please make sure it fits in my casket.” – Brian P. (pictured below)

“Taylors play awesomely….but Martin has the sound and tone…omg.” – Lucio A.

“Martins respond better and sound better to my playing style. They are both great, but Martins always feel better in my hands.” – Brian W.

“Taylor. Superb for amplified live performance.” – Frank D.

“I have a D-18. I don’t need a substitute” – Gary R.

“Taylor 814ce DLX V-Class. I was torn between this and Martin D35. Both sounded great, both felt good. The Taylor can plug in and sound stays great. The Martin had no pick up. Bonus Tobacco sunburst is way cool.” – Robert O. (pictured below)

What if not Martin or Taylor?

We are not concluding that it’s impossible for someone to not be able to choose between the two. This could be because they are either loyal to another brand, or they just simply like both!

Gibson, Guild, and Yamaha were among some of the other brands mentioned that ranked as people’s favorites. We received photos of several beloved Guilds, which ranked fourth highest after Gibson in terms of other loyal acoustic brands. We also received many comments referring to these non-Martin/Taylor brands.

“Faith acoustic! Beautiful guitar!” – Nik W.

“I have owned 3 Taylor’s and 2 Martin’s and my Guild and my Gibson J45 are way better.” – Ray C. (pictured below)

“Yamaha L series. Excellent sound” – Jimmy J.

“I have a Bedell best guitar I’ve ever owned.” – Michael H.

“Guild D-40E best guitar I’ve played in its price range. I love my Guild.” – Tim M. (pictured above)

“Yamaha. They sound great and are some of the best playing in my opinion” – Joe A.

“It’s crazy, but I’m a sucker for a Gretsch Rancher.” – Dan P. (pictured below)

One more question…

What do you think are the most important things to consider when choosing an acoustic guitar in particular? What’s most important to you as a player? Sound? Playability? Value? We’d love to hear more opinions!

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