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View Full Version : Martin DX vs. Taylor Big Baby for Beginner?



the.ronin
12-30-2009, 10:33 AM
I want to start learning acoustic guitar and am debating between the Martin DX and the Taylor Big Baby. The reason I've gravitated to these two particular guitars is the size. We had bought a Yamaha FG700S for my wife to learn but it's huge. We're actually selling it now. I've played both the Martin and the Taylor and I love the sound and feel of both. I believe the Martin is laminate with some man-made material for the fretboard while the Taylor is solid with ebony. That's the only reason I would lean towards the Taylor. I'm also worried about the natural finish of the Martin and how that will hold up to scratches and such and also the resistance sliding up and down the neck ... But then again ... it's a Martin.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
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haolejohn
12-30-2009, 04:29 PM
i replied earlier but for some reason it did not go through:) So my non-guitar playing self says go with the Taylor. Taylor makes a better introduction leveled guitars than Martin IMO. Once you get into the $1500 range then you can debate it. Also what kind of music do you play? That will help in your decision. Bluegrass players are martin guys for instance.

the.ronin
12-30-2009, 04:36 PM
Thanks for the reply, haolejohn. I did see the Martin for 379 at GC which I think is incredible (Big Baby is $499). But yea, I am reading more better feedback on the Taylor.
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weegee
12-30-2009, 07:08 PM
Martin LXK2 is only around $250, comes with a case, and has koa wood, might be laminate but I like it.

haolejohn
12-30-2009, 09:39 PM
the martin laminates are really junk I've been told. Been told you can get a better guitar from like blueridge or takamine for the price. I only know this b/c I was looking at getting my dad either a martin or taylor but I found out in order to get him something better than what he already has i need about $1500. good luck with your search.

the.ronin
12-31-2009, 04:29 AM
Thanks you guys for the feedback. Is the Taylor Big Baby wood much better? I know it's solid top and laminate sides and bottom. I believe ebony fretboard whereas the Martin DX has some manmade wood fretboard.
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Misguided Musician
12-31-2009, 05:50 PM
I've played the Taylor Big Baby and the Martin DX. I definitely prefer the tone and size of the Taylor Big Baby than the Martin DX. It's pretty good for a beginning guitar. I think you should go to a Music Store that holds the guitars and make a choice for yourself. It is YOUR choice after all, so you definitely have to hear how it sounds and see which one you prefer more. The Big Baby does sound sweet thought w/ the right strings

Pippin
01-01-2010, 11:28 AM
The Taylor you mention is laminated sapele back and sides and a solid spruce top. The Martin is HPL, an high-pressure-laminate that is something like Masonite. The Martin is not junk. In fact, no Martin guitar is really junk, but the Martin will not sound as nice as the ones with solid spruce tops (which are in the price of the Big Baby). As for the Taylor, not a bad guitar, but if you want something in a similar price-range that is much more guitar for the money, take a look at the Takimine "New Yorker", which is a $399 guitar that has a parlor-sized body.

haolejohn
01-01-2010, 03:10 PM
The Taylor you mention is laminated sapele back and sides and a solid spruce top. The Martin is HPL, an high-pressure-laminate that is something like Masonite. The Martin is not junk. In fact, no Martin guitar is really junk, but the Martin will not sound as nice as the ones with solid spruce tops (which are in the price of the Big Baby). As for the Taylor, not a bad guitar, but if you want something in a similar price-range that is much more guitar for the money, take a look at the Takimine "New Yorker", which is a $399 guitar that has a parlor-sized body.

By Martin standards, their newer stuff is Junk (not really but you get my drift). They went into this whole mass producing stage where they have introduced so many lower priced lines but you can get a significantly better guitar from other makers like Takamine for the same price. I'd still take a Martin but they do tend to be a little overratted.

the.ronin
01-04-2010, 03:15 PM
Thanks for the advice, guys. After a lot more research, I opted for the Taylor Big Baby. My ears are far too untrained to really tell the difference so I had to rely on what was an overwhelming bias to the Taylor (versus the Martin DX, that is).

I got it for $430 before tax ... but it?s got what I consider a slight cosmetic defect. The upper tips of the bridge plate are not painted black or lost its paint. You can see the natural wood color underneath. Almost as if they just got lazy and stopped painting. I don?t think it has any impact on the playability or tone of the guitar so given the discount and noboy carrying this thing in stock, I decided to overlook it.

What do you guys think?
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haolejohn
01-06-2010, 04:13 PM
I look for cosmetic blemishes when I buy ukes b/c you get a great sounding uke for a fraction of the cost of a normal one. I think that you got a decent deal.

NukeDOC
01-07-2010, 08:40 AM
hey ronin, i know im already too late to give any advice. but i was wondering what it was about that other guitar that you considered "big". reason im asking is because if its the body that was just too big, there are sooo many guitars out there at that price range that would give you just as much, if not more, bang for the buck in different sizes that can suit your tastes, without having to go down to a "3/4" scale size (or whatever the size is on the big baby).

dont get me wrong, i think the big baby taylors are excellent guitars... just a little overpriced because of the name.

the advice i usually give someone is to go into the store, and try EVERY SINGLE GUITAR you can find in your price range. yeah, even the "cheap" ones. every now and then you find a GEM that is going to be worth more to you than the money you spent on it.

when i was shopping for my first taylor i was considering a $1500 314CE. i ended up getting a yamaha apx900 for less than half that, that sounded better, looked just as good, and had decent enough onboard electronics to perform with.

when i was looking for a "beater" guitar in the $400 range, i happened to pick up a washburn dreadnought guitar that was only $200 and sounded better than any guitar in the store up to $400... and some in the $600 range. but i didnt get it because the dreadnought body just doesnt suit me. i didnt buy a guitar that day. but up till now, evertime i see that guitar in the store, i play it. but thats just me.

in the end its a matter of opinion. so as long as you are happy with your guitar, then congratulations!

Swampy Steve
02-12-2010, 06:01 AM
hey ronin, i know im already too late to give any advice. but i was wondering what it was about that other guitar that you considered "big". reason im asking is because if its the body that was just too big, there are sooo many guitars out there at that price range that would give you just as much, if not more, bang for the buck in different sizes that can suit your tastes, without having to go down to a "3/4" scale size (or whatever the size is on the big baby).
dont get me wrong, i think the big baby taylors are excellent guitars... just a little overpriced because of the name.

the advice i usually give someone is to go into the store, and try EVERY SINGLE GUITAR you can find in your price range. yeah, even the "cheap" ones. every now and then you find a GEM that is going to be worth more to you than the money you spent on it.

when i was shopping for my first taylor i was considering a $1500 314CE. i ended up getting a yamaha apx900 for less than half that, that sounded better, looked just as good, and had decent enough onboard electronics to perform with.

when i was looking for a "beater" guitar in the $400 range, i happened to pick up a washburn dreadnought guitar that was only $200 and sounded better than any guitar in the store up to $400... and some in the $600 range. but i didnt get it because the dreadnought body just doesnt suit me. i didnt buy a guitar that day. but up till now, evertime i see that guitar in the store, i play it. but thats just me.

in the end its a matter of opinion. so as long as you are happy with your guitar, then congratulations!

I bet you like your Big Baby, Ive played one at GC and wanted it. I believe they are 15/16 size. Good neck for fingerpicking, I think you made a good choice. My nephew has one of those Martin lams. I dont care for it a bit, but opinions vary. congrats & have fun
Steve

luvdat
05-18-2010, 01:05 PM
Thanks for the advice, guys. After a lot more research, I opted for the Taylor Big Baby. My ears are far too untrained to really tell the difference so I had to rely on what was an overwhelming bias to the Taylor (versus the Martin DX, that is).

I got it for $430 before tax ... but it’s got what I consider a slight cosmetic defect. The upper tips of the bridge plate are not painted black or lost its paint. You can see the natural wood color underneath. Almost as if they just got lazy and stopped painting. I don’t think it has any impact on the playability or tone of the guitar so given the discount and noboy carrying this thing in stock, I decided to overlook it.

What do you guys think?

Return and review your options. Not trying to be cruel but on your side. For about 500 bucks there are a lot better options, some of them already mentioned. The Big Baby is truly a Big Baby, a nice sounding but fragile ultimately thinsounding guitar. I would actually recommend a solid wood baritone ukulele before such a cash expenditure for a guitar that even when it has no cosmetic defects is relatively unfinished. Please forgive my tone, but if you were lead to believe that a particular Martin "sucks" do not conclude that the alternative is simply better. I've done this myself in my life...