Author Topic: Neck on Taylors and Martins  (Read 1493 times)

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Offline SFDonovan

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Neck on Taylors and Martins
« on: March 05, 2018, 07:40:32 pm »
Do Taylor guitars have a thinner neck than Martins?  I played at GC at lunch and a number of Taylors and Martins and the necks are definitely different.
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Offline Yellowpinky

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Re: Neck on Taylors and Martins
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2018, 09:23:32 am »
Hi. to clarify, are you referring to profile thickness (fret board to back of neck) or nut width. From width perspective,  I believe Taylor predominantly are 1 3/4” nut, Martin seem to mix between 1 11/16 and 1 3/4” so not much in it really. Profile wise yes different but to what extent is hard to say. Google neck profiles and you’ll find a lot of options. I have smaller hands and find the neck profile made a bigger difference with respect to comfort and confidence than width. Having said that, I never thought I’d be able to wrap my thumb round to make an F chord but now I can with practice on most guitars. I investigated this when looking to upgrade and then targeted the necks (profile and width) I thought would be better for me


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Offline digibud

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Re: Neck on Taylors and Martins
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2018, 07:13:48 pm »
It should be noted that with Martin guitars (don't know about others) the shape of the neck varies from one Martin line of guitars to the next and has changed over time so an OM-21 made in 2018 may be different than an OM-21 made in 2000 (assuming they made them at both times) and a D series may be different from an OM series, and an OM-21 may be different than an OM-42.

Offline DarrellW

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Re: Neck on Taylors and Martins
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2018, 07:41:06 pm »
Taylor’s are a bit slimmer than Martins generally speaking.
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Offline Cue Zephyr

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Re: Neck on Taylors and Martins
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2018, 09:11:21 pm »
Taylor’s are a bit slimmer than Martins generally speaking.
Yup, and nut widths should be similar (1 11/16" and 1 3/4" most commonly used).
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Offline phx1973

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Re: Neck on Taylors and Martins
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2018, 07:15:13 pm »
The Mexican-made Taylor's (100 and 200 series, for example) have a 1 and 11/16th inch nut width. In contrast, pretty much all the American made, all solid-wood Taylor's  (300 series and above) have the slightly wider 1 and 3/4 inch nut width. Most people, especially beginners, find the slightly narrower width of 1 11/16th to be easier for gripping barre chords. This is especially true if you started out learning on electric, as I did. As I understand it, the slightly wider nuts may be preferable for fingerstyle playing.

From my experience testing out both types of guitars, I have found Taylor's necks to be easier to play, almost like an electric guitar. So if that is what you are looking for, a Taylor is worth a look, for sure.

It should be noted that many of the modern Martin's have slightly less chunky necks than the vintage one's. Some like that and some don't. They do seem to be making an effort to compete with Taylor for the customer who is looking for playability as their #1 purchase goal.

To me, I love the playability of a Taylor and prefer the tone of a Martin. You just can't please some people!
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Offline stitch101

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Re: Neck on Taylors and Martins
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2018, 07:57:07 pm »
The biggest think people over look is the radius of the fretboard.
This is how flat or curved the fret board is. The bigger the radius
the flatter the fret board. Electric guitars like Strat are 9.5 in.
Les Paul 12 radius.
Acoustics tend to be flatter
Martin 16in radius
Taylor 15in radius
Gibson 12in
The more curve in the fret board the easier barre chords are and for me at least
the more comfortable the neck is to play.

So if you are use to playing an electric and want and acoustic look for one with a
Smaller radius. People will argue over what a big difference a 1/16 of an inch makes
and  never take into consideration how flat the neck is.
I find the flatter the neck the harder it is to play.
This is the main reason I don't own a Martin or Taylor guitar. I find their fret boards
uncomfortable to play.


Offline Cue Zephyr

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Re: Neck on Taylors and Martins
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2018, 12:48:26 am »
As I understand it, the slightly wider nuts may be preferable for fingerstyle playing.

From my experience testing out both types of guitars, I have found Taylor's necks to be easier to play, almost like an electric guitar. So if that is what you are looking for, a Taylor is worth a look, for sure.
In my opinion, nut width is also a matter of personal physique (type/size of hands/fingers) and taste. For example, I could play Seagull guitars but really couldn't get used to those wide necks. Wider necks also make it harder to do techniques like rolling (the finger from one string to another on the same fret).

I think I have 1 11/16" (43mm) nut widths across the board, including electrics and I play fingerstyle on them equally easily. Most likely a set-up thing as well.

Taylor guitars also have a set-up advantage, all the way down to their GS Mini. They have a proprietary neck joint which allows the neck angle to be lowered without ever touching the saddle.

The biggest think people over look is the radius of the fretboard.
That's interesting. Either I don't notice it as much or all my guitars have a fairly flat radius, electrics included. They're between 12.5" (Gretsch) and 15" (Taylor electric and acoustics).

Having said that, String spacing is something to watch out for too. I've played guitars with similar nut widths but with different string spacings which made one easier to play than the other.
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