Well, since I was there and there was a whole wall of Taylors hanging on it I took an opportunity to check out the only Taylor on my list that was referred so often as a good first “baby Taylor”.
The first thing you notice if how light the guitar is. Epiphone felt on the heavy end. Taylor does not have gloss finish (OK for the next, but for the body I am not sure), plays brighter, but not overwhelming. In general didn’t feel as solid despite better craftmanship as Epiphone. Of course I am biased by not having solid wood, etc, but looking at Taylors my heart somehow does not start beating faster (except when I have one in the hands and want to be extra caraful with it). I don’t play at the level that would benefit from such guitar in my humble opinion. One of the guys opened the new Road Series to show me (interestingly enough controls looking just like on DR-400MCE), but I didn’t want to get too much into that to keep my standards on the “500 eur” level and not reset to “1K and above”. It won’t really help my playing and definitely not my bank account.
Anyway, as of today Taylor is off the list narrowing the budget and the brands.
It was a pity they didn’t have Yamaha’s to try. The only two they had were out of my range and not dreadnoughts. And no Takamine’s at all. What they did have was Blueridge.
First I didn’t look at them since I don’t know the brand and I am rather conservative in trying out things I’ve never heard about. But since I spent already quite some time in the small shop eventually I grabbed attention of the sales people and after a short chat I found myself sitting with Blueridge DR40CE in my hands.
The first impression was good. The build quality felt good, the guitar looks fine (except that it is rather “standard”). The sound is on the bright side, especially comparing to Epiphones. I even went a couple of times forth and back to ensure this was really the case. So while I understand why people would love these, I was not looking for a bright sound and the gloss finish on the neck was a bit putting me off after feeling the Epiphones (and Martins, duh…).
By the way, the Blueridge has a Fishman Presys Plus preamp. One feature that I am not fond of is the way to change battery – you need to get the complete preamp out as the batter hangs at the bottom of the preamp. I’d rather prefer a separate battery compartment.
The model I have tried was a but more expensive than I was hoping for (685 eur) and the brand was not “speaking to me” at that point. May be that will change, but this was my first experience with them.
So one less on the list (Taylor) and potentially one added (Blueridge)!
Go back to the Part 1.