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Do Taylor Guitars Get Better With Age?

Do Taylor Guitars Get Better With Age?

My Store Admin |

We often consider whether the age of the guitar and how much it has been played affects the instrument’s tone and value.

You want to make sure that your guitar sounds great on the day you buy it, but with acoustic guitars, the sound will continue to change the more you play it.

The more you play the guitar, the more the tones and overtones will change as the guitar wood becomes flexible, moving more easily. 

Follow our guide as we look at how guitars change with age and whether they hold their value.

Do Taylor guitars sound better with age?

Yes, Taylor guitars do sound better with age! However, it’s worth mentioning that there are caveats and nuances to this answer. First, let’s look at why they start to sound better.

Wearing in your new guitar

When you first unbox a guitar, they are stiff and need to be worn in. New guitars sent to the guitar shop have yet to be played much, apart from a few minutes during the set-up and final assembly of the manufacturing process. 

As the guitar has not been played, the wood is very stiff and not used to moving. Playing the acoustic guitar causes the top to move, which in turn creates the sound. The more times you play it, the more times the top wood moves and the easier it becomes to move as the wood becomes more supple.

The top wood becomes easier to get moving

The top wood affects the tone of the guitar in multiple ways. Firstly, the volume floor of the guitar, which is the quietest and softest you can play the guitar while it still sounds full, will become lower as it takes less energy to move the top. 

It also works the other way around, so you usually find that the volume ceiling, the loudest you can play the guitar while still maintaining clarity and tone, gets higher. 

The top wood is, therefore, an important factor because it greatly increases the instrument’s dynamic range, giving you much greater control over the expression of the piece of music you are playing.

The tone of the guitar changes

The next way that age and amount of playing impact the overall tone is in how the guitar handles certain frequencies.

Quite often, as a guitar gets played, it develops a wider tonal range than it has straight out of the box. This tone usually comes in the form of a stronger presence in the lower or more bassy frequencies, giving your guitar much more power in the bottom end.

This change usually takes quite a bit of playing to happen, but when you compare a guitar that has been played in to one that hasn’t, the difference is amazing.

The overtones start to bloom

The final improvement in tone comes from a bloom in the overtones. When considering how an acoustic guitar sounds, break the sound down into two areas: fundamental and overtones.

The fundamental is the initial sound you get from the guitar as you hit the strings.

The overtones are what follow from this. The easiest way to describe the overtones is by saying that it is the natural reverb of the guitar. Because the top of the guitar becomes much more supple and used to moving, the overtones become a lot richer in sound and usually cover a broader range of tones and last longer.

Does this mean an old guitar is better?

And now, it’s time to address those caveats and nuances. All of these guitar changes over time only happen if the guitar gets played.

It’s not necessarily the best idea to go out and buy the oldest guitar you can find because if it has sat in its case for its lifetime, then the top structure won’t have changed because it hasn’t moved.

The other issue that can happen over time comes from how it has been looked after. If the guitar hasn’t been looked after, it can be harder to play and not sound the way it should.

Do Taylor Guitars hold value?

Taylor guitars hold value really well. The brand has gone from strength to strength, and they’ve become one of the biggest names in acoustic guitars.

They have done this by building a quality instrument, from the Baby Taylors to the full-size versions, renowned for playability and reliability, all important points to consider for holding value.

Do Taylor guitars appreciate in value?

The honest answer to this one is that Taylor guitars don’t appreciate in value. But truthfully, how many things do we buy in life for enjoyment that do appreciate in value?

It’s not all doom and gloom, though, because the cost of guitars (just like everything else) will continue to increase, bringing up the cost of second-hand guitars.

They will always have value to them, unlike a TV. However, if you are looking for a solid investment that will appreciate in value year on year and impress the bank manager, I’d recommend looking at the stock market first.