For the recording process of On Hudson, we decided as a band that we wanted to record the best sounding instruments available. In terms of high end acoustic guitars, two of the most common names you’ll hear are Martin and Taylor. These two manufacturers produce top of the line, beautiful sounding instruments, while also exhibiting unique sonic qualities respectively. Martin is known for typically producing a warmer, more bass-ey sounding instrument, while Taylor is known to produce instruments with crisp high range—a feature that many country musicians gravitate towards.
As we set out to test different acoustics for sound, I went in expecting to leave with a Martin, but after testing many different models, the crispness of the Taylors won out. Even more unexpected, I didn’t expect to like the sound of anything below one of the 514CE models, yet out of all the instruments we played—including an 814CE!— the unanimous favorite was the 414CE. The Solid Sitka Spruce wood top produced a beautifully clear tone, assisted by the gorgeous ebony bridge. In terms of side wood, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy the Rosewood as much as I did. In past experiences, I felt that Rosewood sounded like a weaker Mahogany, but in this Taylor, any more warmth would have overshadowed the the crisp and clear tone everyone in the band enjoyed so much.
When we tested the 414CE, it was strung with Elixir Med Nanoweb strings. Because we liked the tone of the guitar right off the bat, we decided to stick with those strings for each song we recorded. This was honestly the most difficult part of recording for me! I typically like to play acoustic on light weight strings, so jumping immediately to medium with the nanoweb coating was quite different, but the tone we were able to capture with it was unreal.
Using this instrument was an absolute privilege and joy. Luckily enough we had the great help of all the associates at Guitar Center Albany to give us all the help we needed and more, and I was sad to see that guitar go!