This pristine Taylor Solidbody standard features:
- Chambered Sapele body, 7.6 pounds
- Flamed Tamo Ash top
- Sapele T-lock neck, 24-7/8" scale, 1 11/16" nut width
- 15" radius Ebony fretboard
- Taylor design fully adjustable bridge
- Taylor design humbucker pickups
- 5-way pickup switch with full/split options
- Specially voiced volume and tone controls
- Two-way adjustable truss rod
- Original fitted Taylor hard case
You have to admit, the folks at Taylor are pretty clever dudes, and are not ones to just do the same of thing. When they set out to build their own solidbody electric guitars they had to do it their way: Pickups, bridge design, neck joint, controls...you name it. Taylor thought they had designed a better mouse trap, but sometimes guitar players just want to buy the same mousetrap over and over again. And thusly the Taylor electrics faded from the scene in 2014.
These guitars feature an attractively sculpted singe cut body with design features that have since found their way into some of their acoustics. That mysterious looking bridge is a clever design that actually clamps to the center of the body for better coupling. The height adjustment is from the backside of the guitar, and there is a detailed PDF file found online on how to adjust the bridge. They are clever at Taylor, but sometimes they drink too much of their own Kool Aid. Either way, it's an interesting piece of industrial design, and does exactly what it's supposed to do.
The five way pickup switching is also novel, and not your usual setup. As quoted from the original Premier Guitar review:
"...the outside positions activating the neck and bridge buckers, respectively. Switching to the second position activates the inside coils of the neck and bridge pickups in parallel for a skinny, funky sound. The middle position gives you the full neck pickup with the inside coil of the bridge pickup, giving you the ability to drive your amp harder for that extra crunch – think of it as a little edge. The fourth position activates the inside coil of each humbucker in series, producing a “superwide” humbucker tone that you likely won’t find anywhere else – it reminded me of the warmth and clarity of a Gretsch Country Gentleman."
So what does this all boil down to? For starters, it's got a great neck that's a perfect mix of string tension, thickness and width. It's really a joy to play whether you are picking or shredding. There are also a lot of interesting sounds that you won't associate with a guitar like this. The neck position is the most "normal" setting, and has a reasonably warm neck humbucker tone that also has good note separation, and no woodiness on the wound strings. Positions 3 and 4 have a bright spanky nature with enough girth to be either lead or rhythm settings. Position 4 might be my favorite, as it sounds sort of like the middle position of a Strat, but not as metallic and bright. But it has a cool sort of "clang" that again makes it good for chunky chords or leads. Like the neck, the bridge pickup is a really good example of a clean, clear humbucker pickup with moderate output, a balanced midrange, and clear trebles that are not spiky or hot. I'd probably have the least use for position 2, but roll off the volume a little and you could probably fake a little acoustic guitar in the background.
Taylor might have actually made a better mousetrap, but breaking from convention in the guitar world a risky path, even for a company as respected as Taylor. This is an impressive guitar, and anything that seems like a gimmick really isn't. The resale market is not treating them kindly, and they represent an excellent opportunity for a truly interesting guitar.