Purchased from: rosewood guitar store
Sound — 10
It is very adaptable to all styles of music. It lends itself well to anything from acoustic rock to jazz to blues to country to anything else you can think of. I recommend using elixir nanoweb 12s for strings, because they fit the tone of the guitar. My 10 doesn't break strings easily when I play it. I've only had one string break (and it was about 2 months old), but it really depends on your style. I know someone who plays a 14 and he breaks strings constantly. The only downside to using elixir 12s with this guitar is that they don't take well to drop D. So, if you use alot of drop D I don't recommend this combination. I'm getting the Martin Gold Plus active pickup put into it soon. I recommend the Fender Acoustasonic amp series for this kind of guitar, as these amps will only make a Taylor sound better than it already is. The 10 works well with most techniques (i. e. hammers and pulls, bends, vibrato, etc). It's easy to form bar chords on the neck. It has very good ressonance and tone. It's not very good for slide guitar, though, because it loses sound quality with any tuning that involves notes more than half a step away from standard. So, It works well with Eb tuning, but not so much for Drop D, Drop Db, etc. DADGad sounds alright, though. Part of it is just how you wrap the strings, part of it is just the time of year in relation to how the neck is adjusted. If you just play it normally (standard tuning, no slide), it has great sound quality, especially compared to other brands in the same price range. For their lowest model, it carries all of Taylor's quality.
Overall Impression — 10
This is a great guitar. If you are looking for a mid-level guitar and don't want to have to get a new one in 5 years, this is your best bet. Believe me, I shopped all the big brands and this was easily the best. I play lots of different music, maily I would say "acoustic punk", folk/rock, worship music, most of it involves lots of strumming or complex picking patterns. It works well with everything that I play on it. I've been playing guitar about 18 months, and I've had my 10 about 4 months. I own my old Jay Jr. basic acoustic guitar, and the rest of my stuff is just accessories. I reccomend. 5 or. 6 mm picks (like tortex or planetwaves). I askes all I could think before buying it, and I got the best guitar I could for the price. If it got stolen/lost, the only other guitar I would replace it with would be a higher model from Taylor. I love everything about it, It made me decide to play/buy Taylors exclusively (as far as acoustics go). My favorite thing is the slim neck, which makes it easy to bar and to navigate. I looked at Ibanez, Fender, Epiphone, Takamine, Dean, and most other big brands before I bought it and this was easily the best choice judging by sound and play quality. All it's missing is the pickup and then it's good to go.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I play this guitar for a crowd of about 200 every week, even though I'm using a mic right now, It sounds good. I do recommend you install electronics, though. The hardware is good, but you might have to adjust the tuning mechanism (the screws in the keys) to adjust the tension you want on the keys. Personally, I like tighter keys to keep the mechanisms in place better. The strap buttons are very good and have held up well thus far. The only reason I would ever use a backup for a gig is in case I broke a string, otherwise I would rely on it 100%. The finish is durable and holds up well to rougher/faster playing styles. It has stayed completely on.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I bought this guitar used, but it was taken good care of and it's just over a year old. If you know how to adjust the truss rod with the changing seasons, It will sound great all the time. The setup was normal, no defects in the guitar. Nothing loose, nothing broken, nothing wrong.
Features — 10
This is a great mid-level acoustic. Mine is a 2003 model, made in US. 10 necks have 20 regular sized frets, fairly slim width, ebony fretboards, and are made from sapele laminate. It's a solid sitka spruce top, with sapele laminate back and sides. Good finish, very resistant to fingerprints so it looks nice. Dreadnaught body, no cutouts. Standard ebony bridge with black plastic pins. No onboard electronics. It comes with the standard khaki Taylor gig bag. Very nice for a $300 to $500 acoustic guitar. For the price, it's a definite 5.