Price paid: $ 3000
Purchased from: Sweetwater Music
Sound — 10
I play just about anything with strings. For quite some time I have been in a "phase" of playing my Rory Gallagher Strat, and coming back to acoustic takes a few days to acclamate, especially getting my calouses back. With the incredible tone quality coming out of this Taylor, I have a sneaking suspicion that my callouses will jump back in no time because it will command my time and my chops will improve by leaps and bounds, which will make the Taylor sing even more. A win-win situation! I'll jockey around with amps, right now I'm going to start off with my SWR California Blonde II.
Overall Impression — 10
I've been at this game for a while. Although I born to rock and roll, I've come to appreciate that truly good music has range. From steamroller power chords that shake your pantlegs, to delicate and intricate acoustic pieces, my prefence is a combination of both which is why I enjoy Led Zep as much as I do. When you consider a range from songs like "The Immigrant Song" and "Kashmir" to acoustic dreamscapes like "Over The Hills and Far Away" and "The Rain Song", that's the stuff I dig as do the boys that I regularly play with. My inventory of instruments and gear is impressive, but you'd expect that from someone Who has been playing as long as I have. No need to submit my resume, but like women, it's doesn't take me long anymore to pick the goods ones from the bad ones. The Taylor 15CE is a slam-dunk, a no-brainer. Like most things in life, the good stuff costs more. Normally, I have no problem paying for quality, it's when I pay for it and don't get it that I get pissed off. Taylor is quality. Period. Ever test drove a hot car wiht the salesman in the passenger seat and asked to get on the freeway so that you can put your foot into it? When I've done that with the Taylor 15CE, it seems to smile and say, "Very nice. What else do you got?" And off we go... Would I buy another if I had to? Hard to say. Life is short. There's lots of good guitars out there, and at the end of the day I suppose my Quest is to play as many of them as I can get my hands on. What I can say though, is there is a good word... one that comes close to describing this guitar in one simple thought. Unforgettable.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Live playing? We'll see. If I'm playing electric, I can toss a Strat around a stage with the best of them. Playing acoustic, I generally like to be seated on a bar stool, and if the piece I'm playing allows for full-strumming to really knock a chord out, I'll stand and kick over the stool. This Taylor certainly feels strong enough to follow my shadow. That's saying something. I never play in public without a back-up. It's a default ritual, because I normally enjoy playing both electric and acoustic on stage. This guitar, from a luthier standpoint, was designed with a tremendous amount of thought and experience put into it. Simply put, Taylor is right there at the top for American craftsmanship in guitar-making. Everything about it, down to the smallest of details has been designed to the "nth" degree. It's the stuff of dreams. Truly, it is.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I am proud to call myself a musician, and specifically a guitar player. I've been playing for going on 50 years. I've often thought that I'd take a good guitar over most women gladly. Guitars don't ask where you've been or tell you to pick up your socks. They wait patiently for you and will see you through the darkest of times. They are the best of friends. That being said, I've seen my share of great axes over the years. I've bought and sold enough to give any guitar shop inventory a run for it's money. I've often enjoyed the tone and playing ability of Taylor guitars in general, although I've never owned one. I finally took the plunge and purchased the 15CE. This is a jumbo with the "pointed" florentine cut-out (so often you see pictures of something that is advertised as the 15CE, but is actually the 814ce with the "rounded-over" florentine cut-out). The tone and playability of this guitar is so soul-filling that I have yet to amplify it. I'll get back to you on that one. This is what all players aspire to. It's what you put all those hours of practice in for, to be good enough to justify spending this kind of money on a guitar. To describe it as a masterpiece of not only the luthiers craft, but also heart-filling in it's sound isn't good enough, it's not accurate in it's description. Personally, when I look for an acoustic, I look for a jumbo, because the bell of jumbo resonates the low-end the way I like it. A good acoustic will not only chime with a shimmering high-end, but should fill a room with sound when you really lay into it for emphasis on the low-end. This Taylor delivers exactly that. My playing range is wide, you name it and I do it. This Taylor excels at challenging pieces such as the acoustic Led Zeppelin pieces, for example. It rocks, it talks, it cries, and it laughs. It delivers emotion and as a musician, that should be where your finish line is. I demand a lot out of my guitars, as they ultimately are my musical voice. This Taylor 15CE represents money well spent as far as I am concerned.
Features — 10
This is a 2008 Taylor 15CE. You can get all the specs on the Taylor website. Natural finish, acoustic-electric with Taylor's patented electronic system. Jumbo shape, Taylor tuners, Elixir strings, and a fairly decent hardshell case. I'm having an anvil-like case made for it because this jewel will be seeing a lot of airports.