Price paid: $ 420.9
Purchased from: ebay
Sound — 10
Well, what a noise! Considering that it is smaller than its larger Taylor dreadnought counterparts, and it comes with quite thin strings, the level of sound is more than acceptable. Its dreadnought body and the fact that the strings are phosphor-bronze produces Taylor's authentic bright tone. And, this tone lasts, thanks to the 'NANOWEB' coating. I'm sure that this guitar could produce a wide variety of sounds depending on the positioning of the listener and type/positioning of the mic. I think that the guitar could be easily suitable for picking, fingerpicking, hybrid or flatpicking, even though I'm really a plectrum/fingerpicking only player. It is suitable to my rocky chordy style! This is my first acoustic guitar, so to be honest I don't have that much to compare it to, but all other guitars I have hears, this comes up trumps.
Overall Impression — 9
I play general rock, blues and some jazz. I really don't think that guitars are particularly tied to any kind of music or genre. It's all about the playing man! I have been playing for about two years and I also own a Fender telecaster custom electric guitar, which is my pride and joy. I have bugger all amplification (apart from a Yamaha GA-10 which I bought for about a tenner, I hope to get a nice old valve amp sometime). The only effect I have is a modded Boss DS-1 Distortion. If this was lost or if some punk nabbed iot then I'd probably get it again, or perhaps a higher level Taylor with a pickup. I really like its pick-it-up-and-play-with-it-on-the-couch-ness. The strings last a lifetime and sound good. It's just a sweet sounding simple guitar. Like I say, I would prefer it with a hard case and pickup, but I knew when I bought it what it would consist of, and anyway it is easy to install a pickup/buy a hard case. Overall, a really nice playing and sounding acoustic guitar for the money, brilliant!
Reliability & Durability — 10
The guitar could easily withstand live playing of any sort, I believe. All wood and hardware seems very durable and that it will last may 5 houred playing sessions! The strap buttons are fairly large and solid. I think that a lot of people believe that Taylors are less durable and more flimsy than other guitars because of their stress on guitar care and correct humidification. This is definitely not the case. The simple fact is that Taylor acknowledge that acoustic gutars have certain requirements in terms of humidification and mainteneance, when other guitar companies do not.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I can't say how well the setup was at the factory, but when it came to me it appeared to be in perfect condition and well setup. The action was low, as most Taylor guitars are. There appeared to be no signs of warpage, dryness or wetness. The bridge was perfect, not bent forward but not back bowed. No truss adjustment was needed. The tuners were smooth moving and nottoo sensitive. All materials and hardware were in perfect condition. At a closer look I did see that there was a small nick at the edge of the guitar betwwen the top and side. Also, the polymer of the strings had begun to fray a bit over the soundhole, where strumming has occured (bearing in mind however that these strings are 6 months old). I'm going togive it a 10 because these were flaws which occured after Taylor had sent the guitar off, when the previous owner had been using the guitar.
Features — 8
The guitar is a 6 steel string Taylor Big Baby 15/16 scale dreadnought. I'm not sure of the date of manufacture, but the previous owner had had this guitar for about half a year before I bought it (14/04/06). It was made in the good ol' US of A in Taylor's factory in El Cajon, California. The guitar has 20 frets. The top is made of sitka spruce, and the soundhole rosette is laser-cut. The sides and back are manufactured of sapele laminate, the neck of tropical american mahogany and the fretboard and bridge of ebony. The guitar has a varnish finish. The bridge is in the classic 'peghead' acoustic style. No pickups or electronics are included, but a pickup can be easily installed by fitting a new pickup's jack into the endpin. The tuners are unbranded, enclosed, die-cast and chrome plated. The guitar is includewith a gig bag, truss rod adjustment tool, Taylor's 'tech sheets' on the symptoms of a dry guitar, a wet guitar, using a guitar humidifier, or dampit, and truss rodadjustments. Additional tech sheets (in the filetype.PDF) are availiable at www.taylorguitars.com along with video clips showing different guitar maintenance tips. The guitar is fitted with 'NANOWEB' coated light gauge strings. This 'NANOWEB' polymer is used to prolong the life and tone of the strings. Bob Taylor himself has said that he has not changed the strings on his personal Taylor in his ofice for 7 months! The guitar is built using good materials and is definitely not a cheap copy of the more expensive taylors. As I am a slightly smaller player so the 15/16 scale is perfect for me. A hard case would have been nice but I'm not complaining.