Price paid: $ 1399
Purchased from: SGCNation.com
Sound — 7
Make sure to check out the video to get some actual audio examples of the sound. It should also be noted that it ships with stock Elixir nanoweb electric .10's, which have a pretty distinct sound themselves. Personally, I was a little disappointed in the variety of sound. To me, every position shares a common tonality, and they all seemed a little too bright (spanky maybe?) for a high-gain humbucker. Position 3 ended up sounding the best to my taste, and what cannot be argued is the articulation exhibited. I realize they're high-gain pickups, but even with the volume rolled back and the tone down a bit, it was hard to get a good, clean tone.
Overall Impression — 7
The Taylor SolidBody didn't earn the highest marks, but the innovation and possibility of the guitar is to be appreciated. You have quite a few options when it comes to sound with the variety of loaded pickguards Taylor offers, but we're grading it on what it is and not what it has the chance to be. The locking aluminum bridge alone is a worthy innovation that will be around for awhile. While Fender and Gibson may not be too worried right now, the quality and forward-thinking of a great American company is a welcome addition to the world of electric guitars.
Reliability & Durability — 7
Putting this guitar through the motions, you really do get a sense of the quality of the components. The chrome hardware is top-notch and the tuners especially leave a good impression. I have no doubt that this would be a reliable and durable instrument for years to come BUT IT DOESN'T COME WITH A HARDSHELL CASE! I've never even heard of a guitar that lists for over $2500 that comes with a gig bag. Granted, it's the nicest gigbag this side of the Mayer inCase, but come on.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
Another thing Taylor is known for is the quality and playability of their setup from the factory. The neck feels really great and it's easy to get around. If you've never played a set of electric Elixir strings, you'll probably notice they're very slick. I thought the action was a bit low and there was a surprising amount of buzzing throughout the low E-string. It can be easily adjusted, and with the aluminum bridge, you can lock in your intonation once you get it right, definitely one of the big selling points. Out of all the manufacturers, Taylor probably stands above them all with the quality and consistency of their finish, acoustic or otherwise, and this guitar is no different. My biggest concern with the playability of the instrument is the high E-string. Between the outward slop of the shaved frets and the groove's position dangerously close to the outside edge of the bone nut, it's way too easy to slide the high E-string of off the fretboard anytime you try to add vibrato.
Features — 7