Taylor guitars have long been respected for their overall sound, playability, and (let’s not forget) good looks. Their preamps are among the best in the industry, with their proprietary Expression System being created in partnership with legendary audio pioneer Rupert Neve. A few years back, the company made the decision to create a hybrid guitar that could deliver a natural acoustic sound as well as four classic electric guitar tones. That guitar was the T5, which has been almost universally praised for its amazing diversity of sounds, not to mention its sleek, “uptown” good looks. So resounding was the T5’s success that Taylor made the decision to dedicate all of its resources and innovative spirit into creating a traditional solidbody electric, with three models: the SolidBody Classic, the Standard, and the Custom. From that trio, we chose the top-of-the-line model to be today’s official Guitar of the Day: the Taylor SolidBody Custom. Go check out the photos in our Guitar Gallery and see if you don’t agree that this is a truly gorgeous instrument, with its bookmatched figured walnut or koa tops, two original 3/4-size humbuckers, and mahogany neck with an ebony fingerboard.
The British magazine Guitarist was so impressed that it gave the Taylor SolidBody Custom the cover spot in their February 2008 issue, where they asked the provocative question: “Is this the most important guitar in 25 years?” While each guitar player will have to answer that individually, we have to admit the Custom is wonderful eye candy. Both the walnut and koa bookmatched tops are stunning. For extra resonance, these solidbody guitars are actually heavily chambered, with only the area under the pickups and bridge being truly solid. Tonally, the Custom has a 5-way blade switch: Position one gives you full neck humbucker, while position two is the inside coils of both pickups in parallel. Position three is full neck humbucker with one coil of the bridge pickup, while position four is the two inside coils, but this time in series. Position five is full bridge humbucker. All sound great! The neck is a comfortable C shape, with a 15″ radius fingerboard, and the bridge is machined from acoustically resonant aluminum and is nicely contoured. Of course, the Custom includes free shipping to your door via FedEx, in its deluxe hardshell case.