I heart my Taylor 214ce-K Deluxe
In January, I walked into a music shop just 'to take a look at bongos' while on a road trip with my sis. An hour later, I walked out with a pretty little Washburn Koa parlor guitar...having never played a guitar before. I practiced on that guitar for a couple of weeks before realizing I wanted something bigger and better because I was officially addicted to playing guitar! So, I spent a day surfing guitars and listening to specific models on YouTube. I ended up ordering the Taylor 214ce-K Deluxe Grand Auditorium and I am in love!! It's true I'm a beginner, but I know quality when I see and hear it and I am impressed by this guitar for its price point. Besides the instrument being gorgeous visually and audibly, the hard case it came with is of decent quality and lined in velvet. The wider neck and larger-but-not-too-large size is more comfortable for me to play than the parlor guitar. (For reference, I'm female about 5'7" with a slim-but-not-skinny build.) When I gain some experience, I'll be able to describe what I like about the tone of this guitar in a way that will be more useful to seasoned players. For now, I will say that it has the right balance of mellow and bright to suit my ear and keep me interested in learning how to play.
Six weeks later, I am still in love and that pretty little Washburn is resting in it's gig bag with a humidifier. My gorgeous Taylor is out on display in the living room (also with a humidifier) and is played nearly every day for as long as my aging hands and delicate girl fingers hold up. I changed to silk and steel strings to give my fingers a break, but I will be changing back to the Elixir strings soon because I prefer how they sound. I've been showering my Taylor with other gifts and attention as well: a humidifier, a nice Taylor suede strap, lots of picks in different colors and materials, all kinds of cleaners and polishes, an amp (someday I'll need this!), a wooden stand and a set of Planet Waves mother-of-pearl inlaid ebony bridge pins.
I was (and still am) also impressed by the online buying process through Sweetwater. While I do like to patronize small businesses, there aren't any great shops nearby for me to see a good variety of instruments. My sales dude, Matt Morgan, called me within minutes of my online order being placed. He showed me how I could pick out a specific guitar by choosing different serial numbers of the same model I had ordered. This was awesome because I hadn't realized that was an option! I did end up picking a different instrument as a result of that call. Matt also reassured me that I could easily return the instrument if I was unhappy. If you are hesitant about buying online, give Sweetwater a try; you won't regret it. And, no they didn't pay me to say this....though they did send candy with my orders. ;-)