First off, everyone should own at least one guitar with Koa top wood. It has the most amazing sound - rich, deep, and resonant. I am an average, hobby type guitarist, and even I can tell the difference between the sound of a Koa guitar and all other guitars. Next, I want to write about the aesthetics of the guitar. The look of Koa and its varied appearance makes each Koa guitar unique and beautiful. The variance between the dark and light ribbons in the wood help to make the matched pieces a piece of art. Sometimes I find myself just looking at it and seeing new qualities I hadn't noticed before. The front, the back, the sides all are beautiful. There is not a bad looking angle when seeing the beauty of this instrument. Lastly, the overall quality of this Taylor guitar is excellent. Out of the box it was tuned perfectly with excellent action. I played unplugged first and was amazed at the sound quality and the ease of fretting and bending strings. Next, I plugged in and was similarly impressed with the pick-up and the electronic controls. Some of my older guitars have large electronic compartments that take away from the look of the guitar. Not this one. The electronics are subdued and compliment the overall look of the instrument. I've always loved ebony fret boards and this one is no different. Slides are effortless and the frets don't hang up your fingertips through the slides. I was initially worried about the size of a travel guitar, but I adjusted quickly and the instrument became fun to play (I think I played it for about 2 hours on the first day alone.) I was also curious about how layered wood would affect the sound of the instrument, but I can hear no difference. As I increase my experience with guitars, I am beginning to appreciate rarity of exotic woods and the need to conserve and responsibly harvest these woods. I believe Taylor does an excellent job at this and I more and more support the use of layered woods and alternate source materials in the construction of guitars.
On a side note - Sweetwater service is, as always, excellent. I ordered this guitar on a Saturday and received it the following Tuesday in perfect condition and got a follow up call from Jason, my service rep, immediately after. Couldn't be happier with Sweetwater as my go to dealer.