The other day I dropped by the Taylor factory at El Cajon, California to again take the factory tour (which I highly recommend) and pick up the Taylor SolidBody that I designed using the SolidBody Configurator. It’s a beautiful guitar and I can’t wait to get it back to oz and try it out with my amp, make a bunch of videos, use it on recordings, etc. Full pics and review (and new factory tour article) coming soon, but first here are some pics of that exciting day:
Here’s me mere seconds after opening the case and getting my paws on this beauty:
Hey! So my Taylor SolidBody has begun its journey from disparate bits of wood and metal into becoming an actual guitar! The guitar has been shaped and painted, and the pickup/electronics cavity has been routed. Next up: gloss, neck pocketing, electronics, etc., etc. And before long it’ll look like this!
But for now, it looks like this.
I got some great news yesterday: production of my Taylor SolidBody has begun! I can’t wait to see the pics as it takes shape.
If you’re just joining us, Taylor is building a SolidBody based on specs I selected rom the SolidBody Configurator, which you can see here. The design I ultimately selected is a SolidBody Standard with a mahogany body and inset maple top, three mini humbuckers on a swappable pickguard, and Taylor’s tremolo bridge. The finish is Doheny Green and the pickguard is black.
You can follow the progress of the guitar here.
If you read I Heart Guitar last week you probably read about the beautiful new SolidBody Standard that Taylor is building for me (you can keep up with each update here). Over the next few weeks I’m going to pick out various features that I chose, and explain why I picked them for my guitar. This week it’s the Taylor Tremolo Bridge.
There’s a great video below which explains the trem, but of course it doesn’t explain exactly what I like about it. There are two things in particular that attract me to this bridge: the profile and the fulcrum point.
The Taylor bridge is smooth. Real smooth. I tend to tune out how uncomfortable it is to palm mute on most guitars, since it’s just a necessary evil, but Taylor has really nailed the design of this bridge so that it’s comfortable and unobstructive. It also looks sleek and cool, like something from a 1950s vision of the future.
The Fulcrum Point
The fulcrum point of the bridge – the point at which it pivots – is set lower into the body of the guitar than usual. This gives it more balance and a smoother operation. It’s a two-point knife-edge design, and whether you choose the fixed or tremolo version, the bridge height can be adjusted both front-to-back and side-to-side. Each string has its own saddle which is locked in place after intonation is set.
I’m a big fan of Taylor Guitars. Their 8-string Baritone is one of my favourite instruments ever. Their acoustics are of course incredible. The GS-Mini is a great idea. And Bob Taylor’s book is an entertaining and informative look into what it takes to build your dream into a business.
Well, this week Taylor came to me with an incredible proposal: configure my dream guitar via the Taylor SolidBody Configurator, they will build it, we’ll document the build process (I’m unofficially calling this “The Taylor Project”), and then I will review it, use it and love it! So I’ve picked out my specs, my order is in, and I’m awaiting an ETA. Once I have my mitts on the guitar I’ll review it in text and video form, and I’ll use it in pedal and amp reviews, lessons, in photos with my band, on stage, etc. I really believe in these guitars from the time I’ve spent playing them in review and at NAMM (and at the Taylor factory), so I’m really excited about this project.
So what will my guitar look like? Well, I toyed with a few different options before settling on the design for my guitar.
First off, I let my son (who is almost 5) design a guitar. This is what he came up with:
Hmm, not bad, little buddy, not bad. But daddy doesn’t really dig that colour combo. Let’s see what else we can come up with.
First I messed around with this, which I kinda liked, but as cool as it is, it’s ultimately not flashy enough for what I’m into.
Again leaning towards the traditional, I thought I’d go for something with a groovy transparent red finish. But again, not quite me.
So what about something a little bit Texas?
Naah. Maybe I need something a bit more elegant. Something like…
Not bad. Not bad at all. But then I remembered a particularly sexy SolidBody I saw at NAMM this year and decided to do something very much like that but with a whammy bar…
I do love my single coils, after all. But then again, I also like humbuckers… and I think I prefer black pick guards… so what about this?
All of these would be beautiful guitars, but after a little bit more thought, it hit me.
Taylor’s mini humbuckers.
I loved them when I reviewed a SolidBody way back, and I’ve always loved the middle pickup position on 3-pickup guitars. And for about 12 years now I’ve had a recurring dream about having a green guitar with a quilted maple top. Why not make this into that guitar?
So, ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, I give you…
The Taylor Project.
Isn’t she a beauty? You can follow her build process here regularly, and as soon as I have a second post about this, I’ll create a whole page to keep updates easily accessible via the site menu bar.
Thanks so much to Taylor for suggesting this very cool idea. Also, Jon from Guitar Noize is doing the same thing, and you can check out his idea here. We’ll do some cool cross-promotional stuff over the next few months. I think you’ll dig it.