Monday, May 02, 2005

The Taylor's Are In

Taylor T5
Originally uploaded by mchgtr.
Having called and discovered that Guitar Center in Boston actually had three Taylor T5’s in stock, I kind of felt compelled to go and check them out.

So after work, I took a trip down town; fortunately, Guitar Center has it’s own parking lot, so going there isn’t the major aggravation that you have to endure going to most other places in the city.

The first question was; where would they be? I went to the high-end acoustic room (where the other Taylor’s are displayed) but found no sign of them. I then spent about ten minutes or more wondering around trying to find the damn things. I could have asked someone - I was just about to when I did find them - but I hate to talk to salesman unless I absolutely have to. You know; you don’t want them to think you might be interested in something; it gives them an unfair advantage.

Well, it turned out they were hanging on the wall right where you come into the store. I hadn’t noticed them. In my own defense, they were way up high, and easy to miss; they looked kind of like the other electric guitars...

Next shock; the price. They had a black one, a red sunburst maple one, and a koa top model. Now I’d checked the prices before going and found suggested list prices of: $2598 through $3498 (depending upon model.) Usually, you can pay about 70% of list (even less for mail order), which translates to $1818 for the base model. Guitar Center was asking $1999. You could probably haggle (but I hate doing that.)

Since I’m not 10 feet tall, I had to ask one of the salesman to get the guitar down for me. And also ask if I could plug it in. He asked if I wanted to plug it into an electric guitar amp or an acoustic guitar amp. I said I had no idea, but we ended up going into the acoustic room.

Unfortunately, two guys were already there with another T5, playing their complete repertoire of Dave Matthew’s songs to impress their girlfriends, who they’d brought along for some unknown reason. The girls pretended to be interested. I pretended to be interested, but it made it damn hard to hear what the guitar I was holding sounded like.

Things I noted: They’re thin and fairly light. The neck feels very like a Taylor acoustic guitar. There’s two neck strap buttons on the bottom (no idea why.) There’s a large plastic cover over a cut-out in the middle of the back (something to do with the pick-up the salesman said.) There’s also a socket on the back under the neck joint with a screw that takes an allen key that I take it is for adjusting the neck. I didn’t try it.

If you look through the top f-hole (when holding it to play it) you can see a small Taylor label. I wonder how they got that in there?

The salesman said that they had only opened them up after the store closed the day before; which seemed wrong as I thought May 1st was the first day they could sell them. I wondered if he was mistaken, but I didn’t press it.

As expected, they aren’t very loud when played unplugged. Didn’t sound too bad, but they were very soft. There’s three pick-ups; one under the bridge, a humbucker under the strings, and something under the neck, and a five-way switch for picking between them. I played it a little bit plugged in and I didn’t notice a hell of a lot of difference between the five settings; but then I’m not an electric player, didn’t have it plugged into an electric amp, didn’t have it cranked up, and didn’t really know what I was doing, so I can’t really judge the damn thing.

And besides, the Dave Matthew’s concert was still going full steam.

In the end - and this wasn’t a surprise - I decided that I didn’t need one. I don’t play electric - heavy duty for me is a few Blues tunes - and I don’t think I’m the intended audience, and that’s cool.

Actually, it’s kind of a relief; I don’t think I can afford a new guitar right now!

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