My take on this thing is going to have some serious similarities to my review of my PRS Starla. My experience with Taylor guitars has been of much the same sort. For many years I saw the guitars around and had the same reaction- excellent build quality and plays like a dream but both the sound and the look is too shiny and modern. They just didn’t sound or look as good to me as the old Gibsons, Martins, and Guilds that I’d heard for years and based my palette around (side note though- frankly the Gibsons and Martins that I’ve heard in the last 20 years don’t look or sound anywhere near as good as their ancestors either so there’s that and also- in recent years I’ve come to respect their more modern sound as I’ve noticed what acoustic sounds sit best in modern music tracks.) Anyway- on the recommendation of a friend, I decided to take a closer look at their product line and give them a real chance. I quickly realized a few things about them that had turned me off personally and were the reasons I thought I wasn’t into Taylors.
Here’s what I found. First off- I really hate cutaways. I just think they’re ugly almost all the time and that’s just me. I realize that that’s completely personal preference but I just can’t seem to get past it on acoustic guitars. Taylor clearly offers a ton of cutaway models but I have found now that they have a ton without as well. Secondly- I found that they have a ton of models with a combination of specs that I find accentuate the modern punch and brightness that I’m not crazy about. Those features being a dreadnought size with a spruce top and rosewood back and sides. It’s killer if that’s your thing but if it’s not, there are a lot of other options that cover other ranges. For me- I leaned towards the larger body sizes (specifically the Grand Symphony, though they have an even larger Grand Orchestra now that I’m excited to hear). It adds bass and midrange that balances the guitar to my ear. Also, a cedar top takes off even more high end and makes the guitar sound better to me. The GS7 I wound up choosing is an inch or so shorter and narrower than the classic jumbo models I love (Gibson J-200, Guild F-30, etc.) but it reminds me of them very much in feel and sound.
Only negatives I can mention are 1) that I’m not wild about the gold hardware and 2) it’s a little bit neck heavy. Seriously. That’s about it. It’s a great guitar. I got mine without electronics in it and installed a K&K Pure Mini in it myself. I absolutely love that pickup and it’s killer in the GS7.