When company president and co-founder Bob Taylor is asked why, after years of leading the world’s high-end acoustic market, he decided to build a solid body electric, Taylor answers that pure guitar building experimentation birthed the SolidBody.
“I would never make a Strat or Les Paul copy. We are guitar builders and innovators. That’s what we do,” says Taylor. “David Hosler, who did the original work on the Expression System with Mr. Rupert Neve, was experimenting with magnetic flux fields, trying to come up with a new pickup for our electric/acoustic hybrid T5. When we heard the sound of these great pickups he was working on, we knew right away that we had to build a solid body. We looked at each other and said, ‘We’re in the electric guitar business!’”
From that day, on the design crew kicked into high-gear, with the result being a new all-original Taylor design with suitably unique features for the discriminating electric guitarist. Four Taylor SolidBody models are available, the SolidBody Custom Koa, Solidbody Custom, SolidBody Standard and SolidBody Classic.
Each SolidBody is appointed with a sensuous-feeling, cast-aluminum bridge, and a sleek Taylor neck joins the ergonomically sculpted body with a single-bolt T-Lock™ joint. The new proprietary humbuckers, “Style One” (3/4-size covered pickups for the Custom and Classic models) or “Style Two” (full-size open-coil for the Standard) provide a unique combination of vintage warmth and contemporary power, with different tone configurations accessible via a sturdy five-way switch. Even the volume and tone knobs were created exclusively by Taylor’s design team – each has a lip for traction when being manipulated with a pinky finger. Pushing the tone knob 2/3 of the way up gives a nice boost to the midrange for a “cocked wah” sound.
Hand-cut tops of exotic woods (gorgeous Hawaiian koa for the Custom Koa, figured walnut burl for the Custom, and “quilted” or “curly” ash for the Standard,) are inset in the body and edged with purfling for a stunning new aesthetic that combines body contours with acoustic-guitar-style trim. (The Classic body gets its own special treatment – it is carved from a single slab of Swamp ash and sports a pearloid pickguard for a slightly “retro” look.)
SolidBody Custom models have a lustrous, clear Natural finish; SolidBody Standard is available with a satin Natural finish or “Aged Cherry” Sunburst; the SolidBody Classic comes in four bold color choices – Transparent Red, Transparent White, Black or Natural.
Guitarist magazine (U.K) reviews all three SolidBody models in its February 2008 issue, lauding the SolidBody as “one of the more forward-looking guitars of recent years….You could easily justify owning one alongside your cherished Les Paul, SG, Tele or even ES-335. The trouble might be, which one?”