2015 Taylor 522ce 000 12-Fret Guitar

This 522ce is only a year old and sounds, to be honest, excellent. It's also near-mint and looks like it could've come right off the store wall. New Taylors use their "Expression System 2" pickup which means no more undersaddle sponginess effecting the tone of the guitar. Therefore -- they all sound more like they should (I'm a longtime proponent of removing undersaddle pups from Taylors to show owners what they can really do).

I was quite surprised to find the sort of tone coming out of this nearly brand-new box. It has a big, wide, aged-in sort of feel to it and while it has the extra warmth and some of the mids-scoop of a Martin, the mahogany top, Taylor-style bracing, wide soundhole, and shorter scale gives more definition and clarity overall. This means it has sort of Gibson voicing in terms of the way you might want to approach picking on it. Did I mention fingerstyle? Yum.

As I said, the guitar is basically as-new. My only work was to give it a setup. The 12-fret neck puts the bridge in the "sweet spot" on the top and the cutaway allows reaching-up to get those high notes you'd otherwise miss on a 12-fret. This reminds me of a Schoenberg Standard (000 12-fret with cutaway), though the scale is different.

An ebony headstock veneer and truss cover dress up the mahogany neck. The nut width is 1 3/4" and the neck profile is a fast, modern, C/V shape similar to Martin's low profile feel.

The ebony board features ivoroid binding and interesting, deco-style, ivoroid inlay.

The body is bound all-around in ivoroid as well -- and doesn't that big old Gibson-ish soundhole appeal like crazy?

Aside from sounding better, the new pickup system also means that you can shim-up and adjust the saddle easily for action changes and without fear of damaging and undersaddle element (it's easy to do).

As usual, the guitar features the volume, and low/high tone controls featured on most Taylor ac/elecs.

The battery box is nicely tucked into the endpin area to keep it out of the way aesthetically.

As you'd expect on a Taylor, everything is fit and finished to a great degree of precision.

The tuners are especially classy -- with an interesting design that allows tension-adjustment to the top of the worm/shaft. The ivoroid buttons match the trim.

The original hard, arched-top, Taylor case is in as-new condition, too, and comes with the guitar.