Taylor 615 Jumbo Maple Steel String Guitar Natural
The Taylor 615 jumbo Maple steel string guitar is unabashedly visually related to the most venerable of the Jumbo body acoustics, the Gibson J-200, from the oversize curves to the flame maple back and sides. In the form seen here, with no cutaway, the 615 was built from 1981 to 1998. At that point, it gained a cutaway and pickup and became the 615ce and was finally discontinued in 2011.
Still, itís a Taylor and built using Taylorís neck joint that makes the inevitable major repair (a neck reset) quick and inexpensive. The familiar Jumbo body pairs a Sitka Spruce top with a highly figured Big Leaf Maple for the back and sides. The neck is mahogany with a bound Ebony fingerboard and Ebony is also used for the head plate and bridge. For decoration, the position markers are a Mother of Pearl leaf design and the rosette ring is Abalone. The tuners are gold-plated Grover Roto-Matics.
This Taylor 615 dates to 1995 and has been used as intended Ė there is play wear to the top, a few marks on the top, and a light buckle rash on the back. Fret wear is moderate, and a pickup has been added. The top shows three lines that look like cracks, two on the bass side of the fingerboard tag and one heading south from the bridge. Close examination indicates that the bass side marks are not cracks, but are finish checks that have been handled and darkened. The line from the bridge does appear to be a sealed crack, old and stable if the guitar is kept humidified.
I admit to a bias towards this style of guitar, but I like it a lot. It has a full, even tone, with plenty of power, projection, and presence. It plays well and cleanly Ė Taylor early on developed a very comfortable neck shape, slim yet wide enough to cleanly move between complex (or simple) chord shapes.