January 16, 2009 One of the highlights on the first day of the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) show yesterday was the release of Taylor Guitars’ first purely electric semi-hollowbody guitar, the T3. Taylor is well known for its ultra-high-end guitars which are used by some of the world’s best known musicians, but it’s the company’s relentless innovation we’re most impressed with. Melding the sleek lines and shape of the T5 into a semi-hollowbody, the T3 will also come in a T3B model with an authentic Bigsby Vibrato (model B70). The T3B incorporates a roller bridge for high performance, allowing the player the independence in setting the intonation of each string and eliminating the "dragging string" sound so commonly found in fixed bridges.
Following the success of the T5 and SolidBody models, the T3 melds the sleek lines and shape of the T5 into a semi-hollowbody, with an expertly crafted body of sapele, topped with quilted maple. A svelte neck of tropical American mahogany sports heftier fret wire for a truly electric feel, while brilliant chrome hardware adorns the T3 for a ready-to-rock look that screams electric, vintage and cool. "This is one rockin' guitar that produces sounds our SolidBodys and T5s don't have. When you do something that looks good, that's one thing, but when cool sounds start coming out, you go, 'Man, that's just it.' We knew this guitar was too good to hold back," shares David Hosler, lead designer. The new model includes Taylor's Style 2 humbuckers which are specially positioned to capture the T3's fidelity and range of tones. A three-way switch covers three standard configurations of pickup switching and as an added twist, coil splitting is available for both humbuckers by pulling up on the volume knob. "The way I describe it is, imagine you have a guitar with two humbuckers and a three-way, and you have a guitar with two single coils and a three-way, which gives you that really cool, 'bitey' sound," adds Hosler. The control knobs, located in the traditional electric position below the bridge on the lower bout, function as push-pull pots. Pulling up on the volume knob activates a coil splitter, which turns the humbuckers into single coils. The tone knob is also a pull switch, which when pulled engages a second capacitor. Hosler explains, "In the down position, one capacitor punches up the mid tones. Then when you pull the knob up, it adds another capacitor on top of it and uncorks a warm, fat, mellow old-school jazz tone. In between these two voices, this guitar spans the spectrum from traditional, hard rock to jazzy fusion. Even when overdriven, the air, articulation and distinction of all notes are there." The T3 is available in a high gloss finish to highlight the naturally lustrous color of the quilted maple or in a variety of sunburst colors. Strung with Elixir light gauge electric strings with NANOWEB coating, the T3 comes ready to gig in a hard shell Taylor case. The T3 and T3B will be available domestically in mid-February and internationally in early spring 2009.