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2006 Taylor 214e

Taylor Guitars, El Cajon, California, USA

Sitka spruce top, sapele back and sides, tropical American mahogany neck
Fishman Rare Earth Humbucker magnetic soundhole pickup

I have had this guitar since April 06, as I was looking for a not-too-expensive small bodied guitar for fingerpicking in standard tuning, as the big Falstaff, with its wide fingerboard and long scale length, was taking its toll on my wee hands! Plus I wanted to have an alternative stage guitar to allow me to keep guitars in stable tunings, as the Falstaff was often going between Open C with Malinky, into standard and DADGAD with Emily Smith. Not the best thing for a guitar really, although the Falstaff's so well built it hasn't shown any ill effects.

The factory pickup is a modified version of Taylor's own ES (Expression System), and it's very impressively natural sounding, although the B string is too loud; I've yet to get to the bottom of fixing it, as no authorised Taylor repairer seems to know about the fault. What I do know is that Taylor replaced the system themselves after only a few months and it now ships with a more advanced system.

I began using this guitar with Malinky in summer 2008 when my Fylde was in the workshop for repair. Fitted with a hybrid medium bottom-light top set of Elixirs, it sounded great for the open C tuning, and I fitted it with a Fishman Rare Earth soundhole pickup as a temporary measure while I tried to get Taylor's own system fixed. I used these pickups from the very early days when Mike Vanden, the luthier from Strontian in the west of Scotland, invented them as 'Mimesis' pickups in the mid-90s and was very impressed.

During Malinky's US Autumn 2008 tour, I had the Fishman properly fitted, and coupled with an L.R. Baggs Para Acoustic DI, it sounds great. It's now my main touring guitar. I also recorded with it on 'Sweet Willie and Fair Annie' and 'When Margaret was Eleven' from the Malinky "Flower & Iron" album.

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