Taylor XXX-MC Custom, #241/250


Stock No. 07921


Style: Dreadnought with cutaway
Top: Engelmann Spruce
Back: Cocobolo, Master Grade
Binding: Grained Ivoroid with Abalone Trim
Fretboard: Ebony with 'Byzantine' Inlay
Neck: Tropical Mahogany, 1 11/16" at nut
Electronics: Taylor Expression System
Condition: Mint
Retail: $5,498

Taylor XXX-MC 30th Anniversary Grand Concert, Limited Edition (#241 of 250), Engelmann Spruce & Mahogany

This is a Taylor XXX-MC, a Limited Edition Thirtieth Anniversary Grand Concert. There were only 250 of the XXX-MC limiteds made, and in their stock incarnation they are a non-cutaway grand concert in Western Red Cedar and Tropical Mahogany, without electronics. This one was a special order, though - it has a cutaway, it also has a custom top of beautiful Engelmann Spruce, and finally the Expression System is onboard as well. And what a superb guitar this is.

The bridge, fingerboard and peghead overlay are of Ebony, and there is also a "backstrp" of Ebony on the rear of the headstock, with a torch inlay. A Taylor 30th Anniversary inlay adorns the fingerboard between the 12th and 18th frets. The body and neck are bound with grained Ivoroid, and the Engelmann top sports a trim of Abalone purfling.

I've always found Taylor's grand concerts to be some of their best, most consistent guitars - the first one I ever had was a mid-nineties 412 that was my main gigging acoustic for a few years. Taylor makes really great small-body acoustics, and this particular Anniversary model has something special going on. Mahogany gives a guitar a warm, balanced tone that sounds great in person and also records very well. And Engelmann Spruce is in my opinion an excellent choice as a topwood pairing. This particular Engelmann set sports medullary rays over the entire top surface, giving it a visual shimmer that is a fitting harbinger of the tone of this instrument.

This instrument has a full, complex tone - harmonically rich, balanced and very pleasing, with good volume and projection. This instrument has resided in a private collection since being purchased last year, and has hardly been played - it undoubtedly needs to open up a bit, but you can already hear that this guitar sings sweetly. But don't take my word for it - click on the yellow speaker icon above, and hear for yourself (requires MP3 player.)

Condition on this guitar is completely mint. Includes a deluxe luggage-style Taylor hardcase, as pictured. Since this instrument is a custom-ordered version of a limited edition, there is no published list price available. However, based on the price of the base model and likely upcharges for cutaway, top wood and electronics, this guitar would likely retail for at least $5,498, if you could buy it today.

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