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Old 09-25-2000, 10:15 AM
J.R. Rogers's Avatar
J.R. Rogers J.R. Rogers is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Durango, CO
Posts: 8,165
Talking Taylor AB-2 Bass

Here's a short review of my new Taylor bass that I originally posted to the newsgroups back in July! It's a true work of art and engineering, and I thought everyone would like to see:

It's solid Brazilian Walnut - almost the whole guitar. The neck is mahogany, but the headstock is Walnut finger-jointed to the neck using a beautiful but strange joint that's put together perfectly.

The neck goes right into the body and attaches to an internal skeleton, that transfers the tension to the sides of the guitar, leaving the top completely free to vibrate at it's fullest potential.

Acoustically, this bass is truly the loudest and most even sounding acoustic bass I've ever picked up. The bottom end is tight and surprisingly loud, while the highs are smooth and singing, and almost make me wish I had bought the fretless version. However, the volume isn't as loud as a typical six string because of the physics of what is required to reproduce bass acoustically. This guitar would hold it's own when jamming acoustically with friends playing an acoustic guitar, but could begin to get lost if the guitar player begins to play hard. Still, the Taylor is more useful acoustically than any other acoustic bass I've ever heard from any company, including the new Martin BM (Does it have that "brown sound?" HEHEHE!)

Where the Taylor REALLY shines is plugged in, though. The simple volume/bass/treble controls don't get it in the way, and it's hard to make this bass sound muddy. The response is crisp, clear, and even, and truly sounds "acoustic" - i.e. the pickup doesn't heavily color the sound. It's just what I was looking for. One of the biggest advantages, though, is being able to practice without plugging in, and actually hear yourself!

Looking at the bass, you'd think it would be incredibly bulky and difficult to play. Again, Taylor and designer Steve Klein worked their magic to make it just the opposite. The bass is shaped like a wedge, with the widest part down at your leg, while the narrowest part is up at your chest. This allows you to lay your arm flat across the top instead of trying to lean over the bass - the bass actually leans back towards you. This is a design that dreadnought guitars lack, and actually makes playing this bass more enjoyable than many acoustic, because you never feel like your hunching over the bass to play. It feels very natural!

The 2000 Taylor Basses come with a brand new super-cool gig bag. Originally, I was thinking... "gosh, for the money they're charging for this bass, they should AT LEAST give you a hardshell case. When I got home today and saw the box that this thing came in, and began to lift the bass out, I'm REALLY glad they opted to include a gig bag. The box this thing came in is about as tall as my refrigerator! I'm not joking when I say the box is at least five feet tall. This bass is so big, that any hardshell case would 1) take up lots of real-estate to store, and 2) would be SERIOUSLY heavy.

The Taylor gig-bag is solid and feels like it has rigid plastic inserts in the front and the back to fully protect the bass. It also has a large padded shaped block to support the long neck. Plus, it's very well padded. It's made of highly durable canvas-like material and has lots and lots of pockets, one of them having elastic tool-holders and a web-pouch. You can put all sorts of stuff in the huge pockets on this thing. Taylor didn't skimp one bit here.

Overall, I'm very happy with this funky bass. It's quite an odd-looking bass, but it's whole design is based upon pure functionality mixed with art. Take the long thum-block for instance. It seamlessly joins the ebony fretboard and give the neck a nice looking "flow" down into the body. (In the Taylor catalog, the thumb-block is scalloped for an even smoother transition, but it looks like Taylor abandoned that design for some reason. As quirky as it looks, all the lines are incredibly smooth and not awkward. I'm VERY impressed with this bass, and suggest that anyone looking into getting a bass look into this one.

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Old 10-01-2000, 05:02 PM
josephmartins josephmartins is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: north brookfield, ma 01535 usa
Posts: 2

Actually J.R. there is one bass that I believe would easily give the Taylor a run for its money.

If you ever have the opportunity try the Gottschall Funnelbody bass -

It represents yet another design/tone/sound that is simply incredible! The only drawback...the Taylor beats it hands down when it comes to price. One Gottschall will easily get you two Taylors.

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