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Taylor’s latest mahogany dreadnought has a short-scale neck, slotted headstock, and vintage feel and sound.

by Teja Gerken
February 04, 2016

First introduced in 1978, the Taylor 510 dreadnought is one of the company’s oldest models. While the general specs of mahogany back and sides with understated appointments have remained constant, the guitar’s design has had numerous tweaks. This year’s redesign by Taylor’s head luthier Andy Powers takes the 510 the furthest from its original blueprint, producing a highly distinctive dreadnought with some vintage-inspired and some new elements.

New features for the 510 include a slotted headstock, short scale, and vintage-style V-profile neck. Equally significant, though not as outwardly visible, are a new bracing design that includes a two-piece spruce-and-maple bridge plate and a top of Lutz spruce, a naturally occurring hybrid of Sitka and white spruce.

As the “e” in the guitar’s model designation indicates, the 2016 510e includes Taylor’s Expression System 2 (ES2) electronics. Consisting of three piezo sensors behind the saddle (rather than under it, as on most piezo systems), the ES2 includes controls for volume, bass, and treble in the bass side of the guitar’s upper bout and a preamp with access to a nine-volt battery at the end block.

Playing the 510e confirmed that this is a very cool take on the dreadnought design. It had the bright, open, and dynamic tone you’d expect from a mahogany dread, and its neck profile gave it a vintage feel. With Taylor’s typical easy-to-play setup and short-scale neck, the guitar had excellent playability, and it was fun to play with a flatpick or fingerstyle. Run through a Fishman Loudbox Mini amp, the Taylor ES2 pickup sounded excellent from the moment it was plugged in, requiring no further adjustments.

With its great sound, easy playability, and unique feel, Taylor’s latest 510e is one of the cooler guitars to hit the market this year.

SPECS: Dreadnought body with 14-fret neck. Solid Lutz spruce top. Solid mahogany back and sides. Mahogany neck with slotted headstock. Ebony fingerboard and bridge. 24⅞-inch scale. 1¾-inch nut width. Open-gear tuning machines. Expression System 2 electronics. Made in USA. $2,998 list. taylorguitars.com


Category: Instruments & Gear

Comments and Discussion

Posted by Jayson Rowe on
I just ordered one, and this video helped make my decision easier. I can't wait to get it (I bought this blind from Sweetwater). I've never really considered Taylor until recently (long-time Martin and Gibson guy), but this seems like the best of a D18 and J45 mixed together, and I hope it is!
Posted by Scottnyg on
Hi Jon,
That's "I've Been All Around This World."
Posted by FinleyJon357@gmail.com on
Hey guys, great demo, would you be so kind as to tell me what song Scott is playing for the flatpicking demo here. It's a great little tune. Is he just playing a little improve or is it a song?
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