Taylor 510 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar, Engelmann spruce And Mahogany

Taylor 510
Credit: http://www.rumbleseatmusic.com/guitar%20pic%20pages/85Taylor510Nat.html

The Mahogany 510 Dreadnought By Taylor

The Taylor 510 is a very underrated flat top guitar.  It's nothing new that most people visiting the Guitar Centers of the world look towards the rosewood acoustic guitars - that's been a common thing for a long time.  Mahogany body guitars like the Taylor 510, however, have a tonal clarity and explosive velocity of sound that rosewood instruments can't compete with.

Mahogany body guitars are a real bargain, as the wood is less expensive to get than is rosewood, and it is also easier to shape into a guitar's body - the result is, of course, twofold: 1. the manufacturers can sell the instruments for less than a rosewood body guitar, and 2. uninformed persons wind up thinking that less expensive means "cheaper," and so they mistakenly believe a mahogany body guitar is not as good as rosewood.  The truth is, of course, that mahogany is extremely underrated, and sometimes unappreciated by the rosewood crowd.  It also sounds very very different.

If you know you prefer the overtones and heavy bass response associated with a rosewood dreadnought, well, I certainly love that sound.  I own a couple such flat tops.  If you are that guy or gal, the 510 isn't for you, you want the Taylor 810, or the Martin D-28.  If you are, however, the guy who wants to sound like Norman Blake on Whiskey Before Breakfast, then there's nothing for it but to buy a mahogany dreadnought.

The Taylor 510 and Engelmann Spruce

For people who are in the market for a lifetime guitar of all solid wood with the sound offered by mahogany, then the Taylor 510 is one of the very finest and most readily available of such instruments there is.  Of course were I personally shopping for such an instrument, or personally advising someone as to what to look at were they shopping for such an instrument, and I AM; then I'd suggest comparing the Taylor 510 to the Gibson J-35 and the Martin D-18 before buying.

If someone were to ask me, 

"What makes this Taylor 510 special?"

The answer to the question would be simple.  The Taylor 510 is different from other great American made mahogany body flat top guitars because it features Engelmann spruce instead of sitka spruce, or Adirondack spruce as its tonewood for the top.  Engelmann is a different wood, it typically has a lighter in color appearance, and a rather different set of tonal properties.  The wood is less stiff than sitka or red spruce, and provides some complexities rather than more clarity or volume.  Players like Dan Crary prefer it, and you might too.  It is important that you try it out to know what you like, and compare the 510 to other guitars first unless you happen to just try one and fall in love with it right off the bat. Engelmann spruce is more expensive than sitka spruce, but this isn't because it is "better," but rather because there is less of it which would serve to make a good top for a great guitar.  I've a terrific forum post [1]one can read for a great discussion about the wood, and its individuality for interested parties.

Taylor guitars as a manufacturer of guitars has done a terrific job of differentiating their instruments from either comparable Martin or Gibson instruments.  Taylor uses different woods at times, and different bracing patters as a rule.  The combination of Engelmann spruce and mahogany with Taylor's unique bracing/voicing really makes this a guitar that is "like" a D-18 or J-35 in some ways, but also its own instrument.

Outstanding Video Of Flatpicking And The Taylor 510


  • Forward shifted Taylor X bracing
  • Engelmann spruce top
  • Tropical mahogany neck
  • Tropical mahogany body
  • Ebony fretboard
  • Pearl dot positioning markers
  • East Indian rosewood binding
  • 20 frets 14 clear of the body in standard (non cutaway) design
  • Venetian cutaway available
  • Available with both cutaway and pre-amp/pickup electronics (Taylor Expression System) for plugged in play
  • Chrome plated tuning machines
  • 1 3/4 neck width at the nut
  • Gloss finish
  • For best long term results use Elixir nanoweb strings.