3rd and 4th strings and a thumping thumb
on detuned 5th and 6th strings. That quality is doubly surprising given the laminate
used on the sides and arched back. If you’re
among those who are dubious about the
potential of laminated back and side wood
to generate gorgeous tones, a spin with the
DDX will likely find you thinking twice.
Plugged into a Fishman Loudbox Mini,
the DDX’s ES-T system sounded remarkably
transparent and well suited for the Deluxe’s
bright voice. Kicking up the treble and volume simultaneously had the system quacking a little—particularly from heavy finger
plucks and bass-string thumps. But the
ES-T’s tone controls are also quite responsive. And given the midrange heavy nature of
the Deluxe’s acoustic voice, there was a lot of
room to dial out excessively ringing high-end
frequencies and more synthetic-sounding
mids. The system also responded well to the
Taylor’s even and glistening qualities when
I used my picking hand more gently. And
it rewards a lighter flesh-on-steel fingerstyle
technique, if that’s your approach.
The Taylor Doyle Deluxe is one of the
quickest-feeling flattops I’ve played in a
while. What’s more, it’s voiced to take
advantage of lighter strings and fingerpicking—reactive in the high and midrange
with plenty of sustain for droning and
thumb-thumped bass patterns.
Some players may be hesitant to drop
$1200 for a guitar with laminated back
and sides. But the construction is flawless, and many players would be hard
pressed to identify the tone as typical of a
laminated guitar if you blindfolded them.
The Doyle Deluxe is a Taylor through
and through. And if you’re a fan of the
full, but midrange-centric tones so closely
associated with the brand, you’ll have a
lot to work with in the DDX. This is a
guitar that really begs to be played, and
that kind of relationship with a guitar is
not always one you can buy at any price.
In that sense, the beautifully built Doyle
Deluxe is worth every penny.
you’re looking for a vehicle for fast-
flying fingerstyle playing that breaks
the fingerstyle axe mold.
huskier, antique, and woodier tones
are essential to your fingerstyle meth-
od or you’re a heavy-handed flatpicker.
or use a mobile device to download
audio clips of the guitar at
Studio mic in your guitar?
“I have only dreamed that someday technology would allow this quality of sound
outside the walls of my recording studio.” Louis Drapp - Recording Engineer