Luthiers John Joveniaux & Serge Michiels out of Brussels Belgium never cease to amaze us with their brilliant instruments. The ascetical aspect of their work is beyond what words can portray and the ease of playability and functionality is flawless. Typically with Tao, the first thing that catches your eye is the extraordinarily clean workmanship and striking details; from the Red Nitro, Matte Finished, highly figured 1/4" Sawn Flame Maple neck to the Red cloth that shows through the handmade pickup covers like a vibrant sunset and the Tao machined Vibrato tip, with it's three red lines tie the whole look of this brilliant instrument together.
The body on this T-Bucket is made out of 2 piece lightweight Spanish Cedar. A resonant wood that has characteristics of Mahogany, but is not as dense or nearly as heavy. It is finished in a super light Urethane (Tao calls it their "special sauce" and will not comment further on exactly how they achieve this unusually silky feeling finish) However it allows the pores of the wood to show through and be felt. The finish sinks into the pores of the wood gracefully, capturing the natural beauty of this incredibly modern design.
The feel of the neck is incredibly smooth like natural wood on a vintage guitar after years of the finish being worn through. On the other side, the finish on the body feels silky and smooth to the touch. It is quite the contrast and an experience unto itself holding this instrument. It becomes a part of the player and stays perfectly balanced both seated or standing. You'll find that the weight is incredibly well distributed and that it resonates like an acoustic guitar which translates to its electric voice beautiful. This T-Bucket has a gorgeous Rosewood board with only side inlays for a classy, tasteful appearance. The guitar has a 12" Radius and custom Tao fretting (one of the many upgraded features on this custom T-Bucket) that allows the player to never feel cramped in the upper registers. As the frets get slightly thinner past the 12th fret. This instrument also has a longer scale than many other T-Buckets which are usually 24 3/4". Instead the scale on this particular T-Bucket is 25.25", just shy of the usual Fender 25 1/2" scale. It feels like a Tele in scale-length, with just a tad bit looser tension to the strings, making bends a breeze and complicated chords, where you'd typically need to stretch, much easier on the player.
The body shape is certainly a nod to Leo Fenders Telecaster, but with a slightly offset end section and lots of unique contours and curves for comfort. The left horn is sanded down giving a tasteful appearance like it has wings. The treble side cutaway is also deeper, allowing easy access across the entire length of the fingerboard. The Mastery Vibrato works outstandingly well. It is a joy to use and extremely responsive to your touch and attack. You can achieve anything from dive-bombs, little flutters or full on aggressive whammy tricks. Playing behind the bridge is another fun and musical aspect of an "Offset Style" Vibrato, such as the Mastery. The Pickups in this guitar are hand-wound by one of the finest pickup winders in Europe, Benedetti pickups to Tao's specs. They call them their "Small Ribbon Pickups". They are capable of both roaring PAF tones without any of the muddiness as well as Tele like spank. They are fully split-table pickups via Push-Pull Volume & Tone controls. They have tons of sparkle, chime & bite, weather they are in Humbucking or Single Coil mode. In Humbucking mode you can expect a spanky PAF type tone crossed with a Tele, with the airiness of a Gold Foil pickup. These are a snappy, bright and articulate set. They are clear and crisp, but have no trouble pushing a tube amp into overdrive. In single coil mode they are similar, but with less focus on the bass and middle frequencies; perfect for cutting through the mix. Since each pickup is individually split-table, you are able to mix and match either pickup in singe or humbucking mode in the middle position. A wide tonal palate is at your disposal.
A new upgraded feature of this guitar is that the pickups are actually attached to ears carved into the pickup routes. So they are floating in the body rather than making direct contact with the body, like most guitars. This allows the guitar to resonate in a more efficient way. Each is still individually adjustable. All in all this is one of the prettiest and sweetest sounding, most unique guitars we've ever played. After owning and playing many T-Buckets by Tao Guitars, this one is certainly up there with the best Tao has to offer. It has all of the most desirable, new features with incredibly easy playability and looks to kill. The guitar comes with a handmade truss-rod adjustment tool carved out of the same Maple used on the neck and painted red to match.
The Truss Rod is conveniently accessible between frets 20 & 21 on the fingerboard. The guitar comes with a COA to certify that this is T-Bucket # 55. The COA outlines the specs, has the name given to this guitar "Cedar Beach" a beautiful beach in Long Island NY, with tons of history and allure. The name matches the guitar perfectly with its sandy colored finish, while the Red hues found throughout are like a gorgeous sunset. The COA has both Luthier's thumb prints on it in ink, certifying it is a true Tao, built with the highest quality standards.
Body: Two-Piece Spanish Cedar
Neck: European Quartersawn Flame Maple
Nut: Hand Polished Bone
Nut Width: 1 11/16"
Fingerboard: Indian Rosewood
Finish: Grey body, Red neck (Matt Finish)
Pickups: Custom Benedetti "Small Ribbon" Humbuckers X 2 (Handmade Tao Covers)
Fingerboard Radius: 12”
Neck Carve: Medium C .85"- .95"
Trussrod: Spokes-wheel / 2-way
Pickguard: Inlaid Indian Rosewood
Control layout: 3-Way Toggle, Vol, Tone (Recessed Swimming Pool Style Route)
Pots: Push-Pull (for splitting each pickups coils) Tuners: Gotoh "Vintage Style"
Scale Length: 25.25"
Weight: 6lbs 4.2oz
Case: MONO “Stealth” protective Gig-Bag
Comes with COA and Handmade TrussrodTool
(Pics w/ black background by Tao Guitars)