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Taylor 818e
 
A powerful rosewood jumbo.
December 28, 2020
 

Taylor’s Grand Orchestra models are the company’s largest guitars. Having replaced Taylor’s earlier jumbo body shape, the Grand Orchestra body measures 16¾ inches at the lower bout and has a depth of 5 inches while featuring a more original outline than the company’s earlier jumbo guitars. Introduced in 2013, the Grand Orchestra was the first guitar designed from the ground up by Taylor’s Andy Powers. Andy has now adapted the Grand Orchestra for Taylor’s V-Class bracing, and having already demoed the maple 618e, I was happy to have a chance to check out the rosewood 818e in the Peghead Nation video studio. 

As with the 618e, the new 818e is a completely different guitar than earlier versions of the model. Its appointments are similar to the 618e’s, the most striking of which are the block-style “Mission” fingerboard inlay and the slightly shaded top. The 818e is built with a Sitka spruce top and Indian rosewood back and sides, and both sets of wood conform to the high standard that Taylor has always set for its 800-series guitars; the rosewood is particularly rich and dimensional in color. The guitar includes maple binding and an abalone rosette, and the koa purfling on the peghead is a subtle, beautiful touch. Taylor also chose an ebony fingerboard with beautiful dark-brown color, a great match for the shaded top. 

I expected a big sound when I picked up the 818e, and I wasn’t disappointed. First-position chords using all six strings had a thunderous, piano-like quality, especially when I dug in hard with a pick, and I never felt that I reached the limit of the guitar’s headroom. The instrument is also an impressive fingerstyle guitar. While perhaps not as nimble as some smaller guitars, the 818e still offers a complex tonality for anything but the very softest picking, and fingerstyle players looking for a powerful instrument with great acoustic volume while still offering a balanced tone would do well to check out this guitar. Plugging the onboard ES2 electronics into a Fishman Loudbox Mini Charge yielded the familiar amplified Taylor sound: a great representation of the 818e’s sound in an amplified setting without requiring any further tweaking or processing. 

Taylor’s revamped 818e is an incredibly solid guitar that is likely to exceed the expectations of those who’ve played previous versions of the model, and it’s bound to impress anyone looking for a powerful flattop. Kudos to Taylor for making an already great guitar even better!

SPECS: Grand Orchestra body. Solid Sitka spruce top with V-Class-bracing. Solid Indian rosewood back and sides. Ebony fingerboard and bridge. 25.5-inch scale. 1¾-inch nut width. Nickel Taylor tuning machines. ES2 electronics. Made in USA. $3,499 street. Taylorguitars.com

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© Copyright 2020 PegheadNation.com
 
 
    ● Courses
    ● Live Workshops
    ● Instructors
    ● Sample Lessons
    ● Notation Guide
    ● For Beginners
 
 
    ● Vintage Vault
    ● New Gear
    ● Fine Lutherie
 
 
    ● Workshops
    ● Advice
    ● Repertoire
 
 
    ● Recordings
    ● Events
    ● Breaking News
 
 
    ● In The Studio
    ● Live Onstage
    ● Backroom
 
 
    ● New Products
    ● Inside Look
    ● Performances
    ● Partner Pages
 
 
© Copyright 2020 PegheadNation.com