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Taylor 326ce
 
The latest grand symphony features urban ash back and sides and a mahogany top.
December 7, 2020
 

Taylor has one of the largest catalogs of guitar models in the business, and yet the company continues to come up with combinations of materials and features that create distinctively new instruments. The new Taylor 326ce brings the new grand symphony design that was introduced with the 816ce and K26ce earlier this year to a more affordable instrument and creates a wood combination and tonality that sets the guitar apart. I recently got a chance to check out the 326ce in the Peghead Nation studio.

As a grand symphony model, the 326ce is slightly larger than Taylor’s popular grand auditorium instruments. Those familiar with Taylor’s model numbering system will know that the middle-digit “2” indicates a hardwood top, making the 326ce the only grand symphony built with a mahogany top. For the back and sides, Taylor chose the urban ash that it first introduced on the Builder’s Edition 324ce, and that is also used on the new GT model. Sourced from urban trees cut in the San Diego, California area where Taylor is located, the wood has mahogany-like tonal qualities. Taylor gives the wood a dark stain, and together with the top’s sunburst finish, the overall appearance has a bit of a vintage-chic vibe. 

When Taylor’s Andy Powers redesigned the grand symphony, he not only adapted the design to the company’s V-Class bracing, he also combined it with a short scale, which is somewhat unusual on a larger guitar. To top it off, he used the platform to introduce the new soundport cutaway, which cuts out a portion of the top and sides where a standard cutaway would be, leaving the back fully intact, and inserts a concave piece of ebony with a small soundport into the removed section. This combination of features has been well-received on the previously released models, and it’s great to see Taylor including them on this much more affordable version.

Playing the 326ce, I was greeted with the powerful sound that has always been part of the grand symphony’s inherent character. The guitar has a great strumming voice, and the mahogany top gives it a dynamic control that can smooth out aggressive playing with a pick. Played fingerstyle, the guitar has a warm tonality with plenty of volume. Plugged into a Fishman Loudbox Mini Charge amp, the guitar offered the natural and warm amplified sound that Taylor’s proprietary ES2 electronics are known for, making it a solid performer in virtually any setting. 

Offering great sound, innovative features, eco-friendly woods, and classic Taylor playability, the 326ce is definitely worth checking out. And the fact that it’s part of Taylor’s relatively affordable 300-series makes it the easiest grand symphony model to bring home!

SPECS: Grand symphony body with soundport cutaway. Mahogany top. Urban ash back, and sides. V-Class bracing. Ebony fingerboard and bridge. Soundport cutaway. 24⅞ -inch scale. 1¾-inch nut width. Satin black tuning machines. Expression System 2 electronics. Made in USA. $2,499 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