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Taylor Academy Series 20e and 22e
 
New versions of Taylor’s popular entry-level models feature walnut construction.
November 16, 2022
 

With their impressive combination of superb playability, great sound, and affordable pricing, Taylor’s line of Academy Series guitars has been a great success. Originally designed with beginning players in mind, the guitars have found fans among players of all abilities. Earlier this year, Taylor expanded the Academy line with two new variations on the existing dreadnought and grand concert models. Instead of using sapele wood for the back and sides and spruce for the top, the new Academy 20e and Academy 22e are built with walnut, giving them a new appearance and tonality. I recently had a chance to check out both models in the Peghead Nation video studio.

The Academy 20e and Academy 22e have dreadnought and grand concert bodies, respectively. Both use the same general construction details and specs. The tops are made from solid walnut, while the backs and sides use layered walnut. With its dark color, walnut is easily distinguished from the sapele and spruce versions of the guitars. Both guitars have a short 24⅞-inch scale, and they include an armrest bevel in the lower bout and Taylor’s ES-B electronics, which have a new preamp that includes a three-band EQ and is powered by a nine-volt battery. Appointments are kept to a minimum, but the guitars have an inlaid rosette and standard dot position markers in their ebony fingerboards, and the walnut’s natural figuring gives them a more striking look than the standard Academy models.

Easy playability is often the main criteria for beginners, and the combination of the Academys’ short scale; slim, but not too skinny neck profile; and Taylor’s legendary low action makes them among the easiest-playing steel-strings I’ve encountered. Both guitars sound good when played in a variety of styles, but the larger Academy 20e has more power and bass, while the 22e offers a bit more balance and a quicker response when played softly. Both guitars have the slightly compressed tonal quality you’d expect from a hardwood-topped guitar. The guitars onboard electronics ensure that their usefulness will go well past the beginner’s stage. Plugged into a Fishman Loudbox Mini Charge amp, both offered excellent amplified sounds.

The Academy 20e and 22e are both high-value instruments. Regardless of whether you’re a beginner or an experienced guitarist, if you’re looking for an affordable steel-string with unbeatable playability, you should give them a try!

SPECS: Dreadnought (20e) or grand concert (22e) body. Solid walnut top. Layered walnut back and sides. Ebony fingerboard and bridge. 24⅞-inch scale. 1¹¹/₁₆-inch nut width. Chrome tuning machines. ES-B electronics with built-in tuner. Made in Mexico. $899 list. Taylorguitars.com

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    ● 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