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Taylor AD22e
 
A new grand concert–size addition to the affordable American Dream series.
November 8, 2021
 

Developed while Taylor Guitars was adjusting to the reality of COVID-19-related shutdowns in 2020, Taylor’s American Dream series is a stripped-down line of guitars that emphasizes value while offering Taylor’s legendary playability and quality. Manufactured in Taylor’s main El Cajon, California, factory, the instruments are the most-affordable US-made Taylors. While the American Dream line may be seen as fitting between Taylor’s 200 and 300 series, it combines features that make them uniquely their own. While an ultra-thin matte finish and simplified appointments give the guitars a more bare-bones appearance than some of the 200’s (which are made in Taylor’s Tecate, Mexico, facility), the American Dream instruments feature all solid woods and V-Class bracing, just like other El Cajon–made Taylors (200s and below have layered wood back and sides and X-bracing). Originally launched as a set of three Grand Pacific guitars (check out our demos of the AD17 Blacktop and the AD27e), the American Dream family is now growing with the addition of the grand concert–size AD22e. I had a chance to check out one of the first examples of this new model in the Peghead Nation video studio.

The AD22e is built with a tropical mahogany top and sapele back and sides, a combination that Taylor uses on several 300- and 500-series models. Like the other American Dream models, it has a fingerboard and bridge made of smoked eucalyptus, which could easily be mistaken for ebony, due to its dark brown, almost black, color. Appointments are kept to a minimum: the AD22e has a simple wood rosette, small position markers made from Italian acrylic in the fingerboard, and black purfling around the top’s perimeter. Naturally, the instrument displays Taylor’s typical high-level of craftsmanship and all around fit and finish. It also has Taylor-branded nickel tuning machines and the same ES2 electronics package found throughout the Taylor line. 

Taking the AD22e out of its included Aero Case (a great hybrid of hard case and gigbag), the instrument’s ultra-thin, matte finish had a noticeably different feel than Taylor’s high-gloss finishes: the pores and grain of the wood can be felt. But the guitar’s neck dimensions and profile are identical to other Taylors, and it has the same impeccable setup as models that are higher up in the company’s line. 

I’ve always enjoyed Taylor’s grand concerts for playing fingerstyle, so I started out playing the guitar sans pick, using standard, open-G, and DADGAD tunings. I was greeted with a quick response, great balance, and the somewhat controlled dynamic that hardwood top guitars are known for. The guitar’s overall tonal character had a pronounced midrange, which tends to work especially well in accompaniment roles. Moving on to strum the guitar, I took note of the respectable amount of volume this relatively small guitar was able to produce. Plugging into our Fishman Loudbox Mini Charge, I was once again reminded of the ES2 pickup’s remarkable ability to reproduce its host guitar’s acoustic voice: the same tonal qualities I enjoyed while playing acoustically remained, now coming from the amp. 

As with the other American Dream models we’ve checked out, the AD22e is an amazing value, offering a high percentage of everything we’ve come to appreciate about El Cajon–built Taylors at a price that is significantly lower than 300-series instruments. Regardless of whether you’re looking for your first Taylor or want to add an instrument to your collection, the AD22e deserves to be checked out!

SPECS: Grand concert body. Solid tropical mahogany spruce top with V-Class-bracing. Solid sapele back and sides. Smoked eucalyptus fingerboard and bridge. 24 ⅞-inch scale. 1¾-inch nut width. Nickel Taylor tuning machines. Taylor ES2 electronics. Made in USA. $1,599 street. Taylorguitars.com

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Peghead Partners
 
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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 2024 PegheadNation.com