Sponsored By
 
Taylor Builder’s Edition 816ce
 
Brand new for 2020, this latest version of Taylor’s grand symphony includes V-Class bracing, a short scale, and a radical soundport cutaway.
January 10, 2020

When Taylor introduced the grand symphony body style in 2006, it was presented as the purest straight acoustic guitar the company offered. Over the years, the grand symphony has been available within many Taylor lines, and players who enjoy playing a muscular-sounding acoustic with a wide range of tones have been drawn to the mini-jumbo size models. Taylor is known for being a company whose guitars evolve over the years, and the just-announced Builder’s Edition 816ce features some of the most radical re-envisioning of an existing model that Taylor has undertaken. We had an opportunity to check out an early production example of the guitar in the Peghead Nation video studio, and are happy to feature it here even before it is officially introduced at the 2020 Winter NAMM show (and because we’d originally planned to make the demo live after NAMM, I’m referring to the show in the past tense in the video). 

Although the Builder’s Edition 816ce follows the classic 800-series recipe of pairing Indian rosewood back and sides with a spruce top (in this case Lutz spruce) and features familiar appointments (including maple body binding, “windandsea” fingerboard inlays, and an abalone rosette), the guitar introduces several new elements. For starters, it’s the first grand symphony with V-Class bracing instead of X-bracing. The guitar also has a short, 24 ⅞-inches scale, and in the most visible departure from previous designs, it introduces Taylor’s new “soundport cutaway.” Instead of altering the entire treble section of the upper bout, as a standard cutaway does, this design cuts a Florentine-shape section out of the top and part of the side, creating a platform to insert a concave piece of ebony. This design yields a highly complex, elegant overall shape, and it also leaves the guitar’s back untouched, which means more body volume than is found with a conventional cutaway. Taylor also chose to add a small soundport to the cutaway’s ebony insert, allowing for a wider sound dispersion than with only a standard soundhole. Like other Builder’s Editions, the guitar has a “silent satin” finish, rounded edges on the body and fingerboard, and a modified Taylor bridge shape, referred to as the “curve wing” design. 

Playing the guitar, the powerful character of the original grand symphony was immediately apparent. But as has been with other Andy Powers redesigns of existing models, the Builder’s Edition 816ce gave a bit more of everything. It sounded great for playing fingerstyle, where its sensitive response and excellent volume resulted in a very full overall sound. But it was also able to open up and deliver impressivevolume reserved when strummed. The guitar had a controlled quality that was highly adaptable to the player. The short scale made the guitar easier to play than most flattops of this size, and the built-in Taylor ES2 electronics allowed for easy amplification. 

The Builder’s Edition 816ce is a great example of Taylor’s ability to take stock of an existing model and to find ways to further enhance what the design has to offer. With its great sound and cool new features, this is definitely a guitar to check out!

SPECS: Grand symphony body with soundport cutaway. Solid Lutz spruce top. Indian rosewood back and sides. V-Class bracing. Ebony fingerboard and bridge. 24 ⅞ -inch scale. 1¾-inch nut width. Gotoh 510 tuning machines with 21:1 ratio. Expression System 2 electronics. Made in USA. $3,999 street. Taylorguitars.com

Related New Gear Posts
 

Taylor 858e LTD

A powerful 12-string from Taylor’s 50th anniversary collection.

Read More

 

Taylor Builder’s Edition 314ce LTD 50th Anniversary Collection

A limited-edition grand auditorium with urban ash back and sides and high-end features

Read More

 

Taylor 117e

Taylor’s round-shoulder Grand Pacific style is now available in a highly affordable version.

Read More

 

Taylor 50th Anniversary AD14ce-SB LTD

This limited-edition grand auditorium is the first American Dream model with a cutaway.

Read More

 

Taylor 50th Anniversary 314ce

A special edition of one of Taylor’s most popular models features a torrefied Sitka spruce top.

Read More

 

Taylor 50th Anniversary Builder’s Edition 814ce

Read More

 

Taylor T5z-12 Classic DLX Special Edition

A reverse-strung hollowbody 12-string electric.

Read More

 

Taylor 112ce-S

Taylor’s most affordable grand concert model is an incredible value.

Read More

 

Taylor 212ce and 222ce-K DLX

A new pair of Grand Concerts expands Taylor’s 200 series.

Read More

 

Taylor 110ce-S

A new variation of Taylor’s popular entry-level dreadnought is the most affordable 100 series model.

Read More

 
Sponsored By
 
 
 
Peghead Partners
 
Jake Workman, “Wheel Hoss” | Collings Guitars
The flatpicking virtuoso performs the Bill Monroe classic on a Collings D2 A Hill Country.
 
 
 
 
 
  Follow Us:  
 
  About Us       Shop         Support         Contact Us         Email Sign up         Advertise         Sitemap         FAQ         Privacy         Terms         Subscribe   Sign In  
 
    ● Courses
    ● Live Workshops
    ● Instructors
    ● Sample Lessons
    ● Notation Guide
    ● For Beginners
 
    ● Workshops
    ● Advice
    ● Repertoire
 
    ● Vintage Vault
    ● New Gear
    ● Fine Lutherie
 
    ● Recordings
    ● Events
    ● Breaking News
 
    ● In The Studio
    ● Live Onstage
    ● Backroom
 
    ● New Products
    ● Inside Look
    ● Performances
    ● Partner Pages
 
 
© Copyright 2024 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 2024 PegheadNation.com