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Taylor GT 611e LTD
 
A gorgeous Grand Theater–size guitar built with maple and spruce.
February 9, 2022
 

Introduced in the fall of 2020, Taylor’s line of Grand Theater (GT) guitars has become a runaway success. Featuring compact dimensions and virtually unbeatable playability, but with a surprisingly full tonality, the instruments have been popular with players looking for something akin to a modern parlor guitar. This year, Taylor is expanding the existing GT line with three new models, and in this video, I take a look at the GT 611e LTD. Look for demos of the new GTe Blacktop and GTe Mahogany very soon!

Designed to be a part of Taylor’s 600 series, the GT 611e LTD fits into the higher-end of the company’s catalog, where it joins the GT 811e and GT K21e. Like all 600s, the guitar is built with maple back and sides and a spruce top, and on our demo guitar, all the materials were of beautiful quality. In an interesting touch, the GT 611e LTD’s appointments mirror those of the full-size 618e, which differs from most other 600s by featuring an “antique blond,” rather than the darker “brown sugar” stain for the finish, and with its Mission pattern fingerboard inlays, which resemble the large position markers found on some vintage maple guitars. 

Like other GTs, the guitar has a body width of 15 inches at the lower bout, placing it between Taylor’s GS Mini and Grand Concert shapes. Many of the guitar’s measurements are scaled proportionally. For example, its 24⅛-inch scale is shorter than Taylor’s typical short scale, but longer than the GS Mini, and the 1²³/₃₂-inch nut width sits between more common dimensions. Similarly, the guitar’s peghead is slightly smaller than Taylor’s standard design and is fitted with a set of mini tuners. Inside, the guitar features C-Class top bracing, a variation on Taylor’s V-Class design that is based on a single longitudinal brace on the bass side of the top.

Before demoing the GT 611e LTD in the Peghead Nation studio, I had it around my home studio for a couple of weeks, and I often reached for it when I was just sitting on the couch or working through my practice routine. As with the other GTs I’ve played, the guitar’s playability is seductive. Difficult fingerings become doable; the lower string tension is easy on the fingers; and, of course, its compact dimensions are a boon for overall comfort. Having played other GTs, I was prepared for the GT 611e LTD’s  rich, full-size guitar sounds, but I was delighted that it did so in the way I would hope for a maple instrument. The guitar has great clarity, a nice percussive quality when strummed, and a controlled, yet full bass response. As with other GTs, plugging the guitar’s stock ES pickup into a Fishman Loudbox amp removed any remaining illusion that this is a sonically small guitar. In an amplified situation, the GT 611e LTD sounds just as big as any ES-equipped Taylor, making the guitar a fantastic choice for anyone looking for a compact stage guitar. 

Whether you’re looking at it as a main instrument or as a sidekick when a standard-size guitar is too cumbersome, the GT 611e LTD checks off a lot of boxes. Kudos to Taylor for offering GT models in more of its lines!

SPECS: Grand Theater body. Solid spruce top with C-Class bracing. Solid big leaf maple back and sides. Ebony fingerboard and bridge. 24⅛ -inch scale. 1²³/₃₂-inch nut width. Nickel Taylor tuning machines. ES2 electronics. Made in USA. $3,499 street. Taylorguitars.com

 

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Peghead Partners
 
Julian Lage, “Nothing Happens Here” | Collings Guitars
The jazz phenom performs live in San Francisco using his Collings OM1 JL signature model.
 
 
 
 
 
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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
 
 
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