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Taylor GT K21e
 
A beautiful koa version of Taylor’s new Grand Theater-size guitar.
March 8, 2021
 

With a body size that sits between the company’s GS Mini and Grand Concert models, Taylor’s new Grand Theater line seeks to fill a niche for players looking to combine ultimate playability with a sound that belies the instruments’ dimensions. Having introduced the design last fall with the relatively affordable standard GT (check out our demo here), Taylor has now added two high-end versions of the guitar. We recently featured the GT 811e, and in this video, I demo the GT K21e

As part of Taylor’s Koa series, the GT K21e has the same high-grade materials and upscale appointments featured on other instruments in this line, which is situated toward the upper end of the company’s offerings. This was evident as soon as I opened the GT K21e’s semi-soft Aerocase. Beautifully figured wood, a shaded edgeburst finish, and Taylor’s familiar “spring vine” inlay, which spans most of the fingerboard, take the guitar into a completely different category than the modest and business-like standard GT. A set of ultra-smooth, golden Gotoh Mini 510 tuning machines further enhances the instrument’s upscale appearance. The GT K21e also has Taylor’s new C-Class bracing (a variation of the company’s V-Class design), a short 24⅛-inch scale, and the ES2 electronics package found on the other two GT models. 

Playing the GT K21e, it quickly became clear that the difference between this guitar and its siblings is not merely cosmetic. Playing the guitar side-by-side with the GT 811e, I found that it had an extra dose of warmth and tonal complexity, and though I tend to favor spruce tops over hardwood tops like koa or mahogany, I had to admit that in this case, the koa top yielded a more sophisticated tonality. As with the other GTs, Taylor has really outdone itself when it comes to the instrument’s playability. Between its comfortable body size and short scale, these guitars may be a revelation for players who have struggled with standard steel-strings, while also allowing experienced guitarists to play demanding material with greater ease. Guitars with hardwood tops have a reputation for exhibiting a greater amount of natural compression in their tonality, and perhaps it was this quality that gave the GT K21e the best strumming voice of the three GTs. Plugging the guitar into a Fishman amp yielded an excellent amplified voice that is likely to be indistinguishable from full-size Taylors with the same electronics. 

The GT K21e is a wonderful addition to the Taylor line. Players looking for a beautiful guitar with a sophisticated character and contemporary tonality while being incredibly easy to play won’t need to look any further, as this latest Grand Theater checks off all the boxes!

SPECS: Grand Theater body. Solid koa top with C-Class bracing. Solid koa back and sides. Ebony fingerboard and bridge. 24⅛ -inch scale. 1²³/₃₂-inch nut width. Gold Gotoh Mini 510 tuning machines. ES2 electronics. Made in USA. $4,699 street. 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
 
 
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