Taylor Guitars Releases 2020 Winter NAMM New Model Lineup
The Builder's Edition gets a few new models, plus upgrades to the GS Mini and Big Baby, and more.
El Cajon, CA (January 10, 2020) -- Today Taylor Guitars is excited to announce the expansion of its popular Builder’s Edition collection. Crafted by Master Guitar Designer Andy Powers, these new enhanced “director’s cut” models showcase Powers’ emphasis on elevating the sound, playing comfort and visual appeal of each instrument, incorporating Taylor’s award-winning V-ClassTM bracing, unique ergonomic features, and fresh aesthetic details. The models include the Builder’s Edition 816ce, Builder’s Edition 912ce, Builder’s Edition 652ce (12-string) and Builder’s Edition 324ce — with each revealing a distinctive sound and feel.
The Builder’s Edition concept was originally developed to celebrate the debut of Taylor’s breakthrough V-ClassTM bracing architecture in 2018, marrying its sonic virtues with equally envelope-pushing improvements in playing comfort. As a design platform, Builder’s Edition gave Powers freedom from the normal constraints of Taylor’s standard line, and a place to deliver an ultra-premium class of guitars.
“The Builder’s Edition concept is meant to be a limitless expression of our instrument-building imagination,” said Powers. “I want to make guitars that are more player-centric than anything we’ve done before.”
Builder’s Edition 816ce
For the first time, V-Class bracing is now available in the Grand Symphony body style, beginning with the Builder’s Edition 816ce, featuring Indian rosewood paired with Lutz spruce. Powers modified the Grand Symphony body design to give it a more distinctive identity — something truer to its name, capable of producing an airier, more complex, “symphonic” acoustic sound. The new body design incorporates a soundport cutaway — a scoop in the treble-side shoulder that houses an off-axis soundport. The port’s sloped position, in tandem with V-Class bracing, produces a rich, high-fidelity voice with a unique acoustic dispersion pattern. The resulting tonal output is ultra-orchestral — a six-string symphony.
The guitar also offers incredible touch sensitivity, helped by a shorter 24-7/8-inch scale length and light-gauge (.012-.053) strings. Together, all these elements work together, leveraging the “lung capacity” of the Grand Symphony to generate an expansive, dynamic voice that radiates out as it disperses, creating a natural reverb-like effect and filling a room with sound. Premium contouring details include chamfered body and fretboard edges and Taylor’s Curve Wing bridge, along with Gotoh tuners and Silent Satin finish.
Builder’s Edition 324ce
The new Builder’s Edition 324ce combines high-performance utility with Taylor’s commitment to environmental responsibility within its local region. The new model features back and sides of Urban Ash sourced from trees that required removal from municipal areas (the “urban canopy”) in Southern California due to age, safety concerns, or other factors determined by cities. The guitar also marks the launch of a new urban forest initiative in partnership with West Coast Arborists, Inc., a company that provides tree services to hundreds of cities across California. Sonically, Urban Ash has a pleasing musicality similar to Honduran mahogany, and Andy Powers is excited to introduce it to players.
Within the Builder’s Edition collection, this 324ce was designed with the versatility to appeal to a broad range of players, including working musicians looking for a premium performance tool. Together with a mahogany top and V-Class bracing, this makes one of Taylor’s most player- and stage-friendly guitars. The mahogany top levels out the front edge of the attack and amplifies well. The comfortable contouring of the beveled armrest and cutaway elevates the expressive range. Other premium features include a Curve Wing bridge, Gotoh tuners, and a Dark Roast stain and edgeburst with Silent Satin finish.
Builder’s Edition 912ce and 652ce
The new Builder’s Edition 912ce and 12-string Builder’s Edition 652ce introduce the first Grand Concert models to the Builder’s Edition collection. Both draw inspiration from the electric guitar world, bringing the comfort, precision and utility that electric players love into an acoustic experience.
Designed as a high-end acoustic for electric players, the Indian rosewood/Lutz spruce Builder’s Edition 912ce boasts rich and articulate acoustic voice that quickly enunciates every nuance of a player’s performance across the entire register. The compact Grand Concert features a beveled armrest and cutaway, chamfered body and fretboard edges, and 24-7/8-inch scale length. Together, these features translate into an ultra-comfortable acoustic that handles exceptionally well for fretting and produces a precise, high-fidelity, super-fast response like an electric guitar. It makes a great tool for leads and most genres, from rock to jazz to fingerstyle acoustic. It’s also great for recording, and together with its high-end appointments, it will both sound and look superb on stage. Additional details include a Curve Wing bridge, Gotoh tuners, Wild Honey Burst top (or optional natural top), Silent Satin finish, and a new Bellefleur inlay in mother-of-pearl and pink abalone.
The 12-string Builder’s Edition 652ce manages to once again level up Taylor’s reputation for ultra-playable 12-strings. Pairing figured Big Leaf maple with torrefied Sitka spruce, the model will appeal to electric players with its compact Grand Concert body, sleek contouring — featuring a beveled cutaway and armrest — shorter scale length (24-7/8”) and 12-fret neck. The guitar is also reverse-strung like some 12-string electrics to emphasize the fundamental note, creating a slightly fuller, meatier 12-string sound. With double-mounted string anchoring, each string pairing shares the same bridge pin hole. This creates a consistent break angle and produces a more even response. Together with V-Class bracing, the sound is clean and focused, remarkably in tune, and articulate in its low-end response. It also amplifies well and makes a super stage-friendly guitar. Premium details include a Curve Wing bridge, Gotoh tuners, and Silent Satin finish with a Wild Honey Burst around the body and neck (an optional natural top is also available).
These four new models round out a diverse Builder’s Edition collection, now featuring nine models in total, each with unique voices and instrumental characteristics, including the flagship model — the Builder’s Edition K14ce. The award-winning koa and torrefied spruce stunner honored the 2018 debut of V-Class bracing with a level of nuanced woodworking not previously offered by Taylor Guitars. Soon to follow was the player-reflective Builder’s Edition 614ce, inspired by both the violin and electric guitar worlds. The following year marked the launch of the Taylor Grand Pacific with the tandem release of mahogany (517) and rosewood (717) Builder’s Edition models, and then the seductive K24ce, an all-koa counterpart to the original K14ce. As a whole, the Builder’s Edition collection reflects the best of Taylor’s innovative design and creativity, as well as its incredible manufacturing capabilities.
“Featuring our finest craftsmanship, the Builder’s Edition family represents a new step forward in acoustic guitar comfort, playability and tone," added Powers.
Today Taylor Guitars is pleased to announce it has added its V-Class bracing architecture to its Grand Orchestra and Grand Symphony body styles with the release of the Grand Orchestra 618e and 818e, and the Grand Symphony K26ce. Taylor has also bolstered its 200 Series with new 200 Plus models and released new GS Mini, GS Mini Bass and Baby Taylor models in a variety of new wood pairings.
New V-Class Grand Orchestra Models
Taylor Master Guitar Designer Andy Powers has adapted his award-winning V-Class architecture for Taylor’s biggest, deepest body shape, the Grand Orchestra, and updated the aesthetic. Powers leaned into the instrument’s naturally big, deep voice, combining V-Class bracing with the guitar’s huge lung capacity to bolster the sonic horsepower even more. In addition to improved sustain and intonation, V-Class enhances the touch sensitivity, allowing the top to be set in motion easily and giving it phenomenal dynamic range. Players who tune down also will love the voicing. The new V-Class Grand Orchestra models are the 618e (figured maple back/sides and Sitka spruce top) and the 818e (Indian rosewood back/sides and Sitka spruce top). Both the 618e and 818e share new appointment details, including a new Mission fretboard/peghead inlay in mother-of-pearl and ivoroid. The 618e features a new Antique Blonde color treatment (full body), while the 818e features an Antique Blonde top.
New V-Class Grand Symphony K26ce
The new all-koa K26ce showcases Andy Powers’ redesigned Grand Symphony, which features V-Class bracing and a new soundport cutaway. The guitar also incorporates a shorter scale length (24-7/8”) and light-gauge strings. The result is a high-fidelity, symphonic sound that radiates more evenly in different directions, creates a more immersive, reverb-like effect with remarkable sustain.
“By adding a second aperture that’s a different size than the first one, the resonant frequency of the air inside the body gets altered in significant ways, broadening the response,” explains Powers.
Expanded 200 Series with New 200 Plus Models
Taylor has also updated its offerings within the popular 200 Series and added new 200 Plus models. Most 200 Series models feature layered Indian rosewood back and sides and a solid Sitka spruce top. The models are available in a Dreadnought and three Grand Auditorium models, including 12-string and nylon-string options — 210ce, 214ce, 214ce-N (nylon-string) and 254ce (12-string). The series also includes the 214ce-K, featuring layered koa and solid spruce.
The new 200 Plus Series debuts with one Dreadnought (210ce Plus) and one Grand Auditorium (214ce Plus). Both models feature layered Indian rosewood back and sides with a solid Sitka spruce top.
Appointments include gloss finish, black binding, nickel tuners (18:1) and ES2 electronics. Each model also comes with a new AeroCaseTM featuring sturdy construction that provides similar protection to Taylor’s hardshell case with one-third less weight. It also boasts heavy-duty, water-repellent outer material in Chocolate Brown with antique brass hardware and a padded handle. The new case touts burgundy plush lining as found in Taylor hardshell cases, along with concealable, adjustable, padded backpack straps, and a generous outer storage pocket (fits laptop, tablet, iPad and notes) with a dedicated stand pouch that fits Taylor’s portable guitar stand.
New GS Mini Series Models
Taylor’s popular GS Mini family grows to include other enticing woods and models. The GS Mini-e Rosewood features layered Indian rosewood back and sides and with a solid Sitka spruce top. It also comes with a structured GS Mini hard bag. The new GS Mini-e Koa Plus boasts layered Hawaiian koa back and sides and a solid koa top. Upgraded appointments include a shaded edgeburst body, Taylor nickel tuners, ES2 electronics and an AeroCase.The GS Mini-e Koa Bass joins Taylor’s popular maple GS Mini Bass and features layered Hawaiian koa back and sides and a solid koa top. Players looking to add a new tool to their musical repertoire will love the feel, look and sound of the scaled-down four-string acoustic bass.
The Baby Taylor Gets an Upgrade
Taylor’s spruce-top travel-size guitars (BT1/BT1e) sport a wood upgrade this year to layered walnut back and sides. These portable, inviting instruments have also been outfitted with maple necks. The new Baby Taylor is offered with or without onboard ES-B electronics, which includes a built-in tuner.
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