Featuring a sweeping array of tone-enhancing refinements, Taylor has reconceived its flagship 800 Series. The creation of the 816ce Grand Symphony was guided by the design strokes of luthier Andy Powers and the manufacturing expertise of Bob Taylor.
‘I want these models to have a family resemblance, but I don’t want them to sound the same,’ Andy Powers says. ‘I wanted to consider the 812ce, for example, not as it relates to the 810ce, but as it relates to itself.’
The resulting tonal distinctions between each shape, Bob Taylor feels, are far from subtle. ‘I think players will really enjoy experiencing these new guitars and comparing different models,’ he says. ‘In a way, there’s a rebirth of every one of them.’
Virtually every element of the guitar’s material construction was optimized: bracing, wood thicknesses, glues, finish, strings and acoustic electronics, topped off with a refreshed design aesthetic. The end result is the perfect type of musical celebration: a more inspiring playing experience.
Taylor 816ce GS Florentine Cutaway Acoustic Electric with Case Features
Expression System 2 (ES2)
- New Element inlay on the marbled ebony fingerboard
- Grand Symphony body shape is ideal for strummers of all types, producing a rich, strong voice
- Sitka Spruce top and Indian Rosewood back and sides for classic response with great warmth, clarity and projection
- Expression System 2 (ES2) with proprietary behind-the-saddle pickup yields remarkable acoustic dynamics when plugged in
- Premium 800-series appointments include maple binding and back strip, rosewood top edge trim and rosewood pickguard
The heart of the ES2 is Taylor’s proprietary behind-the-saddle pickup, which features three uniquely positioned and individually calibrated pickup sensors. The location of the sensors enables a more dynamic range of acoustic sound to be captured than ever before. Together with Taylor’s custom-designed pro audio-grade preamp, this system produces exceptional amplified tone and response.
Behind the ES2 Design: Rethinking the Piezo Pickup
For decades, piezo-electric transducers have been positioned under the saddle of a guitar based on the long-held belief that the string and top vibration cause the saddle to bounce up and down. But Taylor’s electronics team discovered that the vertical movement is actually heavily restricted, and that the saddle gets locked down due to the string tension’s downward pressure. That’s why a traditional under-saddle pickup with piezo-electric crystals often responds with a sound often characterized as thin, brittle, brash or synthetic, especially with more aggressive playing.
The saddle’s natural range of movement as the guitar is being played is actually back and forth like a pendulum. That revelation led Taylor’s design team to relocate the crystals from under the saddle to behind it. The new positioning enables the crystals to respond more naturally to the guitar’s energy as it is transferred through the saddle. Three pickup sensors are installed behind the saddle, through the bridge, with three tiny Allen screws that calibrate the position of the sensors in relation to the saddle.
Like the original Expression System, the ES2 features the same volume and tone control knobs. The preamp is similar but with a slightly different gain structure. As a result it will be about 25 percent hotter, which is more in line with other pickups. This makes it plug-and-play friendly both for artists and live sound mixers.