Taylor Reimagines the Modern Big-Bodied Guitar


Posted on August 16, 2013

Taylor 718e and 818e

Taylor Guitars has added two new rosewood/spruce models, the 718e and 818e, to its recently inaugurated line of Grand Orchestra acoustic guitars.

Debuting at the recent Summer NAMM Show in Nashville, Taylor Guitars states in a written release, the models offer players "a full-spectrum tonal range that boasts great power, depth, and balance."

The rich “coffee and cream” combination of Indian rosewood with Sitka spruce tops yields exceptional sonic color and bloom, says Taylor master builder Andy Powers, who describes the sound as having a high-fidelity, piano-like attack. “There are overtones from every note,” he elaborates. “These add rich complexity to the fundamentals. They contribute a quick and clear articulation to the attack of the notes, making those low frequencies in particular more noticeable.”

According to Taylor Guitars, one of the Grand Orchestra’s proprietary design features is a hybrid parabolic and scalloped bracing scheme, which produces unprecedented balance and responsiveness for a big-bodied guitar. This bold, yet balanced, voice offers both heavy strummers and delicate fingerpickers a dynamic sound that responds equally well to an aggressive or gentle attack.

The new 718e features a Vintage Sunburst finish on the top and neck, an Ivoroid Heritage Diamonds fretboard inlay motif, Ivoroid binding and a three-ring rosette, as well as a genuine ebony fretboard and bridge. The 818e’s appointments include curly maple body and soundhole binding, an abalone rosette, and an all-gloss  finish.

Each model is equipped with Taylor’s proprietary Expression System® acoustic pickup.

Like other Grand Orchestra models that have been introduced this year (518e, 618e, 918e, K28e), the 718e and 818e make their debut with a special release of 100 First Edition models that feature premium-grade tonewoods and appointments, including Adirondack spruce bracing and a bone nut and saddle. 

Each First Edition model also comes with a custom label and ships in a Deluxe “First Edition” hardshell case. Once the guitar is registered, the owner will receive a custom GO First Edition guitar strap, a numbered certificate of authenticity, and a special commemorative booklet.

The Taylor Grand Orcestra debuted earlier this year at the Winter NAMM Show. Born from Taylor’s passion for innovation and desire to revoice the Taylor Jumbo model, the Taylor Team rethought what a modern big-bodied guitar could be, experimenting with new body dimensions.

One of the goals was to capture some of a Dreadnought’s robust tonal personality to produce big, round, richly solid notes.

The resulting Grand Orchestra shape is slightly longer than a traditional Dreadnought, and features a tighter waist and a wider bottom bout to enrich the tonal properties, along with a deeper body (five inches) to increase volume output. Its voice is strong and complex, with the kind of tonal balance that fits perfectly into Taylor’s family of shapes and sounds.       

The Grand Orchestra is the fifth body shape in Taylor’s acoustic guitar line, joining other proprietary Taylor shapes including the Grand Concert, Grand Auditorium and Grand Symphony, along with the Dreadnought. Grand Orchestra models are designated within each Taylor series by ending with the numeral “8” (e.g., 718e).

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