Taylor: 816CE 1ST ED(Item ID: 816CE 1ST ED)
816ce First Edition Grand Symphony with Expression System 2 Pickup System
Immaculate presentation and exhilarating substance are the sole standards that distinguish haute cuisine from fine cooking. The aim of the chef is to provide an extraordinary sensory experience that is immensely pleasurable and memorable, and a chef's success will not only earn the kudos of his patrons, but possibly a Michelin star as well.
As many of you know, Andy Powers is the new chef in the Taylor kitchen, and over the past two years or more we have seen the influence of his esthetic sensibilities realized in the many exciting changes to the cosmetic features of their standard models. And, last year we saw the debut of the Taylor Grand Orchestra, his first signature entree, which has been lauded for its deep, sumptuous, resonant sound. Now, obviously not content to rest on his laurels, the 800 series models have been re-imagined, and the first examples, new for 2014, are now available in a limited First Edition series featuring identical looks and improved performance characteristics that may herald a new voice for Taylor guitars generally.
These instruments are visually arresting for their simple, almost innocent elegance, as almost all of the most interesting features are made of wood. The rosewood back and sides are trimmed with a plain, pale maple binding that naturally complements the smooth, almost creamy, premium Sitka spruce top which is further highlighted only by a simple rosewood edge trim. This same trim is also used to outline the border of the top's only bling - a conservative bracelet of abalone ringing the soundhole. Two other salient features that are perhaps less subtle, yet blend harmoniously with the whole, are the rosewood pickguard and marbled ebony fingerboard. As much as one might be surprised to see a rosewood pickguard, one will be equally delighted to discover that special care was taken - surely it was not by chance - to make sure that the grain lines of the wood were oriented to align with the common angle of one's strumming stroke! And, the fingerboard, a delicious confection of marbled ebony garnished with simple mother-of-pearl inlays, is like an alluring icing on a cake tempting us to indulge ourselves. And in this case, if we do, we won't be disappointed, for the sound of these guitars is more robust than that of any of their stalwart cousins that we have played to date.
The guitars have been re-voiced and feature a noticeable reduction in the mass of the back braces - on the 812 and 814 models, these have been positioned diagonally! The finish is thinner, and we suspect the tops are also. Overall, there is a somewhat lighter feel to these guitars, yet the sound they produce has more weight with a body of tone that is noticeably deeper and denser than that of their predecessors. Like a sublime sonic sauce marked by personality and substance, this new quality of tone has a mouthwatering appeal that will easily delight guitarists, and, who knows, might even merit a ranking from the Michelin connoisseurs as well.
These 2014 First Edition models also mark the debut of the all new Taylor Expression System 2. Instead of the two top sensors and neck pickup coil of the original ES, this guitar is fitted with a single under bridge component comprised of three custom transducers. These are mounted to pins which are positioned between the pairs of strings and extend vertically through the bridge plate, top, and bridge terminating behind the saddle on the top of the bridge between the bridge pins. A single lead is connected to the control board. Like the distilled simplicity of its design, the sound it produces is straightforward and compact lending a clean, compelling precision to its responsiveness.
This superb 816ce First Edition (#89 of 200) includes a deluxe Taylor archtop hardshell case with a First Edition name plate.
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