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To amplify the 800 line, the Expression System 2 electronics were created. On most acoustic electric instruments, including Taylor, the piezo electric transducers have been placed under the bridge to transfer the vibration of the strings. Through extensive research Taylor guitars determined that the best place to install the piezo crystals is actually behind the bridge so there are now three sensors installed there behind the string end pins. Most of the other changes are more cosmetic, including pale maple binding, thin layers of rosewood between the maple and spruce to accent the body shape, element fret board inlays, unaltered ebony fret boards (these will vary in colour per guitar) and an Indian rosewood pick-guard.

Ultimately, however, it all comes down to the feel and sound of the instrument. Hairstyles trendy From the first strum I noticed much more bass response than I have from any other Taylor guitar. The neck is not too chunky with a natural broken in feel to it and the 816ce sits comfortably on your lap. Each string was much more defined and clear when picked or strummed, but with no muddiness that you sometimes find in bass heavy acoustics. I plugged it into my trusty Fishman loudbox mini amplifier, rolled off all of the reverb and chorus, placed bass, middle and treble controls in their neutral settings and started strumming. Having owned and played a number of Taylor guitars over the years I was honestly impressed by the bass response of the guitar and warmth of the entire sound spectrum. I even had to roll back the bass control a bit more than usual. To my ear the new ES2 system provides a more balanced tone, better string definition and just a warmer woodier sound than most acoustic electric achieve when plugged in. For comparison I also plug in two of my other acoustics electrics and the new 816ce with the ES2 electronics sounded fuller and more defined.

If you own a vintage Taylor 816ce don’t toss it out, but if you’re in the market for a new well-rounded acoustic electric guitar that would work for solo gigs, songwriting or a full band take it for a test drive at your local music store and see if you agree with me. I wasn’t expecting Taylor’s upgrades to make that much difference in the sound or playability but they did.

Another new guitar release from the Taylor Guitar Company is the T5z. The original T5 model, Taylor’s first electric guitar, was launched in 2005 and has been a best-seller for the company providing a wide variety of acoustics sounds in light functional fully-hollow configuration. Besides the Standard T5 model (featuring a piezo bridge pickup and a single top mounted pickup, Taylor also launched a 12-string version, an S-l model (with dual top mounted pickups) a Pro model (fancy top woods) and the Custom series (totally tricked out).

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