Taylor’s popular acoustic/electric 814e shines as a superb all-purpose guitar. Its balance, warmth and articulation are great for fingerstyle, it has enough punch as a strummer to front a band, and the top-end power will fuel lead runs without getting shrill. Equipped with Taylor Expression System 2 electronics, it makes a great choice for a gigging player looking for one guitar that can cover it all. The revoicing of the 800 Series has brought greater warmth, a more mature midrange, and a looser, more luxurious low end, thanks in part to the customized bracing and a new, custom-calibrated Elixir HD Light string gauge set. Premium appointments include maple binding and back strip, rosewood top edge trim, rosewood pickguard, Element fretboard inlay, and smoky ebony fretboard.
Body Length: 20" / Body Width: 16" / Body Depth: 4 5/8"
Taylor's signature shape embodies the ultimate all-purpose acoustic.
An original Bob Taylor design introduced in 1994
Full in the lower register, present in the midrange, and sparkling on the treble strings
Our most popular shape and a good place to begin your search
Our most popular and versatile body shape, the mid-size Grand Auditorium arrived in 1994 bearing refined proportions that fell between a Dreadnought and Grand Concert. While the bigger Dreadnought was traditionally considered a flatpicker’s guitar and the smaller Grand Concert catered to fingerstylists, the GA was designed to deliver on both fronts. The shape produced an original acoustic voice that was big enough to handle medium-strength picking and strumming, yet with impressive balance across the tonal spectrum, especially in the midrange, producing clear, well-defined notes that suited both strumming and fingerstyle playing. The GA’s overall presence tracks well with other instruments both in a studio mix and on stage, and singer-songwriters have embraced its utility both for composing and traveling with one guitar. Many people want a single guitar that can cover a variety of styles, which is why the GA continues to be our bestselling shape. If you want a great all-purpose guitar, the multi-dimensional GA won’t let you down.
Origin: Northwestern North America (Coastal Rainforests of Alaska and Canada)
As a guitar soundboard, or top, Sitka spruce is the tonewood standard of the modern era. It’s used on 85-90 percent of the guitars that Taylor makes. Its combination of strength and elasticity translates into a broad dynamic range, yielding crisp articulation and allowing for everything from aggressive strumming and flatpicking to fingerpicking. Sitka spruce is Bob Taylor’s personal favorite for an all-around great guitar.
Goes Well With: All styles of guitars and players.
Origin: East India
Used On: The 700, 800, 900 Series Acoustic/Electrics, Acoustic 7, 8, & 9 Series, Laminate 200 Series
One of the most popular and traditional guitar woods of all time, rosewood takes the basic sonic thumbprint of mahogany (which has a strong midrange) and expands it in both directions. Rosewood sounds deeper in the low end and brighter on the top end (one might describe the treble notes as zesty, sparkly or sizzly, with more articulation). If you look at its frequency range visually, rosewood would appear to be more scooped in the middle, yielding less midrange bloom than mahogany. Like mahogany, rosewood’s vintage heritage has helped firmly establish its acoustic legacy. It’s a great sound in part because we know that sound. In some music circles in which preserving the traditional sound helps bring a sense of authenticity to the music — certain strains of Americana, for example — rosewood has an iconic status. Also like mahogany, rosewood is a versatile tonewood, which has contributed to its popularity. One can fingerpick it, strum it and flatpick it. It’s very consistent, so players can usually rely on it to deliver.
Goes Well With: Most applications. If you like a guitar with fuller low end and brighter treble (bluegrassers, for instance), rosewood will do the trick. Its high-end sizzle and clear articulation will benefit players with “dark hands”. If you’re looking for a traditional acoustic sound, a rosewood Dreadnought or Grand Auditorium is right up your alley.
Expression System® 2
The Taylor Expression System® 2 (ES2) is a revolutionary pickup design that delivers the latest in Taylor’s ongoing innovation in acoustic guitar amplification. The heart of the Expression System 2 is Taylor’s patented 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 “professional audio”-grade preamp, this system produces exceptional amplified tone and responsiveness. On stage through a PA, plugged into your favorite acoustic amplifier, or direct into recording software, the Expression System 2 faithfully conveys the voice of your Taylor guitar.
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, led by developer David Hosler, 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.
Read our guide to using the Expression System 2.
There’s a lot to be said for the clean, traditional look of a non-cutaway acoustic guitar, which is why we offer a line of non-cutaway models. If you don’t plan to play in the upper register, or simply prefer the symmetrical hourglass contours of a guitar, a non-cutaway model is a great option.