Slightly bigger than Taylor's Grand Auditorium body style, the Grand Symphony 816ce yields a powerful and rich sound without sacrificing bell-like articulation. It makes a potent strummer, and dynamic fingerstylists will enjoy the thick, full-bodied character of the notes. As part of Taylor's 800 Series revoicing package for 2014, the GS will sound even richer with more low-end rumble. Premium appointments include maple binding and back strip, rosewood top edge trim, a rosewood pickguard, Taylor's new Element fretboard inlay in mother-of-pearl, a marbled fretboard, and new Expression System 2 acoustic electronics. The guitar also features a Venetian cutaway for a steeper slope and easier access to the upper frets, and includes a Taylor deluxe hardshell case.
The Grand Symphony shape joined Taylor's line in 2006 and delivers a rich, powerful acoustic voice. Think of it as a Grand Auditorium with a turbo boost, thanks to expanded physical dimensions, including a slightly wider waist and a bigger lower bout. Strummers and pickers with a driving attack will love the fullness, volume and sustain. Yet for such a robust voice, the GS is also clear and responsive to fast picking runs or a light fingerstyle touch, so if you're a dynamic player, this shape is a true contender. And the big voice doesn't come at the expense of balance. The piano-like bass, meaty midrange, and thick, shimmering highs blend seamlessly. These traits also make the GS a great vehicle for 12-Strings. If you like a lush, potent guitar tone that has the horsepower to compete with other acoustic cannons out there, the GS shape is a worthy choice.
The 816ce features one of the most popular and traditional guitar woods of all time, rosewood, which 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.
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".
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 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 "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.