Taylor Guitars GTe Urban Ash Acoustic Guitar REVIEW

It’s no secret, Taylor makes really nice guitars, and we’ve had lots of experiences with them, from their hyper exotic to their more affordable models. Now they are back at it with an entirely new model, the GTe (with an “e” for electric), bringing a smaller body size that still has a big, full sound.

The GT is meant to be a smaller alternative to their GC line, but still bigger than their GS; with a 24 1/8” scale length, it feels very comfortable. Players who love the sound of acoustics but know how unforgiving they can be scale-length-wise, take note. This is the one for you.

As for materials, the top is solid spruce, and it’s supported by their C-class bracing, which is a new asymmetrical design, and is derived from their awesome V-class bracing. What that translates to is maintaining structural stability, while allowing the lower frequencies that usually get lost on smaller bodied guitars, to still resonate and project. Ash is used for the back and sides, but not just any ash. In a big eco-friendly move, Taylor has sourced this wood from trees scheduled for removal from municipal areas in Southern California. Stepping further into some more not so common materials, Eucalyptus is used for the fretboard, bridge and peghead overlay. Tropical mahogany is the core neck material. Typical Taylor touches are present such as the subtle inlay markers, black purfling on the top edge and 3-ring koa rosette. With a satin finish, the grain patterns feel nice and brings an overall natural appearance throughout.

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This is certainly a love at first strum instrument. Right out of the box, the neck just feels right. Try playing an entire set if you’re not used to an acoustic, with a full-scale neck, heavier strings and the tighter feel — simply put, it’s tough. Our reviewer plays in an acoustic cover band, and usually after an evening’s practice, hands and calluses say, “no mas.” After a night of playing this guitar, it was a breeze. There’s no big loss of the lower frequencies, even with the smaller body size, and the top end still sits nicely in the mix. It’s comfortable enough, where a player usually may use a capo to make things easier, to forego one with this guitar, and use barre chords without any issue. It’s virtually a no-cheat acoustic.

Electronics wise, it has Taylor’s Expression System 2, with their preamp, and behind the saddle piezo pickup. This system is found on Taylor’s higher end guitars and sounds fantastic here as well. The EQ is very present with plenty of room for tweakability, with a simple volume, treble and bass control. Plugging it in to even a basic PA system, the ability to blend, as well as stake out sonic territory with another acoustic guitar in the mix, was a real pleasure.

If there is a category of “workhorse acoustic,” this is the definition of it. Players who want an easier playing acoustic, or electric players that don’t want to fight an acoustic, and still sound great, this is for you. The smaller size is travel friendly as well. Even better is the street price — it isn’t going to make your credit card cry, at just $1599. It’s definitely a reasonable price, considering Taylor’s typical build quality and excellent sound. It’s well worth booking that unplugged night; your hands and ears will love it.

PROS:

Great feeling, long playing, excellent electronics, affordable, eco-friendly

CONS:

None

STREET PRICE:

$1599

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