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Taylor’s well known for their expertly-designed, top-shelf quality and amazingly fantastic sound. Their new 810e models certainly cement all that history.
It’s of the traditional dreadnought body style, with a Sitka Spruce top, and Indian Rosewood back and sides. It is detailed to the maximum, with maple binding around the body, as well as running around the ebony fingerboard and the headstock. Even the pickguard is rosewood. The inlay around the sound hole and fingerboard is a nice, classy touch. The neck is tropical mahogany, in a wonderful-feeling soft satin finish. A great feature is the beveled edge on the upper bout that prevents any arm fatigue, and on a full-size guitar like this, it’s more than welcome.
The neck’s feel is simply amazing; with the satin finish, and paired with the dreadnaught shape, it’s a great blend of old and new. The best way to describe this instrument is perfectly balanced, in every conceivable way. The fretwork is impeccable, and the action out of the box was amazingly smooth all the way across the fingerboard.
Chords are amazingly rich, and in the higher registers it still retains plenty of bottom end and mids that don’t get brittle or thin. That first D chord rings out vibrantly, and going up the neck the sound is just as rich even at the upper frets. It just shifts up with no unwanted “bad frequency” side effects. Lead parts seem to lift off the fretboard easily, with plenty of dynamics and resonance. It’s the sound that’s imagined when the words “acoustic guitar” are spoken.
Playability is maintained as well, with no effort to move around the neck making any unfamiliar adjustments. This guitar begs to be played. As mentioned, the beveled edge makes long playing sessions a breeze with no fatigue on the strumming arm. With some past experience with other Taylor guitar models, this model certainly lives up to their reputation, and then takes it waaaayyyy further into a whole new level of excellence. For a singer/songwriter who wants the guitar to be an extension of their art, this is it. Your search is over. Put down the Sweetwater catalog.
Electronics-wise, it’s fitted with Taylor’s Expression System 2, which uses a behind the saddle pickup, separated into three groups and calibrated for the strings being used. There’s also a 9V powered onboard preamp system. Overall, it’s quite robust, and much deeper and fuller than they typical piezo system.
Here’s the bad news; all that well-balanced goodness has a price, and the DLX version of the 810e comes in at almost four grand. There’s no flinching at the price, when the quality materials, well thought out design and electronics, as well as the buttery smooth playability and of course the fantastic overall sound are so well spelled out. Perfection has a price, and yes, it’s worth every penny of it here.
Perfection: balanced, feel and tone are incredible, amazing construction and detail.
Expensive, but worth it as a “lifetime instrument” investment.