Taylor Guitars GT K21e Acoustic REVIEW

by | Jul 14, 2021 | Best Acoustic Guitars

Taylor has been known to really blur the lines between technology and craftsmanship, as well as the traditional and forward thinking. Their GT line brings sound from larger bodied instruments into a smaller package, and taking that idea a few steps further, the K21e’s koa wood brings a different tonal palette, and some very beautiful appointments.

The GT body size of the new Taylor GT K21e is compact, with a 24-1/8” scale length and a smaller body style than their GC line. The big deal though is the bracing; Taylor’s been re-defining a lot of the thoughts on this, and their C-class asymmetrical design has been proven to bring a big sound to a small instrument, by letting the lower frequencies resonate, and the top and mids still have punctuation, all the while being structurally sound to the instrument.

With a beautiful selection of Hawaiian Koa wood, it’s a serious step up from your typical acoustic. The grain pattern of our test guitar was perfection, and the finish work just enhanced it. Koa always feels like an added luxury, with more top end, more mids, and more bass. But it’s a better balance of all that extra goodness. Rock maple binding on the top and back as well as the rosette take this to the next level. With a West African crelicam ebony fingerboard, the spring vine inlay really pops visually, while the tropical mahogany neck feels phenomenal along with its 20 perfectly polished frets. Topping it all off, the Taylor logo and headstock inlay is also done in wood, while Gotoh mini tuners keep everything perfectly in tune.

Hit that first A chord, and it’s just…there. Sonically, the Koa makes a big difference in overall resonance and response. It’s not fighting itself or other instruments. Taking this to practice where another guitarist is using a spruce topped guitar, it sat very nicely in the mix. Koa certainly holds its own presence sonically with a wonderful mix of warmth and attack.

Playability-wise, it’s a Taylor. It’s easy if you come from the world of electric necks. Usually, acoustics need big necks for projection and sustain, but Taylor figured out how to make a comfortable neck that still delivers a big-bodied tone. One big plus is the string spacing is easily something that pick players can navigate if they want to go pick-less or use hybrid picking techniques.

Plugging this in, Taylor’s Expression System 2 is quite amazing. The pickup isn’t under the bridge, but behind the saddle, meaning it gets the attack of the note, along with the resonance of the instrument itself, while the preamp really balances things out and does it with very simple controls; treble, bass and volume.

Usually most smaller bodied acoustics don’t get the treatment of premium materials and an upgraded aesthetic, but Taylor always takes things to the next level. For players looking to invest in a perfect sounding and playing acoustic, that’s well made and detailed to the max, this is the one you’ve been saving for.


Beautiful, plays amazingly well, excellent pickup


Slightly pricey, but worth the investment for serious players.