Acoustic NAMM Spotlight: Taylor Guitars 800 Series

One of my favorite half hours at NAMM 2014 was spent with Andy Powers, master luthier for Taylor Guitars.

Powers, a recent addition to the Taylor guitar design crew, previously built and sold his own line of guitars as the Andy Powers Instrument Company.

Andy proudly shared the new Taylor 800 series with me, and boy was it worth my time.

While those of you who have tried to check out gear at NAMM know that It’s incredibly hard to hear anything, this series of guitars sure felt fabulous and the rich resonance was unmistakable.

They’re calling this the rebirth of the 800 series, with new enhancements and construction techniques.

Well, I must say, at first look I am impressed. I can’t wait to spend some more time with one of these models, that’s for sure! Here are a few of the changes:

From the glue to the placement of the braces, Powers has thoughtfully tried and tested until he achieves greater warmth, midrange, balance and sustain.

Finish Thickness
The guitar’s thinner finish maximizes tonal benefits. And don’t worry, it still looks lustrous and protects the wood as ever.

Taylor strives for consistent tone across the neck and has had ELIXIR® Strings to create a custom-gauge HD Light string set for the Grand Concert and Grand Auditorium. They do feel and sound quite nice, I must say.

This is the part I really want to try out in a real life situation. The 800 series includes a new Expression System® 2 that I’m told captures more of a guitar's dynamic properties using a breakthrough behind-the-saddle design.

Playing is believing. I’ll let you know my reaction when I have a chance to check it out!!

Even the pickguard is lovely. It’s made of Indian rosewood and matches the back of the guitar. Not only does it give a rich look to the guitar, the feel of the pickguard is just deluxe.

Ok, these are just lovely to look at and the necks feel like butter. Beautiful abalone inlays, rosewood binding (which I’m definitely partial to) and a brown ebony fretboard all add to the high end look.

Stay tuned for a more in-depth look! And find out more at

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Laura B. Whitmore

Laura B. Whitmore is a music industry marketing veteran, music journalist and editor, writing for, Guitar World, and others. She has interviewed hundreds of musicians and hosts the She Rocks Podcast. As the founder of the Women’s International Music Network, she advocates for women in the music industry and produces the annual She Rocks Awards. She is the Senior Vice President of Marketing for Positive Grid, making the world safe for guitar exploration everywhere! A guitarist and singer/songwriter, Laura is currently co-writing an album of pop songs that empower and energize girls.