Taylor CEO and President Andy Powers has established his very own electric guitar company called Powers Electric, and has launched his new venture with a genuinely stunning debut offering.
Powers, who has been head honcho at the prestigious acoustic guitar company since May ‘22, has a rock solid guitar-making pedigree, also serving as Taylor’s Chief Guitar Designer.
Since being with the company, Powers has pioneered the acclaimed V-Class bracing – which moved Taylor away from the conventional X-bracing used for over 150 years – and, more recently, developed the American Dream series.
His is a resume that is up there with the best guitar-making minds of our age, and now Powers has taken a drastic turn away from the world of acoustics, channeling his expertise into his very own electric brand.
Owing to his experience, it comes as no shock that Powers’ first electric model – named the Powers Electric A-Type – looks to be an absolute winner, with a sleek single-cut body that arrives in an array of aesthetics.
But it’s not just style: the A-Type has an abundance of substance to go with it. In fact, Powers said he created the instrument because he “wanted a sound and feel that didn’t already exist”, and used some “crazy, modern engineering” to make his idea a reality.
“I love electric guitars,” Powers explained. “I’ve owned, played and worked on all the great ones. There was no need to recreate those. I wanted something inspired by the best of the past, but with modern capabilities.
“It took rethinking the entire guitar, absorbing 80 years of guitar evolution, and then taking a fresh approach – with some crazy, modern engineering – to pull this off.”
The A-Type itself was designed with some ambitious objectives in mind. As per Powers, it had to be something that “doesn’t sound or play like something you already know”, there were to be “no off-color notes, dead frets or useless pickup positions”, and it had to “feel amazing”.
To that end, the A-Type is a fully enclosed hollowbody model that takes visual cues from classic cars, hot rods and surfboards. It’s made from urban ash, and houses two internal sound posts that supposedly let the top and back move together to promote resonance and provide a solidbody sustain.
A mahogany neck is topped with a rosewood fingerboard, which flashes the next eye-catching example of innovation: the asymmetrical “split” radius was redesigned by Powers and is slightly flatter on the treble side for “choke-free” bending.
The bridge, vibrato and pickups are also each a Powers creation. The two former features were designed in order to alleviate tuning issues associated with tremolo systems, thanks to a “CamTail” string ramp that compensates for tension and gauge.
The single coils, meanwhile, utilize a new magnet system and seek to offer a versatile mix of “brightness and bite” and “clarity and warmth”.
It’s unclear why the A-Type was released under Powers’ own name rather than Taylor, but owing to the sheer level of customization of the components and the guitar’s “really labor-intensive craftsmanship”, it might just be the case that such a six-string simply isn’t viable for Taylor at this point.
Indeed, Powers has stressed that, apart from the tuners and strings, everything is made in-house, and that because of this, “We can only craft guitars in small numbers.”
“Of course, this will improve over time, and more guitars will become available,” Powers said on Instagram. “But for now, I hope you find the small-batch exclusivity of these guitars intriguing.”
Having said that, the trademark for Powers Electric – which was applied for back in January 2022 – is currently owned by Taylor (as per Alter), so the two guitar brands are not completely independent from one another.
Two distinct versions of the A-Type are available. The first flaunts solid auto-inspired colors – from Saffron Yellow Metallic to Tropical Turquoise – while the second flashes a figured maple top with various transparent bursts, such as Cosmo Red, Sweet Tea Orange and Blue Lagoon.
Prices for the A-Type range from $3,700 to $4,299 on retailers such as Chicago Music Exchange, Gruhn Guitars and Rudy’s Music.
For more information, head over to Powers Electric.