Taylor 816e - Rosewood back and sides

6-string Acoustic-electric Guitar with Spruce Top, Indian Rosewood Back and Sides, Mahogany Neck, Ebony Fingerboard, and ES2 Electronics - Natural
Taylor 816e - Rosewood back and sides image 1
Taylor 816e - Rosewood back and sides image 1
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Taylor 816e - Rosewood back and sides
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A Bold Acoustic-electric Guitar from Taylor

At Sweetwater, we're nuts about the Taylor 816e. This gorgeous acoustic-electric guitar combines premium tonewoods with masterful design and craftsmanship for a stunning instrument that's a joy to play. The 816e features a solid Sitka spruce top, Indian rosewood back and sides, a tropical American mahogany neck, and an ebony fretboard for amazingly rich tone and great looks. You'll hear a richer voice, with more complex harmonics and a more open sound that's incredibly vibrant. The secret is that Taylor optimized the wood thickness and bracing patterns to give you the best that the Grand Symphony design has to offer - powerful lows, crisp highs, and exceptional balance across the entire spectrum. Even unplugged, the 814e gives you a surprising amount of natural projection, and thanks to its onboard Taylor Expression System 2 electronics, it also sounds fantastic when you plug in. Take it from Sweetwater - you'll love the Taylor 816e.

Taylor 816e Acoustic-electric Guitar at a Glance:
  • Grand Symphony body style gives you balanced sound and incredible projection
  • A richer, more vibrant voice than ever before thanks to customized bracing
  • Exceptional tone, volume, and balance thanks to custom-tailored wood thickness
  • Taylor's Expression System 2 delivers incredibly natural sound with full dynamics
Grand Symphony body style gives you balanced sound and incredible projection

Taylor's Grand Symphony body style, featured on the 816e, is a more modern take on the sleek Grand Auditorium shape, but with the waist moved up toward the neck. This gives the guitar a slightly larger lower bout, and gives you an excellent blend of power and projection, without losing the high-end definition that's a hallmark of the Grand Auditorium body style.

A richer, more vibrant voice than ever before thanks to customized bracing

You'll notice that the Taylor 816e boasts exceptionally vibrant tones with a unique character. Taylor went back to the drawing board and redesigned their bracing patterns, to get the optimum response out of each of their iconic body shapes. Taylor even added side bracing to add rigidity to the sides and enhance top and back movement. In the words of luthier Andy Powers, the updated Advanced Performance bracing pattern gives the updated 816e a "nice, cushy swell and long sustain, even with a delicate touch."

Exceptional tone, volume, and balance thanks to custom-tailored wood thickness

One of the things we like best about Taylor at Sweetwater is that their various body styles are designed for specific purposes, allowing you to choose a guitar that's the perfect match for your style. With the 816e, Taylor takes that to another level by carefully matching the thickness of the spruce top and rosewood back and sides to the body style. They determined what the optimum wood thickness for the 816e's Grand Symphony body would be, to give you maximum tone and light weight while also being equally strong. Taylor is also using real animal protein glue (fish, in fact) instead of synthetic glue. Luthiers have been using protein glues for centuries for their incredible strength, and also for their tone. Protein glue optimizes transfer of vibrations and also holds amazingly well, which means you're sure to get a lifetime of fantastic tone from the Taylor 816e acoustic guitar.

Taylor's Expression System 2 delivers incredibly natural sound with full dynamics

Traditionally, acoustic-electric guitars have employed under-saddle piezo transducers, but Taylor has discovered a better way. Their revolutionary Expression System 2 uses a proprietary pickup behind the saddle. The pickup's three individually calibrated, precisely positioned piezo-electric sensors respond organically to the instrument's acoustic energy as it's transferred through the saddle. In concert with Taylor's custom-designed preamp (which delivers a 25% hotter signal), the result is a more natural acoustic sound with incredible dynamic range and responsiveness to your pick or finger attack. Sweetwater's guitar gurus are mightily impressed with Taylor's Expression System 2. Whether you're onstage through a PA, plugged into an acoustic amp, or direct into recording software, the ES2 faithfully conveys the voice of a Taylor guitar.

Taylor 816e Acoustic-electric Guitar Features:
  • A beautiful acoustic-electric guitar with a timeless voice
  • Great for a wide range of musical styles
  • Grand Symphony body style gives you a balanced tone with extra punch and exceptional projection
  • Sitka spruce top provides a light and expressive sound
  • Indian rosewood back and sides gives you a rich, vibrant sound with exceptional projection
  • Onboard Taylor Expression System 2 electronics deliver natural sound onstage and in the studio
  • Hardshell case included
The Taylor 816e gives you timeless acoustic guitar tone anywhere you play!

Why Buy Your Guitar from Sweetwater?

See how Sweetwater goes to great lengths to give you the very best online guitar buying experience. From our online Guitar Gallery that allows you to see and select the exact instrument you want to our 55-point Evaluation process and our in-house guitar techs, we take the guesswork out of buying your next guitar online.

Additional Media

Acoustic Guitar Buying Guide

Tech Specs

Series 800
String Type Steel
Number of Strings 6
Body Shape Grand Symphony
Body Style No Cutaway
Left-/Right-handed Right-handed
Color Natural
Finish Gloss, 3.5 mil
Top Wood Sitka Spruce
Back & Sides Wood Indian Rosewood
Body Bracing Advanced Performance Bracing
Binding Pale Maple
Neck Wood Tropical Mahogany
Fingerboard Material Smoked Ebony
Fingerboard Inlay Mother-of-Pearl Element
Number of Frets 20
Scale Length 25.5"
Tuning Machines Taylor Nickel Tuners
Bridge Material Smoked Ebony
Nut/Saddle Material Tusq Nut, Micarta Saddle
Nut Width 1.75"
Body Length 20"
Body Width 16.25"
Body Depth 4.625"
Electronics Taylor Expression System 2
Strings Elixir Phosphor Bronze Medium
Case Included Yes
Manufacturer Part Number 816e-ES2

Customer Reviews

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This guitar is everything I hoped for. Before making a purchase I played Martins (D35, HD28, OMJM), Gibsons (Hummingbird Modern Classic), and Breedloves (Premiers, at a lower price point than the other guitars).The Taylor had the best sound to my ear for what I am doing, which is more modern acoustic singer/songwriter material, about 70% strumming and 30% fingerpicking. The sound is bright and loud, full of clarity and energy. The ES2 pickups sound great too. Plugging the guitar in still makes it sound a little bit like an electric in my opinion, but it still sounds better than every other pickup system I've heard on an acoustic. I also have to mention the playability. It is so much more comfortable to play than any other steel string acoustic I've played, and this helps me keep myself practicing/writing for hours at a time.I'd recommend this guitar for pretty much anything modern, strumming and fingerpicking. For more traditional folk, bluegrass, and anything where you want that vintage sound, I'd say look at Martins. I can't think of any scenario in which I'd recommend the Gibson over this. The Gibson is good, but this guitar felt and sounded better in every way. Even at the lower price point I'd take a 300 series Taylor over a Breedlove for the playability, but the new 800 series Taylor is really in another league for its big clear sound.The Grand Symphony size seemed to be the right choice in size because while it is not quite as full of a sound as the Grand Orchestra, it still has plenty of bass and doesn't muddy the high notes and the fingerpicking, like the dreadnaught or Grand Orchestra seems to do to me. I specifically chose this model and ordered from Sweetwater because I did not want the cutaway. The non-cutaway looks better and sounds better to me, so I think you should really think hard about whether you'll ever be above the 14th fret, which I know I won't be. I'm almost never above the 12th.Jon Gillespie and everyone at Sweetwater was really helpful and this was an easy and pleasant purchase. I'm sure I'll be back in the future.
Music background: Singer/Songwriter
See also: 6 string acoustic guitars, Taylor, Taylor 6-string Acoustic Guitars, Taylor Acoustic / Electric Guitars