If you recall back in the fall of 2020 Maverick Country covered the release of the first Grand Theater (GT) acoustic guitar a new category by Taylor. For 2021 the California based company added two new premium models to this award winning popular acoustic line. Maverick was fortunate to receive both of them to play and review. The original GT Urban Ash guitar from last year was a designated working man’s (or woman’s) instrument that you needn’t be as tender with compared to your upscale guitars. These two offerings take the GT design to a higher level. The new GT 811e is part of the 800 series and the GT K21e is part of Taylor’s Koa line. After playing both of them extensively each guitar has its own strengths. The GT-811e has more string definition and is a bit louder thanks impart to its Sitka spruce top and rosewood back and sides. Cosmetics that take this guitar to the higher echelon are an abalone rosette, smoked nickel tuners, rosewood pickguard and purfling, ebony fretboard and element inlays made of mother of pearl. The GT K21e looks luxurious with its Koa wood top, back and sides. Although not as loud as its 811 sister the K21e provides a different harmonic richness and overtones thanks to the Koa wood construction. Mid-range frequencies are much more prominent in this guitar and the more Koa is played the more the wood opens up and matures. Other varying features of the GT K21e include the intricate spring vine inlay in the fretboard, maple purfling and binding and Gotoh mini 510 tuners. Thanks to the shorter scale length of both of these instruments, chording and soloing is much more hand strength friendly. They feel like a guitar that you have tuned down a half or whole step, so you don’t need to apply as much direct finger pressure to fret each string. Under the hood, or top of the guitar as it were, all of the GT (Grand Theater) guitars feature the new C-Class bracing by Taylor which is a variation of Any Power’s trend setting V-Class. Each of these guitars also has the Taylor’s own ES2 electronics built in with simple battery access at the end of the guitar where the strap button is secured. They also come with a Taylor AeroCase that is much sturdier than your average gig bag, but still light enough to not weigh you down. My favorite features of the AeroCase are the padded handle and the ribbed shoulder straps so the guitar doesn’t shift while I’m carrying it. Taylor’s GT models split the difference between a GS Mini and a Grand Concert. For some people the GS Mini was too small, and the Grand Concert was too big. I think we can all agree much like porridge the GT’s are just right. When you start playing one of the GT acoustic guitars you just don’t want to put it down. The GT 811e and GT K21e are now available along with the originator the GT Urban Ash. My take is you can’t go wrong with any of these offerings. For clarity I recommend the GT 811e, for harmonics and depth the GT K21e and for an every day workhorse acoustic the GT Urban Ash!
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Editor, Maverick Magazine
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