Rosewood Riches

Monday, August 12, 2013
By: jim.kirlin

One of the reasons rosewood has amassed an iconic heritage in the acoustic guitar universe is that its broad frequency range and sparkling overtones yield a wonderfully complex voice. Coaxed into the shape of our full-figured Grand Orchestra body style and refined with proprietary GO bracing, that rich musical character now extends even further in every direction: The voice becomes richer, deeper, more powerful, more balanced, more responsive, and more dynamic. Each individual note sounds fully formed, and because of the clear articulation, one can better appreciate the fine details that contribute to the complexity. It’s the sonic equivalent of watching high-definition television.

“Luxurious” was a word that the guitar’s designer, Andy Powers, used to describe our first rosewood/spruce Grand Orchestra, the 918e, upon its release in early 2013. 

“You simply play that low E string and it yields all this color and bloom,” he marveled, as both a builder and a player. 

This summer, we’re excited to introduce the rosewood/Sitka spruce Grand Orchestra playing experience to the 700 and 800 Series. We begin, as we have with each new GO offering this year, with a limited release of 100 First Edition models. The premium features are largely the same for the 718e and 818e: AA-grade rosewood, Adirondack spruce bracing, and a bone nut and saddle. One difference is that the First Edition 718e, like Taylor’s other First Editions, incorporates a headstock inlay (Heritage Diamond), while the 818e is inlay-free. Andy says he and fellow Taylor luthier Larry Breedlove were originally planning to include one, but after stepping back and considering the guitar’s overall aesthetic, they felt that the clean, modern identity of the 800 Series was better served by a slightly more understated treatment. 

Following the First Edition run, both models will join the Taylor line as standard models, as the 918e has. 

Because of a recent change in 700 Series specifications, all 700 Series models now feature Sitka spruce tops rather than Engelmann, so the only difference between the 718e and 818e models will be the respective appointment packages. Fans of a more vintage personality will likely gravitate toward the sunburst treatment on the 718e (although a tobacco or honey sunburst top is available as a standard model option on the 818e), while the 818e’s blend of curly maple binding, abalone rosette, and refined pearl fretboard inlay tastefully define Taylor’s flagship rosewood/spruce series as a contemporary classic.

For full specs and details, please visit the model pages:



For availability, check with your local authorized Taylor Guitars dealer.