Alamo Music Center | Taylor Guitars' New 618e | Should the Gibson SJ-200 be Nervous?!
The Taylor Grand Orchestra body shape is the largest guitar in Taylor's extensive line up of acoustic guitars. It was designed by Master Guitar Designer Andy Powers as a replacement for Taylor's Jumbo body shape which it had effectively inherited from acoustic guitar builders like Guild and Gibson. Replacing one of Taylor's earliest body shapes is not an easy task but the new Grand Orchestra model was built to do something that most Jumbo guitars struggle to do - respond to a light touch. Known as volume power houses, Jumbo body guitars like the Gibson J-200 produce gobs of volume but require the players to chop away at the strings, providing enough inertia to energize the top properly. The Grand Orchestra was designed to be that power house of a guitar that could also response to a more gentle touch. It is like an NFL player that has a softer side to his personality. At the 2020 Winter NAMM Show Taylor Guitar unveiled a host of new and redesigned models including two new Grand Orchestra models, the 618e and 818e that now both feature the V-class bracing. Along with the bracing changes came aesthetic changes. While still a part of the 600 and 800 series respectively, both guitar depart from their respective series when it comes to aesthetics, wearing features and touches that are more vintage inspired than many other guitars in Taylors stable. The 618e, with its spruce top and maple back and sides evokes the aesthetic appeal of a Gibson SJ-200 with Taylor's own design language to guide it. A subtle edge burst graces the body while beautiful Alamo inlays run along the fretboard. Taylor Guitar may refer to them as "mission" inlays but we know better. They are Alamo inlays, Take out word for it and, "Remember the Alamo!"