Inspired by connections to musicians in Nashville, Los Angeles and elsewhere who’ve been gravitating toward acoustic guitar sounds that aren’t so crystalline, Taylor Master Designer Andy Powers chose to design the Flametop using Taylor’s Grand Pacific body style, a round-shoulder dreadnought that introduced a warm and seasoned flavor of Taylor tone with its initial release in 2019. In this case, Andy chose solid Big Leaf maple for the top, back and sides, and uncoated nickel bronze strings to temper the top-end frequencies and deliver a punchy low end.
“It’s a drier, chunkier, more broken-in sound,” Powers says. “More lungs, less vocal cords, or, to put it another way, you'll hear a little more wood and a little less of the steel strings. There are times when you want that vibrant, clear, high-definition detail, and other times when a different acoustic sound will do a better job of evoking a mood or feeling.”
The maple body on the Flametop channels the weathered character of a worn-in pair of boots or jeans, just the right fit for certain musicians and genres. While maple normally wouldn’t be used for an acoustic guitar top, Powers was able to adapt Taylor’s V-Class bracing architecture to control the response and achieve the earthy sound profile he wanted.
The AD27e Flametop also features a Hard Rock maple neck, a Eucalyptus fretboard with 4mm dot inlays in Italian acrylic, and a new Woodsmoke finish and shaded edgeburst around the entire body and neck. Together with the tastefully muted sheen, the dusky aesthetic matches the guitar’s sonic personality. Like other American Dream models, the Flametop features chamfered body edges and onboard ES2 electronics (also available without electronics). The guitar ships in a Taylor AeroCase™ will be available at Taylor dealers worldwide starting at a street price of $2,199.
Additional releases for 2022 include the AD22e, a new American Dream model with solid sapele back & sides and mahogany top. The model sports comfort-centric features including chamfered body edges with a smaller Grand Concert body shape. The sapele/mahogany wood pairing on the smaller-bodied guitar has a focused, woody sound with a pleasing midrange punch. The guitar is available starting at $1,699.
Two new models featuring Taylor’s latest body shape, the Grand Theater (GT), also join the line. Known for combining compact proportions with a surprisingly robust voice, new GT models include the GTe Blacktop (solid American walnut back and sides and Sitka spruce top). Walnut flavors the tone in a way that adds more weight behind each note. The new GTe Mahogany produces a more bluesy acoustic sound due to its solid Neo-Tropical mahogany back, sides and top. Each guitar comes with Taylor’s ES2 electronics and lightweight yet sturdy AeroCase™. The GTe Mahogany retails for $1,699 and the GTe Blacktop for $1,799.