Limited edition of Taylor’s popular 516ce sports Tasmanian blackwood and a sunburst finish.
by Teja Gerken
October 27, 2014
For many years now, Taylor has introduced special runs of limited-edition models each spring and fall. These instruments typically feature different woods and appointments than those used on guitars in Taylor’s standard line, and provide a great opportunity to own a unique Taylor without having to place a custom order.
For the Fall 2014 limiteds, Taylor is offering special runs of its 300, 500, and 700 series, as well as a koa version of its GS Mini. We had a chance to check out a 516ce-FLTD. As the “16” in its model designation indicates, the guitar is based on Taylor’s Grand Symphony (GS) body, which is slightly larger than a grand auditorium, and falls within the popular “small-jumbo” dimensions. The 500 series Fall 2014 limiteds are also available in all of Taylor’s body shapes. While a standard 516ce would be built with mahogany back and sides, the FLTD uses Tasmanian blackwood, which Taylor says combines elements of the tonal qualities found in koa, mahogany, and rosewood. The edition includes a sunburst finish, which, combined with the darker wood on the back and sides (compared to the usual mahogany), creates a striking appearance.
The 516ce-FLTD is equally suited to fingerstyle or flatpicking, producing excellent volume and rich tone with either approach, whether in a solo context or as an accompanist (check out the video for examples of both, played in standard and D A D G A D tunings). While it has the overall shimmer and robust high-end response that Taylors are known for, the FLTD is not as bright as some Taylors I’ve played, with the trebles producing a nice, clear roundness.
The guitar includes Taylor’s new Expression System 2 electronics. Using a newly designed pickup that relies on a set of three piezo elements mounted behind the saddle (rather than under the saddle), the system replaces the magnetic sensor approach of the original Expression System. Taylor pairs the pickup with a custom-designed preamp that uses the familiar arrangement of controls for bass, treble, and volume in the upper bout area of the guitar’s side.
The 516ce-FLTD is a very cool guitar that should be considered by anyone in the market for a versatile mid-size flattop.
SPECS: Grand Symphony body with 14-fret neck. Solid Sitka spruce top. Solid Tasmanian blackwood back and sides. Mahogany neck. Ebony fingerboard and bridge. 25½-inch scale. 1¾-inch-inch nut width. Enclosed chrome tuning machines. Expression System 2 electronics. Made in USA. $3,398 list. taylorguitars.com
Comments and Discussion
Leave a Reply
Please enter your email address and name to join the conversation on Peghead Nation.
Start Learning Today
One Course: $20/month or $200/year
Two Courses: $30/month or $300/year
Access to All Courses: $100/month
Peghead Nation’s String School is your source for roots music instruction, bringing you full courses in guitar, mandolin, banjo, ukulele, fiddle, and Dobro, featuring talented instructors, high-quality video instruction, accurate notation and tab, and fun songs to play right from the beginning. Enroll and become a Peghead today!