Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

New Taylor 800

I don’t know if any of you have heard one yet, i just did, let me tell you for a fact if you close your eyes you will think your hearing a Martin or high end boutique guitar, not a Taylor. Bob finally woke up,some manufacturers better wake up because this new tone of his 800 and soon to be others is fantastic.
I own a Dn5 which is a great guitar but still has the Taylor ring to it, not like the cutaways but still Taylor, this new one is totally different than anything they have ever made. Sounded like a vintage D28 to me when I first heard it.
The one thing about Taylor I have always liked is the playability but not so much the tone, now I’m sold and looking for one, kinda hard to find right now, the one I saw is not for sale so may need to order but in a dread the 810e, One Heck of a Guitar!! Still one of the best necks out there. JMO Jerry :mrgreen:

I wasn’t aware that Taylor was refining their 800 series. Thanks for the heads up on that. I have a Taylor 810 (1993 model , same year my son was born). I looked up the new ones and they’ve made some changes since my 21 year old 810 was made. The best change is the 1 3/4" nut width. Mine is 1 11/16" and the string spacing is too crowded. Unlike most folks such as yourself the only complaint I have about mine is the playability. The sound is the best part. The action is the best I’ve seen with a ton of saddle left to lower even more, but it’s just that narrow neck and string spacing. Not only is it too narrow, but it’s also too shallow.

You hit the nail on the head when you said to close your eyes and listen. I think when some people “see” a Taylor in a band (especially bluegrass), they’ve already made their mind up that it’s not going to sound good before the music even starts. I’m not really a Taylor guy, But I happened upon this one and bought it because it sounded and played better than the D28 I was comparing it to. I think it was an early seventies which may not have been a good comparison.

I’m going to look for one of these new ones to compare mine to. I’m interested now in seeing how they’ve changed and what it sounds like compared to mine. I wonder if they build them with Adirondack or German Spruce as an alternative to Sitka?

In My opinion, I don’t think any guitar other than a Martin style will be making it’s way into Bluegrass circles anytime soon and I believe it’s all because of looks and tradition. Oh, they’ll be a few, but I don’t see it really changing which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I was at Smoky Mountain Guitars about a year ago looking at different guitars: Collings, Bourgeois, Altman (which are fantastic), a couple I’d never heard of and some vintage Martins. I asked Dan why do all the builders copy Martin? Why don’t they make their own headstock and pickguards instead of copying Martin? His answer was simple: “Because that’s what everybody wants”. I left with a Collings.

Thanks for the post Jerry


Hi JW, they have completely redesigned these 800’s, new bracing, new finish, select woods and even the pick guard is Rosewood. The 810 is a Bluegrass Machine, sounds Nothing like the last years 800 series at all. New inlays and bindings as well.
I think Taylor is going to get noticed with these. Jerry

I forgot to mention JW if you go to they have the new 800’s and a video from Taylor about them. The wood thickness has also changed…Jerry

Sweetwater is only an hour and a half from home. I’m not really looking for a guitar right now (that was a joke) so I may have to take a little road trip and check one out and see how it compares to my '93 model.

Martin changed their D 18’s for the better, I wonder if this is kinda the same tactic. Whatever it is, it’s all good for us.

Wildwood Music in Coshocton (Roscoe Village) is one of the biggest Taylor dealers in the country. They’re also a huge Martin dealer. I may have to take a trip that direction too !

Thanks for the info.


JW, I think you will be impressed, Taylor is not known for Bluegrass sound but this new one will be, Taylor finally pulled their head out of the sand and woke up to the tone issue, they have more than any other builder made consistently quality guitars on a production basis but had the aura of Taylor bright!
Now this new guy they have building these has hit the mark and made the tone of primary importance. Let me know what you think…Jerry