Taylor GS8 Acoustic Guitar - Review
Review, specifications and similar instruments available for this incredible acoustic guitar.
- Guitar Specifications
- Similar Guitars
Type/Shape: 6-String Grand Symphony
Back & Sides: East Indian Rosewood
Top: Sitka Spruce
Soundhole Rosette: Abalone
Neck: Tropical American Mahogany
Fretboard: Ebony with Binding
Fretboard Inlay: Abalone Position Markers
Headstock Overlay: Ebony
Nut & Saddle: Tusq
Tuning Machines: Gold-plated Taylor Tuners
Strings: Elixir Medium Gauge Strings with Nanoweb Coating
Scale Length: 25-1/2 Inches
Truss Rod: Adjustable
Neck Width at Nut: 1-3/4 Inches
Number of Frets: 20
Fretboard radius: 15 inches
Bracing: Standard II (Forward Shifted Pattern W/Relief Rout)
Finish: Gloss Natural
Body Width: 16-1/2 Inches
Body Depth: 4-5/8 inches
Body Length: 20 inches
Overall Length: 40-1/2 inches
Case: Grand Symphony Deluxe Hardshell
Taylor GS8 MSRP: $2,998.00 (incl. Hardshell Case)
Warranty: Limited Lifetime
This Grand Symphony guitar introduced by Taylor is their first new guitar shape in thirty years. It took a long time but they did it right!
The Taylor GS8 guitar is at the top of the heap. It has rich deep tones and lots of sustain. Playability is incredible and once you pick one up you won't be able to put it down.
Indian Rosewood back and sides
- Solid Sitka spruce top
Abalone soundhole rosette
- Ebony fretboard
Abalone dot inlays
- Limited lifetime warranty
The Taylor GS8 is one of my favorite acoustic guitars of all time and there are several reasons for that.
The GS is one of the more resent shapes that have been produced by the folks at Taylor Guitar and at first glance it resembles their Grand Auditorium shaped guitar or the "GA".
Upon closer inspection though you will find out that the body is slightly larger, being about 1/4 to 3/8" larger on the lower bout. Also, another signification change is that the waist was shifted slightly forward, which gives much more volume to the lower bout of the guitar and is responsible in part for the augment tone and volume of this guitar.
The appointments of the Taylor GS8 are very subtle, yet properly introduced in significant areas, such as the abalone used in the rosette and abalone position dots in the ebony fretboard.
Indian Rosewood back and side sets are hard to beat, when used on a quality acoustic guitar, and the Taylor GS8 reinforces that opinion again. The beauty of the dark brown to burgundy colored grain pattern is stunning on this guitar and the high-gloss finish that Taylor uses really brings out the coloration and grain pattern
Taylor has brought their forward shifted X-bracing to this model and placed it on a Master Grade Sitka Spruce top for this guitar. The Taylor GS8 that I played had a bit of cross-grain in the top and I love to see that, not only for the appearance but it is a significant clue that this top was sawn perfectly quarter-sawn and without run-out.
If you do plan on playing this guitar with a flatpick, you should strongly consider adding a pickguard. i would add a wooden one made of Indian Rosewood, to match the back and sides and you would have a beautiful addition to this fine guitar.
When you first pick up this guitar, you will note the larger body style when compared to the Grand Auditorium. You will also note the difference in tone.
The Taylor GS8 has a much deeper tone, with more sustain that does the GA. I absolutely love it for fingerstyle guitar because of the balanced tone it exhibits both between individual strings and up and down the neck. There are no 'dead zones' on this guitar!
Flatpicking is equally impressive on the Taylor GS8. Again the tone is even when playing passages up and down the neck and the bass in never too overpowering.
I do love the Elixir Nanoweb Strings that are shipped standard with this guitar. I have graduated to Elixir Strings and for some of my guitars I will not use anything else but.
I loved the action of the Taylor GS8 just the way it was shipped. I would not change a thing and that is very rare for me. I believe the only other time that I could boast this was with fine handmade instruments.
Checking out the harmonics and intonation was no surprise either. Everything check out perfectly.
While I would use this the Taylor GS8 as a fingerstyle guitar, it certainly would be a strong performer in the flatpick guitar arena as well. With the strong and balanced tone that this guitar exhibits it makes for a fine flatpick instrument.
One thing it does lack is a pickguard. If you plan on using this guitar for flatpicking and flatpick rhythm, I would strongly recommend a pickguard - a wood pickguard would be my choice.
Taylor's luthier's are very skilled craftsmen and the care and quality with which the Taylor GS8 guitar was put together was evident. Details are all crisp and clean and joints are solid and very durable.
I'm a always impressed in the care and quality that Taylor spends inside the guitar too. It is often the things that you don't see that are the most important. Run your finger inside a Taylor GS8 and you will find smooth, well shaped braces that are skillfully placed and carefully cleaned and prepared.
This guitar was put together in a humidity controlled atmosphere and you should keep it in that same type of atmosphere to minimize cracking or wood movement. A good humidifier for your room or home and guitar case is essential to minimize repair bills.
Be sure to visit our page on Guitar Humidity Control for detail information of keeping your guitar in tip-top shape during the dry winter months.
Be sure to register your Taylor GS8. If you treat your guitar right you will be able to keep it in great playing condition for a long time. The biggest enemy of a hollow body acoustical guitar is the lack or the excess of humidity in the air. If you develop problems, a Taylor repair center will take care of you.
The Taylor GS8 features one of the Taylor's newest sized guitars and it is a winner. Actually this is the first new shape introduced by them in about 30 years.
It most closely matches the Taylor GA or Grand Auditorium model and is only about 1/4" larger in size at the lower bout. The body length and depth are virtually identical to the GA, but it is amazing how much different this guitar sounds that the GA!
The tone of the Taylor GS8 is deep, well-balanced and a joy to play. In fact you may have trouble putting it down - it is that good.
Complementing the robust bass from the GS body, volume and low-end sustain are full, rich mids and clear, balanced highs. The GS is a unique sound and a new dimension in Taylor tone.
Bottom line: Are you an advanced intermediate or a pro player? Then this guitar is for you. I have to regrets at placing this guitar at the very top of my list of guitars that is a 'must have'. About the only guitar that will top it is a quality built handmade instrument. For that you will pay up to 4 times more money, or have to make one yourself.
Are you interested in making your own GS8? Visit our Plan Shop, purchase our detailed plans and make your very own! (Special note: As of this writing plans are in progress and we will introduce them very shortly)
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