Taylor 100 series acoustic guitars are one of the the most affordable "full-size" Taylor offerings. Just like the 200 series, solid woods are replaced with layered laminates, aesthetics and appointments are scaled down, and a different finish is used. But these budget friendly offerings still ooze classic Taylor tone, and have their own unique vibe.
Pictured is the 114e- with layered walnut back and sides. Click on a photo for a hi-res version!
Taylor 100 Series acoustics were introduced in the mid '00s. Just like their 200 series cousins, they utilized solid spruce tops, but this time with laminate sapele back and sides, and full satin/varnish body finishes, helping them to come in at even lower price points. 100 series guitars are available in Grand Auditorium shapes, (114e, 114ce), Dreadnought shapes (110e, 110ce,) a Nylon String 114ce-N, and the very popular 150e 12-String.
Like every other Taylor series, the 100 series has received a recent facelift! Along with the new layered wood construction, new 100 series acoustic guitars now use walnut for the back and sides, and feature the ES2 pickup of it's more expensive family members.
Taylor sought to change the laminate wood landscape. Their new layered wood back and sides are set to do just this. Inside of just a thin veneer that may or may not be visually appealing, a core layer of poplar (not a cheapo tonewood) is surrounded by a pair of walnut veneers. Taylor will admit that the tone of a layered wood is not quite as complex as a solid wood, but they are visually appealing and beat out most other laminates on the market. And of course, the price is much more inviting!
100 series guitars original used sapele, a close cousin to mahogany, for the back and sides, but walnut is the features on the latest models. It boasts a similar tonal profile to koa, somewhat bright, but with a bit more midrange presence. As always the 100 series guitars feature solid spruce tops as well.
100 Series Guitars use "Classic X" bracing. It's name speaks for itself in some ways, as it's based on the century old X brace pattern, with a bit of Taylor flare. These braces are scalloped and forward shifted to allow for more top vibration.
Taylor uses a special varnish finish on the 100 series instruments. It's a simple matte style finish which leaves many open pores in the wood, and is not as thick or protective as a gloss finish. But, it has it's own tonal profile, generally creating a bit more resonance or "openness".
Simple black and white bindings and rosette are complimented by Italian acrylic dot inlays to create a stripped down appointment package with plenty of class.
New 100 series models include the Expression System 2 preamp and pickup system. Not quite an "under-the-saddle" pickup, the revolutionary ES2 system is placed behind the saddle. Taylor discovered that the saddle doesn't really move vertically when the guitar is played, but in a pendulum like motion, so an under the saddle pickup wasn't receiving tonal pleasing vibrations. ES2 boasts three carefully positioned sensors with allen screw adjustments, and an audiophile grade preamp with slightly more headroom than the original Expression System.
Taylor NT Neck:
The NT neck has long been one of Taylor's crowning achievements. Introduced in 1999, it solves a pair of the most long-standing acoustic guitar problems ever - neck angle and 14th fret hump. With a traditional set neck, it's just a foregone conclusion that one day, it will require an expensive neck reset, and because the fingerboard extension is usually glued directly to the top (which is constantly moving) it will eventually shift and cause a hump/crooked angle, when compared to the neck angle before the neck meets the body.
Taylor's NT neck is made from 1 piece of wood that extends all the way up to the 19th fret - including the fingerboard extension, so no part of the neck is impacted by top movement and it's completely secure. The neck joint itself is also proprietary - it's easy to remove and action can be set with spacers. There's a perfect neck angle for each guitar and each set of wood, and the NT neck allows these precise adjustments to occur like no other.