Taylor's 600 series acoustic guitars are an excellent option for any guitar shopper. Almost always a maple-backed guitar throughout Taylor's history, these underrated acoustics appeal to many, and for good reason. And Taylor's recent redesign of this series has arguably birthed the best maple guitar ever.
Keep reading for an in depth breakdown of these guitars, and don't forget to check them out on our website!
Pictured is the 614ce ! Click on a photo for a hi-res version!
Taylor's 600 series models were offered right alongside the 800, 700, and 500 series, even from early on in their history. You may have seen Lemon Grove or Santee crafted '80s and '90s examples with warm amber tinted, figured maple backs and sides, or pale, simple, and classy naturally finished woods. While maple guitars historically are known for having a bright, slightly scooped tonal profile with not a ton of low end, (and thus appealed to more of a niche market), Taylor's 2015 redesign made maple great again.
2015 Redesign Features
Following the wildly successful new versions of the 800 series guitars, the 600 series was on deck. Taylor redefined what a maple guitar can sound like, while catering to Bob Taylor's penchant for sustainability.
Optimized features for the 600 series guitars included:
Like the 800 series, these 600's used the new Advanced Performance Bracing. These special patterns were specifically catered to each body shape, not lazy "catch-all" patterns. Andy Powers went a step further with these guitars as well, redesigning the side and back bracing - a big factor in the elevated "new-look" maple tones you hear from these guitars. The Relief Rout was also used - a small groove channeling the edge of the top to allow for more top vibration without compromising structural integrity.
2018 V-Class Upgrade: In 2018, Andy Powers is at it again, this time revolutionizing guitar bracing! New 614ce models (and eventually all shapes) will ship with V-Class bracing - A shape that uses a large V, inspired by a wave crashing against a jetty that Andy experienced one surf-filled morning. V-Class bracing offers the perfect hybrid of rigidity (volume) and resonance (sustain) - two important buzz words that were always difficult to equally idealize without one negatively impacting the other. V-Class solves this and more - it also optimizes intonation too!
While figured Maple is the at the forefront here, the new 600 series guitars also boast new Torrefied Spruce tops. Torrefaction is a roasting process that accelerates tonewood aging - creating a broken-in, warmer tone, reminiscent of a vintage guitar. Right of the box, you have a guitar that feels like you've known it forever.
The new 600 series guitars boast striped ebony pickguards, a Brown Sugar back and sides stain, new grained ivoroid inlays, ebony/ivoroid binding and purfling, a Paua/ebony/ivoroid rosette, and an inlaid ebony headstock stinger.
Protein glue is featured on these 600 series guitars. This animal based glue is used for all the important tonewood joints, and helps create a more resonant, "one-piece" guitar, as opposed to synthetic glues.
Finish & Wood Thickness
Like the 800 series offerings, Taylor also uses a thinner finish on these new models, as well as wood thicknesses specifically engineering for each body shape. The thin finish marries open and woody tones with good protection for your instrument, and the properly cut tonewoods help each guitar shape perform as perfectly as possible.
With exotic, tropical, and foreign wood supplies diminishing, the guitar industry is in for a rough future ride. Maple, on the other hand, is an ultra-plentiful North American tonewood that is easy to harvest and sustain. Bob Taylor has been a staunch supporter of wood sustainability, and putting maple back on the map as a worthy, far from niche tonewood, is an important notch in the "sustain-i-belt."
New 600 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.
Hear One in Action!