Gear Review: Not Your Typical Taylor Guitar the AD27e Flametop

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

As a writer, collector, and player what’s fun about having Andy Powers leading the creative charge at Taylor guitars is that you never know what to expect next, but definitely not the ordinary. 

Case in point is the newly released Taylor AD27e Flametop acoustic-electric guitar in Woodsmoke finish. If it didn’t have the inlayed Taylor logo on the headstock and the standard headstock design, you wouldn’t know that it was a part of their American Dream Series of working-class instruments. Built around the Grand Pacific body shape it has a flame maple top, back, and sides, with V-bracing on the inside. The satin finish over the rustic look gives this guitar vintage and worn-in feel and look.  The AD27e doesn’t have the typical Taylor mid frequencies that you expect from their guitars. The tones are more subdued and softer really lending themselves to singer/songwriters looking for a unique sound. Even the neck is made of maple and topped with a eucalyptus fingerboard. 

Taylor specifically chose D ’Addario’s nickel bronze strings to enhance the mellow played in tonality.  Unplugged I felt that our review guitar had a rawer sound when I strummed it, which I liked.  Plugged in the ES2 electronics allow you to tweak the sound to your personal preference, but the AD27e sounds most at home when it is a bit more rugged and on the edge.  The standard Taylor nickel machine heads and Tusq nut and saddle keep the tuning and intonation spot on. The round edges on the top and back keep your arm or body from encountering any sharp edges when playing it and the shaded edge burst adds to the worn vibe. 

What’s great about the American Dream series is that you get a guitar that is designed to be played, not looked at and admired. The cosmetics are minimal, but the tonal areas are enhanced for true players that care about that the most. This guitar will not appeal to some Taylor guitar purists, but that’s okay too because it really wasn’t designed for them. 

The AD27e Flametop, like the rest of the American Dream series, was created to be a profound musical tool that gets played and used frequently. The street price is $2,199 for the Taylor AD27e Flametop and it includes a soft bag, Taylor Aerocase. I predict that this will be a very popular acoustic guitar model for the company, but not for their usual patrons. Play the new AD27e Flametop for yourself and see what you think of their new offering. Taylor continues to push boundaries with their American Dream Series and this model fits right in.

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