Taylor 110e Review (2017) – Why the Change to Walnut Back & Sides?

taylor 110e review

Taylor 110e Review (2017) – Why the Change to Walnut Back & Sides?

Taylor 110e Review (2017)

taylor 110-e reviewA lot of guitarists really dig Taylor guitars.

They’re well-known for their premium sound and build quality, and the Taylor 110e is no exception.

In this Taylor 110e review, I’ll explain how this dreadnought acoustic-electric guitar provides quality and value through its unique combination of sound, build and design elements. I’ll also detail the modifications Taylor made to the 110e for 2017, including the change to layered walnut back and sides.

It’s an excellent choice for both beginner and intermediate guitarists, but can be enjoyed by just about anyone.

And it’s the smartest way to get that Taylor tone.

Intro

The Taylor 110e acoustic-electric guitar is part of the Taylor 100 Series, and just another in a long line of high-quality Taylor guitars.

If you’re looking for the Taylor 110 acoustic guitar, please note that the 110e is the same guitar, just with added electronics to amplify the sound. The Taylor 110 is no longer in production, and may be harder to find as a result.

If you’re just starting out, the 110e would definitely make a great starter guitar – it’s got killer sound, a thin neck, and should be ready to play right out of the box.

Taylor guitars are considered easier to play for a beginner than some other guitar models due to the thin neck and low action. This model lets you play both acoustically, and plugged in when you require some extra volume.

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In a hurry? Click here to check out the Taylor 110e on Amazon right now.

You can click the box below to skip to a particular section, or just continue reading this Taylor 110e review.

Where is the Taylor 110e Made?

Taylor Guitars was established in 1974, and has become one of the top manufacturers of premium guitars in the world. They’re known for their innovative blend of modern technology and traditional guitar crafting, with an attention to detail that is second to none. Company founder Bob Taylor is well regarded throughout the guitar world as an innovator who consistently produces high-quality acoustic guitars.

Taylor guitars are manufactured in two places, either at their main factory in El Cajon, California, or at a second complex located in Tecate, Mexico.

The Sound and the Fury

The Taylor 110e is the smartest, cheapest way to experience that world-famous Taylor tone.

It’s got great playability and feel, with a robust sound that remains smooth even at increased volume. In fact, it’s got all the bases covered, with impressive low-end power, a punchy mid-range, and crisp highs.

The rich, balanced tone makes it great for recording, and it’s got powerful projection and volume for live performances.

The Taylor 110e has a solid Sitka spruce top with scalloped X-bracing, and layered walnut back and sides.

It can be used as a rhythm guitar, as it responds extremely well to flatpicking and light-to-heavy strumming. However, note that it may be a little weak when it comes to slide guitar.

The acoustic-electric electronics really make this guitar sing. The 110 sounded great as well, but it gets taken to another level with the 110e, where you’ll sound loud and clear without distortion or buzz. Of course, you can intentionally apply distortion with a pedal if you want to.

The addition of Walnut

In 2017, Taylor changed the wood used for the back and sides from laminate sapele over to layered walnut. They also made slight modifications to the design for increased dynamics.

Layered wood back and sides generally don’t have a major impact on tone, but some guitarists do feel that the walnut has introduced a subtle uptick in sound quality to the Taylor 110e. Walnut is a stiff, rigid wood, and helps provide added projection and crisper highs, along with a deeper, woody sound.

The use of walnut also changed the look, for the better: it’s a very pretty guitar.

Check out this YouTube video to listen to the Taylor 110e in action:

Check the current price of the Taylor 110e at Amazon.

Build and Design

The Taylor 110e is a full-sized dreadnought guitar with a high-quality build and varnish finish. Taylor only makes premium instruments, and it shows in the final product.

Taylor modified their dreadnought shape in 1997 to soften the curves at the top and bottom. In 2003, they added some refinements to the bracing. These changes increased the overall volume and bass response without sacrificing clarity or balance.

taylor 110e review

Photo by B Rosen under CC BY 2.0

The Taylor 110e is made with a solid Sitka spruce top, and layered walnut back and sides. It has a sapele neck and ebony fingerboard and bridge. The scale length is 25.5”, and it includes a Nubone nut and Tusq saddle, an adjustable truss rod and die-cast chrome tuners. The nut width of 1.68”.

For high-quality acoustic guitar construction and sound, a solid wood top is an essential ingredient for better tone and resonance.

Sitka spruce is a dense, straight-grain wood that is very strong, providing the type of vibration that leads to great sound quality. A solid wood top is the key ingredient of an acoustic guitar body that you don’t want to compromise on.

It’s great to have an acoustic guitar made of all solid wood when possible, but you rarely find that in guitars that cost under $1000.

If you’re going to compromise, doing so for the wood used on the back and sides of the guitar is the best way to do it.

In this case, the layered back and sides are a reasonable compromise, helping keep costs down and also giving the guitar extra resilience against excess humidity. Plus, there is more work involved in taking care of an all solid wood guitar in the long run.

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Features and Options

Taylor 110e

The 110e is a versatile guitar that can be used for basically any style of music, including contemporary, rock, bluegrass, jazz, folk, country and the blues.

taylor 110 acoustic guitar reviewThe 110e includes a built-in ES2 pickup located under the saddle, with volume, treble and bass controls on the side of the guitar, along with an onboard preamp. (Taylor upgraded their previous ES-T pickup system to the ES2 system in 2016).

The system is powered with a 9-volt battery, and is single-source with individual elements set up for each string, featuring dynamic response and custom-voiced EQ.

The pickup also has a feedback control Phase Switch inside the soundhole. Any time you experience excess feedback, you simply reach in and flick the switch to the other position.

The action on this guitar is purposely set low at the factory, and can be played right out of the box. The neck is thinner and narrower than many other guitars in this price range, including the Seagull S6.

Taylor 110

As mentioned, the 110 is the exact same acoustic guitar as the 110e, but without the added electronics. It is no longer in standard production at Taylor, and as a result can be difficult to find.

Taylor 110ce

The 110ce is essentially the same guitar as the 110e, but with a Venetian cutaway providing a little easier access to the higher frets.

Taylor 110 vs 114

Taylor 114ce – Click Pic to Check Price on Amazon

As mentioned, the 110/110e model is a full size dreadnought shape. The Taylor 114 model uses the Grand Auditorium body shape instead. Some people find Grand Auditorium guitars a little easier to play, and they may produce a slightly less strong bass response. Overall, the sound and tone will still be very similar.

Taylor 114ce

The Taylor 114ce is also an acoustic-electric guitar, incorporating the Grand Auditorium body shape of the 114 model. It has a Venetian cutaway, and includes the same layered walnut back and sides and ES2 electronics found on the Taylor 110e.

Taylor 114e

The 114e is the same guitar as the 114ce, but without the cutaway.

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Pros

  • cheapest way to experience that Taylor tone
  • great sound across the board, with strong bass, crisp mid-range, and clear high-end sound
  • play acoustically, or amplify your sound
  • beautiful guitar
  • solid Sitka spruce top
  • sound quality will continue to improve as the wood in the top matures
  • great playability and feel
  • can be used for recording and live performances
  • quality pickup and preamp
  • useful gig bag included

Cons

  • tonal quality is lacking slightly compared to higher-end Taylor models
  • while the finish is good, it’s improved upon slightly in the Taylor 200 Series
  • may be a little weak for slide guitar

What is the Taylor 110e Price?

The price of the Taylor 110e usually comes in somewhere around $700. This includes the guitar and electronics, along with a free gig bag. The Taylor 110e comes equipped with Taylor’s ES2 pickup/preamp, which is an upgrade over the previous ES-T system.

The gig bag isn’t just a throw-in either, it’s a quality guitar bag with a surprising amount of padding that you will actually want to use. Plus, it looks cool.

Who Should Get a Taylor 110e?

It’s a good match for a guitarist looking for an acoustic-electric guitar with rich, balanced sound, that unique Taylor tone and strong projection. Taylor guitars aren’t cheap, but the 110e is Taylor’s entry-level offering and still a premium instrument.

If the Taylor 110e is out of your price range, consider a Yamaha FG830 instead.

Verdict

In terms of overall value, this just might be the best Taylor guitar for the money on the market today.

Certainly there are improvements to be found in Taylor’s 200 and 300 Series, but with guitars the law of diminishing returns kicks in as the price goes up. You may get a 5-15% increase in sound and tone quality, but at twice the price. Whether that’s worth it or not depends on your ears, and your wallet.

taylor guitars reviewPeople who have been playing guitar for many years will more easily notice these slight upticks in sound quality, and if you’ve played many acoustic and electric guitars over the years and really want to take a step up, you may want to consider the Taylor 310 instead.

But if you’re just starting out, need a quality acoustic-electric guitar, or want access to that Taylor sound without spending a fortune, the Taylor 110e is a perfect fit.

The sound, tone and projection that comes out of this guitar is fantastic.

And the electronics take it to another level. You can play acoustic guitar, or amp up when you need more volume and projection.

It also has a beautiful, stylish look.

Whether you just want to play a few songs in your bedroom, do some recording, play to a live audience, or wake up the neighbors, the Taylor 110e is versatile enough to handle any of these situations with ease.

(Note: We don’t actually recommend using this guitar to wake up your neighbors. At least not very often. We’re sure they’re very nice people once you get to know them).

Final Word: The Smart Way to Get That Taylor Tone.

Check Out the Taylor 110e on Amazon.

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