I really like acoustic guitars and I have a few. If you’re like me, maybe you are too. One of the most interesting features I find about acoustic instruments is the variation that there can be between manufacturers and models. This is something that immediately struck me when I got the chance to play Taylor’s new AD22e American Dream electro-acoustic. There’s a lot to like about it, but the way it fills the unique space for a versatile, compact instrument and its great tone makes it a guitar you should check out.
Here are the basics: First, the AD22e was designed and manufactured right here in the USA. It features a fully solid construction with a visually striking mahogany top and sapele body. This combination of woods, along with a diminutive body style and advanced design are responsible for the very clear sound and resonant tone of the AD22e. The body is Grand Concert style with a body length of 19 1/2 “, a width of 15” and a depth of 4 3/8 “, which you will find slightly smaller than a Taylor’s Grand Auditorium. This is the smallest of Taylor’s full-size body shapes with a 24.875 ″ scale and tapered waist making it a comfortable instrument with easy hooping, its sound doesn’t disappoint. In fact, the smallest footprint serves to control harmonics during full strumming, contributing to a focused, articulate sound with a punchy midrange that records well. The solid midrange and playability of the AD22e make this guitar particularly well suited for fingerstyle playing. With its slightly more body. small, the sound is more intimate, but with a clarity and balance that players will appreciate and can use to create their own sound.
Prime woods are what make a guitar sound unique, but only describing the AD22e by wood selection would do it a disservice and only tell part of the story. Construction and design play a huge role in both the sound and playability of a guitar, but also its stability. If you want your guitar to last and be reliable, look inside the soundhole.
Inside the AD22e, you’ll find it’s beefed up with Taylor’s V-Class brace. Properly designed and installed bracing increases volume, improves sustain and balances sound for the best possible playing experience. Taylor has worked hard over the past few years to perfect designs that blend the traditional sounds guitarists crave with modern improvements that make instruments even more valuable. The result can be seen in Taylor’s V-Class bracing system which offers benefits beyond the more traditional X-bracing. The advanced designs not only achieve great sounds, but also more stable and performing instruments. The AD22e is a prime example.
Taylor guitars have always been preferred for live performance and the AD22e is responsibly equipped with the Taylor Expression System 2 (ES2) to give it the most realistic sound on stage or for direct recording. What you won’t find on guitars from other manufacturers is the ES2 pickup behind the saddle. A big improvement over traditional under-saddle pickups, the ES2 is truly three uniquely positioned and individually calibrated pickup pickups that are designed and installed by the people at Taylor who are most familiar with guitar design. The three pickup sensors are installed behind the saddle, through the bridge, with three small Allen screws that calibrate the position of the sensors relative to the saddle. The precise location of the sensors helps capture the most dynamic range of acoustic sound. Sound captured in the saddle passes through Taylor’s custom-designed professional-grade preamp, producing clear sound ready to be recorded or amplified on stage. If you’ve been recently impressed by the sound of a Taylor guitar on stage, chances are you’ve heard the ES2 in action.
Three discreet but easily accessible tone control knobs allow simple and precise control of the AD22e electronics. After insisting on EQ boxes and external preamps, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the variation in tone you can get with the ES2 knobs for adjusting bass, treble, and volume. All three controls have a notch (small bump) that marks the center position, so without looking down – and even in the dark – you can get settled in quickly. For bass and treble, the center position indicates “off” or “flat” mode. The center point of the volume knob indicates half of the highest output volume. The volume is conveniently located closest to the front of the guitar, with the treble in the center position and the bass closer to the rear.
Its size, body shape, and overall understated beauty are, of course, appealing, as is the ability to plug it in and have great sound on stage. But what I like most about the AD22e is the way it “speaks”. As I said, this guitar offers players an excellent overall sound with a solid midrange that allows it to articulate a stimulating melodic line, cut into an acoustic ensemble, or flavor an audio mix.
Bottom line: The AD22e strikes a great balance of playability, comfort, and sound that really sets it apart.
A padded and fitted Aero holster with back straps, a handle and a convenient front pocket is included. You can find the Taylor AD22nd American Dream at the Guitar Center for $ 1,599.00.