Guitar Magazine


We sometimes wonder where Andy Powers gets the energy. In between surfing, hiking, parenting, playing guitar to a world-class standard and displaying expert knowledge of everything from carpentry to avocado cultivation, Taylor’s resident polymath somehow finds the time to continue to push boundaries in mainstream guitar making.

It’s at the Builder’s Edition level that many of Powers’ innovations first appear, subsequently trickling down to more affordable price-points in the Taylor catalogue. For 2020, the Builder’s Edition Collection is expanded with a quartet of new guitars and here we’re taking a close look at the 816ce – a Grand Symphony model with some striking design elements – and the 324ce, a stage-ready Grand Auditorium in a courageously unusual wood combination for a brave new decade.


Back in the day, one of the first and longest-running handmade acoustic guitar festivals took place on a biannual basis in Healdsburg, California. Here, luthiers who specialised in exquisite bespoke instruments would gather to exhibit their latest creations with price tags often in five and even six figures.

With this festival came the phenomenon known as the ‘Healdsburg Special’ – a guitar bristling with every modern handmade luthiery flourish known to man, from body bevels and fanned multi-scale fretboards to exotic bracing solutions and soundports (often with little trapdoors)

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