Fans of Hawaiian koa will love the look, feel and sound of this all-koa Grand Auditorium.
A shaded edgeburst elevates the vintage appeal of the solid koa top, which is paired with layered koa back and sides, while a gloss finish wraps the body in a rich sheen.
The Grand Auditorium’s musical versatility makes this a great all-purpose guitar for both strumming and fingerpicking, and the hardwood koa top will even out a lively attack to produce a focused, linear voice.
Player-friendly modern features include a cutaway and Taylor’s ES2 acoustic electronics.
Among the distinctive appointments are a single-ring faux pearl rosette in an interlocking “fishbone” pattern, black binding, Italian acrylic small diamond inlays, and chrome tuners.
The guitar ships in a Taylor deluxe hardshell case.
Grand Auditorium Body Size
A versatile guitar shape equally suited for fingerpicking and strumming.
Body Length: 20" / Body Width: 16" / Body Depth: 4-5/8"
An original Bob Taylor design introduced in 1994
Full in the lower register, present in the midrange, and sparkling on the treble strings
Taylor's signature shape embodies the ultimate all-purpose acoustic
Their most popular shape and a good place to begin your search
As Taylor's most popular and versatile body shape, the mid-size Grand Auditorium arrived in 1994 bearing refined proportions that fell between a Dreadnought and Grand Concert.
While the bigger Dreadnought was traditionally considered a flatpicker’s guitar and the smaller Grand Concert catered to fingerstylists, the GA was designed to deliver on both fronts.
The shape produced an original acoustic voice that was big enough to handle medium-strength picking and strumming, yet with impressive balance across the tonal spectrum, especially in the midrange, producing clear, well-defined notes that suited both strumming and fingerstyle playing.
The GA’s overall presence tracks well with other instruments both in a studio mix and on stage, and singer-songwriters have embraced its utility both for composing and traveling with one guitar.
Many people want a single guitar that can cover a variety of styles, which is why the GA continues to be Taylor's bestselling shape. If you want a great all-purpose guitar, the multi-dimensional GA won’t let you down.
Hawaiian Koa Top
A hardwood top such as koa produces a natural compression, so there tends to be more of a controlled, sustaining “roll-in” effect to a note. An all-koa guitar will produce strong fundamental focus, with a splash of top-end shimmer.
Origin: The Big Island of Hawaii
Used On: The Koa Acoustic and Acoustic/Electric Series
As a tropical hardwood, a koa top will initially project a bright and focused tone, especially together with koa back and sides, but as it's played, it matures into an increasingly warm, rich, sweet sound with healthy overtone "bloom," especially in the midrange.
A common mistake is when a "bright" player buys a koa-top guitar in part for its visual beauty, finds it to be too bright, and doesn't play it enough to allow the wood to develop its resonant tone.
Goes Well With: Fingerstylists who play more with the pads of their fingers and tend to have a meatier touch. Bright players need to be careful because of koa's existing brightness.
Layered Koa Back & Sides
Taylor’s layered backs and sides incorporate three layers of wood, featuring a middle core of poplar with a veneer on each side. While layered woods won’t produce quite as complex a sound as solid woods, they allow for exotic looks with climate-resilient construction.
Like Taylor’s other layered wood options, layered koa features an all-wood laminated construction, in this case with interior and exterior layers of beautifully-figured koa veneer separated by a middle core layer of poplar.
Though the tonal properties of layered wood aren’t as complex as solid wood, the construction method enables Taylor to conserve tonewood resources and offer attractive, durable instruments at a more inviting price.
A solid spruce top and Taylor craftsmanship ensure a clear, balanced tonal response.
Expression System 2 (ES2)
The Expression System® 2 captures more of a guitar’s dynamic properties using a breakthrough behind-the-saddle design
The Taylor Expression System® 2 (ES2) is a revolutionary pickup design that delivers the latest in Taylor’s ongoing innovation in acoustic guitar amplification.
The heart of the Expression System 2 is Taylor’s patented behind-the-saddle pickup, which features three uniquely positioned and individually calibrated pickup sensors. The location of the sensors enables a more dynamic range of acoustic sound to be captured than ever before.
Together with Taylor’s custom-designed “professional audio”-grade preamp, this system produces exceptional amplified tone and responsiveness. On stage through a PA, plugged into your favorite acoustic amplifier, or direct into recording software, the Expression System 2 faithfully conveys the voice of your Taylor guitar.
Behind the ES2 Design: Rethinking the Piezo Pickup
For decades, piezo-electric transducers have been positioned under the saddle of a guitar based on the long-held belief that the string and top vibration cause the saddle to “bounce” up and down. But Taylor’s electronics team, led by developer David Hosler, discovered that the vertical movement is actually heavily restricted, and that the saddle gets “locked down” due to the string tension’s downward pressure.
That’s why a traditional under-saddle pickup with piezo-electric crystals often responds with a sound often characterized as thin, brittle, brash or synthetic, especially with more aggressive playing.
The saddle’s natural range of movement as the guitar is being played is actually back and forth like a pendulum. That revelation led Taylor’s design team to relocate the crystals from under the saddle to behind it.
The new positioning enables the crystals to respond more naturally to the guitar’s energy as it is transferred through the saddle. Three pickup sensors are installed behind the saddle, through the bridge, with three tiny Allen screws that calibrate the position of the sensors in relation to the saddle.
Like the original Expression System, the ES2 features the same volume and tone control knobs. The preamp is similar but with a slightly different gain structure. As a result it will be about 25 percent hotter, which is more in line with other pickups. This makes it plug-and-play friendly both for artists and live sound mixers.