With Taylor’s baritone guitar design, the combination of Taylor's robust Grand Symphony body, 27-inch scale length, and B tuning (a fourth below a standard guitar) gives players an inviting platform to explore its deep, rich musical register.
On this limited edition model, the pairing of blackwood and mahogany makes a winning tonewood combination because the natural tonal properties of the woods together help preserve focus and clarity, which can be harder to articulate in a guitar with a lower-register voice.
For a guitar that by definition might seem to be more of a specialty instrument, its utility and versatility may surprise you. You can sing your favorite songs and hit notes that might otherwise be hard to reach — all without the need to transpose or retune.
The baritone also makes a wonderful textural complement together with another guitar, allowing you to play bass parts or chord voicing variations with a pleasing mix of depth and shimmer.
On this 6-string edition, players can expect plenty of warm, husky tonal character with a pleasing balance across the tonal spectrum.
The appointment package falls in line with Taylor's standard 326e, including an all satin-finish body, shaded edgeburst top, and black pickguard for a dark, vintage look.
Plugged in, the Expression System 2 pickup captures the baritone’s rich voicing nuances with inspiring depth and definition for live performance.
Grand Symphony Body Size
This strong Taylor strummer produces a rich, bold voice.
Body Length: 20" / Body Width: 16-1/4" / Body Depth: 4-5/8"
Designed by Bob Taylor in 2006
Rich, piano-like bass, strong midrange, and thick trebles
Strong volume when strumming or flatpicking, and responsive clarity with a light attack
The Grand Symphony shape joined the line in 2006 and delivers a rich, powerful acoustic voice. Think of it as a Grand Auditorium with a turbo boost, thanks to expanded physical dimensions, including a slightly wider waist and a bigger lower bout.
Strummers and pickers with a driving attack will love the fullness, volume and sustain. Yet for such a robust voice, the GS is also clear and responsive to fast picking runs or a light fingerstyle touch, so if you’re a dynamic player, this shape is a true contender.
The big voice doesn’t come at the expense of balance. The piano-like bass, meaty midrange, and thick, shimmering highs blend seamlessly. These traits also make the GS a great vehicle for 12-Strings. If you like a lush, potent guitar tone that has the horsepower to compete with other acoustic cannons out there, the GS shape is a worthy choice.
With a slightly larger footprint than the Grand Auditorium, the GS yields a slightly more potent and dynamic all-around sound. Players can expect deeper bass, thicker trebles, and increased volume and low-end sustain, all without disrupting the tonal balance and clarity of the guitar.
As a top wood, mahogany produces a natural compression, so it won’t yield as quick a response as a spruce-top guitar will. A mahogany-top guitar will produce strong fundamentals, with clear and direct focus. It might be characterized as having a woody, dry tone.
Origin: Central and South America
A hardwood top with more density than spruce or cedar
The stiffness initially yields a bright tone that gradually gets deeper
Used On: GS Mini Mahogany, Baby Mahogany, Limited Editions, Custom Guitars
Harder, denser woods like mahogany and koa that are used on the back and sides of a guitar are sometimes used as tops. Their stiffness initially translates into a slightly brighter tone, but the more a mahogany-top guitar is played the more it develops overtones that contribute to a fuller, richer sound.
A mahogany-top guitar might appeal to rootsy players who like a little extra punchiness in their tone.
Goes Well With: Blues and roots players, anyone who likes an slightly more burly or punchy quality to their tone.
Tasmanian Blackwood Back & Sides
Blackwood’s tone profile resembles that of koa or mahogany in its midrange focus — a little dry and clear yet also warm — with an added splash of top-end shimmer and richness found in rosewood. Its musicality suits a variety of body sizes and musical styles.
Used On: 300 Series, Limited Editions, Custom Models
Tasmanian blackwood is an acacia wood species that is sometimes compared to Hawaiian koa, another acacia species. Its tonal range is similar to both koa and mahogany, featuring a strong midrange focus that is dry, clear and warm, with a splash of top-end shimmer and richness comparable to Indian rosewood.
The overall volume and projection are strong. Blackwood also is sourced from forests that are responsibly managed, making it a sustainable wood for guitar making.
Goes Well With: Different playing styles, depending on the body style and top pairing. A cedar top will help bring out a springy, woody, warm low end with a rich overtone complement that fingerstylists may really enjoy.
Stronger strummers and flatpickers will match up well with a bigger body and might be better suited with a spruce top.
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.