The sonic power and depth of Taylor’s Grand Symphony body shape, especially in the lower mids, add girth and sustain to the overall voice.
The cutaway rosewood/spruce 416ce-R makes a bold strummer, yielding a full spectrum of sound with strong, sparkling treble richness, while the guitar’s responsiveness to a light touch rewards players with a dynamic range to explore.
Clean, modern appointments include crisp white binding, Italian acrylic dot fretboard inlays, and a three-ring rosette, with Taylor’s onboard Expression System® 2 acoustic electronics responding with a clear, natural amplified sound for performing or recording.
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.
Sitka Spruce Top
The most commonly used wood for guitar tops, Sitka generates a broad dynamic range and accommodates numerous playing styles, from aggressive strumming to fingerpicking.
Origin: Northwestern North America (Coastal Rainforests of Alaska and Canada)
As a guitar soundboard, or top, Sitka spruce is the tonewood standard of the modern era.
It’s used on 85-90 percent of the guitars that Taylor makes. Its combination of strength and elasticity translates into a broad dynamic range, yielding crisp articulation and allowing for everything from aggressive strumming and flatpicking to fingerpicking.
Sitka spruce is Bob Taylor’s personal favorite for an all-around great guitar.
Goes Well With: All styles of guitars and players.
Indian Rosewood Back & Sides
Indian rosewood’s sweeping frequency range at both ends of the tonal spectrum has made it one of the most popular and musically rich tonewoods. Its deep lows can assert a throaty growl, while bright, sparkling treble notes ring out with bell-like, high-fidelity clarity.
Origin: East India
Used On: The 700, 800, 900 Series Acoustic/Electrics, Acoustic 7, 8, & 9 Series, Laminate 200 Series
One of the most popular and traditional guitar woods of all time, rosewood takes the basic sonic thumbprint of mahogany (which has a strong midrange) and expands it in both directions.
Rosewood sounds deeper in the low end and brighter on the top end (one might describe the treble notes as zesty, sparkly or sizzly, with more articulation). If you look at its frequency range visually, rosewood would appear to be more scooped in the middle, yielding less midrange bloom than mahogany.
Like mahogany, rosewood’s vintage heritage has helped firmly establish its acoustic legacy. It’s a great sound in part because we know that sound. In some music circles in which preserving the traditional sound helps bring a sense of authenticity to the music — certain strains of Americana, for example — rosewood has an iconic status.
Also like mahogany, rosewood is a versatile tonewood, which has contributed to its popularity. One can fingerpick it, strum it and flatpick it. It’s very consistent, so players can usually rely on it to deliver.
Goes Well With: Most applications. If you like a guitar with fuller low end and brighter treble (bluegrassers, for instance), rosewood will do the trick. Its high-end sizzle and clear articulation will benefit players with “dark hands”. If you’re looking for a traditional acoustic sound, a rosewood Dreadnought or Grand Auditorium is right up your alley.
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.