Taylor’s 500 Series Dreadnoughts boast several uniquely compelling design features, including a slightly shorter 24-7/8-inch scale length and a V-carve neck with a slotted headstock. The result is an inviting handfeel with less string tension — making string bends fun — and matches up well with chord strummers and vocals.
The dynamic response of the Lutz spruce top works especially well with the dry, woody sound of mahogany, producing a balanced voice with crisp highs and soft lows.
With Taylor’s Performance bracing optimized for the Dreadnought shape and the model’s other features, the 510e makes a musically versatile instrument that blends well with other instruments, either unplugged or amplified with Taylor’s Expression System 2 electronics.
Dreadnought Body Size
Taylor’s Dreadnought captures the potent tone flatpickers and strummers love.
Body Width: 16" / Body Depth: 4 5/8" / Body Length: 20"
Designed for a hard picking attack
Deep low end with driving rhythms
Maintains overall tonal balance keeping the low end from getting "muddy"
The most traditional of guitar shapes, Bob Taylor has evolved the Taylor Dreadnought over time to honor its enduring sonic heritage yet also refine the look and sound into a more modern package.
The Taylor Dreadnought still boasts that powerful dreadnought tone that old school pickers expect, with deep lows and crisp highs, but with a voice that, like every Taylor, is more evenly balanced across the entire tonal spectrum.
Perhaps more than any other shape, the Dreadnought remains linked with roots music like bluegrass and folk, in part because of its traditional role in defining those sounds. Pickers and strummers with an aggressive attack will love the Dreadnought’s blend of power and articulation, which allows for clear lead lines and crisp, driving rhythms.
Taylor’s refined take on the classic Dreadnought shape produces a robust voice with low-end power, a snappy midrange, and strong, clear treble notes, retaining the essence of the balanced Taylor sound. The guitar will appeal to flatpickers and lovers of traditional guitar shapes and tones.
A traditional shape for flatpickers, refined for the modern era.
Lutz Spruce Top
A naturally occurring hybrid of Sitka and White spruce, Lutz blends the positive characteristics of Sitka and White spruce (and its close cousin, Engelmann spruce) with the robust tonal output of Adirondack spruce. It will respond well to a strong attack.
Origin: Northwestern North America
A naturally occurring hybrid of Sitka and White spruce, Lutz grows in climate zones between where Sitka and White spruce are found. (Sitka grows in more coastal areas, while White spruce thrives in interior regions.) Lutz has is considered very adaptive within those microclimates, which can yield properties that are superior to either species alone.
In terms of acoustic response, Lutz blends the positive characteristics of Sitka and White spruce and its close cousin, Engelmann spruce. The Lutz that Taylor uses for the 500 Series tends to exhibit characteristics of Adirondack spruce. The result is powerful sonic horsepower that translates into strong volume, projection and tonal richness.
Goes Well With: Most playing styles. Players with a lively attack will enjoy the tonal output and headroom.
Mahogany Back & Sides
Mahogany is known for its meaty midrange character, featuring a strong fundamental focus often described as “punchy,” “woody,” or “dry,” because it doesn’t produce a lot of ringing overtones. Mahogany’s earthy voice has been featured on many roots music recordings over the years.
Origin: Central and South America
Used On: The 500 Series, Acoustic 5 Series, LKSM
Mahogany is a good wood to anchor a discussion of tones, as a lot of other wood tones can be described in relation to it.
Its essential sonic profile is well represented in the midrange frequencies. Acoustic guitars in general tend to live in the midrange portion of the sound spectrum, but mahogany in particular displays a lot of midrange character.
That thick, present midrange sound is sometimes described in guitar circles as meaty, organic or even "chewy" wherever a player digs in on the fretboard, they're tapping into the core of the harmonic content of what a guitar produces.
Those great midrange frequencies produce overtones that stack up and produce bloom, giving the sound extra girth. When one hears the resulting harmonics, the "chewy" tone serves up a big mouthful of midrange. As a popular tonewood for many decades, mahogany has been used on scads of old school acoustic recordings, and that sonic heritage carries across various strains of roots music, from blues to folk to slack key.
Goes Well With: A broad range of players and musical styles; people who like a well-balanced tone, nice dynamic range and a healthy serving of overtones.
Blues and other rootsy players tend to respond well to mahogany's midrange character. A smaller body mahogany guitar (GC or GA) might appeal to fingerstyle players, whereas more aggressive flatpickers might opt for a mahogany Dreadnought or GS.
For versatility, a mahogany GA is a good bet. Because of mahogany’s midrange, a player with"dark hands" will tend to sound darker on a mahogany guitar. A bright player will sound slightly less bright.
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.