Taylor’s Grand Symphony shape yields a beefy acoustic sound with extra low-end horsepower. Coupled with the package of tone-enhancing strokes brought to the maple/spruce 600 Series, players can expect impressive richness, volume and sustain.
Design nuances include a back bracing profile that’s optimized for maple and a special seasoning process for the spruce top called torrefaction to produce an aged tonal character with greater acoustic resonance and responsiveness. Protein glues and an ultra-thin gloss finish minimize tonal dampening.
A hand-rubbed “Brown Sugar” stain on the back and sides gives maple’s striking figure a beautiful violin-hued appearance without adding extra thickness to the finish.
Featured appointments include grained ivoroid Wings fretboard inlays, an inlaid ebony backstrap, ebony binding with ivoroid purfling, an ebony/ivoroid rosette, and a striped ebony pickguard, along with Taylor’s Expression System® 2 acoustic electronics.
The guitar features a Venetian cutaway and comes with a deluxe hardshell case.
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.
Maple Back & Sides
Maple has long been associated with a bright acoustic sound, but Taylor’s maple guitars are voiced to bring out greater warmth, richness and sustain. This broadens maple’s tonal range from a single-dimension sound to a more musical, more versatile voice.
Origin: Pacific Northwest
Used On: The 600 Series
Traditionally known for having a focused tone with a fast note decay that cuts through a mix, their maple guitars were revoiced for 2015 to produce greater warmth, complexity, volume, sustain and responsiveness, while retaining maple’s naturally clear, linear qualities.
The clarity of the high end is still there, but the bottom end has been extended. The result is a more multi-dimensional sound that gives players the kind of musical versatility of other classic tonewoods, making their maple models a compelling choice as a primary guitar, not just a stage guitar.
Taylor's maple guitars are voiced to be very reflective of the player’s technique, so a player with a dynamic playing style or someone who likes to vary their picking attack will appreciate how easily those playing nuances come through in the tonal response.
Goes Well With: Most playing applications. Taylor’s revoiced maple guitars respond well to a variety of playing styles and settings.
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.