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Guide to the Taylor Guitar Line

Taylor Guitars | Acoustic Guitars

Taylor Guitars • Posted on 08/09/2019 • 5 min read

Known for their innovations in acoustic guitar design and for building their instruments with sustainable materials, Taylor Guitars offers a wide range of guitar options. The Taylor line is organized by series, with each series distinguished by a combination of tonewoods and aesthetic details. Whether you’re a budding player, a seasoned pro, or somewhere in between, there’s a Taylor for every musical style. Here’s a quick guide to the line, starting with Taylor’s five acoustic body shapes, followed by a breakdown of the tonewoods within each series.

Taylor Acoustic Body Shapes

A fundamental contributor to an acoustic guitar’s sound is the shape of its body. The soundbox serves as the amplifier for acoustic sound, and changing the dimensions of that acoustic chamber has a significant impact on the tone of the guitar. (Think of the air inside the guitar body as the guitar’s lung capacity.) Likewise, body shape affects the player’s comfort—smaller guitars may be more comfortable for some players, while others prefer the feel of a larger instrument. Some body shapes include unique features that set them apart from the acoustic mainstream, such as V-Class bracing, Taylor’s innovative interior bracing pattern that powers their Grand Auditorium, Grand Concert and Grand Pacific guitars to louder volume and greater sustain.

Here’s the rundown on Taylor’s body shapes, from smallest to largest.

Grand Concert

The smallest full-size body shape offered by Taylor, the Grand Concert’s compact frame and shorter scale length places it near the range of a parlor guitar with a sound more reminiscent of a larger instrument. With a narrower body span that sits comfortably in the lap of virtually any player, the Grand Concert is an inviting shape that produces surprisingly powerful sound, with projection and sustain that would feel impressive for a larger guitar of lesser quality. They’re perfect for fingerstyle players looking for an articulate, touch-responsive instrument, or for strummers looking for a comfortable guitar for accompaniment or other applications. It’s also the body style for Taylor’s 12-fret guitars, which feature a slightly shifted bridge position that opens up the midrange tones and creates a more relaxed hand feel.

You’ll know a Grand Concert shape by the 2 at the end of the model number.

Grand Auditorium

The Grand Auditorium is an original Bob Taylor design and one of the company’s most influential innovations. With a narrower waist than you’ll find on dreadnought-style guitars and a lower bout shaped to enhance warmth and clarity, the Grand Auditorium is Taylor’s most popular body shape, at least partly because of its versatility—its balanced, articulate sound allows individual notes to shine and sparkle while chords resonate with enough focus to stand at the front of any mix. The Grand Auditorium’s player-friendly design and genre-crossing tone makes it an ideal choice for almost any guitar player, regardless of style.

Grand Auditorium guitars are denoted by the 4 at the end of the model number.

Grand Pacific

Taylor’s latest body shape to be introduced to the lineup, the Grand Pacific is a round-shoulder dreadnought that contrasts sharply with the vibrant, well-defined tonal character associated with Taylor, and embodied in the Grand Auditorium. The Grand Pacific hearkens back to classic acoustic recordings from decades gone by, and its warm, seasoned tone features broader notes that blend and overlap smoothly. Voiced with Taylor’s V-Class bracing for enhanced volume and sustain, Grand Pacific guitars offer players a new kind of sound both within the Taylor line and the dreadnought category as a whole.

Find Grand Pacific guitars by looking for a 7 at the end of the model number.

Grand Symphony

The Grand Symphony body style bridges the gap between the larger jumbo-style guitars and the traditional dreadnought shape. A wide lower bout adds bass response and warmth, making it perfect for strummers or fingerstyle players looking for an instrument with enough volume to keep them at the top of the mix. It’s also the shape used in Taylor’s scaled-down GS Mini guitar.

Grand Symphony guitars have a 6 at the end of the model number.

Grand Orchestra

Finally, the Grand Orchestra is Taylor’s forward evolution of the classic Jumbo shape. Its large body makes it a cannon of a guitar, with plenty of volume and enough headroom that you can really dig in and maintain all the musical clarity you need. Perfect for strummers and solo players, the Grand Orchestra’s powerful low-end response is sure to dazzle any audience.

You’ll know a Grand Orchestra by the 8 at the end of the model number.

Taylor Acoustic Guitar Tonewoods by Series

Tonewoods provide the seasoning that flavors the sound of an acoustic guitar. While the body shape is an important factor in a guitar’s tone, its materials add color and character to the sound, elevating certain frequencies and damping others, producing overtones and the harmonic content that makes a guitar truly unique. Here’s how Taylor’s acoustic lineup shakes out by series, which are each distinguished by tonewood selection and aesthetic details (such as inlays, binding and other appointments).

  • Academy Series
    • Solid spruce top with layered sapele back and sides
    • Student-focused guitars designed to provide a budget-friendly entry to the Taylor line
  • GS Mini
    • Spruce, mahogany, or koa top with layered walnut, mahogany, or koa back and sides
    • Compact ⅞-scale guitars with robust tone, perfect for jam sessions, practicing on the couch, and even performing onstage.
  • 100 Series
    • Solid spruce top with layered walnut back and sides
    • Excellent resonance and a smooth feel make this a great choice for beginners or experienced players looking to upgrade on a budget
  • 200 Series
    • Solid spruce top with choice of layered koa, rosewood, or sapele
    • Option to add koa top or layered maple back and sides on Deluxe models
    • Bright, clear tone with plenty of low-end response for a balanced, performance-ready guitar
  • 300 Series
    • Made with Sitka spruce with sapele OR blackwood with mahogany
    • Focused midrange with high-end shimmer is extremely versatile
  • 400 Series
    • Sitka spruce with rosewood or ovangkol
    • Wide range of tones with a rich, dynamic response
  • 500 Series
    • Mahogany back and sides with spruce, mahogany, or cedar top
    • Punchy mids and a dry, focused response create a warm, clear sound
  • 600 Series
    • Torrefied Sitka spruce with maple back and sides
    • A responsive, articulate tone that’s great for recording; fewer ringing overtones to mask the notes you play
  • 700 Series
    • Lutz spruce with rosewood
    • Resonant midrange with dynamic highs and dramatic low-end response
  • 800 Series
    • Sitka spruce with rosewood
    • Upgraded feel and top-quality tonewood for a versatile blend of ringing, clear high notes and an open, harmonically rich midrange
    • Deluxe models feature an armrest and other premium appointments
  • 900 Series
    • Sitka spruce with rosewood
    • Ultra-refined appointments include rich inlay detailing plus an ebony armrest for greater comfort
  • Koa Series
    • Made from solid Hawaiian koa for a tone that sparkles in the high range with a focused midrange
    • Detailed with all-wood appointments such as a fluid Spring Vine inlay pattern and maple binding
  • Presentation Series
    • Sinker redwood or Adirondack spruce with figured blackwood, plus an armrest and Taylor’s finest aesthetic appointments
    • Loud, responsive and warm, yet with a clear focus

Builder’s Edition

Taylor’s Builder’s Edition label represents guitars built with the elevated vision of creating the ultimate playing experience in both feel and sound. In addition to an array of voicing virtues, each artfully designed Builder’s Edition model showcases a unique combination of comfort-enhancing features; examples include rounded body edges, a carved armrest, a double-contoured cutaway, and even a new compound-carve neck profile that better accommodates the player’s fretting hand. These ergonomic features make Taylor’s Builder’s Edition guitars some of the most comfortable, inviting instruments you’ll ever play.

Specialty Guitars

For those looking to add new sounds to their musical repertoire, Taylor also produces several specialty instruments including 12-strings, nylon-string guitars, baritone guitars, travel guitars, and more.