Friday, August 18, 2006

Taylor - GS Guitars

More than 30 years after Bob Taylor built his first guitar, his company is in a truly enviable position:
Its instruments are in high demand, they’re frequently spotted in the hands of some of the finest—and
most popular—guitarists, and, perhaps most importantly, they’ve established the “Taylor sound” as an identifiable
sonic signature.

Of course, no signature sound will appeal to every guitarist, and that’s what makes Taylor’s latest development
so intriguing. In the last few years the company’s biggest product announcements have concerned their new Expression
System electronics and their T5 electric guitar, and to many it seemed Taylor’s focus was moving away from acoustics. That
sentiment must have made its way to their factory in El Cajon, California, because Taylor’s most recent project was to build a
new acoustic guitar with a fresh voice—something with vintage tones, great bass, excellent dynamic range, and the “openness” of an old guitar, not to mention Taylor’s famous clarity and playability. To that end, Bob Taylor and his crew came up with the new “Grand Symphony” body shape, which also ended up being the foundation of his new R. Taylor line of high-end guitars.

The GS line features one body style and four possible wood combinations: mahogany and cedar; rosewood and spruce; rosewood and cedar; and maple and spruce. Less than a month after the new line was announced, we were able to check out one of the very first rosewood and cedar models.


At first glance, the GS looks almost like Taylor’s grand-auditorium shape. The GS body is only a ¼-inch wider (16¼
inches vs. 16 inches across the lower bout), and the depth and length are virtually identical. Further, both guitars
have standard Taylor X-bracing. A direct comparison of the two styles reveals a shift in proportions, with the GS having
a wider waist and different curves in the upper and lower bout. Plain ivoroid binding, a simple abalone rosette,
and small abalone fretboard markers complete the guitar’s appointments, resulting in a classy, understated appearance.

Robust bass response and breathy, three-dimensional tones that are extremely versatile. Great playability.

Solid western red cedar top. Solid Indian rosewood back and sides. Threepiece
mahogany bolt-on neck. Ebony fretboard and bridge. Scalloped X-bracing. Polyester finish. Taylor tuners. 25½-inch scale. 1¾-inch nut. 23/8-inch string spacing at saddle.
Made in USA.


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