At the beginning of October, Taylor Guitars announced the release of its brand-new acoustic body shape — the Grand Theater. Known as the Taylor GT, the company’s latest body shape introduces a new category of acoustic guitar in size, feel and sound.
Made in Taylor’s California factory, the GT’s uniquely modern proportions — both in body dimensions and scale length — sit between the size of Taylor’s popular, compact GS Mini and the Grand Concert, the smallest of Taylor’s full-size body shapes. The GT also touts Taylor’s new C-Class bracing architecture and is the latest model in the company’s lineup to utilize responsibly sourced Urban Ash™, harvested from end-of-life trees in California’s urban canopy. The result is a guitar that’s incredibly fun and easy to play, with a big sonic personality worthy of any pro player’s toolbox.
More and more players are drawn to the playing comfort of smaller acoustic guitars, but don’t want to sacrifice tone. This idea spurred Taylor master guitar designer Andy Powers to develop a new guitar that delivers on both fronts — combining the inviting playability of a compact instrument with the rich voice of a full-size, solid-wood guitar.
“It felt like a whole other size category was hidden from existence,” said Powers. “I wanted to make something that was big enough to sound good, yet small enough to take comfort and playability to a fun new level.”
The GT features a unique set of dimensions that set it apart within Taylor’s lineup.
The new model borrows the basic body curves of Taylor’s Grand Orchestra (Taylor’s largest body style), but they’re scaled down.
The width at the lower bout is nearly the same as the Taylor Grand Concert, but the GT’s body length is shorter and the depth slightly shallower.
The GT’s 24-1/8” scale length is in the mid-length range, sitting between the GS Mini (23-½”) and Grand Concert (24-⅞”).
The result is the most comfortable playing experience offered across the entire US-made Taylor line.
The Taylor GT’s robust tone is powered by its new C-Class bracing architecture, developed by Andy Powers. The “C” refers to the cantilevered, asymmetrical design, which combines stiffness and flexibility in a way that helps accentuate the lower frequencies to produce a surprisingly warm bass response for its compact dimensions. This bracing borrows some of the functional benefits of Taylor’s V-Class® bracing, including greater stability, yielding impressive volume, sustain and intonation that sonically helps the guitar punch well above its weight.
“V-Class is intended to be very linear in how it responds over the whole register,” explained Powers.
“Every note you play has a remarkably uniform characteristic. Working with this perfectly proportioned smaller body and string length; however, I wanted a more asymmetrical sonic response. With the asymmetrical architecture, I can exaggerate the guitar’s lower frequency response. It’s typically a challenge to make a small body respond well on the low end of the frequency spectrum — it doesn’t have as large a surface area to flex and move the air required. Using this altered bracing pattern, the response belies the overall smaller size, seriously upping the fun factor.”
The GT is the latest model in Taylor’s lineup to feature the company’s responsibly sourced Urban Ash™. First introduced on Taylor’s Builder’s Edition 324ce, Urban Ash is a tonewood Taylor has embraced both for its sustainability and tone. Sourced from Shamel ash trees scheduled for removal from municipal areas in Southern California, its tonal properties rival those of old-growth Honduran mahogany — dry, woody and clear, with pleasing midrange warmth. The GT also features a spruce top that is responsive to a light touch yet capable of impressive tonal output, offering players a dynamic and expressive musical palette to explore. The GT gives Taylor a platform to use another durable tonewood for its fretboard, bridge and peghead overlay — eucalyptus (also featured on Taylor’s new American Dream Series), which offers great potential alongside ebony. Its comparable weight and density are ideal for holding frets.
“The GT delivers a mix of super-nimble handling and a high-performance response, and it’s been refined to the degree that it becomes incredibly fun for everyone to play,” added Powers. “The guitar’s comfortably compact proportions and low string tension make the GT the easiest-playing solid-wood guitar in the Taylor line — enabling longer playing sessions without hand fatigue.”
The new Taylor GT starts at $1,399 Street Price and will be available with and without electronics and will come with Taylor’s new durable and ultra-lightweight AeroCaseTM. For more information about the new model and the entire Taylor lineup, visit taylorguitars.com as well as their profiles on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.
About Taylor Guitars
Founded in 1974, Taylor Guitars is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of premium acoustic guitars. Renowned for blending an innovative use of modern technology with a master craftsman’s attention to detail, as well as their pioneering sustainability efforts, the company’s guitars are widely considered among the best sounding and easiest to play in the world. Many of today’s leading musicians make Taylor their guitar of choice, including Jason Mraz, Jewel, Zac Brown, Sarah McLachlan, Shawn Mendes and Ben Harper, among many others.