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A compact guitar that packs in clear, bright tones and killer electronics.
Singer-songwriters are often drawn to the 500 Series because mahogany yields its inspiring tone easily, with a breathy midrange and a wonderful balance of warmth, clarity and complexity. The Taylor 512e Grand Concert ES2 Acoustic-Electric Guitar model sports a beautiful cedar top. The refined appointment package features a laser-engraved Deco Diamond inlay scheme, faux tortoise shell binding, and a dark body stain that honors mahogany's enduring heritage. Includes case.
A smaller bodied guitar ideally suited for fingerstyle.
The small-body Grand Concert debuted in 1984 to meet the needs of a new wave of adventurous acoustic fingerstyle players. In contrast to the traditionally darker, boomier voices of bigger body styles like dreadnoughts and jumbos, the GC's compact size and tapered waist kept the overtones in check. It was also more comfortable to play while sitting down, and the guitar's slightly wider neck gave players more room for complex fingerings. The GC's smaller sonic footprint also fit cleanly in a mix with other instruments when tracking in the studio and with a band on stage, making it a useful tool for professional session and side players. The current generation of GC models continues to accommodate fingerstylists with finger-friendly traits like a shorter 24 7/8-inch scale length, which makes fretting easier and adds a slightly slinkier feel on the strings due to the lighter string tension. If you feel more comfortable with a small body or favor controlled overtones, a Grand Concert is a great option.
Origin: Central and South America
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
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 proprietary behind-the-saddle pickup (patent pending), 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.
Enjoy improved Taylor tone with ES2 electronics. Order today.
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