This darkly alluring cutaway Grand Auditorium boasts unique visual appeal thanks to its mahogany top, and there’s sonic magic under the hood as well. Our groundbreaking V-Class bracing enhances the volume, sustain and projection, bringing out even more of the natural midrange focus of its Tasmanian blackwood back and sides. While the natural compression of the hardwood mahogany top tends to even out the response across the tonal spectrum, the V-Class design boosts the dynamic range, especially in the upper register, and the in-tuneness of the notes everywhere along the fretboard is wonderfully consistent. All of these nuances add up to a versatile choice for gigging, practicing or recording across multiple playing styles. The dusky hues of the mahogany top project a rootsy vibe, accented by a shaded edgeburst, black binding, a matching pickguard, and muted satin-finish sheen. The guitar ships with ES2 electronics in a deluxe hardshell case.
Body Length: 20" / Body Width: 16" / Body Depth: 4 5/8"
Taylor's signature shape embodies the ultimate all-purpose acoustic.
An original Bob Taylor design introduced in 1994
Full in the lower register, present in the midrange, and sparkling on the treble strings
Our most popular shape and a good place to begin your search
Our most popular and versatile body shape, the mid-size Grand Auditorium arrived in 1994 bearing refined proportions that fell between a Dreadnought and Grand Concert. While the bigger Dreadnought was traditionally considered a flatpicker’s guitar and the smaller Grand Concert catered to fingerstylists, the GA was designed to deliver on both fronts. The shape produced an original acoustic voice that was big enough to handle medium-strength picking and strumming, yet with impressive balance across the tonal spectrum, especially in the midrange, producing clear, well-defined notes that suited both strumming and fingerstyle playing. The GA’s overall presence tracks well with other instruments both in a studio mix and on stage, and singer-songwriters have embraced its utility both for composing and traveling with one guitar. Many people want a single guitar that can cover a variety of styles, which is why the GA continues to be our bestselling shape. If you want a great all-purpose guitar, the multi-dimensional GA won’t let you down.
Origin: Central and South America
Used On: GS Mini Mahogany, Baby Mahogany, Limited Editions, Custom Guitars
- A hardwood top with more density than spruce or cedar
- The stiffness initially yields a bright tone that gradually gets deeper
- Used On: GS Mini Mahogany, Baby Mahogany, Limited Editions, Custom Guitars
Harder, denser woods like mahogany and koa that are used on the back and sides of a guitar are sometimes used as tops. Their stiffness initially translates into a bright tone and tends to need more play-in time to open up, but the more a mahogany-top guitar is played, the more it develops overtones that contribute to a fuller, richer sound. A mahogany-top guitar might appeal to rootsy players who like a little extra punchiness in their tone.
Goes Well With: Blues and roots players, anyone who likes an slightly more burly or punchy quality to their tone.
Used On: 300 Series, Limited Editions, Custom Models
Tasmanian blackwood is an acacia wood species that is sometimes compared to Hawaiian koa, another acacia species. Its tonal range is similar to both koa and mahogany, featuring a strong midrange focus that is dry, clear and warm, with a splash of top-end shimmer and richness comparable to Indian rosewood. The overall volume and projection are strong. Blackwood also is sourced from forests that are responsibly managed, making it a sustainable wood for guitar making.
Goes Well With: Different playing styles, depending on the body style and top pairing. A cedar top will help bring out a springy, woody, warm low end with a rich overtone complement that fingerstylists may really enjoy. Stronger strummers and flatpickers will match up well with a bigger body and might be better suited with a spruce top.
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 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.
Read our guide to using the Expression System 2.
Standard on all “ce” models in the 300 Series through the Presentation Series, the Venetian cutaway is known for its soft, round lines. The sloping peak of the cutaway will vary depending on the shape of the guitar. The Grand Concert, Grand Auditorium, and Grand Symphony have a steeper slope, while the Dreadnought and Jumbo are a bit flatter. Our Grand Concert nylon-string models also feature a subtle, flatter slope, while our 100 and 200 Series cutaway models incorporate our flattest slope.
What Is V-Class Bracing?
Bracing is the internal framework that helps shape the sound of an acoustic guitar. V-Class bracing is a groundbreaking new Taylor design — a new sonic “engine”— that transforms the way an acoustic guitar top vibrates to dramatically improve the sound. Developed by master guitar designer Andy Powers, it marks a bold departure from traditional X-bracing, producing notes that are louder, longer sustaining, and more in tune with each other. Discover the history and inspiration that brought us to this turning point in guitar design.
How V-Class Works
A New Platform to Solve an Age-Old Problem
While traditional X-bracing has stood the test of time for over 100 years, it creates an inherent trade-off between two key elements of an acoustic guitar’s sound: volume and sustain. A guitar’s top (the soundboard) contributes to both. Volume comes from the flexibility of the top, while sustain comes from stiffness. The trade-off is that when you make something stiffer, you reduce its flexibility, and vice versa. With an X-braced guitar top, increasing one comes at the expense of the other. V-Class bracing changes that. Now an acoustic guitar top can be both stiff and flexible in ways that produce more volume and sustain. And as it turns out, this innovative bracing design also improves the intonation of the guitar. Discover how we broke away from tradition and reinvented what the acoustic guitar can do.
V-Class guitar bracing controls the top’s flexibility, creating a more orderly rocking motion across both sides of the top. The controlled flexing movement produces greater volume.
V-Class bracing maintains stiffness along the middle of the guitar, in the direction of the strings. That rigidity keeps the strings in motion, producing notes that resonate longer before fading out.
V-Class bracing makes the top more in tune with the vibrating strings. This eliminates much of the interference that causes some notes to waver and sound slightly out of tune. As a result, notes and chords played anywhere on the neck are more consistent and in tune with each other.