Taylor GT acoustic combines compact comfort with big sonic personality
Taylor has introduced a new acoustic body shape with the launch of the Grand Theater model, with the body dimensions and scale length coming somewhere between the compact GS Mini and the smallest of the guitar maker's full-size body shapes, the Grand Concert.
Dreadnought-sized acoustics are great for their big sound, but can be a little uncomfortable to pick up and play. Yet though smaller guitars might be a better fit, that often comes at the expense of sonic presence and tone. Taylor's master guitar designer Andy Powers decided to create a new instrument that offered the best of both worlds.
"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 basic body-shape footprint might look familiar to Taylor players, as it's borrowed from the company's Grand Orchestra model, but in a smaller form. The GT has about the same width at the lower bout as the Grand Concert, but the body is shorter and shallower. The slender-profile neck rocks a mid-length scale of 23-1/8 inches, which places it somewhere between the GS Mini and the Grand Concert. All of which adds up to "the most comfortable playing experience offered across the entire US-made Taylor line," according to the company.
The heart of the guitar – its tone – comes courtesy of a new cantilevered/asymmetrical bracing architecture designed by Powers, which is reported to combine stiffness and flexibility "in a way that helps accentuate the lower frequencies to produce a surprisingly warm bass response for its compact dimensions." It also results in size-defying volume, sustain and intonation.
The GT's back and sides are made using ash trees that have been earmarked for removal from municipal areas in California, and it features a solid spruce top. That's a combination Taylor says results in "a rich midrange response flanked by a warm low end and pristine trebles, with a wide dynamic range that responds to both a light touch and an aggressive attack." Eucalyptus is employed for the fretboard, bridge and peghead overlay, the three-ring rosette is fashioned from koa, and the neck inlays are in acrylic.
"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,” Powers revealed. “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 Taylor GT is available in models with or without the company's proprietary ES2 electronics, and comes with a starting price of US$1,399. The video below has more.
Product page: Taylor GT