516CE

Grand Symphony (Sitka Spruce Top)
SKU: 516CE
Brand: TAYLOR

Description

Mahogany’s meaty midrange and fundamental focus take on another level of boldness and depth, especially in the lower midrange, with the spruce-top Grand Symphony 516ce. The neo-vintage appointment package includes an grained ivoroid rosette, grained ivoroid binding, and a Century fretboard inlay. Modern features include a Venetian cutaway and Taylor’s Expression System® 2 pickup.

$5,699.00
 
 Body Length: 20" / Body Width: 16 1/4" / Body Depth: 4 5/8"
 
The ultimate Taylor strummer.
 

The Grand Symphony shape joined the line in 2006 and delivers a rich, powerful acoustic voice. Think of it as a Grand Auditorium with a turbo boost, thanks to expanded physical dimensions, including a slightly wider waist and a bigger lower bout. Strummers and pickers with a driving attack will love the fullness, volume and sustain. Yet for such a robust voice, the GS is also clear and responsive to fast picking runs or a light fingerstyle touch, so if you’re a dynamic player, this shape is a true contender. And the big voice doesn’t come at the expense of balance. The piano-like bass, meaty midrange, and thick, shimmering highs blend seamlessly. These traits also make the GS a great vehicle for 12-Strings. If you like a lush, potent guitar tone that has the horsepower to compete with other acoustic cannons out there, the GS shape is a worthy choice.

 

Sitka Spruce

Origin: Northwestern North America (Coastal Rainforests of Alaska and Canada)

Used On: Most models

As a guitar soundboard, or top, Sitka spruce is the tonewood standard of the modern era. It’s used on 85-90 percent of the guitars that Taylor makes. Its combination of strength and elasticity translates into a broad dynamic range, yielding crisp articulation and allowing for everything from aggressive strumming and flatpicking to fingerpicking. Sitka spruce is Bob Taylor’s personal favorite for an all-around great guitar.

Goes Well With: All styles of guitars and players.

 

Origin: Central and South America

Used On: The 500 Series, Acoustic 5 Series, LKSM

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.

 

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.