Comfort is Key
Choosing a body style that fits you both physically and musically is important. Start by looking for a body with proportions that feel comfortable when you play the guitar. The width at the waist and across the widest part of the lower bout, plus the body depth, will define your physical relationship with the body (especially when you’re sitting). Another comfort consideration — though technically not a body feature — is the string scale length, since that will influence how close your hands are when you play, and in many cases, the string tension, too.
Sound: Size Matters
Body dimensions literally shape the guitar’s sound. Think of the air volume inside a guitar as its lung capacity. The size of that air chamber tends to emphasize a particular set of frequencies. In general, the smaller the air mass, the more focused the voice, often with emphasis on the upper register. The larger the air mass, the deeper the low-end response and overall voice. Think about the role you want the guitar to perform, and the kinds of sounds you want to get from it. If nothing else, think in terms of small, medium and large sizes, which will help you narrow your search.
Taylor Body Styles by Size
Travel: Baby, GS Mini
Small: Grand Theater, Grand Concert
Medium: Grand Auditorium, Grand Pacific, Dreadnought
Large: Grand Symphony, Grand Orchestra
Another influential design element is the internal bracing architecture, which helps voice the instrument. Our innovative V-Class® bracing, designed by Taylor master builder Andy Powers and featured on almost all our U.S.-made steel-string guitars, provides an enhanced voicing platform. The design optimizes the response of the guitar body to the vibrating strings, putting them more in tune with other and producing more volume, more sustain, and better harmonic agreement between notes as a result. The V-Class framework is uniquely tailored for each body style, which creates a more distinctive sonic personality for each. Andy’s design also informed the development of another proprietary voicing system, C-Class™ bracing, used with our new Grand Theater body to coax more low-end warmth from the smaller guitar.
Addition by Subtraction: The Cutaway
A common question among the acoustic guitar curious is how much a cutaway impacts (i.e., diminishes) the tonal response. The truth: not much at all. And what you gain is access to more of the treble-side fretboard high up the neck. So whether you decide based on musical utility or aesthetics, the choice is yours. Many of our models can be ordered with or without a cutaway, but some guitars are offered exclusively in non-cutaway form: all Grand Pacific and Grand Orchestra models, plus the 100 Series, Academy Series, GS Mini Series and Baby Series.
When you’re searching for the right acoustic guitar, one of the fundamental considerations is body shape. The body’s curves and depth help define our physical relationship with the guitar and literally shape the sound it produces. In addition to our family of full-size guitar bodies, we offer three scaled-down versions of existing shapes — the Baby Taylor (traditional dreadnought shape), the GS Mini (Grand Symphony), and the Big Baby Taylor.
Grand Theater(Models end in a 1; e.g., 811)
The GT sports the curves of the Grand Orchestra, but they’re scaled into uniquely compact proportions, including a shorter scale length. Its dimensions position it between our Grand Concert and travel-friendly GS Mini. Thanks to Andy Powers’ C-Class bracing wizardry, the GT packs the tonal depth of a full-size guitar into a form that’s easy and fun to play. If you crave a parlor-style guitar reimagined for the modern era, wrap yourself around this body style and enjoy.
Grand Concert(Models end in a 2; e.g., 812)
This compact shape blends an intimate feel with an articulate, touch-sensitive response. Voiced with V-Class bracing, these guitars produce impressive volume and sustain. The 14-fret models lean toward a vibrant, high-definition sound, while 12-fret editions feature a slinkier handfeel and produce extra warmth and sweetness. We’ve also embraced the GC shape for some of our 12-string models to make the 12-string playing experience more accessible and musically useful.
Grand Auditorium(Models end in a 4; e.g., 814)
Taylor’s flagship shape remains our most popular for its comfort and musical range. The quintessential modern workhorse, its notes are vibrant, well-defined, and balanced across the tonal spectrum, thanks in part to having a more tapered waist that a traditional dreadnought. It responds well to both fingerstyle and strumming, and it’s a reliable tool for recording and live performance. Among our shapes, it’s the Swiss Army knife of the line.
Grand Pacific(Models end in a 7; e.g., 517)
Our round-shoulder dreadnought delivers a different flavor of Taylor tone: a warm, seasoned voice in which notes overlap in a way that recalls traditional acoustic recordings. The difference is that no studio enhancements are needed to produce great acoustic tone here. V-Class bracing pumps out clear low-end power, making this a more musical, usable voice that’s as versatile as the Grand Auditorium and as assertive as a traditional dread.
Grand Symphony(Models end in a 6; e.g., 816)
Featuring a larger air chamber than the Grand Auditorium, the Grand Symphony combines V-Class bracing with an innovative soundport cutaway. The two components work together to produce a high-fidelity, symphonic voice that’s truly unique. The way the sound radiates creates an immersive, reverb-like effect with remarkable sustain. Together with its slightly shorter scale length and light-gauge strings, the GS is a great option for a seasoned player looking for a whole new acoustic experience.
Grand Orchestra(Models end in an 8; e.g., 818)
Our biggest, deepest body shape has evolved from our former Jumbo shape. Our V-Class voicing architecture harnesses the Grand Orchestra’s huge air capacity to unleash a powerful sound, capable of deep rumble and rich sustain. Yet equally impressive is its touch sensitivity, giving it remarkable dynamic range and impressive versatility. Currently the GO shape is offered with two wood pairings: rosewood and spruce or maple and torrefied spruce.
Dreadnought(Models end in a 0; e.g., 210)
The most traditional body design in the Taylor family, our Dreadnought shape has continuously been refined over the years to create a clearer, more balanced sound (to go with our ultra-playable necks). The Dread’s wider waist contributes to a robust voice with low-end power, a snappy midrange, and brilliant treble notes. Here, we’ve retained our X-bracing framework. The body shape is featured within the Academy, 100 and 200 Series.