Blending mahogany’s meaty midrange character with the focused sound of Taylor’s small-body Grand Concert! The Taylor 522 12-Fret Mahogany Grand Concert Acoustic Guitar incorporates a 12-fret design which yields a slightly warmer, more broken-in tone than the standard model. This is perfect for fingerstyle players, pickers and light strummers who want an warm tone. The short-scale (24-7/8-inch) neck of the 522 12-Fret all-mahogany acoustic also makes fretting easier.
All-Mahogany Tone: Fundamentally Strong
Any sort of hardwood-top guitar, such as the 522 12-Fret, tends to produce a natural compression, so it won’t yield as quick a response as a spruce-top guitar will. As Andy Powers explained with the recent introduction of the all-koa Grand Orchestra K28e, there tends to be more of a subtle roll-in effect to a note.
‘To put that into a more practical context for the player, it sounds like it’s a really long, sustaining, very controlled attack,’ Andy says. Compared to a spruce-top mahogany guitar in Taylor’s 500 Series, an all-mahogany steel-string produces a distinctive flavor. ‘It still has the fundamental, strong, direct sound you can expect out of a mahogany guitar with a spruce top — that dry, woody quality,’ he explains. ‘But the mahogany top will make it even more controlled, to where it starts to accentuate its unique sustain a little more.’
‘It’s punchy in the sense that the notes you play are the notes you get,’ Andy elaborates. ‘That’s what people mean by ‘dry’ tone. Many players will hear the response and say, ‘Oh, it’s right in my face. I hear just the notes that I played. I’m not hearing this sharp attack, or a long, ringing complex overtone mix.’ So, the common description is a focused midrange punch.’
Smaller bodies like the Grand Concert 522 12-Fret, yield a smooth, balanced, easygoing character that will work well for blues, country and ragtime picking, and the hardwood top can easily handle the kind of gritty, snappy plucking that adds funky tonal color to roots music. Give the wood a little time to open up and you’ll have a guitar with serious mojo that injects a dark, warm, sweet and surprisingly dynamic vibe into a tune.
The addition of mahogany-top models literally changed the complexion of the 500 Series, inspiring a design overhaul that helps express the identity of these guitars. With the mahogany top’s rich, saturated color and prominent grain front and center, Taylor’s development team, led by Andy Powers, embraced the old-school aura that reflects mahogany’s guitar heritage.
The Grand Concert 522 12-Fret features a black pickguard which adds a bold visual counterpoint to the mahogany top. Other new appointments include ivoroid binding, an ivoroid rosette, and an ivoroid Century fretboard inlay design that comes from the same family as the 700 Series Heritage Diamonds inlay motif.