A small-body, all-mahogany guitar with world-class Taylor Expression System electronics! The Taylor 522e Mahogany Grand Concert Acoustic Electric Guitar is the ultimate choice for blues, country and ragtime pickers and fingerstyle players or anyone who wants an acoustic electric with great warmth and pronounced, focused midrange. Its smooth, balanced, easygoing tonal character is the perfect compliment in live and studio settings.
A short-scale (24-7/8-inch) neck is super comfortable in any playing position. Taylor gives the 522e Mahogany Grand Concert guitar a black pickguard, ivoroid binding and rosette, and ivoroid Century fretboard inlays. The Taylor 522e is a true joy to play!
All-Mahogany Tone: Fundamentally Strong
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 with all-mahogany acoustics.
‘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 acoustic 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.’
Bob Taylor spoke to the sonic contrast in an interview for Acoustic Guitar magazine back in 2010, describing a hardwood-top guitar like mahogany as ‘typically lo-fi, great for strumming and blues, but no church bell tones.’ In ensemble playing, those differences actually can work together nicely to create a complementary acoustic sound, as mahogany’s strong midrange and rosewood’s scooped mids fit together well without competing.
Considering mahogany’s strong fundamental focus, an all-mahogany guitar will fit a number of playing scenarios. Smaller bodies like the Grand Concert 522e 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 vibe into a tune.
‘After we re-designed the 700 Series with all-ivoroid appointments, players really flocked to it,’ Andy says. ‘The sentiment was like, ‘This isn’t my dad’s guitar, this is more like my granddad’s guitar,’ but with all the refinements of modern guitar-making techniques. So we brought more of that aesthetic to the 500s.’
A black pickguard 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.