The Taylor 522e 12-Fret Mahogany Grand Concert Acoustic Electric Guitar is a true joy to play! The 12-fret design combined with the all-mahogany construction yields a warm, broken-in tone with a great focused midrange. Fingerstyle players and pickers alike love the short-scale (24-7/8-inch) neck of the Grand Concert body because of its great comfort. The Taylor 522e 12-Fret also has the Taylor Expression System electronics, making it ideal for live and studio situations.
All-Mahogany Tone: Fundamentally Strong
Like other hardwood-top guitars, the 522e 12-Fret Mahogany produces 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, you can expect 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.’
‘Punchy’ is a word that’s often used to describe the character of mahogany, particularly in the midrange.
‘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.’
Considering mahogany’s strong fundamental focus, an all-mahogany guitar will fit a number of playing scenarios.
‘Like koa, it’s a fantastic wood for recording or stage use,’ Andy notes. ‘Because of its unique response, an all-mahogany guitar really flatters its pickups. And since its sonic imprint isn’t a mile wide, it’s a guitar that plays well with others. On a track with other guitar parts you don’t want interference between players.’
Smaller bodies like the Grand Concert 522e 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.
A black pickguard adds a bold visual counterpoint to the mahogany tops. 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.