The small Grand Concert body of the 522e guitar is a favorite among blues and country players as well as fingerpickers of all types! Crafted from Tropical Mahogany, the body of the 522e yields a very balanced, mellow and smooth tone with a focused midrange. Taylor’s revolutionary Expression System 2 (ES2) features a proprietary behind-the-saddle pickup with 3 individually calibrated pickup sensors which capture the natural response and dynamic of the acoustic like never before.
Taylor 522e ES2 Grand Concert Acoustic Electric Features
Expression System 2 (ES2)
- Grand Concert body shape ideal for fingerstyle players
- Tropical Mahogany top, back and sides for a focused midrange
- Short-scale 24-7/8-inch neck makes fretting easier
- Distinctive appointments include a black pickguard, ivoroid binding and rosette
- Ivoroid Century inlays on the Ebony fingerboard
- Taylor Expression System 2 (ES2) electronics with proprietary behind-the-saddle pickup which allows incredible dynamic range
The heart of the ES2 is Taylor’s proprietary behind-the-saddle pickup, 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 ‘pro audio’-grade preamp, this system produces exceptional amplified tone and responsiveness whether on stage through a PA, plugged into your favorite acoustic amp, or direct into recording software.
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 discovered that the vertical movement is heavily restricted, and the saddle gets ‘locked down’ due to the string tension’s downward pressure. This results in a sound often characterized as thin, brittle, brash or synthetic.
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.