The K28e Hawaiian koa’s captivating beauty is matched by a tone that blossoms over time, especially in the midrange. Its voice is bright and focused, with warm overtones that slowly emerge, adding sweetness and depth. Premium all-wood appointments, led by the Island Vine fretboard inlay, celebrate the wood’s natural appeal.
Expression System® 2
The Taylor Expression System® 2 (ES2) is a revolutionary pickup design that delivers the latest in Taylor’s ongoing innovation in acoustic guitar amplification. The heart of the Expression System 2 is Taylor’s proprietary behind-the-saddle pickup (patent pending), 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 “professional audio”-grade preamp, this system produces exceptional amplified tone and responsiveness. On stage through a PA, plugged into your favorite acoustic amplifier, or direct into recording software, the Expression System 2 faithfully conveys the voice of your Taylor guitar.
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, led by developer David Hosler, discovered that the vertical movement is actually heavily restricted, and that the saddle gets “locked down” due to the string tension’s downward pressure. That’s why a traditional under-saddle pickup with piezo-electric crystals often responds with a sound often characterized as thin, brittle, brash or synthetic, especially with more aggressive playing.
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.
Taylor's biggest, most complex voice is also balanced and responsive.
The newest shape to join the Taylor family unleashes the boldest, richest voice available in a Taylor guitar. Just as the Grand Symphony yields a deeper, more powerful voice than the Grand Auditorium, the Grand Orchestra stands out as a more robust alternative to the Grand Symphony. The GO shape features a slightly bigger footprint and a deeper body, which helps produce a potent low-end response. Under the hood, a new bracing scheme optimizes the movement of the soundboard to produce louder, more complex tone with incredible sustain. What separates the Grand Orchestra from other big-bodied guitars is how balanced the tone is from top to bottom, especially given its brawny bass. And unlike other big-body guitars that require an aggressive attack to get the top moving, the GO is responsive to a light touch, rewarding players who have a dynamic playing style. If you crave a guitar sound that’s brimming with power and rich detail, the Grand Orchestra won’t disappoint. From big cowboy chords to lush fingerstyle arrangements, the Grand Orchestra might be the most expressive and versatile big guitar you ever play.