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The Ultimate Swiss Army Knife

Taylor's custom builds are always awesome, and this one puts a new twist on a classic tonewood combo in a versatile body size, our friends at Taylor have produced a player's guitar that will handle just about anything you throw at it. So, let's dive deeper and see why this Custom GA excels in just about any musical context!

A Magnificent Workhorse

This Custom GA's shape is the biggest reason why it's such an all-terrain vehicle. The Grand Auditorium body is particularly cool because it's a Taylor original without too many antecedents or influence from "traditional" acoustic guitar design. Size-wise, it lands somewhere between a dreadnought and a grand concert, so it is supremely comfortable to play. Being an in-betweener, it also has stronger midrange presence, and it responds equally well to fingerstyle and pick playing. It captures all of the subtleties and nuances of the player's attack, yet it also sounds full and satisfying when you strum a big chord. And, it has Taylor's killer ES-2 pickup system, so you can be certain that you'll get excellent sound whether you're playing a solo set or a gig with a band.

Tonewood Tweaks

This Taylor Custom GA has solid quilted sapele back and sides and a solid Engelmann bearclaw spruce top, which is a new spin on a classic combo. Sapele is quite similar to mahogany, and builders have been making guitars out of spruce and mahogany for decades for a reason: they go together like peanut butter and jelly. But, sapele has a few important distinctions that separate it from its fellow hardwood. It produces more overtones and high-end sparkle than mahogany. Also, it is a bit denser and harder than mahogany, which gives it a bit more punching power.

Of course, we all know and love the sound of Engelmann spruce. It produces a rich, hamronically complex voice, and it has a bit less headroom than Sitka. With the sapele back and sides, the Custom GA's Sitka spruce top helps the guitar sound balanced yet robust even at lower volumes.

A V-Classic

We can't talk about balanced sound without talking about Taylor's new V-Class bracing. It's an elegant solution to a problem that has plagued luthiers for decades. For years, acoustic guitar builders had to compromise between volume and sustain. Flexibility equals volume, and stiffness equals sustain. Obviously, a piece of wood cannot be rigid and flexible at the same time, so builders had to go for one or the other.

Andy Powers wanted to have his cake and eat it, too. After much tinkering, V-Class bracing was his elegant solution to the problem that has plagued luthiers for centuries. As the name implies, V-Class bracing features two long pieces of wood that make a "V" shape together. The bracing is quite thin and flexible near the rear bout, but it becomes thicker as you get closer to the soundhole.

So, you get volume from the flexible parts of the bracing, and sustain from the rigid parts! Many areas of the guitar neck that typically sound weak (ninth fret on the G string, for instance) have just as much presence, resonance, and sustain as the low E. As a result, the Custom GA sounds supremely balanced and sculpted. When you hear one played live in the room, you'd swear a mix engineer had already done a bunch of post-production work on it. And, it gives the guitar piano-like note separation and crystalline clarity even when you play fancy jazz chords!

Intonation Station

V-Class bracing also does wonders for the guitar's intonation. Are you ready to have your mind blown? When I visited the Taylor headquarters El Cajon, Andy Powers explained that an acoustic guitar's intonation is not necessarily just the sum of the typical adjustments like saddle height, nut slots, and neck angle (though they do a play a part). The way that the actual guitar itself vibrates also has a lot to do with how in-tune it sounds.

Andy told me to picture it like this: when you take close-up slow-motion footage of a guitar's top with a high-speed camera as someone plays it, you can see the top move vividly. On a traditional X-braced guitar, the top vibrates in a disorderly, disjointed manner. This can cause a guitar with the perfect saddle height and neck angle to sound out of tune when you play a big open chord.

By contrast, guitars with V-Class bracing vibrate in a much more orderly manner. The graduated braces compel the energy from the player's attack to move from the thin outer part of the bracing to the thicker inner part in an efficient manner. If you were to take a high-speed shot of a V-Class top, you would see it rock back and forth evenly in a pleasing pattern. Because of that V-Class magic, the Custom GA sounds so in-tune that it's scary.

An All-Terrain Tone Machine

Wildwood Guitars is proud to showcase this Taylor Custom GA, a guitar that we believe provides inspiring tone, supreme playability, and world-beating versatility at an incredible value. We know it will be a steadfast companion as you embark on your acoustic adventure, and we can't wait to see what ways you find to use the ultimate acoustic Swiss Army knife.


Brand Taylor Guitars
ModelCustom Grand Auditorium
TypeGrand Auditorium
Top WoodSolid Bearclaw Engelmann Spruce
Top FinishGloss
BracingV-Class with Relief Rout
Back & Sides WoodSolid Quilted Sapele
Back & Sides FinishGloss
Neck WoodQuilted Sapele
Neck Dimensions.840 1st - .870 9th
Fretboard MaterialWest African Crelicam Ebony
Fingerboard InlaysGreen Abalone
Scale Length25.5"
Width at Nut1 3/4"
Nut MaterialBlack Graphite-Infused Tusq
BindingWest African Crelicam Ebony
RosetteSingle-Ring Abalone with Bound Soundhole
ElectronicsTaylor Expression System 2
TunersGotoh Gold Antique 510s
BridgeWest African Crelicam Ebony
CaseHardshell Case

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Serial Number: 1211160158

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