Taylor Guitars – Which Body Shape?

With all this Martin talk, we don’t wanna leave our Taylors out of the fun! While they don’t have the rich history of Martin they are very forward thinking builders that have developed their own body styles and discovered new and unique sounding tonewoods. They truly have a guitar for every style and every taste, so it is important to be aware of the tonal differences these body styles possess.

We will start from the smallest shape and move our way on up. We have most if not all of these guitar shapes in stock at any time – so stop by and play one to see for yourself!

Baby

baby taylor

Body Length: 15-3/4″
Body Width: 12-1/2″
Body Depth: 3-3/8″

You may be familiar with the “Baby” Taylor acoustics. These guitars may sound like they are geared toward children although that is only half the truth. While they are sized just right for younger players or smaller hands, they have a surprisingly big sound and are great as a travel guitar. If you don’t want to take your $1000+ dreadnaught acoustic to that campfire singalong, a guitar like this is a worthy substitute, and won’t cost you an arm and a leg. This body style is essentially a 3/4 size dreadnaught so you’ll hear dreadnaught type characteristics in the sound, such as a nice smooth low end and chimey top end. These guitars also have an arched back for added support, comfort, and a nice cosmetic touch as well!

GS Mini

gsmini

Body Length: 17-5/8″
Body Width: 14-3/8″
Body Depth: 4-7/16″

The GS Mini is the second smallest Taylor guitar and it is inspired by the full sized GS or Grand Symphony body style which we will get to later. The GS body style is the most versatile Taylor body shape, great for finger or flat pickers. Taylor likes to call it their “modern day” parlor guitar, as it has a very even, balanced sound, with shimmering highs and surprising volume for its size. Its size still makes it a great travel guitar with a different sound than the Baby.

Big Baby

big baby

Body Length: 19-1/2″
Body Width: 15″
Body Depth: 4

The Big Baby is the largest undersized Taylor guitar, a 15/16 sized body makes it practically a full size dreadnaught! It has the same perks and features of the Baby although the larger body style provides a sound closer to a full size Taylor dreadnaught. It still travels well, has an arched back, and is great for all playing styles.

Grand Concert

IMG_0080

Body Length: 19-1/2″
Body Width: 15″
Body Depth: 4-3/8″

The 5 full size Taylor guitar shapes are designated by numbers. The Grand Concert style is designated by a XX2 in the model number. This shape is geared toward the finger-picker. It’s small size causes the top, or sound board of the guitar to vibrate much more “violently” which leads to an increase in volume and very subtle dynamics, important when using your fingers. It also leads to excellent clarity and a balanced tone that is not overly bass heavy. This shape also features a shorter scale length and less string tension which offers a lighter and easier playing feel. The tapered waist of the guitar provides great comfort whether you are in the studio or playing live!

Grand Symphony

IMG_0082

Body Length: 20″
Body Width: 16-1/4″
Body Depth: 4-5/8″

The Grand Symphony or GS body style is designated by a XX6 in the model number. This is one of the more popular Taylor guitar shapes that is great for both finger and flat pickers. The sound of a GS guitar can be described as a parlor guitar on steroids. It retains that excellent balance of tone while providing rich harmonics that only a larger guitar can give you. Many throw around the term “piano like lows” when describing this body shape, along with a thick top end and very prominent mids. Although, because it is still a slightly smaller shape, it has unmatched clarity and a very light attack.

Dreadnaught

IMG_0079

Body Length: 20″
Body Width: 16″
Body Depth: 4-5/8″

Taylor also has their own modernized take on the classic Dreadnaught style guitar. It is designated by a XX0 at the end of a model number. This shape is more geared toward the strummer or flat picker because of the large sound board that likes a lot of string movement to pump out the tones. The Taylor dreadnaught, unlike most dreadnaughts, has a special bracing pattern which keeps the low end under control, which is a problem with even the most expensive dreadnaught guitars from other manufacturers. It also keeps harmonics under control which improves clarity. You get the best of both worlds really, the big sound of a dreadnaught with the clarity and response of a smaller guitar!

Grand Auditorium

IMG_0074

Body Length: 20″
Body Width: 16″
Body Depth: 4-5/8″

The Grand Auditorium body shape is easily the most popular Taylor design. It is designated by a XX4 at the end of the model number. It was first introduced in 1994 and is an original Bob Taylor design. It is a great place to start your quest for tone as it is the most balanced and versatile shape that Taylor makes. Rich lows, clear mids, and sparkling highs give you a very adaptable sound for any style of play. The body is comfortably shaped with a wide lower bout but smaller waist and upper bout – literally combining the best strumming and fingerpicking bout sizes.

Grand Orchestra

IMG_0077

Body Length: 20-5/8″Body Width: 16-3/4″
Body Depth: 5″

The Grand Orchestra is the newest and largest Taylor body shape. It is designated by an XX8 at the end of the model number. You may want to compare it to a “Jumbo” style, which is mostly accurate. If you want a cannon of a guitar with a big sound and lots of projection, this is where your search starts and ends. Because of Taylor’s special bracing system, the harmonics and low end of this Grand Orchestra are kept under control. This shape also provides surprising dynamics for a big guitar. It is the most harmonically rich (but again, under control) body shape that Taylor builds and is well suited for the strummer and rhythm player.

So there you have it! Those are all the body designs that Taylor offers. Come in and try one for yourself!

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