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2015 Limited Editions

A trio of exotic Florentine cutaway Grand Auditorium models brings a sharp flair to this collection of limited editions.

The Florentine Limiteds

Back/Sides: Flamed MahoganyQuilted Sapele, or Blackheart Sassafras
Top: Sitka Spruce
Models: 514ce-FM LTD514ce-QS LTD714ce-S LTD

Taylor master builder Andy Powers chose to relate his selections of flamed mahogany, quilted sapele, and blackheart sassafras together with common design elements because they all share a comparable degree of visual rarity along with tonal compatibility. The sapele resembles mahogany in its clarity, with a touch more upper register chime. The sassafras yields a similar tonal balance to mahogany and sapele, but with a splash of added midrange overtones. Together, the three woods make a unique suite of instruments that fit in a collection together, yet with subtle tonal distinctions.

Visually, the flamed figure of the mahogany and quilted figure of the sapele are a rare treat, as both woods are known for their straight-grained growth patterns. The blackheart sassafras was responsibly sourced from storm-felled or overmature old-growth trees on privately owned farmland in Tasmania (making their debut on a series of limiteds in 2014). The unique color spectrum of each set is accented by bold lines caused by fungi that form in the tree as a result of branches that break off during storms, enabling water to drip down within the tree while it grows.

All three tonewoods were paired with Sitka spruce tops featuring Adirondack spruce CV bracing for a boost of sonic horsepower. The same Grand Auditorium body style was chosen for all three, with a sharp Florentine cutaway giving the trio a distinctive family resemblance. The Florentine is a much rarer cutaway style than the Venetian at Taylor due to the time-consuming nature of crafting one.

Premium appointments include a new Capstone fretboard inlay motif, which features rosewood outlined in mother-of-pearl, with a similarly rendered rosette. The capstone inspiration came from Andy’s visit to the city of Sarzana, Italy, for a Taylor event in conjunction with the city’s annual Acoustic Guitar Meeting. The guitars also showcase rosewood binding with curly maple top edge trim, a rosewood back strip, an all-gloss body, Gotoh Gold tuners, and Expression System® 2 electronics. The models feature a limited edition guitar label and ship in a Taylor deluxe hardshell case.

Koa Series

Back/Sides: AA-Grade Koa
Top: Western Red Cedar
Models: K16ce LTD

This 6-string Grand Symphony showcases the honey-brown hues and rich figure of AA-grade koa paired with a cedar top. Darker cedar was intentionally chosen to match koa’s color tones, and a shaded edgeburst artfully wraps the entire guitar in toasted warmth, including the mahogany neck.

Tonally, the two woods complement each other well, with cedar’s warm, midrange-centered overtones embellishing koa’s natural midrange focus. “Koa has the midrange emphasis of mahogany, but with a little more upper register sweetness and chime,” says Taylor’s Andy Powers. “When you bring together the cedar and koa, you get this thick and warm midrange, with a sweet undertone.”

The Grand Symphony body brings an expressive dynamic range to the playing experience with the wood pairing, responding well to a lighter touch, while also expanding the overall depth and tonal output.

300 Series

Back/Sides: Indian Rosewood
Top: Western Red Cedar
Models: 314ce-RW LTD

As the saying goes, sometimes less is more. A rosewood/cedar guitar rewards players who employ a lighter attack, from fingerstylists to light strummers, with a warm and richly musical voice. Compared to a spruce-top guitar, a cedar top reveals itself with a mature, played-in sound right away, and fans of rich overtones will enjoy playing this Grand Auditorium limited edition. Cedar’s midrange bloom provides a wonderful complement to rosewood’s scooped midrange and treble sparkle.

“Cedar lends a strong, woody overtone component to the mix,” says Taylor master builder Andy Powers. “Its complex overtone profile is more immediate than spruce. When combined with the bell-like upper overtone character of rosewood, together they impart a really thick flavor to each note, even when played lightly.”

The Grand Auditorium’s responsiveness to both fingerpicking and light to medium strumming makes it a great match for the tone profile of the woods. Players with a relaxed attack can expect an expressive and easily accessible voice. Clean appointments borrow from Taylor’s standard 300 Series (2015): black pickguard and binding, Italian acrylic dot inlays, 3-ring rosette, white top purfling, satin-finish back and sides with a gloss top, and Expression System®2 electronics.