Every year at the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) in Anaheim California, Taylor Guitars builds VERY special custom guitars that only a handful of dealers can purchase. These are very special guitars, and hold very special meaning to guitar collectors and players all over the world. Willcutt Guitars is part of a select group of Taylor Premier dealers and is proud to represent this amazing Taylor custom guitar that can be yours to own for a lifetime…and longer as these unique special guitars become “heritage” instruments to families and get handed down.
This particular example is in the most popular body shape that Bob Taylor designed back in the early 90’s – the Grand Auditorium. It features an incredible flamed Master Grade AA Hawaiian KOA Body with incredible Taylor appointments along with the realistic sounding Taylor Expression System 2 electronics. This rare and beautiful guitar will fit perfectly in any guitar collection or on stage for any player who wants the best sound and individuality.
Flamed Master Grade KOA Top
Only one place on Earth offers this amazing wood – and that is on the main island of Hawaii at an elevation above 5,000 feet! The back and sides of this Taylor Catch Custom showcase this beautiful AA level of Hawaiian Koa. Only a handful of wood sets get to be graded at this high a level, so these guitars were limited to a number of less than 10! . You will notice the lighter wood behind the bridge, and that would be the sapwood heart of the tree which truly adds a whole other dimension of beauty to this instrument. Not wanting to diminish any of the beauty of the grain, this guitar was finished in a beautiful shaded edgeburst on the whole guitar – including the peghead!
The dark ebony fretboard atop a mahogany neck of this Taylor is adorned with custom outlined block inlays made of Cocobolo and Ivoroid. This unique design adds a striking contrast to normal dots or diamond inlays on many other instruments. The peghead veneer of this Taylor is Hawaiian koa as well, with a shell mother-of-pearl Taylor logo inlay. This a Grand Auditorium is topped off with Gold Gotoh Luxury tuners, and strap pins to match.
Hawaiian koa is a fairly dense tropical hardwood with a strong midrange focus similar to mahogany with an extra slice of top-end brightness and chime. The more you play a koa guitar, the more of the bass range you'll hear. Strong midrange overtones add a sense of warmth and sweetness to its voice. Pairing this wood top with a soft Venetian cutaway for easier access to the upper frets, cocobolo wood binding, a hand carved cocobolo wood armrest , and a single ring cocobolo rosette adds the icing to the cake on this beautifully dressed instrument.
The way the soundboard (the top) of a guitar moves is largely regulated by the bracing, and the degree to which the top moves is fundamental to the overall sound of every guitar, not just a Taylor guitar. For a long time, there has been a compromise to be had – do we choose volume (lighter braced) or sustain (heavier braced). Should we be stiff or flexible? Why not both! Seemingly contrary to the universal laws of guitar building – Taylor Guitars revolutionary V-class bracing manages to simultaneously boost volume AND increase sustain (of which it is usually necessary to sacrifice one at the expense of the other) whilst at the same time greatly improving the natural intonation of the instrument right along the neck, providing a smooth tonal balance right across the tonal spectrum and with great projection.
This is achieved by encouraging a more natural, synergized response from the soundboard – the top moving in a way that is more sympathetic to the development and prorogation of individual notes and the way in which they interact with one another - encouraging notes to unfurl and develop in with less conflict, resulting in fuller, more vibrant chords and melodies that soar and carry like never before. V-Class bracing truly is the best of both worlds.
Expression System 2 Electronics
What good is a guitar like this without top of the line electronics to make it sound as good plugged in as it looks and sounds on its own? Amplified with Taylor's Expression System 2 electronics, makes every note and nuance heard and felt, whether it is plugged into your favorite acoustic guitar amp or into your favorite direct box into a PA system. Whether you are in a studio or playing live, this system will accurately present you amazing acoustic tones.