In 2012 the company was inspired by a desire to revoice the Taylor Jumbo, but Taylor’s design group instead opted to start from scratch and rethink the possibilities of a modern big-bodied guitar. Taylor master luthier Andy Powers began the design process by experimenting with body dimensions. He wanted to capture some of a Dreadnought’s robust tonal personality to produce big, round, richly solid notes. Slightly longer than a traditional Dreadnought, the Grand Orchestra features a tighter waist and a wider bottom bout to heighten the tonal properties. The body depth was also expanded to increase the air volume. “Bob Taylor has compared it to the lungs that support someone’s voice,” Powers explains. “By creating a bigger ‘lung,’ you have the bigger, fuller, more powerful capacity to support lower frequencies.” To maintain balance across the entire tonal spectrum, Powers designed a new bracing scheme. A hybrid of scalloped and parabolic bracing, the design causes the top and back to pump like a speaker cone, making the guitar loud and responsive from lows to highs.
At Winter NAMM
2013, Anaheim, Taylor Guitars unveiled the next body shape in the evolution of the company’s guitars: the Grand Orchestra. Designed as a successor to the Taylor Jumbo, the new GO series guitars are designed to redefine the playing experience of a big-body acoustic guitar providing Taylor’s boldest, richest voice, one that manages to blend low-end power with balance and responsiveness. The Grand Orchestra won a prestigious Musikmesse International Press Award (MIPA)
2013 which was announced during Musikmesse
Frankfurt 2013. The Grand Orchestra Guitary will also be on show at Summer NAMM
2013, Nashville, booth #201A (Level 2)
To celebrate the new shape, Taylor is initially releasing the GO in three ultra-limited batches of First Edition models: the 518e, 618e and 918e. Each will feature premium grades of wood, along with other upgrades. The 518e features a back and sides of solid mahogany, a solid Sitka spruce top and bracing, and is accented by the “Deco Diamonds” inlay; the 618e boasts a back and sides of solid, AA-grade Big Leaf maple, a solid Sitka spruce top, Adirondack bracing, and the “Twisted Oval” inlay scheme; and the 918e incorporates solid AA-grade Indian rosewood back and sides, a solid Sitka spruce top, Adirondack bracing, and the popular “Cindy” inlay design. All First Edition GO models will be released without a cutaway to accentuate the body shape.
The Grand Orchestra is the fifth body shape in Taylor’s acoustic guitar line, joining other proprietary Taylor shapes including the Grand Concert, Grand Auditorium and Grand Symphony, along with the Dreadnought. Grand Orchestra models will be designated within the Taylor series ending with the numeral “8” (e.g., 618e).