Taylor Expands Use of V-Class Bracing Tech

by Ronnie Dungan • in
  • MMR Global
• Created: July 2, 2018

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Taylor Guitars has expanded that its new V-Class bracing across all series made at the company’s El Cajon factory with the release of new 300 Series and 400 Series Grand Auditorium models.

V-Class bracing, which debuted earlier this year winning multiple awards including ‘Best In Show’ at 2018 Winter NAMM, responds with greater musicality and “harmonic agreement”, by introducing a more orderly vibration to the guitar’s top and bolsters the volume and sustain to offer players a more dynamic voice, while also resolving minor intonation issues.

“We’re thrilled to offer our new bracing system within each guitar series we make here at the El Cajon factory,” said Taylor Master Guitar Designer, Andy Powers. “V-Class has opened up a whole new path of musical possibilities for the acoustic guitar, and we’re excited to get these instruments in the hands of all kinds of players.”

The tonal improvements of V-Class provide a purer platform of sound that magnifies the tonal characteristics of each different wood pairing. “This design makes the tonewood pairings extra vibrant,” Powers said. “You hear a more distinct version of each wood’s sonic flavor.”

The new V-Class 300 and 400 Series models also feature inlay updates, including the addition of a peghead inlay to help identify them as V-Class guitars.

Within Taylor’s 300 Series, players have a choice of two different V-Class Grand Auditorium models: the 314ce, featuring a solid Sitka spruce top with solid sapele back and sides, and the 324ce, which pairs a solid mahogany top with Tasmanian blackwood back and sides. Each model has been a popular choice among players, serving as a versatile workhorse that performs reliably well in the practice room, recording studio, and on stage.  

The sapele/spruce 314ce responds with a balanced and articulate blend of top-end brightness, midrange fullness, and low-end warmth that accommodates an array of playing styles. Appointments include black binding, new Gemstone fretboard/peghead inlays in Italian acrylic, and satin-finish back and sides with a gloss top. The guitar also features a Venetian cutaway and Taylor’s proprietary ES2 electronics. The guitar ships in a deluxe hardshell case. Street Price is $1,999.

The cutaway Grand Auditorium 324ce sports a shaded edgeburst mahogany top that projects a rootsy vibe. The enhanced volume, sustain and projection of V-Class bracing bring out more of the natural midrange focus of its Tasmanian blackwood back and sides. While a hardwood mahogany top produces a natural compression that evens out the response across the tonal spectrum. The design boosts the dynamic range, especially in the upper register. Featured appointments include black binding with a matching black pickguard, Gemstone fretboard/peghead inlays in Italian acrylic, and a satin finish. The guitar ships with ES2 electronics in a deluxe hardshell case. Street Price is $2,199

Taylor’s cutaway acoustic/electric Grand Auditorium 414ce has long been a staple of gigging and recreational players thanks to its musical versatility and clean, workmanlike aesthetic. Crafted with back and sides of solid African ovangkol and a solid Sitka spruce top, the V-Class 414ce serves up a mix of powerful midrange frequencies, strong, clear treble notes, and deep yet balanced lows. Appointments include crisp white binding, Italian acrylic Small Diamond fretboard inlays with an Engraved  Diamond peghead inlay, and proprietary ES2 electronics. The guitar ships in a deluxe hardshell case. Street Price is $2,399

The 414ce-R is another popular cutaway Grand Auditorium, thanks in part to the classic wood pairing of solid rosewood and Sitka spruce. Powered by V-Class bracing, rosewood’s full-spectrum voice, known for its rich overtones, takes on an even more pleasing high-fidelity sound that translates into a more expressive response. It makes a fantastic guitar for virtually any application. The appointments feature white binding, Renaissance fretboard/peghead inlays in Italian acrylic, and a full-gloss body. The guitar ships with Taylor ES2 electronics in a deluxe hardshell case at $2,599.

Taylor also released a suite of V-Class Grand Auditorium guitars in late spring, ranging from its 500 Series through 800 Deluxe Series.

With the addition of V-Class bracing, the mahogany/cedar 514ce features the wood’s signature dry, focused tonal qualities with extra definition and colour, while cedar’s characteristic warmth, overtone complexity, and friendly response to a soft touch are enhanced by greater clarity and volume. Street Price is $2,799.

The all-mahogany 524ce yields a naturally compressed, balanced tone, accentuated by the hardwood mahogany top. With V-Class bracing, the guitar produces wider dynamic range, a stronger midrange punch, and a more harmonically balanced tone, most noticeably in the guitar’s upper register. Street Price: $2,899

Maple’s sonic transparency lends itself to versatility, and with V-Class bracing, Taylor’s 614ce can sound bright or warm, and with the increased power and sustain of the notes, players have more expressive range at their fingertips.  The icing on the cake is the torrefied Sitka spruce top, which helps enhance the touch sensitivity with a more open, played-in sound. Street Price: $3,499

This rosewood Grand Auditorium 714ce boasts a solid Lutz spruce top instead of Sitka, and is available with either a natural top finish or a striking Western Sunburst. Powered by V-Class, the updated 714ce has a singular ability to showcase more of the warmth and complexity of rosewood, producing the horsepower that will appeal to strummers and dynamic players. Street Price: $2,999

Taylor’s flagship rosewood/spruce 814ce is enhanced by the V-Class architecture. Likewise, Taylor has updated its luxurious counterpart, the 814ce DLX, which features a radius armrest and Gotoh 510 tuners. With both models, the V-Class design enhances rosewood’s overtone bloom by creating a more orderly response, allowing those overtones to grow without fighting each other. The result is a more flavorful, high-definition rosewood sound. Street Prices: $3,499, $3,999 (DLX)


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