Taylor's Academy Series acoustic guitars are the newest members of the family. Introduced in 2017, these easily accessible guitars represent Taylor's successful marriage of a quality acoustic guitar with a price a beginner can afford. And they aren't just for beginners either! They make a great campfire or couch guitar for any level player.
Keep reading for an in depth breakdown of these guitars, and don't forget to check them out on our website!
Pictured is the Academy 10e ! Click on a photo for a hi-res version!
The Academy Series was introduced in 2017. These budget friendly acoustic guitars are inspired by - and are a culmination of the many other updates Taylor has made to it's lineup over the past several years. Designed to be the perfect "first guitar", the Academy series acoustics are available in Dreadnought or Grand Concert shapes, and a nylon string Grand Concert as well.
The Academy Series acoustic guitars still carry solid Sitka spruce tops, for an impressively rich and clear tone. The layered sapele back and sides are more resistant to humidity changes than solid wood, and are a great pairing with the spruce.
Layered Woods: Taylor sought to change the laminate wood landscape. Their new layered wood back and sides are set to do just this. Inside of just a thin veneer that may or may not be visually appealing, a core layer of poplar (not a cheapo tonewood) is surrounded by a pair of sapele veneers. Taylor will admit that the tone of a layered wood is not quite as complex as a solid wood, but they are visually appealing and beat out most other laminates on the market. And of course, the price is much more inviting!
While the Academy series acoustic guitars are cosmetically stripped down and use layered back and side woods, you'll also immediately notice the comfy armrest - as seen on recent high end Taylors. The dreadnought shape is offered with a short 24-7/8" scale, another new feature that was first introduced on the 500 and 700 series acoustics. You also get the ES-B electronics from the GS Mini-e Bass, complete with built in tuner - a rarity in a Taylor pickup, but perfect for an introductory guitar.
Along with the short scale length that is present on all 3 Academy Series body shapes, these models also use a slightly narrower than usual 1-11/16" nut width, a design geared toward providing new players optimal playing comforts. The guitars are also voiced to be exceptionally responsive to a player's touch, so they are anything but a struggle to play.
Taylor uses a special varnish finish on the Academy series instruments. It's a simple matte style finish which leaves many open pores in the wood, and is not as thick or protective as a gloss finish. But, it has it's own tonal profile, generally creating a bit more resonance or "openness".
Academy Series Guitars use "Classic X" bracing. It's name speaks for itself in some ways, as it's based on the century old X brace pattern, with a bit of Taylor flare. These braces are scalloped and forward shifted to allow for more top vibration.
Taylor NT Neck
The NT neck has long been one of Taylor's crowning achievements. Introduced in 1999, it solves a pair of the most long-standing acoustic guitar problems ever - neck angle and 14th fret hump. With a traditional set neck, it's just a foregone conclusion that one day, it will require an expensive neck reset, and because the fingerboard extension is usually glued directly to the top (which is constantly moving) it will eventually shift and cause a hump/crooked angle, when compared to the neck angle before the neck meets the body.
Taylor's NT neck is made from 1 piece of wood that extends all the way up to the 19th fret - including the fingerboard extension, so no part of the neck is impacted by top movement and it's completely secure. The neck joint itself is also proprietary - it's easy to remove and action can be set with spacers. There's a perfect neck angle for each guitar and each set of wood, and the NT neck allows these precise adjustments to occur like no other.