Taylor's Koa series acoustic guitars are often dubbed "Taylors for wood-lovers"! Highlighted by the obviously stunning Hawaiian koa construction, these guitars also boast a set of appointments inspired by nature, and crafted from other exotic and figured woods. These high end Taylors are just as special tonally as they are visually.
Keep reading for an in depth breakdown of these guitars, and don't forget to check them out on our website!
Pictured is the K26ce ! Click on a photo for a hi-res version!
The Koa Series launched in 1998 along with the 300 series and the no longer active Walnut series. The vast majority of them are made from all solid Koa, a wood native to Hawaii, and that is becoming more rare and difficult to source by the day. On top of that, only 10% of koa wood shows the type of figuring you expect on a Taylor. This makes these beautiful guitars even more unique and special.
While Taylor has up until recently used Performance bracing (An X-style brace, tweaked for each specific guitar shape) on the Koa series, these guitars were some of the first to receive the new V-Class Bracing update!
2018 V-Class Upgrade: In 2018, Andy Powers is at it again, this time revolutionizing guitar bracing! The new K24ce model is one of the first to receive V-Class bracing - A shape that uses a large V, inspired by a wave crashing against a jetty that Andy experienced one surf-filled morning. V-Class bracing offers the perfect hybrid of rigidity (volume) and resonance (sustain) - two important buzz words that were always difficult to equally idealize without one negatively impacting the other. V-Class solves this and more - it also optimizes intonation too!
Koa series guitars use all solid Hawaiian Koa, except for the one-of-a-kind K14ce Builder's Edition which boasts a torrefied Sitka spruce top. Tonally, the koa hardwood is similar to maple and rosewood, creating a focused, pleasantly bright, and balanced tone. What really makes it special though it how it breaks in over time. It provides an even stronger midrange and a more rounded sound - it really becomes the best of every tonewood world!
Taylor didn't stop at just the gorgeous koa wood, even though they could have. Koa series acoustics feature a warm Shaded Edgeburst finish, a maple bound body, fingerboard, and headstock, and a maple wood rosette with a complex figured maple vine fingerboard inlay. You also get a set of gold plated tuners.
While most Koa Series acoustics use a time-tested gloss finish, the new K14ce Builder's Edition introduces a new "Silent Satin" finish. This finish is aptly named, as is combines the airy and open pore tonal profile of satin finish, with a smooth feel that is silent when your arm brushes against it. It's a great feature for the recording musician! Maybe we'll see this option soon on all Koa series guitars?
2014 marked the introduction of the new Expression System 2 preamp and pickup system. Not quite an "under-the-saddle" pickup, the revolutionary ES2 system is placed behind the saddle. Taylor discovered that the saddle doesn't really move vertically when the guitar is played, but in a pendulum like motion, so an under the saddle pickup wasn't receiving tonal pleasing vibrations. ES2 boasts three carefully positioned sensors with allen screw adjustments, and an audiophile grade preamp with slightly more headroom than the original Expression System.
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.