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Taylor 724ce
 
A new all-koa grand auditorium that’s part of the revamped 700 series.
July 20, 2022
 

Taylor’s mid-size grand auditorium guitars are the company’s most popular instruments, so it’s no surprise that when Taylor’s Andy Powers recently decided to revamp the 700 series to be built with koa wood, a grand auditorium 724ce was one of two models chosen to launch the new line (the other was a grand concert 722ce, which we demoed recently). Serious Taylor buffs may need a moment to adjust to the fact that 700s are no longer built with rosewood back and sides and a spruce top as they have been for decades (check out the 414ce-R for a high-value, rosewood-and-spruce grand auditorium!), but the result is an expansion of choices for fans of guitars made with Hawaiian koa wood. Formerly reserved for Taylor’s high-end Koa series, this wood is prized for both its looks and tonal qualities. The new guitars retain the simpler, more utilitarian appointments the 700 series is known for while using somewhat less flashy koa than that used on more expensive instruments. I enjoyed spending time with the 722ce, so I was happy when I had a chance to take the larger 724ce for a spin in the Peghead Nation studio.

While it doesn’t have the ultra-dramatic figure and coloring found in some koa, the wood used on our demo 724ce was very impressive. A little lighter in color than the wood used on the 722ce we checked out, the set has attractive striping and some beautiful flame and figuring in the top. The new 700 series’ ultra-thin matte finish has a more organic appearance than a high-gloss finish, and it is likely to have a positive tonal impact, as it allows the wood to resonate more freely. The guitar’s rosewood body binding, single-ring paua shell rosette, and new “fountain” pattern inlay in the fingerboard contribute to an overall look that is elegant and subtly enhances the koa’s natural beauty. Of course the 724ce includes Taylor’s V-Class bracing and ES2 electronics, giving it the tools to deliver the company’s signature tonality both acoustically and plugged-in. 

The 724ce felt a bit lighter than some other Taylor grand auditoriums I’ve played, and combined with the more natural surface of the open-pore matte finish, the guitar felt slightly different from other models. The 724ce has a great, open-sounding low end that works particularly well for big chords or lowered tunings, and I quickly found myself exploring some fingerstyle playing in open-D tuning. The guitar’s overall tonal quality is a bit “looser” than most Taylor grand auditoriums, and I really liked its response and warmth. Naturally, it has Taylor’s typical precision setup, and the guitar played beautifully all the way into the cutaway. And plugging the ES2 system into a Fishman Loudbox Mini Charge amp provided a hassle-free and natural-sounding amplified voice. 

The new 724ce is a great addition to Taylor’s line. Whether you think of it as a revamped 700 or a stripped-down Koa series, the result is a very cool guitar that has its own look, feel, and sound. It’s definitely worth checking out, and I hope that more new 700 series models are to come!

SPECS: Cutaway grand-auditorium body. Select-grade koa top, back, and sides. V-Class bracing. Ebony fingerboard and bridge. 25.5-inch scale. 1¾-inch nut width. Taylor polished bronze tuning machines. Expression System 2 electronics. Made in USA. $3,499 street. Taylorguitars.com

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Richard Hoover and James Nash | Santa Cruz Guitar
The Santa Cruz founder and flatpicking virtuoso team up for a presentation about the company at Organic Sounds Guitars.
 
 
 
 
 
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    ● Courses
    ● Live Workshops
    ● Instructors
    ● Sample Lessons
    ● Notation Guide
    ● For Beginners
 
 
    ● Vintage Vault
    ● New Gear
    ● Fine Lutherie
 
 
    ● Workshops
    ● Advice
    ● Repertoire
 
 
    ● Recordings
    ● Events
    ● Breaking News
 
 
    ● In The Studio
    ● Live Onstage
    ● Backroom
 
 
    ● New Products
    ● Inside Look
    ● Performances
    ● Partner Pages
 
 
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