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Digital Subscriptions > Guitar Magazine > Mar 209 > grand Designs

grand Designs

Last year’s V-Class launch saw Taylor’s master guitar designer Andy Powers reinvent the internal architecture of the lat-top acoustic with breathtaking implications for projection, sustain and tuning. For 2019, Powers is ready to challenge your preconceptions about what a Taylor guitar is supposed to sound like. We head to Nashville to meet the company’s new round-shoulder dreadnought, the Grand Paciic…
Master guitar designer Andy Powers and VP of marketing Tim O’Brien talk journalists through the rationale behind the new Grand Paciic
PHOTOGRAPHY ELEANOR JANE

In late 2017, when Taylor Guitars wanted to show a small group of guitar journalists its latest innovation, the company chose Carlsbad, a 35-minute drive north of downtown San Diego and home to Andy Powers, the master luthier and polymath to whom the creative torch has been passed from Bob Taylor himself.

Bob’s concerns now stretch way into the future as he immerses himself in sustainability projects separated by over 10,000 miles in Hawaii and Cameroon. And while Bob devotes his time to ensuring there’s wood for tomorrow, Andy works with the timber of today to design the inest instruments in the company’s 45-year history. The airy barn that houses Andy’s home workshop was the perfect environment in which to introduce the V-Class system. Within earshot of the surf that Powers was staring into when he experienced the Damascene moment that inspired his revolutionary bracing system, we heard its exceptional projection and sustain – and truly remarkable intonation – for the very irst time.

Yet although the modernistic and ornate Builder’s Edition K14ce was chosen as the instrument in which V-Class bracing would make its debut, it wasn’t the irst guitar that Powers had in mind when he set about reworking the internal architecture of the lat-top acoustic guitar a couple of years earlier. Even as people were being wowed by the K14ce in the packed Taylor booth at the Winter NAMM Show in January 2018, in a side room away from lashbulbs and livestreaming video, a handful of people were shown a slope-shoulder prototype that was a very different guitar indeed.

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