A classic koa Taylor is updated with V-Class bracing.
by Teja Gerken
April 16, 2018
Koa is one of the most attractive materials available to guitar makers, and Taylor has offered models built with the Hawaiian-grown wood throughout its history. In recent years, the grand auditorium K24ce has been one of the company’s most popular koa guitars, and earlier this year, it became one of the first four models to receive Taylor’s brand-new V-Class bracing. Having checked out the earlier X-braced K24ce in 2017, we were excited to check out this latest version of the guitar.
Koa’s appearance can range from fairly plain to highly figured, and Taylor is known for using koa sets from the flashier side of the spectrum. When I first opened our demo guitar’s case, I caught myself saying “Oh wow” at the guitar’s striking appearance, which features woods with natural depth in color and heavy flaming, as well as a subtle edge-sunburst finish. Like earlier versions of the K24ce, the guitar features a vine inlay in the fingerboard, and Taylor calls the latest version of this design, which is executed in maple wood, a “spring vine.” The guitar has maple binding and rosette and Taylor has relied on beautiful woods rather than pearl or abalone to create what is definitely not a subtle look.
Having now played several V-Class Taylors, including a 914ce and a Builder’s Edition K14ce, it’s become clear to me that while all of these guitars deliver great sustain, clarity, volume, and balance, the V-Class bracing does not diminish the tonal characters of the individual woods the guitars are built with. The K24ce has the natural dynamic compression that hardwood-top guitars are known for, producing an exceptionally smooth voice when strummed and great balance when played fingerstyle. The guitar also has wonderful sustain, and when I tuned the bottom string to a low C, the guitar continued to offer definition. Plugged into a Fishman Loudbox Mini Charge amp, the guitar’s Taylor ES 2 electronics delivered much of the same qualities. With its dynamically controlled character, the guitar would make a great choice for playing at high volume.
Overall, the V-Class-braced K24ce essentially delivers more of all the qualities that the model’s many fans appreciate. Whether you’re attracted to the beautiful woods or the legendary Taylor koa tone, this is a lovely guitar to check out.
SPECS: Grand auditorium body with cutaway. Solid koa top, back, and sides. V-Class bracing. Ebony fingerboard and bridge. 25.5-inch scale. 1¾-inch nut width. Gold tuning machines. Expression System 2 electronics. Made in USA. $4,499 street. Taylorguitars.com
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