The 500 Series 520e Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Guitar is Taylor's powerful dreadnought, paired with all-mahogany tonewood selection, unleashes a robust tone with a strong upper midrange that hearty... Click To Read More About This Product
The 500 Series 520e Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Guitar is Taylor's powerful dreadnought, paired with all-mahogany tonewood selection, unleashes a robust tone with a strong upper midrange that hearty strummers and lively pickers will love. A black pickguard, ivoroid binding and rosette, and a neo-vintage Century fretboard inlay help evoke an old-school heritage. Includes stage-ready Taylor Expression System 2 electronics and hardshell case.
Body Width: 16" / Body Depth: 4-5/8" / Body Length: 20"
The potent tone flatpickers and strummers love.
The most traditional of guitar shapes, Bob Taylor has evolved the Taylor Dreadnought over time to honor its enduring sonic heritage yet also refine the look and sound into a more modern package. The Taylor Dreadnought still boasts that powerful dreadnought tone that old school pickers expect, with deep lows and crisp highs, but with a voice that, like every Taylor, is more evenly balanced across the entire tonal spectrum. Perhaps more than any other shape, the Dreadnought remains linked with roots music like bluegrass and folk, in part because of its traditional role in defining those sounds. Pickers and strummers with an aggressive attack will love our Dreadnought's blend of power and articulation, which allows for clear lead lines and crisp, driving rhythms.
Origin: Central and South America
Mahogany is a good wood to anchor a discussion of tones, as a lot of other wood tones can be described in relation to it. Its essential sonic profile is well-represented in the midrange frequencies. Acoustic guitars in general tend to live in the midrange portion of the sound spectrum, but mahogany in particular displays a lot of midrange character. That thick, present midrange sound is sometimes described in guitar circles as meaty, organic or even "chewy" - wherever a player digs in on the fretboard, they're tapping into the core of the harmonic content of what a guitar produces. Those great midrange frequencies produce overtones that stack up and produce bloom, giving the sound extra girth. When one hears the resulting harmonics, the "chewy" tone serves up a big mouthful of midrange. As a popular tonewood for many decades, mahogany has been used on scads of old school acoustic recordings, and that sonic heritage carries across various strains of roots music, from blues to folk to slack key.
Expression System 2
The Taylor Expression System 2 (ES2) is a revolutionary pickup design that delivers the latest in Taylor's ongoing innovation in acoustic guitar amplification. The heart of the Expression System 2 is Taylor's proprietary behind-the-saddle pickup (patent pending), which features three uniquely positioned and individually calibrated pickup sensors. The location of the sensors enables a more dynamic range of acoustic sound to be captured than ever before. Together with Taylor's custom-designed "professional audio"-grade preamp, this system produces exceptional amplified tone and responsiveness. On stage through a PA, plugged into your favorite acoustic amplifier, or direct into recording software, the Expression System 2 faithfully conveys the voice of your Taylor guitar.
Behind the ES2 Design: Rethinking the Piezo Pickup
For decades, piezo-electric transducers have been positioned under the saddle of a guitar based on the long-held belief that the string and top vibration cause the saddle to "bounce" up and down. But Taylor's electronics team, led by developer David Hosler, discovered that the vertical movement is actually heavily restricted, and that the saddle gets "locked down" due to the string tension's downward pressure. That's why a traditional under-saddle pickup with piezo-electric crystals often responds with a sound often characterized as thin, brittle, brash or synthetic, especially with more aggressive playing.
The saddle's natural range of movement as the guitar is being played is actually back and forth like a pendulum. That revelation led Taylor's design team to relocate the crystals from under the saddle to behind it. The new positioning enables the crystals to respond more naturally to the guitar's energy as it is transferred through the saddle. Three pickup sensors are installed behind the saddle, through the bridge, with three tiny Allen screws that calibrate the position of the sensors in relation to the saddle.
Like the original Expression System, the ES2 features the same volume and tone control knobs. The preamp is similar but with a slightly different gain structure. As a result it will be about 25 percent hotter, which is more in line with other pickups. This makes it plug-and-play friendly both for artists and live sound mixers.