SMG Review: Taylor NS34ce Grand Auditorium Nylon-String Guitar

The Taylor NS34ce Grand Auditorium Nylon-String Guitar

As an 18 year old, Bob Taylor began working at American Dream building guitars for owner Sam Radding, where Kurt Listug was already an employee. When Radding decided to sell the business in 1974, Taylor, Listug, and Schemmer bought American Dream and renamed it the Westland Music Company. Needing a more compact logo suitable for the guitars’ headstock, the founders decided to change the name to “Taylor” as it sounded more American than “Listug” and because as Kurt Listug put it, “Bob was the real guitar-maker.”Listug became the businessman of the partnership while Taylor was responsible for the design and production. In 1976, the company decided to begin selling their guitars through retailers. In 1981, facing financial difficulties, Taylor Guitars took out a bank loan to purchase equipment…

As of 2008, Taylor Guitars has more than 550 employees. The factory is located in El Cajon, California with worldwide distribution.

 

 

OFF THE RACK

The first thing I noticed about the Taylor NS34ce Grand Auditorium was the volume and sustain as it was much louder than I had anticipated. The spruce top lends a smooth beautiful tone to this elegant guitar that will truly set you apart from other nylon stringed guitars. The NS34ce has a perfect blend of bass, mid tone and treble frequencies. The cutaway was a nice addition, allowing you to access the higher frets which are difficult on most classical guitars. This axe is very light weight and fit perfectly in the hand and on the body. For a nylon stringed guitar, the neck is quite thin and fast. This feature will allow you to play fast, however the mellow magic keeps you at a nice pace to woo your audience. The Piezo system on this Taylor can be a bit tricky to dial in depending what kind of amp you are playing through. Played through an acoustic amp, I found that it was very bright almost punchy at times. However played through an electric guitar amp, you get a nice warm tone that hides most of the sensitivity of the Piezo. They both give a different effect, so you will have to play with it and see for yourself, either way the tone is pretty epic.

The NS34ce retains the superior tuning of the nickel and bronze stringed models which is a highlight of this guitar. As many classical players know, classical guitars are notorious for losing its tuning quite fast depending on weather and humidity. I was able to continuously jam on this axe while encountering no tuning issues.

THE SPECS

  • Body Style: 6-String Grand Auditorium
  • Back & Sides: Sapele
  • Top: Sitka Spruce
  • Rosette: Mexican Cypress
  • Neck: Tropical American Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Ebony
  • Fretboard Inlay: None
  • Headstock Overlay: Indian Rosewood
  • Bridge: Ebony
  • Scale Length: 25-1/2″
  • No. of frets: 20

THE LOW DOWN

All in all this is a great guitar with a modern twist. You get the classical tone and feel but with the modern Taylor playability, the best of both worlds! The thin fast neck will make finger style a breeze giving you extended time to play with less strain on the hand. The Piezo system is sensitive but that was likely the point as you can hear all the subtleties of the hand movements and string changes adding to the dynamic of a song. I highly recommend this guitar if you are looking for a modern classical guitar with far superior playability and superb tone. It’s a bit pricey, but it is a Taylor and the quality is on a level of its own. Try one out and see if the Taylor NS34ce is right for you. I have definitely added this guitar to my wish list this year.

 

Pros: Playability, Fast thin neck, Great tone, Light weight, Longer scale neck, Piezo system, Stays in tune.

Cons: N/A

Street Price: $1200-$1400

Till next week, thanks for reading and keep on shredding!

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