What makes a great-sounding acoustic guitar?

Taylor acoustic guitar
(Image credit: Future)

For this section on that much-asked question of where great tone lies in an acoustic guitar, we cast our net far and wide to assemble some of the finest luthiers. 

The knights of our virtual round-table discussion are Andy Powers, George Lowden, Alex Bishop, Alister Atkin and Ciaran McNally, and the first thing we turned our attention to was the myth that a smaller-bodied instrument offers a lower output in terms of volume than its larger cousins…  

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David Mead

With over 30 years’ experience writing for guitar magazines, including at one time occupying the role of editor for Guitarist and Guitar Techniques, David is also the best-selling author of a number of guitar books for Sanctuary Publishing, Music Sales, Mel Bay and Hal Leonard. As a player he has performed with blues sax legend Dick Heckstall-Smith, played rock ’n’ roll in Marty Wilde’s band, duetted with Martin Taylor and taken part in charity gigs backing Gary Moore, Bernie Marsden and Robbie McIntosh, among others. An avid composer of acoustic guitar instrumentals, he has released two acclaimed albums, Nocturnal and Arboretum.