NAMM 2022: Taylor overhauls its 700 Series with new koa Grand Concert and Grand Auditorium models

Taylor 700 Series select-grade koa acoustic models
(Image credit: Taylor)

NAMM 2022: Taylor has got in on the NAMM action a whole week early by announcing its 700 Series of acoustic guitars will be undergoing a significant makeover: the lineup’s favored rosewood and spruce pairing will be dropped in favor of an all-koa body construction.

As of this year, the 700 Series will be launched with an all-new lineup of acoustics and acoustic electric guitars that utilize a new variety of the Hawaiin tonewood in a bid to deliver organic aesthetics and a “livelier, punchier sound”.

The new 700 Series era is being ushered in by two all-new models – the 722ce Grand Concert and 724ce Grand Auditorium – which make use of the company’s new-for-2022 design blueprint.

Build-wise, both models boast “select-grade” Hawaiian koa – a slightly different variety of the wood that is noted for its variegated hues and natural striping, and as such promises to provide a distinct aesthetic and tonal variation to Taylor’s premium Koa Series models.

The fresh wood – which was secured via Taylor’s forest restoration projects in Hawaii – encouraged Taylor master builder Andy Powers to develop a “dynamic new koa experience” that sets the 700 Series apart from the brand’s pre-existing Koa range.

As such, the latest 700 Series models feature top, back and sides crafted from the select-grade koa, with the guitars also boasting a modified version of Taylor’s V-Class architecture back bracing and a “tone-enhancing thin finish”. 

Specifically, the 722ce Grand Concert and 724ce Grand Auditorium are treated to an ultra-thin open-pore matte finish, which is said to minimize the dampening effect caused by thicker finishes. 

According to Powers, the thin finish means “you can feel the actual wood texture”, and as such will “hear more of the tactile elements of your playing – the subtle nuance of a guitarist’s natural sound”.

“These guitars retain the unique sweetness we associate with a guitar made from koa – especially that beautiful midrange – but with a more direct, punchy attack and natural response,” Powers added. “The thinness of this finish doesn’t contribute as much damping or compression.”

The two new models also debut a suite of other fresh appointments, including a bound soundboard, rosewood binding, a paua shell/rosewood rosette, maple/rosewood top edge trim and a dark-stained maple pickguard. A mother of pearl Fountain inlay is also an appearance.

A handful of 700 Series specs have been retained, too, including the Expression System 2 electronic system.

The refreshed range continues the company’s distinguished historical relationship with koa, which began with the launch of its Koa Series in 1983. 

Following the launch, every 700 Series model – with the exception of the Builder’s Edition 717e – will be reimagined to contain the new specifications.

Both the 722ce Grand Concert and 724ce Grand Auditorium models are available now for $3,499.

To find out more, visit Taylor.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.