The Taylor ES2 (Expression System 2) is/was a big advancement in acoustic guitar amplification, and it came from Taylor's own in-house work. Their system is engineered to more accurately capture and amplify the natural sound of an acoustic guitar. Its design reflects a blend of acoustic physics and modern technology, creating a very authentic reproduction of acoustic sound. We'll explain the ES2 with a focus on its technical attributes and implications for sound quality.
What is the Taylor ES2? Technical Design
The core of the ES2 is its behind-the-saddle pickup design, differing from the traditional under-saddle piezo pickups found in many acoustic guitars. The ES2 uses three piezo sensors placed behind the saddle, rather than directly beneath it. This positioning allows for the pickup of vibrations from both the strings and the guitar's top, leading to a more comprehensive sound capture.
The physical principle here is that the change in pressure and string vibration is more naturally translated into an electrical signal, which can then be amplified without losing the nuances of the guitar's natural acoustic properties.
The Control System (EQ)
The ES2 has a very simple control scheme, with volume, bass, and treble, all located on the upper bout of the guitar. It sit underneath the wood with only the small rubber knobs showing. This is a lot less invasive and saves the body from some cutting.
Here's what it looks like from the inside of the guitar:
Here's a shot of what it looks like from the outside of the guitar:
And here's a wider angle view of the ES2 on a Taylor 114ce:
Application of the ES2: How is it used?
The versatility of the ES2 system is one of its standout features, making it suitable for a wide range of musical genres and playing styles. Taylor acoustics generally have the same reputation.
This versatility is a direct result of its design, which does not compress the signal or artificially color the tone. The system's ability to accurately reproduce the guitar's natural sound makes it a solid choice for producing high fidelity acoustic sound, particular in classical, jazz, and blues styles.
Fingerpicking also plays really well off the ES2.
Questions or Thoughts About the ES2
If you have questions or thoughts about the ES2, or just want to share your experience, feel free to reach out in the comments section below. We'll do our best to help out.
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