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In January of 2021 we reviewed Taylor’s then-new GTe Urban Ash guitar, but shortly after that review went live, Taylor made a unique new feature available.
Taylor took the idea of on-board electronics in a new direction with a system that has sensing technology which monitors the guitar’s humidity, temperature, battery life, and impact incidents.
Download the TaylorSense app, which is available on iOS and Android systems, and the guitar sends the information via Bluetooth to your device. Enabling push notifications allows real time updates, and even offers up solutions to the situation. When we installed the software the 66% humidity was noted as an alert, and the suggested solution was to use a readily-available two-way humidification system. Nice.▼ Article continues below ▼
If you happen to already have a Taylor guitar and would like to upgrade, it’s available as a kit to retro-fit into existing models that happen to have their expression system 1, 2, ES-T or ES-N electronics that use a 9v battery as a power source. Installation seems easy, but as always if you have any reservations about working on your guitar, an authorized technician can easily handle this task.
Despite the wood in the guitar being cut, processed and assembled into an instrument, it still reacts like a living thing, and while a couple of hot days might not debilitate a guitar, continuous unfavorable conditions can take its toll, and eventually rob the guitar of its playability. It’s hard to believe that a 73-degree day with 66% humidity isn’t considered optimum living conditions for a guitar (apparently the favorable humidity range is 40-60%).
The battery life status is a great feature. How many times have you plugged in an acoustic, and get no sound, and immediately forget about its battery, and go through everything else in the signal chain? This can help anyone eliminate any troubleshooting issues.
The weather this year in North America has certainly been extreme, and with the dry hot weather of the southwest, to the wet, hazy, hot and humid northeast, this can certainly help mitigate any issues before they become serious.
Finally, the impact status function registers any hits your instrument gets, in or out of the case. Shortly after installing the app, we put the guitar in its included soft-shell case, and as it wasn’t balanced well, it tipped over, and bumped against a bookcase. No damage happened, as it was in a case, but it did register on the app. Ever wonder if someone messed with your instrument, or mishandled it? Now you’ll know with an impact report with the time, date, as well as force subjected to the guitar. One thing we did notice and seems like a minor glitch in the app – we had our test guitar in its case, in our heated studio (that we were sitting in) in early fall and got a temperature warning at -48 degrees Fahrenheit. We dismissed this as a bug, however a false warning can be just as concerning as a real one. Something we’re sure Taylor will address in future updates.
Overall, it’s a great addition if purchased as an upgrade, and for units installed on new Taylor’s fresh from the factory.
Excellent, inexpensive upgrade to existing Taylor guitars
App sometimes gave incorrect temperature report