Taylor Expression System 1 Vs 2 [What is the difference]

Acoustic guitars have been enchanting audiences for centuries with their warm and natural sound. However, in the modern age of amplification and recording, guitarists face the challenge of capturing and reproducing that unique acoustic essence accurately. Among these innovations, the Taylor Expression System (ES) has garnered significant attention and praise.

In this blog post, we will delve into the differences between Taylor Expression System 1 (ES1) and Taylor Expression System 2 (ES2), exploring their unique features, design philosophy, and the impact they have had on acoustic guitar performance.

Taylor Expression System 1 Vs 2

Comparison Table:

FeatTaylor Expression System 1 (ES1)Taylor Expression System 2 (ES2)
Pickup DesignUnder-saddle pickup and soundboard sensorsBehind-the-saddle pickup
String-to-String BalanceSlight imbalance in string responseImproved string-to-string balance
Dynamic RangeLimited dynamic responseWider dynamic range
Midrange ColorationSlight quack-like colorationReduced midrange coloration
Sustainability FocusTraditional materials and designEco-friendly materials and sustainable focus
Customized Active PreampYesEnhanced customized active preamp
Feedback ResistanceGood feedback resistanceImproved feedback resistance
Natural Resonance PreservedYesEnhanced preservation of natural resonance
Release YearEarly 2000sMid-2010s

Details on the Taylor Expression System 1 Vs 2 –

The Birth of Taylor Expression System 1 (ES1):

Taylor Expression System 1

During the early 2000s, Taylor Guitars embarked on a mission to address the complexities of amplifying an acoustic guitar’s sound while preserving its innate, natural tone. This endeavor gave rise to the groundbreaking Taylor Expression System 1 (ES1). Crafted to be discreet and non-intrusive, ES1 featured three strategically placed sensors: one beneath the saddle and two on the back of the guitar’s soundboard.

Such an ingenious setup enabled the system to effectively capture both the subtle vibrations of the strings and the resonant vibrations of the soundboard, resulting in a more expansive and authentic amplified sound.

The Advantages and Limitations of Taylor Expression System 1:

ES1 was a game-changer in the acoustic guitar world. It offered several advantages, such as a balanced output, minimal feedback issues, and a remarkably natural tone. Many musicians praised its performance, and it became a sought-after feature in Taylor’s acoustic guitar lineup. However, ES1 did have some limitations, including a slight quack-like coloration in the midrange and less precise string-to-string balance.

The Evolution to Taylor Expression System 2 (ES2):

Taylor Expression System 2

Taylor Guitars continuously strives for improvement, and the feedback from ES1 users played a crucial role in the evolution of the pickup system. In the mid-2010s, Taylor unveiled the Expression System 2 (ES2), representing a significant leap forward in acoustic guitar electronics. While maintaining the core principles of ES1, ES2 introduced a groundbreaking behind-the-saddle pickup design.

The Advantages of Taylor Expression System 2:

The transition to a behind-the-saddle pickup design brought remarkable advantages to ES2. By placing the sensors behind the saddle, ES2 captured the vibrations of the strings more accurately, resulting in improved string-to-string balance and a wider dynamic range. This design choice also eliminated any interference with the saddle, preserving the guitar’s natural resonance and sustain.

Enhanced Customized Active Preamp:

Both ES1 and ES2 use an onboard preamp to process and amplify the captured signals. However, ES2 features an upgraded customized active preamp that offers greater tonal control and flexibility. Musicians can fine-tune their amplified sound to suit different playing styles, venues & preferences, making ES2 a versatile choice for a wide range of acoustic guitarists.

Taylor’s Commitment to Sustainability:


In addition to the improved performance, Taylor Expression System 2 also embodies the company’s commitment to sustainability. The design of ES2 incorporates eco-friendly materials and manufacturing practices, reducing the overall environmental impact. This aligns with Taylor Guitars’ dedication to promoting eco-conscious initiatives within the music industry.

The evolution of Taylor Expression System 1 to Taylor Expression System 2 represents a remarkable journey in the realm of acoustic guitar electronics. ES2’s behind-the-saddle pickup design, enhanced preamp, and sustainability focus have set new standards for acoustic guitar amplification.

As musicians continue to seek the perfect balance between natural sound and modern convenience. The Taylor Expression System remains at the forefront of innovation, enabling guitarists to unleash their true artistic expression and deliver captivating performances to audiences worldwide.

Whether you choose ES1 or ES2, the timeless beauty of the acoustic guitar, amplified through Taylor’s cutting-edge technology, will continue to mesmerize and inspire generations of musicians to come.

Last Updated on September 14, 2023 by Perry Garner

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *