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May 29, 2024
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Guitar Care Spotlight: TaylorSense®

Guitar Care Spotlight: TaylorSense®

As seen in Guitar Girl Magazine Issue 17 – Fall 2021
The Bells & Whistles

With its built-in sensing technology, the aftermarket guitar care system from Taylor Guitars makes it easier than ever to monitor the condition of a guitar.

More and more people are wearing fitness trackers, so why shouldn’t guitars get in on the fun?

NOTE: This article originally appeared on our Fall 2021 edition which can be seen at the link above.

If you’ve spent any time researching acoustic guitars, you’ve probably at least heard about the importance of protecting a guitar against extended exposure to low or high humidity. That’s because a guitar’s main ingredient, wood, is highly responsive to its surrounding environmental conditions. Extended humidity swings can disrupt the carefully calibrated geometry of a guitar in a way that compromises the feel and sound. Low humidity can cause a guitar’s wood components to dry out and potentially shrink or crack, lowering the string action to a level that leads to fret buzz. High humidity can cause the wood to swell up, glue joints to fail, and finish to lift, along with high action and dull or dead tone (due to the extra water weight the guitar is holding). The optimal humidity range for a guitar is right in the middle, about 45-55 percent, although generally, anywhere in the 40-60 percent range is pretty safe.

Real-world humidity issues are the reason why Taylor Guitars has developed sophisticated wood conditioning systems at its factory, which help stabilize its wood components and keep them consistent as they progress through the production process. It’s also why many guitar shops keep their acoustic guitar inventory in a climate-controlled room. And it’s why an in-tune guitar can seemingly fall out of tune just going from a cool room to a warm, brightly lit stage.

The truth is that keeping your guitar properly humidified might be the most important part of guitar maintenance, especially if you travel with your acoustics and regularly play in new locales. Even if you mainly play at home, if you live in a region where you run a heater in the winter, the humidity level inside your home can drop pretty low. And as it turns out, many of the most commonly asked questions about guitar service are often symptomatic of humidity issues. In fact, Taylor’s repair department is always busier in the winter because of dry conditions in people’s homes.

For decades now, the service team at Taylor Guitars has been banging the drum about the importance of humidity control, promoting the proper use of digital hygrometers to measure humidity levels and other tools to help humidify or dehumidify a guitar as needed.

So it should come as no surprise that Taylor has taken things a step further for Taylor owners with the help of some pretty cool sensing technology that’s bundled into a product called TaylorSense. In a nutshell, it’s a smart battery box that replaces the standard 9-volt battery box of a Taylor guitar equipped with pickup. Inside, sensors monitor the relative humidity and temperature around the guitar, transmitting that information to a TaylorSense smartphone app via low-energy Bluetooth. Using the app, players can check climate info in real-time.

If the numbers around the guitar should rise or fall outside recommended levels and remain there for long enough to create a cause for concern, TaylorSense lets you know with alerts on your phone. The sensor box also detects significant physical impact to the guitar, so you’ll know if your guitar takes a hit that you need to check on. Lastly, TaylorSense monitors the guitar’s battery level, so if you play shows, you’ll never have to worry about taking the stage with a dying pickup.

After a few years on the market, TaylorSense was recently relaunched on an expanded platform, with the app now available for both iOS and Android devices. Other minor refinements were added based on extensive user testing. And it’s easy for anyone to install in a few minutes.

So, if you’ve invested in a nice Taylor and want to keep it playing and sounding its best, you might want to consider TaylorSense. It brings a whole new meaning to tracking a guitar. You can find it at local Taylor dealers and in the online TaylorWare store at taylorguitars.com.

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