What is a cutaway guitar? It is an acoustic guitar with a cut out in the lower section to allow the players to reach the higher frets. This design is the big advantage it has over the non-cutaways or what we call as the standard acoustic guitars.
Does it have a disadvantage? Acoustic guitars rely in part on its interior body characteristics to deliver sound.
That is the reason why dreadnought guitars have that full and louder volume because it is the biggest acoustic guitars available.
Changing either the size or the shape of the body alters the sound. Either the timbre or the volume of the acoustic guitar will be different.
Cutaway guitars will have slightly less bass response. A lot of guitarists will see that as a more balanced sound. Other guitar players find the tone as too bright meaning too much treble.
Personally, I prefer the cutaways than the non-cutaways. Why? Because I always like the idea to reach the higher frets when playing. The second reason is when amplified, the brighter tone of the cutaways will always cut through the mix when playing with a lot of instruments.
You cannot replace the sound of the Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar playing the rhythm part, but the cutaways tone is really suitable for the lead part.
Among the most popular cutaways is the Taylor 914ce Grand Auditorium. The guitar back and sides are made from Solid Indian Rosewood. Wow!
This tonewood is coveted by guitar players and guitar builders alike for its amazingly dark, luxurious shades that range from brown to purple to rose to black, and for its tonal characteristics that include a stronger bass response and longer sustain.
It is still the most popular tonewood in use. The Sitka Spruce Top being used on this guitar produces a slightly treble tone than the Engelman Spruce. The guitar bridge, the fretboard and the headstock overlay is made out of Ebony.
The nut and saddles are made from bone. Inlays on the fretboard and soundhole rosette are made of Abalone and Mother of Pearl. This guitar is a work of art by itself.
A patented innovation on this guitar is neck angle adjustment. There is no other acoustic guitar which has this feature. It just requires some spacers as it is not glued in place. Very cool feature for a guitar technician like me.
If you are a guitar collector, this is one guitar you should add to your collection as guitars in the future cannot be made like this anymore, considering the dwindling stock of prized tonewoods.
There is even a version of this guitar made from Brazillian Rosewood which is even rarer. It is very hard to find guitars with Brazillian Rosewood these days. If you can find that, that is more than a gem.