The new acoustic guitar is developed by master guitar designer Andy Powers and utilizes Taylor’s new sonic engine, V-Class bracing.
New Shape, New Sound
The new round-shoulder dreadnought adds some variety to the Taylor lineup. Over time, the Grand Auditorium models have become Taylor’s most popular, synonymous with what people identify as “the Taylor sound.”
For a lot of players, that Taylor sounds is a modern acoustic voice — clear and vibrant, with well-defined notes. The new Grand Pacific, however, produces a sound with very different tonal characteristics — warm and seasoned, with notes that overlap and blend together smoothly.
Regarding Andy Powers and his new V-Bracing, Taylor’s description states:
Using the V-Class voicing platform, Powers not only improved the bass response, he enhanced other frequencies to create consistently powerful notes across the tonal spectrum. This helps make the Grand Pacific a remarkably versatile guitar that will fit in among bluegrassers, singer-songwriters, and even fingerstyle players.
The Grand Pacific adds a new option in a industry category defined by traditional, well-known models.
And, importantly for Taylor, it offers some diversification within their own sonic product landscape.
Manufacturer’s Description of the Models
BUILDER’S EDITION 717 & BUILDER’S EDITION 517
The Builder’s Edition collection showcases Taylor’s envelope-pushing pursuits to create the most player-friendly guitars in both sound and feel. Distinctive features of both Builder’s Edition Grand Pacific models include:
- Compound carve neck profile: Designed to complement the way a player’s hand position shifts as it moves up the neck, the profile subtly transitions from a slight V at the nut to a rounded C, and features a rounded, ridgeless heel.
- Rolled fretboard edge: This is a subtle comfort feature that players will feel on both sides of the neck.
- Chamfered body edges: The rounded body edges enhance the playing comfort and feature traditional binding.
- New “curve wing” bridge shape: Rounded edges and other refined contouring update our signature aesthetic and make the bridge feel more comfortable against the pick hand.
- Silent Satin finish / Wild Honey Burst top: A careful color application process allows the burst color to penetrate the wood in a unique way that heightens the aesthetic appeal, artfully showcasing both the spruce wood grain and the depth in the color. (A natural top is also available.)
- New guitar case: The Taylor-manufactured case features an aesthetic upgrade to a luxurious exterior with a Western floral pattern that resembles tooled leather.
“It feels like the guitar has already been played for a while; maybe refretted once or twice,” Powers says of the rolled fretboard edge treatment. “That hard edge is just gone.“
The 717 and 517 will be available starting at street prices of $2,999and $2,799respectively. Both models will be offered with natural or burst tops as well as with or without electronics.
Taylor’s 300 Series offers the most approachable entry point in the Taylor line to introduce the Grand Pacific, and Powers was eager to make it happen. “You can do so much with this guitar,” he says. “You can take it to your open mic night, to the club dates and bar gigs, busk on a street corner, play with friends.” The clear sonic focus of the sound of the 317 will benefit singer-songwriters playing solo and ensemble scenarios in other ways as well. The 317 features include:
- Sapele back and sides: As a tonewood, sapele’s sonic characteristics live comfortably between the dry, clear, woody sound of mahogany and the complex, overtone-rich character of rosewood.
- Sitka spruce top: The combination of a Sitka spruce top, Grand Pacific body, and V-Class bracing help make the 317 an incredibly dynamic and versatile guitar. Players can expect all the fundamental virtues of V-Class — power, projection sustain, consistent tonal output across the tonal spectrum, pleasing in-tuneness — along with a blend of seasoned warmth that comes from Powers’ voicing of the bracing with the body dimensions.
- 300 Series appointments: The 317 shares the same appointment package with its sapele/spruce 300 Series siblings, including black binding, Italian acrylic Gemstone inlays — featuring a peghead inlay and black graphite nut as emblems of V-Class bracing — satin-finish back and sides with a gloss-finish top, and Taylor Expression System 2 electronics.
The 317 will be available starting at a street price of $1,699and will be offered with and without electronics.