Build Quality:4.8 out of 5 stars
Hardware:4.7 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.7 out of 5 stars
Value:4.8 out of 5 stars
Average:4.8 out of 5 stars

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Pros:

  • Innovative V-Class bracing
  • Rounded, yet expressive tone
  • Wonderful build quality

Cons:

  • Dynamics are compromised with heavy strumming

As I wandered into the world of acoustic instruments, I discovered that there’s an interminable battle and, at the same time, collaboration between older designs and traditions and innovation. Some brands manage to create the pieces with the virtues of the both worlds, while others concentrate on one or the other. In the latter case, it becomes extremely hard for me to make up my mind. I find a beautiful vintage piece and I feel like it’s definitely better than the modern models. Then I encounter the innovation that completely changes the game and I start leaning towards newer products. It has turned into a curse for me, since I feel the inner urge to make a decision at last and be done with it. Both of these worlds keep surprising me and the only thing I seem to be able to do is to greet them with an open-mind and try out as many models as I can. Today is the day when I’m all about the innovation, since I’m going to talk about Taylor. They always come up with improved approaches and techniques that turn everything upside down. Their 317e Grand Pacific is a guitar that will show off with all the virtues innovation can have. I’m eager to explore its features in depth and provide you with all the necessary information. Are you in? – if so, let’s get this journey started!

Build

I really doubt that you’ve never heard of Taylor before, but just in case you haven’t, I’ll tell you that this is one of the leading brands when it comes to expensive, high-quality guitars. But as you invest in one of them, every penny pays off. 317e follows that pattern, as it wins higher ranks with its construction and performance. Once you look at it, you immediately notice that there’s something different about it. Don’t let those shoulders fool you – this is a dreadnought guitar with an odd design. Instead of being square as the majority of dreadnoughts out there, Taylor decided to incorporate round shoulders for amplified sonic results. To our advantage, that’s not the only new thing you’ll find in this guitar. 317e features the brand’s proprietary V-class bracing that has changed the way we perceive music. I’ll talk about it a bit later, but for now, just know that it works wonders.

Additionally, this puppy has a high-quality body that combines the woods that we all love and appreciate. The top is made from Sitka spruce that has been utilized in so many wonderful guitars. Back and sides are built with versatile sapele that suits any genre and style imaginable. The Grand Pacific has a tropical mahogany neck and West African Crelicam ebony. It has a satin finish that’s smooth to the touch. When you do chords on the fretboard, you feel like the woods are hugging your fingers and you forget about the pain. The scale length is 25.5 inches, which is a typical measurement for dreadnoughts. 317e is a distinctive piece, but that difference stems from innovative approaches, not some weird and abundant features.

Hardware

Talking about such wonderful guitars is a blessing, trust me. When I start rambling, I can’t seem to stop. That’s because I admire the quality behind them and respect the work that’s been put in their production. Taylor always invokes such feelings in me, and when I encountered 317e, I couldn’t stop talking about it for weeks. The craftsmanship is remarkable and you’ll see it better as we discuss its hardware.

The Grand Concert has a black graphite nut that blends perfectly with the fretboard and headstock. Micarta saddle fixes the strings securely and transfers them through the bridge pins. Tuning machines are soft and move freely, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be fixed on a certain position. In fact, they hold the tuning impeccably and maintain it as long as it’s possible. Most importantly, e317 has an Expression System 2 pickup, which is, once again, an innovative creation. It is composed of a behind-the-saddle pickup (which has three individual sensors to recognize the vibrations) and the preamp that refines your tone before it reaches the audience. Nickel buttons are located right above the neck and can be utilized to modify desired parameters.

Sound

I’ve mentioned “innovation” quite a few times already, and now it’s time to discuss what difference those newer touches make. Let’s start with the V-class bracing: it makes it possible to build the guitar top that is both flexible and stiff. And do you know what that means? – that means that you’ll get more sustain and volume compared to the guitars with X-bracing. This new system improves the sonic qualities of the guitar and makes its sound even more prominent. Moving on to the Taylor’s proprietary Expression System 2, the pickup is positioned behind the saddle to avoid limitations in its movements. In order to receive a full-bodied sound, it’s necessary to enable the saddle to bounce freely as a result of vibrations. The preamp part of the system comes with Tone and Volume knobs that help you craft your tone as you desire. If you’re looking for a traditional Taylor sound, then this might not be the best one for you. The Grand Pacific 317e offers the sound that is different from what we’re used to from the brand. It has rich highs, mids and lows, and is just perfect with fingerpicking. Heavy strumming might deprive the sound of dynamics, but if you keep it moderate, you’ll be fine!

Conclusion

If you’d ask me what I envision as the perfect acoustic guitar, I would show you the picture and the spec list of The Grand Pacific 317e and force you to listen to its sound. Even though you have to pay a lot of money for it, it’s absolutely worth it. You’ll learn that the quality means a lot in practical application and that innovation is essential if you want to create something new. Good luck!

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