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317e
A Grand Pacific with a solid Sitka spruce top, solid Sapele back and sides, V-class bracing, fitted with an ES2 and supplied with a hardshell case.
With the Grand Pacific Taylor have finally hit on a dreadnought shape that is quintessentially ‘Taylor’. It is round-shouldered, rich in bass response with the full dynamic range you expect from a large-bodied guitar.
Sitka spruce is the most common spruce wood in use today. Sitka spruce is good for volume and will age nicely over the first four or five years of the guitar’s life, improving with time. Sapele is now commonly used as an alternative to mahogany and belongs to the same family. It is often slightly darker in (visual) tone but confers similar acoustical properties as mahogany. It sounds very sweet, is responsive to a lighter touch and blends really well with other acoustic instruments. It also has a natural compression.
Taylor has used various voicings based on the classic ‘X’ pattern embraced throughout the industry. The big breakthrough has been Andy Powers’ creation of the V-class bracing. Traditional X bracing has been the mainstay for steel-strung guitars- it works very well. The sound is complex and brings out overtones, especially as you play further up the neck, that both blend and clash. One quality of X bracing is that the very strong sound one gets from playing closer to the nut and especially using the open strings can be diminished further up the neck. It’s just a tradeoff. However, the V class bracing works differently. Andy Powers first imagined it as water running either side of a post holding up a jetty. The V shape channels the energy through the guitar in a way that holds the centre of the top more rigidly than the sides, which respond with a rocking motion (not actually visible to the eye, of course). The result is an improvement in volume up the neck, better intonation, an audible change in the way notes blend further up the ‘dusty’ end of the fretboard and one assumes a more stable area behind the bridge. It is a tremendous innovation to have been introduced to the modern guitar and demonstrates Taylor’s good sense in promoting Andy Powers as the new Master guitar Designer.
The ES2 pickup is different from the standard under saddle piezo system, which is under constant tension from the strings. This tension has a negative effect on tone, according to Taylor, and so they place their pickup on the side of the saddle, tensioned by 3 hex bolts which can be adjusted to calibrate the pickup response.
Taylor guitars come with a 12-year warranty with 2 years covering the electronics. This is activated by registering your details to Taylor’s site. Once this is done you will also receive Wood & Steel, Taylor’s quarterly gazette.
To learn more about the 300 series click here.

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