Taylor's 300 series acoustic guitars are the most affordable all solid-wood models in their lineup. Utilizing more readily available, but far from inferior tonewoods, Taylor has carved out an impressive and popular niche with these guitars. Whether a Sitka spruce/sapele guitar is up your alley, or a Mahogany and Blackwood combination tickles your fancy, the 300 series can provide.
Pictured is the 320e - with rosewood back and sides. Click on a photo for a hi-res version!
The 300 series was introduced in 1998, along with the entire revamped Taylor lineup. It was and still is the cheapest all solid wood Taylor in the family. Generally made from Sitka spruce and sapele - a more plentiful and easier to source cousin of mahogany. More recently, mahogany topped models were also offered as well.
In 2016, the 300 series received a subtle but important facelift. The lesser known mahogany topped members of the family now used a new tonewood - Tasmanian Blackwood. This exotic wood exhibits tonal characteristics of mahogany, with a bit of high end shimmer normally reserved for rosewood guitars.
Optimized features for the new 400 series guitars included:
The new Performance Bracing is also offering on the 300 series acoustic guitar. It's based on a time-tested X brace pattern, but with small tweaks that are idealized for each specific body shop!
300 series acoustics are offered with Sitka spruce tops paired with sapele back and sides, and mahogany tops paired with Tasmanian blackwood back and sides. Blackwood is a close relative to mahogany with a nice even frequency response and a high end shimmer.
Black binding and Italian acrylic small diamond inlays are central to the cosmetic package here. Mahogany/blackwood models are finished in a nice Shaded Edgeburst satin finish, while the spruce/sapele models boast a gloss top finish and satin back and sides finish.
Taylor NT Neck:
The NT neck has long been one of Taylor's crowning achievements. Introduced in 1999, it solves a pair of the most long-standing acoustic guitar problems ever - neck angle and 14th fret hump. With a traditional set neck, it's just a foregone conclusion that one day, it will require an expensive neck reset, and because the fingerboard extension is usually glued directly to the top (which is constantly moving) it will eventually shift and cause a hump/crooked angle, when compared to the neck angle before the neck meets the body.
Taylor's NT neck is made from 1 piece of wood that extends all the way up to the 19th fret - including the fingerboard extension, so no part of the neck is impacted by top movement and it's completely secure. The neck joint itself is also proprietary - it's easy to remove and action can be set with spacers. There's a perfect neck angle for each guitar and each set of wood, and the NT neck allows these precise adjustments to occur like no other.
New 300 series models include the Expression System 2 preamp and pickup system. Not quite an "under-the-saddle" pickup, the revolutionary ES2 system is placed behind the saddle. Taylor discovered that the saddle doesn't really move vertically when the guitar is played, but in a pendulum like motion, so an under the saddle pickup wasn't receiving tonal pleasing vibrations. ES2 boasts three carefully positioned sensors with allen screw adjustments, and an audiophile grade preamp with slightly more headroom than the original Expression System.
Hear one in Action: