Posted on by Walter Bryant

Taylor Grand Pacific

New For 2019 Round Shoulder Dreadnought Featuring V-Class Bracing

The 2019 NAMM Show was a ton of fun, but even the most dedicated gear heads will be worn out by the constant white noise of every guitar, drum and amp in the entire venue sounding at once. As we made our way to the Taylor Guitars booth, we found some peace and quiet tucked away in the back dealer-only meeting area where we were able to finally get our hands on the new Grand Pacific models. With the quietness of the room washing over us, we took turns putting this impressive new model through its paces, listening only to the joyful sound of the instrument that Andy Powers has developed. This new round-shoulder dreadnought is familiar, yet unique. It takes queues from wartime guitars while remaining quintessentially Taylor in its modernity. It is a welcome, fresh addition to their lineup and in our opinion the first forward moving take on the classic shape in decades.

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Taylor Grand Pacific Builder's Edition Specs

  • Silent Satin Finish
  • Grand Pacific Dreadnought Body
  • Solid Torrefied Sitka Spruce Top
  • Solid Rosewood or Mahogany Back & Sides
  • V-Class Bracing
  • Mahogany Neck
  • Ebony Fingerboard
  • Arrowhead Inlays
  • 1-3/4" Nut Width
  • 25.5" Scale
  • 20 Frets
  • Ebony Bridge
  • Nickel Tuners
  • ES2 Electronics Available

Taylor Grand Pacific 300 Series Specs

  • Natural Finish
  • Grand Pacific Dreadnought Body
  • Solid Sitka Spruce Top
  • Solid Sapele Back & Sides
  • V-Class Bracing
  • Mahogany Neck
  • Ebony Fingerboard
  • Gemstone Inlay
  • 1-3/4" Nut Width
  • 25.5" Scale
  • 20 Frets
  • Ebony Bridge
  • Chrome Tuners
  • ES2 Electronics Available

Taylor Grand Pacific Tone

Though this model draws inspiration from traditional acoustics, the tonal qualities of the new Grand Pacific are uniquely different. Traditional X-Brace instruments are always fighting the compromise between flexibility, which produces volume, and stiffness, which produces sustain. With V-Class Architecture, Andy Powers was able to provide enough stiffness to support string tension while simultaneously increasing the flexibility of the top producing uncompromising volume and sustain. Additionally, X-Brace tops create four quadrants of sound movement through the top which translates into distorted notes: the frequencies are literally at odds with each other. Not the case here with V-Class. The notes are orderly and there is a sonic cohesion we have not heard in any other dreadnought to date. The notes are round and bold, stacking to blend beautifully. What this means is that the new Grand Pacific sounds like the perfect recording of an acoustic guitar straight off of the instrument. It's in-tuneness and power regardless of chord shape or fretboard position are immediately noticeable. The body size clearly creates a large, projecting sound, especially under heavy strumming. But, we were also surprised at the clarity and volume when played lightly finger-style. With a few wood options available, the player can really dial in their preferred tone. A solid Rosewood 700 Series instrument will add harder, rounder bass notes, scooped mids, and top end sparkle. If you prefer a more even flatter EQ, the 500 Series Solid Mahogany instruments will fit the bill wonderfully. And finally, part of their initial offering is the more price-conscious USA Made 300 Series in Solid Sapele, similar to Mahogany but a touch harder wood with more top end.

Taylor Grand Pacific Feel

One of the hallmarks of Taylor guitars is their neck. The neck carve, low action, 1 3/4" nut, and neck angle are essentially perfect for this guitar. You'll have no problem navigating the board, playing fast, or fingering harder chord shapes on the Grand Pacific. This is a traditional 25 1/2" scale-length instrument, so there will be a normal amount of string resistance under the picking hand, but again with the unique body shape and V-Class bracing, you'll find it dynamic and easy to get up to volume quickly as you adjust the weight of your strumming.

Why We Like It

It's fresh, modern and frankly sounds incredible. Not going to lie, seeing the guitar in person made all of us like it even more. We were mixed on which series we liked most, but that's why Taylor offers a variety of woods so you can find the sonic palette that fits your style. We think this is a wonderful addition to the Taylor line and though a dreadnought, uniquely its own instrument, not a recreation of decades-old styling.

You Might Also Consider

Since there is nothing quite like this guitar, it's hard to say what you may consider. For a traditionalist, you can certainly source a 40's era slope shoulder to enjoy countless hours of vintage tone, plus all the issues inherent with vintage acoustics. For modernists, we might suggest a Grand Symphony if the Grand Pacific is a touch too big, but that will come at the expense of V-Class. For an even bolder, more lush tone, you can always go bigger and look at the Taylor Grand Orchestra, again currently without V-Class, but available with the same wood and appointment options each series offers.

Taylor Grand Pacific Price

Introductory Street price for a 317 starts at $1699 while the top end 717e Builder's Edition Grand Pacific Wild Honey Burst with ES2 will run $3199, as they stands at the time of this post. Pricing subject to change. Additional series, colors and variations will hit other price points in between.

Taylor Grand Pacific Colors and Options

Available as 317, 317e, 517 Builder's Edition, 517e Builder's Edition, 717 Builder's Edition, and 717e Builder's Edition out of the gate. Natural Finish available for all models. Builder's Edition models feature Silent Satin finishes with an optional Wild Honey Burst. The "e" designates models including Taylor ES2 electronics.

Taylor Grand Pacific Case

Taylor hardshell case included. All Taylor guitars feature a Taylor-made proprietary case or bag designed to fit the body shape perfectly.

Taylor Grand Pacific Recommended Accessories

You'll want to protect this investment, so we recommend a humidification system with the purchase of any new acoustic guitar. The D'Addario Two Way Humidification system is a great approach. Invest in a hygrometer to monitor the humidity of your guitar room too. Don't forget a Taylor strap for comfortable playing while standing, and finally, if you have not yet, check out the Taylor Crelicam Ebony slides!

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Contact us at 844-687-4296 or sales@themusiczoo.com

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