Builder's Edition 717e WHB
A Wild Honey Burst top and low-sheen finish heighten the old-soul aesthetic appeal of this Builder’s Edition Grand Pacific, which builds on a long tradition of rosewood/spruce dreadnoughts but breaks new ground with an entirely new Taylor sound. The round-shoulder dreadnought shape, featuring Taylor’s award-winning V-Class bracing, produces warm, seasoned acoustic tone in which individual notes overlap and blend smoothly together, while the low-end power common among dreadnoughts boasts greater clarity here. V-Class brings extra punch and sustain, along with improved intonation and musicality across the entire frequency spectrum. Together with rosewood’s harmonic complexity and the played-in sound of the torrefied spruce top, players can expect rich, luxurious tonal character from top to bottom. It’s a voice comfortably rooted in a traditional sound, yet updated to offer more expressive musical range. As a Builder’s Edition model, the 717 also sports an array of premium, player-friendly features: chamfered body edges, rolled fretboard edges, and a new compound-carve neck profile, whose contours match the natural adjustments in the player’s hand position when moving up and down the fretboard. Even the bridge design was refined to add a more ergonomic feel for the player’s pick hand. Elegantly understated appointments include mother-of-pearl Arrowhead fretboard and peghead inlays, with sapele binding. It all adds up to a Taylor like you’ve never seen, heard or felt before.
Body Length: 20” / Body Width: 16” / Body Depth: 4 5/8"
Built on the sonic engine of V-Class bracing and inspired by classic acoustic guitar recordings, the Grand Pacific is a round-shoulder dreadnought that ushers in a new era of Taylor tone.
- Warm, seasoned sound with powerful low-end presence
- Clear bass range without muddiness
- Round notes that blend seamlessly into a harmonic whole
Released in 2019 following the successful launch of our innovative bracing design, the Grand Pacific marks a departure from what many would consider the quintessential Taylor sound: bright individual notes that resonate separately, with plenty of high-end sparkle and and clarity.
The Grand Pacific boasts a dramatically different flavor of sound. Thanks to the contours of the shape (especially the wider waist) and the tone-shaping power of our V-Class bracing architecture, the notes are rounder and broader, overlapping to create a more blended sound with a warm, seasoned personality. The guitars also produce stunning power in the bass range, without the muddy, woofy characteristics that create sonic problems, making for a more musical, usable in virtually every application. Together with the other fundamental sonic improvements of V-Class—more volume and projection, longer sustain, cleaner intonation, and more tonal consistency from top to bottom—the Grand Pacific brings broader versatility to a dreadnought-style guitar, promising to satisfy players across many genres and musical styles.
Origin: Northwestern North America (Coastal Rainforests of Alaska and Canada)
As a guitar soundboard, or top, Sitka spruce is the tonewood standard of the modern era. It’s used on 85-90 percent of the guitars that Taylor makes. Its combination of strength and elasticity translates into a broad dynamic range, yielding crisp articulation and allowing for everything from aggressive strumming and flatpicking to fingerpicking. Sitka spruce is Bob Taylor’s personal favorite for an all-around great guitar.
Goes Well With: All styles of guitars and players.
Origin: East India
Used On: The 700, 800, 900 Series Acoustic/Electrics, Acoustic 7, 8, & 9 Series, Laminate 200 Series
One of the most popular and traditional guitar woods of all time, rosewood takes the basic sonic thumbprint of mahogany (which has a strong midrange) and expands it in both directions. Rosewood sounds deeper in the low end and brighter on the top end (one might describe the treble notes as zesty, sparkly or sizzly, with more articulation). If you look at its frequency range visually, rosewood would appear to be more scooped in the middle, yielding less midrange bloom than mahogany. Like mahogany, rosewood’s vintage heritage has helped firmly establish its acoustic legacy. It’s a great sound in part because we know that sound. In some music circles in which preserving the traditional sound helps bring a sense of authenticity to the music — certain strains of Americana, for example — rosewood has an iconic status. Also like mahogany, rosewood is a versatile tonewood, which has contributed to its popularity. One can fingerpick it, strum it and flatpick it. It’s very consistent, so players can usually rely on it to deliver.
Goes Well With: Most applications. If you like a guitar with fuller low end and brighter treble (bluegrassers, for instance), rosewood will do the trick. Its high-end sizzle and clear articulation will benefit players with “dark hands”. If you’re looking for a traditional acoustic sound, a rosewood Dreadnought or Grand Auditorium is right up your alley.
Expression System® 2
The Taylor Expression System® 2 (ES2) is a revolutionary pickup design that delivers the latest in Taylor’s ongoing innovation in acoustic guitar amplification. The heart of the Expression System 2 is Taylor’s patented behind-the-saddle pickup, which features three uniquely positioned and individually calibrated pickup sensors. The location of the sensors enables a more dynamic range of acoustic sound to be captured than ever before. Together with Taylor’s custom-designed “professional audio”-grade preamp, this system produces exceptional amplified tone and responsiveness. On stage through a PA, plugged into your favorite acoustic amplifier, or direct into recording software, the Expression System 2 faithfully conveys the voice of your Taylor guitar.
Behind the ES2 Design: Rethinking the Piezo Pickup
For decades, piezo-electric transducers have been positioned under the saddle of a guitar based on the long-held belief that the string and top vibration cause the saddle to “bounce” up and down. But Taylor’s electronics team, led by developer David Hosler, discovered that the vertical movement is actually heavily restricted, and that the saddle gets “locked down” due to the string tension’s downward pressure. That’s why a traditional under-saddle pickup with piezo-electric crystals often responds with a sound often characterized as thin, brittle, brash or synthetic, especially with more aggressive playing.
The saddle’s natural range of movement as the guitar is being played is actually back and forth like a pendulum. That revelation led Taylor’s design team to relocate the crystals from under the saddle to behind it. The new positioning enables the crystals to respond more naturally to the guitar’s energy as it is transferred through the saddle. Three pickup sensors are installed behind the saddle, through the bridge, with three tiny Allen screws that calibrate the position of the sensors in relation to the saddle.
Like the original Expression System, the ES2 features the same volume and tone control knobs. The preamp is similar but with a slightly different gain structure. As a result it will be about 25 percent hotter, which is more in line with other pickups. This makes it plug-and-play friendly both for artists and live sound mixers.
Read our guide to using the Expression System 2.
There’s a lot to be said for the clean, traditional look of a non-cutaway acoustic guitar, which is why we offer a line of non-cutaway models. If you don’t plan to play in the upper register, or simply prefer the symmetrical hourglass contours of a guitar, a non-cutaway model is a great option.
What Is V-Class Bracing?
Bracing is the internal framework that helps shape the sound of an acoustic guitar. V-Class bracing is a groundbreaking new Taylor design — a new sonic “engine”— that transforms the way an acoustic guitar top vibrates to dramatically improve the sound. Developed by master guitar designer Andy Powers, it marks a bold departure from traditional X-bracing, producing notes that are louder, longer sustaining, and more in tune with each other. Discover the history and inspiration that brought us to this turning point in guitar design.
How V-Class Works
A New Platform to Solve an Age-Old Problem
While traditional X-bracing has stood the test of time for over 100 years, it creates an inherent trade-off between two key elements of an acoustic guitar’s sound: volume and sustain. A guitar’s top (the soundboard) contributes to both. Volume comes from the flexibility of the top, while sustain comes from stiffness. The trade-off is that when you make something stiffer, you reduce its flexibility, and vice versa. With an X-braced guitar top, increasing one comes at the expense of the other. V-Class bracing changes that. Now an acoustic guitar top can be both stiff and flexible in ways that produce more volume and sustain. And as it turns out, this innovative bracing design also improves the intonation of the guitar. Discover how we broke away from tradition and reinvented what the acoustic guitar can do.
V-Class guitar bracing controls the top’s flexibility, creating a more orderly rocking motion across both sides of the top. The controlled flexing movement produces greater volume
V-Class bracing maintains stiffness along the middle of the guitar, in the direction of the strings. That rigidity keeps the strings in motion, producing notes that resonate longer before fading out.
V-Class bracing makes the top more in tune with the vibrating strings. This eliminates much of the interference that causes some notes to waver and sound slightly out of tune. As a result, notes and chords played anywhere on the neck are more consistent and in tu