Taylor recently unveiled the all-new American Dream Series, the company’s most affordable line of US-built all solid-wood instruments to date.
Named after the guitar shop where Taylor was founded in 1974, the American Dream Series launched with three models in the Grand Pacific body style - the spruce-topped AD17 and AD17 Blacktop and the mahogany-topped AD27, all available with and without electronics.
Here at Guitar World we couldn’t wait to get our hands on one of these new models, and thankfully, gear editor Paul Riario managed to procure the impressively-outfitted AD17e Blacktop and take it for a spin.
As is clear in the above demo, the first thing you’ll notice about the round-shouldered, dreadnought-sized Blacktop is its sleek and stylish matte black finish, which is paired with a matching black pickguard and single-ring black/maple/black sound hole rosette.
Tone-wise, the Blacktop is clear and balanced with incredible warmth and presence, courtesy of the combination of a spruce top and ovangkol back and sides. The V-Class bracing, meanwhile, delivers plenty of power and sustain.
And the guitar sounds just as impressive plugged in, thanks to Taylor’s onboard Expression System 2, which features the company’s patented behind-the-saddle pickup for a more dynamic range of tones, as well as a custom-designed audio-grade preamp.
But the Blacktop doesn’t just sound and look great - it also plays like a dream. The body’s chamfered edges provide a more comfortable feel against your picking arm, and there’s also an easy-playing mahogany neck topped with a eucalyptus fingerboard.
Other features include Taylor nickel tuners, a black TUSQ nut and Micarta saddle and a lightweight Taylor AeroCase for a premium package.
The result is a pro-level instrument that delivers classic Taylor tone, playability and construction with unprecedented affordability - a true player’s acoustic.
For more info on the Taylor AD17e, head to Taylor Guitars.