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Taylor AD17e Blacktop Acoustic Guitar Review by Lindsey Miller

Taylor AD17e Blacktop Acoustic Guitar Review by Lindsey Miller

Lindsey Miller

Lindsey Miller, a notable guitarist known for her work with artists like Lauren Daigle and Danny Gokey, recently offered her insights on the Taylor AD17e Blacktop Acoustic Guitar, sharing her experiences and how this instrument compares to its sibling, the AD12e.

Design and Playability

Taylor American Dream AD17e Walnut Acoustic-electric Guitar – Blacktop – $1999

The Taylor AD17e Blacktop, a part of Taylor’s American Dream Series, boasts a distinct aesthetic with a black finish that sets it apart from its counterparts. It features a slightly larger neck than the AD12e, which Miller notes might suit those with larger hands better, providing more freedom and ease of play. However, for individuals with smaller hands, while the lower register remains accessible, the upper register demands a bit more effort due to the neck widening and increased action.

Sound Quality

Miller emphasizes the guitar’s excellent intonation and the clarity of its higher chords, which is a significant factor for performers. She points out that the AD17e seems to strike a balance in tone that might blend better in a group setting than the AD12e. The low end is notably resonant, enriching the mid-range tones, and is expected to grow richer with age, suggesting that the guitar’s character will develop further over time.

Once again, it’s a Dreadnought body, but Taylor calls it a Grand Pacific. So bigger body, more resonance, more volume to it. This has quite a bit more of low end than the AD12. And from what I understand as the guitar ages, which is pretty cool, the low end becomes even more prominent over time, which kind of gives it that vibe that the guitar kind of grows with you as you keep it over longer periods of time. – – Lindsey Miller

Adaptability and Features

The AD17e excels in versatility, equipped with Taylor’s Expression System for amplified performance, making it ideal for live settings, whether on the road or during worship services. The guitar’s Dreadnought body, referred to as “Grand Pacific” by Taylor, enhances its volume and resonance, suitable for various music scenarios. From worship conferences to pop concerts with the Nashville Symphony, this guitar accommodates a wide range of styles and requirements.

The Taylor AD17e Blacktop acoustic guitar features a Sitka spruce top, walnut back and sides, and a tropical mahogany neck. It has a eucalyptus fretboard and utilizes the Expression System® 2 for electronics. This guitar, part of the American Dream® Series, also includes a non-cutaway design, V-Class bracing for enhanced sound, and a Grand Pacific body shape which contributes to its classic appearance and tone. It comes with an AeroCase for transportation and storage.

  • Versatile AD17e acoustic-electric guitar built in the USA
  • Grand Pacific slope-shoulder dreadnought body yields a more balanced dreadnought experience with more organic low end and a well-seasoned sound
  • Solid spruce top delivers quality resonance and vibrational transfer — must haves for great tone
  • Walnut back and sides offer tasteful dark warmth blended with bright chime, akin to rosewood but with a more open sound
  • Easy-playing mahogany neck and eucalyptus fingerboard supply sought-after Taylor playability
  • V-Class bracing increases output, enhances sustain, and reduces harmonic distortion
  • ES2 electronics system with 2-band EQ ensures sophisticated plugged-in tone that’s authentic and full

Aesthetic and Usage

Discussing the aesthetics, Miller humorously notes that pairing the black guitar with contrasting clothing would make it stand out more on stage, reminiscent of her performances with Danny Gokey where they would wear all white. She also affectionately refers to the AD17e as a “s’mores guitar,” evoking images of casual, outdoor fun, which underscores its suitability for informal settings like a campfire.

Pricing and Value

At $1,999, the AD17e is slightly less expensive than the AD12e but does not skimp on quality. For Miller, the craftsmanship and the reliable Expression System make it a worthwhile investment, particularly for those looking for a guitar that delivers excellent sound amplification without the need for additional adjustments at the soundboard.

Lindsey Miller’s review paints the Taylor AD17e Blacktop as a robust, versatile instrument that caters well to both professional performances and casual play. Its design, coupled with superior sound quality and adaptability, make it a compelling choice for guitarists looking for a dependable, resonant acoustic guitar that promises to grow in character and quality over time.


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