REVIEWS

Taylor Builder’s Edition 324ce

Published 4 months ago on September 14, 2020

By Jonathan Graham

Gi72...Quietroom....Taylor Builder's Edition 324ce

Taylor Builder's Edition 324ce

Vid Count: 1 Native

Guitar Interactive star rating: 4.5

PROS

Eco-friendly body woods preventing wastage

Beautiful, subtle looks

Comfort friendly design flourishes

Superb tone across the frequency spectrum

Incredible sustain

ES2 system sounds wonderful

One of the most 'affordable' Builder's Edition guitars

 

CONS

None to speak of!

Taylor Builder’s Edition 324ce

MSRP (UK) £2699 (US) $2999

SPECS

V-Class Bracing

Solid Tropical Mahogany Top

Solid Urban Ash Back and Sides

Silent Satin Finish

For more information, please visit:

taylorguitars.com

If you're an ecologically-minded guitarist in search of a stellar acoustic-electric guitar, then the Taylor 324ce Builder's Edition may be your dream instrument. Delivering top-notch musical performance, and created with woods sourced from "today's urban ecosystem," the Taylor 324ce Builder's Edition acoustic-electric guitar combines masterful craftsmanship with ecological awareness. Tom Quayletells us more.

Taylor's Builder's Edition series represents the pinnacle of the company's guitar design from an aesthetic, tonal and playability point of view. Paired with these attributes you'll also find a healthy amount of innovation and forward-thinking and their Builder's Edition 324ce certainly achieves both with a design commitment to environmental sustainability and preventing unnecessary waste of good materials.

Each of the Builder's Edition guitars is built around a unique concept and the 324ce takes on the idea of supporting local urban ecosystems by utilising Urban Ash from Urban Forests for the back and sides. An Urban Forest refers to the managed tree canopies within cities and built up areas that enhance urban spaces, providing great benefit visually and environmentally to inhabitants. These trees are often removed to make way for construction projects or when they become a safety hazard, but the wood is all too frequently sent to land fill or burnt rather than re-used. In an effort to prevent some of this wastage, Taylor has worked with the company West Coast Arborists to re-use some of this wood, specifically from Ash trees, to make their 324ce guitar and thus the term Urban Ash was born for this range.

Urban Ash is a beautiful wood with lovely figuring and a striated look to it with tonal properties that are a close match to high-end Mahogany. It makes a great tonal choice for an acoustic guitar and is matched with a Tropical Mahogany top and neck on the 324ce. The classy Grand Auditorium body shape matched with the beautiful bevelled armrest and cutaway makes for a subtle yet striking looking guitar that is handsome without ever being over the top. A silent satin Tobacco Kona Burst finish gives the guitar a sumptuous dark treacle look reminiscent of a good bonfire night and makes for a very comfortable playing experience, especially since the entire body and fretboard are chamfered, preventing any sharp or abrupt edges anywhere on the instrument where your body make regular contact. West African Cerlicam Ebony is utilised for the fretboard, Curve Wing bridge, bridge pins, truss rod cover and headstock overlay, producing a guitar with an overall dark, brooding look with just the right amount of visual flair thanks to the pretty Rosette and Compass fretboard inlays.

Taylor's V-Class bracing is used for the 324ce, providing the perfect balance between volume, projection and sustain. We've looked at the V-Class bracing before, but effectively it reduces the compromise between volume and sustain that is inherent to X-Bracing and it's remarkable how much sustain this guitar has compared to a more traditional design without sacrificing projection and powerful tone.     

Tuning is taken care of via a set of Gotoh 510 tuners finished in a brushed gold that suits the design beautifully. The 510s are about as good as it gets with their 21:1 gear ratio and excellent stability. Taylor also include their ES2 expression system as standard. It's a superb pickup system utilising a piezo pickup mounted behind the saddle on the bridge to capture a highly realistic acoustic tone with treble and bass EQ's and a volume control mounted very subtly on the upper body.

Tonally, the 324ce is every bit the high-end Taylor you would hope for thanks to it's crisp attack, piano like midrange and satisfying low end warmth. It covers the entire tonal spectrum with aplomb and has sustain for days thanks to the V-class bracing. It's also a very comfortable and fun instrument to play with superb upper fret access and a body shape that works with you and won't leave you tired or aching after longer playing sessions. Comfort and playability take centre stage here and the 324ce is worth the asking price for these factors alone, but it just happens to look beautiful and sound even better in with the bargain. Now, bargain might be a strange word to use for a guitar at this price point – after all this is a high-end Taylor, and they cost a pretty penny. However, for what you're getting here plus the knowledge that the guitar is eco-friendly, the 324ce is actually pretty good value for money and an instrument that will last you for a lifetime – a worthy use of that Urban Ash if ever we saw/heard one! Fantastic stuff from Taylor once again.

 


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