Pros: Excellent Value!
Taylor has been in business a mere 33 years but has developed into one of the pre eminent makers of fine stringed instruments used the world by a roster of artists that would look like a Grammy invitation list. Up until now, their instruments have commanded prices that put them out of reach of the masses, but now longer! The Taylor DN3 Acoustic has emerged as the Taylor that everyone can afford and enjoy and become part of the Taylor legacy.
Lets Get A Closer Look!
The DN3 is a 6 string dreadnaught that has stunning visual appeal and makes a favorable first impression so unlike many entry level offerings from rival companies like Martin. The honey colored and satin finished Sapele back and sides are bound top and bottom in creamy white which is carried onto the mahogany neck as well, making for a far more expensive looking instrument. The ebony fret board is smooth and silky to play setting off the pearloid dot fret markers
The ebony bridge and Tusq saddle are clues that Taylor did not choose to cut corners on components that contributed to performance, instead making those choices on incidentals like plastic sound hole rosettes, dot fret markers, chrome plated tuners and Indian Rosewood headstock overlay.
The tuners hold a tune and add to the quality eye appeal of the DN3 though it would be the first thing I would change opting for a higher end unit locking tuner, though the OEM tuner would do just fine for years.
The Sitka Spruce top is tightly grained and colored from light yellow to medium orange. Sitka is one of the most durable woods in the world with a bright tonal response in the midrange and loudness. It can retain clarity when played loudly and picked aggressively though can sound thin when played lightly, and there is where the separation of personal preference can occur.
Fret dressing is tight and neat on the 25 ? scale 20 fret neck with adjustable truss rod. The neck measures 1 ? at the nut and has a 15 inch radius much like the Martins.
Tone and Playability
The Taylor DN3 Acoustic is an inspiring guitar to play. The flatter fret board is great for larger hands though not terribly uncomfortable for smaller mitts. The combination of woods (Sitka Spruce, Mahogany, Sapele) makes for an interesting tone. The sheer volume you can get from this guitar is an eye opener. You can get the DN3 to respond nicely to pick dynamics though soft strumming might leave you wanting more. If you are looking for the warmth of a Martin you probably would opt for another model. However, if you want a really good instrument for vocal accompaniment the DN3 would likely make your short list. The DN3 comes equipped with Elixir Medium gauge strings which tend to be a little bright so you can warm the tone by changing to the string of your choice as most will tend to be a little darker than the Elixirs. Adding the optional Taylor Expression System electronics can also help color your tone or you can do it the old school way by miking your guitar and color with a mixer.
At just under $1400.00 list and around $1000.00 street price with a case, the Taylor DN3 Acoustic is a value that you need to investigate for your next guitar. Now students can at least get a crack at the title with the DN3. While it isnt perfect, its very good, so good in fact I know a few seasoned players that use it for banging around bar gigs and saving their more valuable instruments the wear and tear and smoke.Taylor has hit a home run with the DN3!