Taylor 812CE Dlx 12 Fret
This cutaway 12-fret Grand Concert blends incredible playing comfort — the result of the compact 12-fret design, slinky handfeel, and an ergonomic radius armrest — with a tonal response that’s impressively bold, warm and punchy for its intimate body size. The neck’s 24-7/8-inch scale length heightens the physical playing comfort, while the different positioning of the bridge on the soundboard — closer to the center of the lower bout compared to a 14-fret model — helps generate a meatier, more robust response. That boldness is enhanced on this Deluxe model by Adirondack spruce bracing, which raises the dynamic ceiling. Gotoh 510 tuners supply another upgraded design feature of the Deluxe series, featuring a 21:1 gear ratio for smooth, precise tuning control. For a small-body acoustic, the blend of physical comfort, responsiveness to a light touch, and tonal output make this a remarkably expressive guitar. Refined appointments include maple binding and back strip, rosewood top edge trim with a matching rosewood armrest veneer, a rosewood pickguard, mother-of-pearl Element fretboard inlays, a smoky ebony fretboard, and Taylor’s Expression System 2 acoustic electronics.
The small-body Grand Concert debuted in 1984 to meet the needs of a new wave of adventurous acoustic fingerstyle players. In contrast to the traditionally darker, boomier voices of bigger body styles like dreadnoughts and jumbos, the GC’s compact size and tapered waist kept the overtones in check. It was also more comfortable to play while sitting down, and the guitar’s slightly wider neck gave players more room for complex fingerings. The GC’s smaller sonic footprint also fit cleanly in a mix with other instruments when tracking in the studio and with a band on stage, making it a useful tool for professional session and side players. Our current generation of GC models continues to accommodate fingerstylists with finger-friendly traits like a shorter 24 7/8-inch scale length, which makes fretting easier and adds a slightly slinkier feel on the strings due to the lighter string tension. If you feel more comfortable with a small body or favor controlled overtones, a Grand Concert is a great option.
The smallest of Taylor’s full-size body shapes. Its compact dimensions make for a physically comfortable guitar with an intimate feel and sound. The smaller footprint keeps the overtones in check, contributing to a focused, articulate sound that’s well-suited for recording and stage work.
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.
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.