Mahogany-top grand concert combines modern and vintage design elements.
by Teja Gerken
March 21, 2016
Introduced at this year’s NAMM show, Taylor’s new 322e 12-Fret is a grand concert–size guitar with a mahogany top and Tasmanian blackwood back and sides. Combining a mahogany top with non-mahogany back and sides is somewhat unusual, as hardwood tops are more often matched with back and sides of the same species. But Taylor has never been bound by tradition, and by putting a 12-fret neck with slotted headstock on its standard grand concert body, the company has created a unique instrument with vintage design elements and a contemporary feel.
Pairing Taylor’s familiar low-profile neck and low action with the easier reach provided by a 12-fret short-scale neck gives the 322e 12-Fret incredible playing comfort. The 12th-fret neck joint moves the bridge further into the center of the lower bout, resulting in more pronounced low-end frequency response, and the guitar’s tone seems to superimpose Taylor’s well-known clarity and balance over the slightly grittier quality often associated with mahogany tops. As a result, the guitar felt more versatile than some mahogany-top guitars, but it still had the warmth and slightly compressed quality you’d expect from a mahogany top.
SPECS: Grand concert body with12-fret neck. Solid mahogany top. Solid Tasmanian blackwood back and sides. Mahogany neck. Ebony fingerboard and bridge. 24⅞-inch scale. 1¾-inch nut width. Open-gear tuning machines. Expression System 2 electronics. Made in USA. $2,178 list. Taylorguitars.com
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