A new pair of small-body acoustic-electric 12-strings.
by Teja Gerken
September 05, 2017
Taylor Guitars has built 12-string guitars since the company’s inception in 1974, but it wasn’t until last year that they used a compact grand concert body for the double-course instruments. Spearheaded by Taylor’s designer Andy Powers, these new instruments include a 12-fret neck-joint and a short scale, resulting in a guitar that’s easy to play and perfect for players for whom 12-strings seem too cumbersome. The 12-string grand concert was first introduced in the company’s 500 series (check out our demo of the 562ce model), and now Taylor has added the instrument to its more affordable 300 series. We had a chance to check out the 352ce and 362ce.
The guitars are very similar, differing only in the woods they’re built with. While the 352ce has a Sitka spruce top and sapele back and sides, the 362ce has a mahogany top and Tasmanian blackwood back and sides. Both guitars use typical 300-series appointments, including black-and-white body binding and rosettes, small diamond position markers in the fingerboard, a black headstock overlay, and chrome tuners. The guitars also include cutaways and Taylor’s Expression System 2 (ES2) electronics.
Both guitars reflected our experience with the 562ce: they were so effortless to play that it was easy to forget that they were actually 12-strings. Not only do the short 24⅞-inch scales result in more manageable finger stretches and lower string tension, the combination of the guitars’ small bodies and 12-fret neck joints makes the instruments incredibly compact, so you won’t expend unnecessary energy just holding the guitar. Played acoustically, the two guitars displayed a subtle but distinct tonal difference. The spruce-topped 352ce is more responsive and dynamic, especially when played fingerstyle, and the mahogany-topped 362ce offers the slight natural compression that hardwood tops are known for when strumming or playing with a heavier attack. Plugged into a Fishman Loudbox Mini amplifier, the tonal differences were not as noticeable, and both instruments had the clean, balanced, and hassle-free amplified sound the ES2 is rightfully known for.
The 352ce and 362ce are great additions to Taylor’s already impressive lineup of 12-strings. Both are capable of covering a lot of musical ground, and with their great playability, offer an ideal entry into the world of double-strung guitars.
SPECS: 12-string guitars with grand concert body. Solid Sitka spruce top and solid sapele back and sides (352ce) or solid mahogany top and solid Tasmanian blackwood back and sides (362ce). Mahogany neck. Ebony fingerboard and bridge. 12-fret neck with 24⅞-inch scale. 1⅞-inch nut width. Enclosed nickel tuning machines. Expression System 2 electronics. Made in USA. $1,899 street (352ce) and $2,099 street (362ce). Taylorguitars.com
Comments and Discussion
But here we are the last week of October 2017 and they still
are not available in most stores .
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