Instruments & Gear: New Gear

Taylor 812ce 12-Fret DLX

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A deluxe version of Taylor’s classic grand concert.

by Teja Gerken
May 15, 2017

Ever since it was introduced as one of the company’s first grand concert models in 1984, Taylor’s 812 and its variations have been mainstays in the company’s lineup. With its small body, rosewood and spruce construction, and balanced, microphone-and-electronic-amplification-friendly sound, the guitar has become a favorite among performers and studio players. Now Taylor has introduced a deluxe edition of one of the latest variations on the 812: the 812ce 12-Fret DLX, which joins the 814ce DLX and 810e DLX in Taylor’s catalog.

Like other 800-series Taylors, the 812ce 12-Fret DLX is built with a Sitka spruce top and Indian rosewood back and sides. The woods on our demo guitar were of beautiful quality. Among the “deluxe” upgrades are top braces made of Adirondack spruce, which add stiffness and bring great dynamic range to the instrument. The guitar also has an armrest bevel, which is not found on standard 800-series models. Taylor used some beautifully figured ebony for the fingerboard, and the guitar has flamed-maple binding. An abalone rosette and “Element” fingerboard inlay deliver the sophisticated appearance that 800s are known for.

Taylor’s 12-fret grand concerts are famous for their comfortable playability, which stems from the combination of the shorter neck, short scale, and Taylor’s typical easy-playing setup. The addition of the armrest bevel puts the 812ce 12-Fret DLX over the top, and the guitar is simply one of the most effortlessly playable steel-strings around. The guitar also lives up to the 812’s legacy with its tonal qualities. With its excellent response and balanced tone, it’s a fine fingerstyle guitar, but it can also take a heavier attack and sounds good when strummed with a pick. Plugging the onboard ES2 electronics into a Fishman Loudbox Mini revealed a rich, natural amplified sound.

Taylor is known as a company that is constantly evolving, and with the 812ce 12-Fret DLX, designer Andy Powers has managed to make an already wonderful guitar even more appealing.

SPECS: Cutaway grand concert body with 12-fret neck joint. Solid Sitka spruce top with Adirondack spruce bracing. Solid Indian rosewood back and sides. Ebony fingerboard and bridge. 24⅞-inch scale. 1¾-inch nut width. Slotted headstock with open-gear tuning machines. Expression System 2 electronics. Made in USA. $5,298 list.

Category: Instruments & Gear

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Sep 22, 2020
Taylor's Rich Casciato answers questions about amplification and recording on Taylor's Primetime Livestream.

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