Instruments & Gear: New Gear

Taylor 812ce 12-Fret DLX

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Taylor’s deluxe grand concert now features V-Class bracing.

by Teja Gerken
June 03, 2019

Made in many different configurations since its introduction in 1984, Taylor’s grand concert  812 has always impressed with balanced sound, easy playability, and refined looks. With the arrival of Taylor’s V-Class bracing to the grand concert series, the guitar’s design has been modified again, and I had a chance to check out the 812ce 12-Fret DLX in the Peghead Nation video studio.

From the outside, the 812ce 12-Fret DLX looks nearly identical to its X-braced predecessor (check out our previous demo of that guitar). It continues the Taylor 800-series tradition of Indian rosewood and Sitka spruce construction, and our demo instrument displayed high-grade examples of those woods. Its flamed maple body binding, large abalone rosette, Element fingerboard inlay, and wood pickguard, give the 812ce 12-Fret DLX a distinctive appearance, while the guitar’s slotted peghead with open-geared tuners contribute a bit of vintage vibe. In addition, as the Deluxe version of the 812ce 12-Fret model, the guitar includes an armrest bevel.

Taylors are famous for their ease of playability, but the 12-fret models take fretboard comfort to a new dimension. Not only does the 12-fret neck create a more compact feel in general, but combined with the guitar’s short scale and small grand-concert body, I can’t imagine a more effort-free instrument to play. Just holding the 812ce 12-Fret DLX is a comfortable experience, as it rests balanced on the lap, the bevel creating a smooth contact point for the right arm, and the short neck requiring less of a reach for the fretting hand than most guitars.

Tonally, the 812ce 12-Fret DLX delivers what fans of Taylor’s grand concert models have come to appreciate. It has an incredible well-rounded sound, and the combination of the 12-fret design and V-Class bracing add a bit more power and low-end than I’m used to hearing from earlier 812s. The guitar is a high-precision fingerstyle machine, but it also works great in an accompaniment role, as its overall tonal friendliness extends to strummed chords. Plugged into a Fishman Loudbox Mini Charge, the guitar’s ES2 electronics allowed the guitar to shine in an amplified context as well.

Overall, the 812ce 12-Fret DLX is an exciting new version of a classic instrument. Whether you’re a long-time fan of Taylor’s 812 models or not, the instrument is definitely worth checking out, as it offers solid performance, unbeatable playing comfort, and great electronics.

SPECS: Cutaway grand concert body with 12-fret neck joint. Solid Sitka spruce top with V-Class bracing. Solid Indian rosewood back and sides. Ebony fingerboard and bridge. 24 ⅞-inch scale. 1¾-inch nut width. Slotted headstock with open-gear tuning machines. Expression System 2 electronics. Made in USA. $4,149 street.


Category: Instruments & Gear

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