Instruments & Gear: New Gear

Taylor 858e 12-String

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Taylor’s latest 12-string is the first built with its grand orchestra body.

by Teja Gerken
February 25, 2016

Legendary for their easy playability and balanced tone, Taylor Guitars’ 12-strings have played a significant role in the company’s success. Introduced at this year’s NAMM show, the new grand orchestra–size 858e is the first Taylor 12-string larger than a grand symphony since the company discontinued its original jumbo body in 2013.  

The 858e has a Sitka spruce top, Indian rosewood back and sides, and the same flamed maple binding, abalone rosette, wood pickguard, and “Element” fingerboard inlay as the other models in Taylor’s current 800 series. With a width of 16¾ inches at the lower bout and a depth of five inches, the 858e’s body is more than a handful, but the perfectly placed waist makes it rest comfortably in the player’s lap. Despite its size, 12-string playability simply doesn’t get any better, and the guitar’s sound is as forceful as you’d expect, with rumbling lows and a huge dynamic range, whether strummed with a pick or played fingerstyle.

The 858e includes Taylor’s Expression System 2 (ES2) electronics. Plugged into a Fishman Loudbox Mini, the ES2 delivered the guitar’s unique tonal signature and gracefully handled the challenge of balancing the 12-string’s regular and octave strings.

For players looking for a 12-string with a powerful acoustic voice and hassle-free amplification, it’s hard to imagine a more suitable choice than the Taylor 858e.

SPECS: 12-string guitar with grand orchestra body. Solid Sitka spruce top. Solid Indian rosewood back and sides. Mahogany neck. Ebony fingerboard and bridge. 25.5-inch scale. 1 ⅞-inch nut width. Enclosed nickel tuning machines. Expression System 2 electronics. Made in USA. $4,378 list.


Category: Instruments & Gear

Comments and Discussion

Posted by David Callan on
I purchased this Taylor 858e model. I was encouraged to demo one after watching your review video. It lives up to the reputation of the older Jumbo guitars and is in the same league as the venerable Guild F-512. The ES2 is an excellent system to go along with a powerful guitar.
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