The 12 Fret Grand Concert Acoustic Electric Guitar – Western Sunburst packs a powerful sound!
This is a mini package of big sound. The Taylor 712e Grand Concert is a 24.87” scale guitar with a neck that attaches to the guitar at the 12th fret. The body is very comfortable and hugs underneath your arm and against your chest making it ideal for sitting down over a cup of Joe to pick out some tunes to entertain yourself or to entertain others from the stage. This small scale guitar is not small at all when it comes to beauty and sound projection. The primary reason for this, besides the blended rich woods used in its construction, is the 12 fret design which causes the bridge to be set back about two inches from where the 14 fret neck bridge would land, moving it into the part of the guitar where sound resonates best. With its Lutz Spruce (natural hybrid) top set over a Rosewood back and Rosewood sides, this instrument really packs a sound, plugged in or as an acoustic.
I have been playing this fine instrument over the past couple of weeks to prepare for this review and I can vouch for the magic that is this guitar. Admiring the beautiful Topical Mahogany neck wood and running my fingers up and down the Ebony fingerboard with pale green Abalone “Reflections” inlays, I am amazed at the sound this little flat top produces. When I do heavy strumming over the sound hole, the chords burst with rich tones; and when I play licks and riffs, the strings ring with tonal clarity.
The electronics on board this little baby include Taylor’s Expression System 2 (ES2) with a 3 section proprietary pick up located behind the guitar’s saddle. There are three controls located just above where the neck attaches to the body including a volume, bass, and treble and the ES2 is widely considered to be one of the best pre-amp systems on the market. I observed that there is no on-board tuning system which may be a positive for some because the result of this design decision is a clean and sleek look at the control center, but for others the price to pay for that beauty is keeping track of your Snark tuner when sitting down to play. But let’s be honest, that’s really a small price to pay!
I am not sure if I prefer the standard headstock to the slotted headstock featured on this model, after all it does give a vintage look and feel, and the tuning machines are of very high quality. I checked opinions on this feature and did not find any one offering any particular advantage over the standard headstock. I think it may take a bit longer to re-string than the standard headstock but other than that and the looks of the slotted vs standard it may be a moot point. It seems clear that Taylor was fusing form and function on this model so aesthetics may have been behind the thinking on this design.
Whether you like to pick or finger play, the design of this guitar lends itself well to both styles. What a great addition it would be to any guitar enthusiast’s collection.
For more information, see Taylor Guitars HERE.