Taylor 356ce 12-String

Taylor 356ce 12-String

Solid Sitka & Layered Sapele
1-7/8" Nut • 25-1/2" Scale • A/E

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Sapele’s clear, balanced tonal properties are well-suited for a 12-string. The cutaway acoustic/electric 356ce delivers plenty of midrange and octave shimmer, balanced by the low-end power of the Grand Symphony body shape. An ultra-playable neck delivers an effortless fretting experience.

Appointments include black binding, a black pickguard, Italian acrylic small diamond fretboard inlays, a 3-ring rosette, and a satin-finish sapele body with a gloss-finish spruce top.

The guitar features a Venetian cutaway and Taylor’s Expression System 2 pickup for a smooth plug-and-play experience, and ships in a Taylor deluxe hardshell case.

Grand Symphony Body Size

This strong Taylor strummer produces a rich, bold voice.

Body Length: 20" / Body Width: 16-1/4" / Body Depth: 4-5/8"

  • Designed by Bob Taylor in 2006
  • Rich, piano-like bass, strong midrange, and thick trebles
  • Strong volume when strumming or flatpicking, and responsive clarity with a light attack

The Grand Symphony shape joined the line in 2006 and delivers a rich, powerful acoustic voice. Think of it as a Grand Auditorium with a turbo boost, thanks to expanded physical dimensions, including a slightly wider waist and a bigger lower bout.

Strummers and pickers with a driving attack will love the fullness, volume and sustain. Yet for such a robust voice, the GS is also clear and responsive to fast picking runs or a light fingerstyle touch, so if you’re a dynamic player, this shape is a true contender.

The big voice doesn’t come at the expense of balance. The piano-like bass, meaty midrange, and thick, shimmering highs blend seamlessly. These traits also make the GS a great vehicle for 12-Strings. If you like a lush, potent guitar tone that has the horsepower to compete with other acoustic cannons out there, the GS shape is a worthy choice.

With a slightly larger footprint than the Grand Auditorium, the GS yields a slightly more potent and dynamic all-around sound. Players can expect deeper bass, thicker trebles, and increased volume and low-end sustain, all without disrupting the tonal balance and clarity of the guitar.

Sitka Spruce Top

The most commonly used wood for guitar tops, Sitka generates a broad dynamic range and accommodates numerous playing styles, from aggressive strumming to fingerpicking.

Origin: Northwestern North America (Coastal Rainforests of Alaska and Canada)

As a guitar soundboard, or top, Sitka spruce is the tonewood standard of the modern era.

It’s used on 85-90 percent of the guitars that Taylor makes. Its combination of strength and elasticity translates into a broad dynamic range, yielding crisp articulation and allowing for everything from aggressive strumming and flatpicking to fingerpicking.

Sitka spruce is Bob Taylor’s personal favorite for an all-around great guitar.

Goes Well With: All styles of guitars and players.

Layered Sapele Back & Sides

Taylor’s layered backs and sides incorporate three layers of wood, featuring a middle core of poplar with a veneer on each side. While layered woods won’t produce quite as complex a sound as solid woods, they allow for exotic looks with climate-resilient construction.

Used On: The 100 Series, GS Mini, Baby, Big Baby

While the rich tones of solid wood remain unmatched, a layered wood construction can yield great sound in a beautiful, durable and affordable instrument. Such is the case with layered sapele, in which Taylor uses interior and exterior veneers of sapele with a core layer of poplar between them.

One of the benefits of layered wood for guitars is extra resilience in the face of fluctuating humidity conditions. This comes in handy for guitars like the GS Mini and Baby Taylor models, which are travel-friendly guitars that may be more directly exposed to different environments.

All Taylor layered-wood models feature a solid wood top to optimize the tonal response.

Expression System 2 (ES2)

The Expression System® 2 captures more of a guitar’s dynamic properties using a breakthrough behind-the-saddle design

The Taylor Expression System® 2 (ES2) is a revolutionary pickup design that delivers the latest in Taylor’s ongoing innovation in acoustic guitar amplification.

The heart of the Expression System 2 is Taylor’s patented behind-the-saddle pickup, which features three uniquely positioned and individually calibrated pickup sensors. The location of the sensors enables a more dynamic range of acoustic sound to be captured than ever before.

Together with Taylor’s custom-designed “professional audio”-grade preamp, this system produces exceptional amplified tone and responsiveness. On stage through a PA, plugged into your favorite acoustic amplifier, or direct into recording software, the Expression System 2 faithfully conveys the voice of your Taylor guitar.

Behind the ES2 Design: Rethinking the Piezo Pickup

For decades, piezo-electric transducers have been positioned under the saddle of a guitar based on the long-held belief that the string and top vibration cause the saddle to “bounce” up and down. But Taylor’s electronics team, led by developer David Hosler, discovered that the vertical movement is actually heavily restricted, and that the saddle gets “locked down” due to the string tension’s downward pressure.

That’s why a traditional under-saddle pickup with piezo-electric crystals often responds with a sound often characterized as thin, brittle, brash or synthetic, especially with more aggressive playing.

The saddle’s natural range of movement as the guitar is being played is actually back and forth like a pendulum. That revelation led Taylor’s design team to relocate the crystals from under the saddle to behind it.

The new positioning enables the crystals to respond more naturally to the guitar’s energy as it is transferred through the saddle. Three pickup sensors are installed behind the saddle, through the bridge, with three tiny Allen screws that calibrate the position of the sensors in relation to the saddle.

Like the original Expression System, the ES2 features the same volume and tone control knobs. The preamp is similar but with a slightly different gain structure. As a result it will be about 25 percent hotter, which is more in line with other pickups. This makes it plug-and-play friendly both for artists and live sound mixers.

Body SizeGrand Symphony (GS)
Top WoodSitka Spruce
Back & SidesLayered Sapele
FingerboardEbony
Nut Width1-7/8"
Scale Length25-1/2"
ElectronicsTaylor ES2
CaseTaylor Hardshell Case