Taylor’s Grand Concert 12-strings reaffirm Taylor’s heritage of easy-playing double course instruments thanks to a lap-friendly body size, a 12-fret neck, and a 24-7/8-inch scale length.
The slinky handfeel makes fretting and bending strings easier, the neck and body are comfortably balanced, and the compact body produces a clear 12-string voice.
The hardwood mahogany top adds just enough compression to the attack to smooth out the response, bringing an appealing consistency across the tonal spectrum, while still capturing the beautiful octave shimmer.
It makes a great 12-string choice for tracking in a studio, and behaves well with other instruments in a live setting.
Refined aesthetic touches include a shaded edgeburst body and neck, faux tortoise shell binding, a rosette of faux tortoise shell and grained ivoroid, and a grained ivoroid Century fretboard inlay.
Grand Concert Body Size
A smaller bodied guitar ideally suited for fingerstyle.
Body Length: 19-1/2" / Body Width: 15" / Body Depth: 4-3/8"
The smaller body and tapered waist make it the ultimate studio and stage guitar
Clarity and balance reign in this small, comfortable body shape
Features a short scale and lighter string tension making it easier to play
The Grand Concert is the smallest of Taylor’s full-size body shapes. Its compact dimensions make for a physically comfortable guitar with an intimate feel and sound. The compact size keeps the overtones in check, contributing to a focused, articulate sound that’s well-suited for recording and stage work.
The Grand Concert debuted in 1984 to meet the needs of a new wave of adventurous acoustic fingerstyle players. In contrast to the traditionally darker, boomier voices of bigger body styles like dreadnoughts and jumbos, the GC’s compact size and tapered waist help minimize overtones. It was also more comfortable to play while sitting down, and the guitar’s slightly wider neck gave players more room for complex fingerings.
The GC’s smaller sonic footprint also fit cleanly in a mix with other instruments when tracking in the studio and with a band on stage, making it a useful tool for professional session and side players.
Taylor's current generation of GC models continues to accommodate fingerstylists with finger-friendly traits like a shorter 24 7/8-inch scale length, which makes fretting easier and adds a slightly slinkier feel on the strings due to the lighter string tension. If you feel more comfortable with a small body or favor controlled overtones, a Grand Concert is a great option.
As a top wood, mahogany produces a natural compression, so it won’t yield as quick a response as a spruce-top guitar will. A mahogany-top guitar will produce strong fundamentals, with clear and direct focus. It might be characterized as having a woody, dry tone.
Origin: Central and South America
A hardwood top with more density than spruce or cedar
The stiffness initially yields a bright tone that gradually gets deeper
Used On: GS Mini Mahogany, Baby Mahogany, Limited Editions, Custom Guitars
Harder, denser woods like mahogany and koa that are used on the back and sides of a guitar are sometimes used as tops. Their stiffness initially translates into a slightly brighter tone, but the more a mahogany-top guitar is played the more it develops overtones that contribute to a fuller, richer sound.
A mahogany-top guitar might appeal to rootsy players who like a little extra punchiness in their tone.
Goes Well With: Blues and roots players, anyone who likes an slightly more burly or punchy quality to their tone.
Mahogany Back & Sides
Mahogany is known for its meaty midrange character, featuring a strong fundamental focus often described as “punchy,” “woody,” or “dry,” because it doesn’t produce a lot of ringing overtones. Mahogany’s earthy voice has been featured on many roots music recordings over the years.
Origin: Central and South America
Used On: The 500 Series, Acoustic 5 Series, LKSM
Mahogany is a good wood to anchor a discussion of tones, as a lot of other wood tones can be described in relation to it.
Its essential sonic profile is well represented in the midrange frequencies. Acoustic guitars in general tend to live in the midrange portion of the sound spectrum, but mahogany in particular displays a lot of midrange character.
That thick, present midrange sound is sometimes described in guitar circles as meaty, organic or even "chewy" wherever a player digs in on the fretboard, they're tapping into the core of the harmonic content of what a guitar produces.
Those great midrange frequencies produce overtones that stack up and produce bloom, giving the sound extra girth. When one hears the resulting harmonics, the "chewy" tone serves up a big mouthful of midrange. As a popular tonewood for many decades, mahogany has been used on scads of old school acoustic recordings, and that sonic heritage carries across various strains of roots music, from blues to folk to slack key.
Goes Well With: A broad range of players and musical styles; people who like a well-balanced tone, nice dynamic range and a healthy serving of overtones.
Blues and other rootsy players tend to respond well to mahogany's midrange character. A smaller body mahogany guitar (GC or GA) might appeal to fingerstyle players, whereas more aggressive flatpickers might opt for a mahogany Dreadnought or GS.
For versatility, a mahogany GA is a good bet. Because of mahogany’s midrange, a player with"dark hands" will tend to sound darker on a mahogany guitar. A bright player will sound slightly less bright.
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.