This new addition to the V-Class family is a precious one. New to 2019 is this Taylor Guitars 812ce 12-fret with V-Class bracing. The reviews of this guitar have been excellent on all fronts, from intonation to build quality. Let’s take a look at what makes this guitar special.
First, a quick review of what the different characters inside Taylor’s model number tells us. The 800 series refers to the choice of woods. In this case it is a Sitka Spruce top over an Indian Rosewood back and sides. This combination of soundboard and tonewood is one of if not the most versatile partnerships in “guitar-dom.” The 12 refers to the body shape of the guitar. This is Taylor’s Grand Concert body shape; their smallest of available body shapes for their entire line of guitars. The Grand Concert was introduced in 1984 as a smaller alternative to the more popular dreadnought and has been popular with fingerstyle players with its short scale and lighter string tension. The final two letters, ‘ce’, refer to the cutaway and electronics. Taylor’s Venetian Cutaway is knows for its soft, round lines giving the player the most access possible to the entire fretboard. As far as electronics, 2019 model on board electronics models contain the Expression System 2 (ES2) described as a “revolutionary pickup design that delivers the latest in Taylor’s ongoing innovation in acoustic guitar amplification.”
Back to the smaller size of this guitar. As you’ve likely picked-up on, ‘12’ specifically refers to the number of frets. Not only does this smaller size make playing the Grand Concert much easier to do, in turn it means the guitar is more responsive. Unlike a Dreadnought or Jumbo size from Taylor, with just very light picking or strumming of the GC, the player will get great power from the guitar. What makes this model new to 2019 and even more powerful than ever is the incorporation of the now world-renowned V-Class Bracing, exclusive to the Taylor Guitar Company. This revolutionary bracing system was said by many to be a dangerous move by Taylor, tampering with something that was tried-and-true. Andy Powers, master guitar builder and designer for Taylor, along with Bob Taylor himself took their time in the development of the new frame, as it was indeed a risk for them both financially and to their reputation.
Those who have been loyal to Taylor had no doubts, and are able to throw the “I told you so” after the V-Class Bracing was a hit. The theory behind the new V-shaped pattern is that it allows there to be more support from the framework where the V meets the bottom of the guitar, while the open end of the V allows a significant amount more movement of the soundboard. The result is a guitar that somehow answers the prayers of acoustic guitar players around the globe. They found a way to give their already great guitar more sustain AND more volume, which results in even better intonation. Calling it a breakthrough to the guitar world would be putting it lightly.
On top of its top shelf audio qualities, this guitar has a perfect balance of luxury and class. The natural finish of the top, ebony fretboard and binding, along with the Tropical Mahogany neck give this guitar it’s traditional flare while the slotted peghead, new slothead tuners, abalone rosette and element inlays and Mother of Pearl peghead logo make this 812ce a beauty to look at. For those with even more champagne taste, there are a number of available upgrades for this model including an Adirondack Spruce top, Brazilian Rosewood back and sides, Tobacco Sunburst finish, Gotoh 510 Antique gold tuners, a Florentine cutaway, and several other options.
Taylor Guitars continues to be a company I proudly support, not just because of their quality product, but more-so their commitment to giving back to the environment they depend upon. Their Ebony Project, which I’ve written about previously and you can read about HERE, is proof that Bob Taylor and his guitar company are built not only around the idea of providing the best instrument possible for their customers, but also protecting the planet long after we’re gone. Most of the efforts put in motion by Taylor’s team will not yield effects till long after we’re gone – A testament to the true heart of this company. “I’ve dedicated most of my life to building the best guitars I can make,” Taylor said. “Taylor is known for its high standards of quality and performance, but now I want to make sure we’re also creating a better future for ebony and leaving more than enough resources for generations of instrument builders long after I’m gone. That’s why this planting is so meaningful.” Click the picture below and you can read about their recent record-breaking planting of ebony trees in Cameroon.
This Taylor 812ce with V-Class Bracing is currently available at Heartbreaker Guitars, a proud Taylor Guitars dealer in the heart of Las Vegas, Nevada. They have an extensive collection of Taylors with similar features as this model and I’d encourage anyone to visit them in person to get their fantastic one-on-one service while you take a look at their collection. Find Heartbreaker on YouTube, on Facebook or message them here online and they’ll quickly answer any of your guitar questions! Thanks for reading and please let me know if you enjoyed reading!
Heartbreaker Guitars Contributor