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Old 03-14-2019, 02:35 PM
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Default Taylor 12 String Guitars - Which Shape is Best???

The title says it all. Which Taylor body shape makes the best sounding and playing 12-string guitar? Am I looking for another 12-string? Don't ask......
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Old 03-14-2019, 02:48 PM
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As the owner of a Guild and a Martin jumbo 12-string I'm going to say go as big as you find comfortable.



In the Taylor line-up that would be their Grand Orchestra body which replaced their jumbo.

The jumbo was 17" across the lower bout - the GO is 16 3/4"
The jumbo was 4 5/8" deep - the GO is 5"

So the Grand Orchestra is slightly narrower but slightly deeper.

The 858e is their top spec Grand Orchestra Spruce/Rosewood 12-string ... but the real stand out to me is the lower spec Grand Orchestra 458e-R (pictured below) which is also Spruce/Rosewood.

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Last edited by Brucebubs; 03-14-2019 at 05:11 PM. Reason: added picture
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Old 03-14-2019, 02:50 PM
SLJ710 SLJ710 is offline
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Default shape or wood

I have a 455 RCE. that's a Jumbo, rosewood with original expression system. This is classic sounding Taylor 12. Full and loud. Not sure the cutaway makes as much difference as the fact that it is rosewood and a Jumbo. Have to admit I am partial to Rosewood.

That being said, my answer would be both shape and wood affect the sound. What are you looking for. There are dreadnaught shaped and size 12 strings as well as (I think) auditorium style 12s.

Remember trying out the guitars is part of the pleasure of acquiring a new one....
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Old 03-14-2019, 02:52 PM
Neil K Walk Neil K Walk is offline
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I once played a 458e (Grand Orchestra, ovangkul back & sides) that just about blew my socks off.
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Old 03-14-2019, 03:18 PM
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Default Taylor 12 String Guitars - Which Shape is Best???

For Taylor, the 858e is the best they offer. I had a DLX version with Adi braces and an arm rest. I ended up with an opportunity to get the Guild F-512 instead. Honestly, itís a toss up. The Guild might suit my ear better, but the ES2 pickup and neck make the Taylor a better potential value. When I play unplugged I appreciate the Guild just a tiny bit more. When I play live plugged in I miss the Taylor terribly. :-(

Hereís the actual guitar I owned.



This is what Iím playing now. (Stock image)

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Last edited by martingitdave; 03-14-2019 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 03-14-2019, 03:58 PM
mcduffnw mcduffnw is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RP View Post
The title says it all. Which Taylor body shape makes the best sounding and playing 12-string guitar? Am I looking for another 12-string? Don't ask......
Guild F512...

Don't mess with the rest...buy the best!

duff
Be A Player...Not A Polisher


PS: But if you absolutely have to...buy a Taylor GS bodied 12 string...good sound, really comfortable to play for a jumbo...

But really...just buy the Guild...really
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Old 03-14-2019, 04:58 PM
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I've played a few different Taylor models in shops and owned one. I would concur that in many ways, bigger is definitely better. While I own a Taylor 712e, the GC 12s I tied were just a little lacking in bass, although they were new out at a Taylor roadshow and may have bloomed over time. In addition, what can you expect from those back and sides? They are not going to be as powerful as rosewood. B&S material makes a big difference on 12s.

The 150 I tried was Ok and my 354CE GA was nice, but couldn't compete with my maple Huss & Dalton CM 12 - the deeper body does really add something, I think. (Incidentally, I still can't believe no-one has taken your CM off your hands at that price - absolute steal - which is why I'm almost glad I'm in the UK, else it would probably be mine! ) The GA body was very comfortable though. However, when I had a shot at a Guild F512, it was the Taylor which went to the auction block as it was my least played guitar. And after three months, I definitely don't regret that decision. However, I will say a jumbo is a very big guitar, so I would agree with Brucebubs advice: "I'm going to say go as big as you find comfortable."
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Old 03-14-2019, 05:07 PM
Steadfastly Steadfastly is offline
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For me, the answer is the one that plays best. Next comes the tone. The reason is that if it is not comfortable and easy to play, you likely won't play it and if you do, you won't enjoy it and it should be enjoyable.
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Old 03-14-2019, 05:29 PM
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Ummmm...whichever sounds best to you?
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Old 03-14-2019, 05:50 PM
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Is there much difference in tone (strictly looking at 12 string models) between a GO and GS???
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Old 03-14-2019, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RP View Post
Is there much difference in tone (strictly looking at 12 string models) between a GO and GS???


Yes, I owned the 856ce and upgraded to the 858e. It was a good upgrade.
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RP View Post
Is there much difference in tone (strictly looking at 12 string models) between a GO and GS???
The dimensions for the Grand Symphony are really, really nice and it's a beautifully shaped and proportioned guitar.
I think I remember reading that the GS body size concept originally came from the much higher-end R. Taylor production before making it's way into the regular Taylor line-up.

I see no reason why it can't be a good size for a 12-string ... however ... I've found that bigger works better if you're looking for a more balanced 12-string tone.

You really need to try them yourself ... and as some have suggested, the rosewood Guild F-512 and new F-512 Maple (formally called F-412) are certainly worth trying too.
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Last edited by Brucebubs; 03-14-2019 at 10:11 PM.
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Old 03-14-2019, 09:39 PM
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Default Taylor 12 String Guitars - Which Shape is Best???

I also have a 455ce Jumbo and it is perfect for me. The projection and volume are great. I own GAís and GCís but for a Jumbo it is very comfortable to play. As usual with Taylor guitars great build quality and holds tune very well.
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Old 03-14-2019, 10:31 PM
donlyn donlyn is offline
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Taylor 12 String Guitars - Which Shape is Best???

Quote:
Originally Posted by flaggerphil View Post
Ummmm...whichever sounds best to you?
BT55,

What flaggerphil said. Keep in mind that the woods used combined with the shape may also make a difference to you. As this is about Taylor 12 strings, I believe that most Taylor 12s have the same neck width of 1.875", but the Grand Concert models are short scale, so there is a difference there too due to the scale being a hair under 25". Changes a lot.

So play as many different models as you can to form a comparison base . Looks like Taylor has used all their full sized shapes for a 12 string, so I wouldn't be surprised to see a Grand Pacific 12 at some point. Pay attention to what people have said and why they have said it. I have 2 different large body shapes and I like rosewood bodies best, so you can guess where I stand. Right next to Brucebubs.

To be fair I did play (and was impressed by) a few of the Grand Concert 12s too, but I just like the larger bodied models best.

Don
.
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