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A compact nylon-string guitar made of tropical mahogany and Western Red cedar with Taylor ES-N electronics.
Singer-songwriters are often drawn to the 500 Series because mahogany yields its inspiring tone easily, with a breathy midrange and a wonderful balance of warmth, clarity and complexity. The Taylor 2012 512ce Mahogany/Cedar Nylon String Grand Concert Acoustic-Electric Guitar model sports a beautiful cedar top. The refined appointment package features a laser-engraved Deco Diamond inlay scheme, faux tortoise shell binding, and a dark body stain that honors mahogany’s enduring heritage.
A smaller bodied guitar ideally suited for fingerstyle.
The small-body 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 kept the overtones in check. 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. The 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.
Origin: Central and South America
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.
Like the the ES-T, The ES-N is a single-source, under-saddle transducer, but the preamp design and tone controls were customized to complement the nylon-string voice. Taylor standard ES control knobs enable plenty of tone-shaping and preserve the natural design aesthetic. Installed on nylon-string models.
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