Taylor Guitars recently redesigned their 700 Series, to add performance bracing, two-piece maple/spruce bridge plate, protein (hide) glue on bridge and bracing, and several new aesthetic features, including a re-shaded gloss western sunburst finish, Koa binding, maple and Douglas fir herringbone-style rosette, and a new weathered-look proprietary pickguard material. Taylor’s elegant yet earthy 712e certainly benefits from this rethink.
The 712e features a grand concert body with a solid Lutz spruce top, solid Indian rosewood back and sides, 247⁄8" scale tropical mahogany neck joined at the twelfth fret, ebony fretboard with abalone inlays, and slotted headstock with rosewood overlay. The fit and finish are outstanding. The sunburst finish, Hawaiian Koa body binding and inlays, and fretwork are all flawless.
And the 712e’s tone is huge for a small-body guitar – a clear and punchy bottom end; an articulate and lush midrange; and a silky smooth high end. With the bridge shifted deeper in the lower bout, the 712e has added depth and bass response and a bit more projection without sacrificing any fingerstyle-friendly midrange. The harder you dig in, the more the guitar responds, never seeming to get washed out or compressed.
Through a Fender Acoustic SFX combo amp, Taylor’s proprietary behind-the-saddle Expression System 2 electronics did a remarkable job of reproducing the guitar’s big tone with minimal feedback or handling noise. The guitar’s slightly shorter scale length, satin neck finish, and low action all conspired toward remarkable playability. Access to the upper frets is a bit limited with the neck joining the body at the 12th fret, but that’s a small price to pay for this tone.
Indeed, the redesigned 712e is a very refined instrument, with impeccable quality, a bold sound, and a very down-to-earth vibe that makes it seem like Mother Nature herself had a hand in its creation.
This article originally appeared in VG May 2017 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.