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Taylor 856ce Rosewood/Spruce Grand Symphony 12-String Acoustic-Electric Guitar

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Taylor's second offering in Indian rosewood, the 800 Series traces its roots to the earliest Taylors. Bobs latest design changes speak of traditional lutherie in the form of hand-set, figured maple bi... Click To Read More About This Product

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Taylor's second offering in Indian rosewood, the 800 Series traces its roots to the earliest Taylors. Bobs latest design changes speak of traditional lutherie in the form of hand-set, figured maple binding. Its a gorgeous upgrade that complements the beautiful hues of rosewood and sparkling inlay work. For many, the 800 Series is a true Taylor icon. The 856ce Rosewood/Spruce Grand Symphony 12-String Acoustic-Electric Guitar is truly a sound to behold. Its rich, bellowing tone rings out with balance and complexity.

Indian Rosewood/Sitka
Indian rosewood seems as if it was created to be on a guitar. The clarity, balance, sustain, excellent bass response, and wonderful coloration and figure are without equal. Paired with Sitka spruce, it is an unstoppable combination.

Grand Symphony (GS)
Though you might see similarities to a Grand Auditorium, the GS is unique in both sound and shape. Significant changes in its geometry yield a deeper, more piano-like bass. A wider lower bout and higher, wider waist return ample volume and low-end sustain, in symphony with fuller mids and balanced highs.

Expression System
Using proprietary pickup technology developed at Taylor, the Expression System amplifies your guitar with an unrivaled, natural live sound. Onboard tone controls provide added flavor, or set flat for an uncolored, exceptionally-clean amplified sound. Its your tone. Amplified.

Gloss Top, Back & Sides
The finish used to create this guitar's lustrous gloss top, back, and sides was developed at Taylor for maximum durability and resistance to cold-checking. This ultraviolet-cured finish is also more environmentally friendly than traditional lacquer finishes.


Type/Shape: 12-String GS
Back & Sides: Indian Rosewood
Top: Sitka Spruce
Soundhole Rosette: Abalone
Neck: Tropical American Mahogany
Fretboard: Ebony
Fretboard Inlay: Pearl 800 Series
Headstock Overlay: Indian Rosewood
Binding: Maple
Bridge: Ebony
Nut & Saddle: Tusq
Tuning Machines: Gold-plated Taylor Tuners
Strings: Elixir Light Gauge Strings with NANOWEB Coating
Scale Length: 25-1/2"
Truss Rod: Adjustable
Neck Width at Nut: 1-7/8"
Number of Frets: 20
Fretboard Radius: 15"
Bracing: Standard II (Forward Shifted Pattern)
Finish: Gloss
Cutaway: Venetian
Electronics: Taylor Expression System
Case: Taylor Deluxe Hardshell
Body Width: 16-1/4"
Body Depth: 4-5/8"
Body Length: 20"
Overall Length: 41"
Customer Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Taylor856ce Rosewood/Spruce Grand Symphony 12-String Acoustic-Electric Guitar

(based on 3 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

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Reviewed by 3 customers

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


3 Grand + Taylor = Near Perfection


from Fayetteville, Arkansas

Comments about Taylor 856ce Rosewood/Spruce Grand Symphony 12-String Acoustic-Electric Guitar:

I've had it for about three weeks now and it's a great instrument. It's my third Taylor 12-string, including a 14 year old 855 jumbo. And I have its little 6-string brother, an 812 for finger picking. I've been playing for decades and I love the 12-string sound! OK, about this guitar. My first impression was that it was amazingly clean. The top, back and sides are flawless which you would expect for the money. I tune my 12-strings down 1/2 step for a deeper sound and you can barely get away with it on this instrument. The action is already quite low, at least on mine, and it's very easy to overpower the instrument if you're tuned down. At full pitch this is not a problem and I may go up to full pitch on this one. The sound is pretty amazing. You really have to be in careful tune with this guitar or it shows but, when you are, it just sings! Like most quality acoustics it sounds a whole lot better from in front that from behind so you'll be amazed when you hear someone else play it. The sound is detailed and rich; you can hear every string. You can finger pick this one just fine with some practice. The hardware and fittings are just fine, everything is put together just great. The string notches on the bridge and saddle are even and clean. The tuners are smooth. This is a grand symphony body, not their usual jumbo. I understand the jumbo is getting a makeover an is not available for a while. But not to worry, I think this is a better size anyway. It's not quite so voluminous but still has great projection and, IMHO, looks better. This is not a guitar you will want to backpack with up to the mountaintop, it's so well-made that any scratch or scar will show. You want to keep this one safe. The 12-string will always be a niche instrument. If you just want to have a 12-string then you might look at a Taylor 500 or even 300 series and save some money but this 856 is about the pinnacle of how good the instrument can be. But take some advice from a guy that's played a lot of 12-strings, you don't want a $300 instrument. The 12-string demands an extra level of quality for both sound and, especially, playability. This instrument has it all but, like the title says, 3 grand + Taylor will get you a lot of guitar. Taylor has long specialized in the 12-string while other makers basically add 6 more to an existing model + extra bracing (Martin's D28-12 for instance). You can find some other makers with quality 12-strings including Martin and Alvarez, but if you really want the top of the line, the Taylor 856ce Grand Symphony is about as good as they get. I'm sure I'll be playing it for a long time.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Best 12 string guitar I have ever played!

By Theodore Leslie

from Longview, WA

Comments about Taylor 856ce Rosewood/Spruce Grand Symphony 12-String Acoustic-Electric Guitar:

I just recently bought this guitar and it is truly an amazing professional instrument. I have played the guitar for 30 years and have played many acoustic guitars but this one you must try if you care about quality workmanship, playability and an amazing tone that will truly blow you and your friends away. The beauty and of the instrument is striking, but what truly sold it for me was that it is so easy to play and the quality of the sound is without comparison (Which is why we buy guitars in the first place!). The richness of the overtones and depth and projection of this instrument are incredible. Taylor makes more expensive guitars that are more fancy like the presentation and 9 series, but this guitar has the rosewood back and sides with sitka spruce top that produces the best possible overall tones without adding all the expense of additional inlay work or other woods that don't compare with rosewood. Finally, if you are in the price range and are looking at a Guild, Martin, or other instrument, given this guitar a side by side comparison and you will become a believer as well.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


One of the best

By Gary Agoney

from Altona, NY

Comments about Taylor 856ce Rosewood/Spruce Grand Symphony 12-String Acoustic-Electric Guitar:

I have only owned this Taylor for about 2 wks, but for " looks " , right out of the box, it is stunning, and flawless. Having owned a top of the line Gibson 12 string, and a not so top of the line Martin 12 string, the"solid feel" of this guitar, in my opinion, beats both of those guitars - so solid in fact, that on the fretboard you almost feel like you are fingering a hollow body electric. The price of this solidness is a pound or two of extra weight, but the tension of 12 strings requires durability. On stage, I play on a stool, and this guitar feel very comfortable in this position. The input jack, on the end of the guitar is not strap friendly, but I find this to be the case on most acoustics with electronics. The control knobs for the electronics are nicely located for easy access, however, I wish they had some type of label, like V,T,B on them The action was good right out of the box and it plays well, I particularly notice the great response as you move up the fretboard. The true test of a 12 string is found over time( with all the tension on the neck) but at this point in time, aim very well pleased with the 856ce it is truly a beautiful instrument.

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