Over the past four-plus decades there’s a resounding theme from Taylor Guitars: passion for improving the guitar-playing experience. As a company that’s passionate about exposing more players to the pleasures of making music, Taylor isn’t content to see people throw in the towel before they have a chance to get their groove on. Models like the Academy Series Academy 12e-N Grand Concert Nylon String Acoustic guitar represents Taylor’s effort to support the development of the entry-level guitar player. Taylor believes that, in many respects, a player who is just beginning deserves the best-playing guitar.
Most newcomers to the instrument — and parents buying for their kids — are understandably reluctant to pony up for a more expensive, “nice” brand of guitar without knowing whether the interest will last. So the approach tends to be: start with an inexpensive, “good-enough” guitar, and if things progress, upgrade to something better. But all too often this ends in hand-wringing frustration, where would-be music-makers walk away from the instrument blaming themselves for not having enough musical talent or physical dexterity, when in fact the real culprit all along was the guitar.
The Playing Experience
The Academy Series was designed to offer enough immediate gratification to encourage a new player to keep playing. To do so, the playing experience was Taylor’s priority:
Easy to hold and play: The body is comfortable and lightweight. The guitar is easy to strum and fret.
Rewarding sound: This guitar yields a good sound easily in the hands of a newer player.
Not too precious: Durable. Minimal. A guitar that’s too precious can be intimidating for a novice
to play and care for.
Broad appeal: It covers a broad range of music preferences.
Acadamy Series Academy 12e-N Grand Concert
The Academy Series Academy 12e-N Grand Concert Nylon is special because in this price range, a good nylon-string guitar is even harder to find than a steel-string guitar. The Academy 12 nylon-string guitar is great on its own, not merely for its price tag. Its unique mix of musical goodness and low cost give it a passport to travel into other parts of the world, where musical preferences demand nylon strings.
Musical preferences aside, the super-light string tension of nylon strings is even easier on one’s fingertips than steel strings, making it a great choice for kids or players not yet used to pressing metal wire against their fingers.
The model also offers an affordable and high-quality option to established players who don’t use a nylon-string guitar as their primary acoustic, but who want to explore its distinctive acoustic palette. An added benefit is that its more compact body size makes for extra playing comfort.
The wood pairing is a solid Lutz spruce top with layered sapele back and sides. Genuine African ebony – not man-made substitutes – is used for the fingerboard and bridge, just as with all other Taylor models.
The neck is a fully engineered version of Taylor’s patented design, allowing for precise calibration of the neck angle and smooth serviceability throughout the guitar’s life. The guitar’s top bracing and other internal architecture were optimized for volume and projection. It has full-size guitar dimensions. It has the right depth and width for the right internal architecture, with a seriously straight and true neck on it. These things were meant to go together as a whole without compromising musical function.
Although an armrest is normally reserved as an ultra-premium feature of Taylor’s top-end models, Taylor’s Andy Powers developed a greatly simplified version, produced with function in mind. “It’s important to give a beginning player the most comfortable, gratifying experience to make a welcoming first impression,” he said. “If the guitar is comfortable, plays well, and has a pleasing sound, then a player will have an easier time staying with the instrument.”
The Taylor Difference
The Academy Series also introduces players to the best of what Taylor Guitars brings to the guitar market. Unmatched build quality, the most stable and playable necks, a vast array of tonal options, eco- conscious and ethically-sourced raw materials, and a lifetime of service and support.
- Body type: Grand Concert/OO
- Cutaway: No
- Top wood: Solid Lutz Spruce
- Back & sides: Layered Sapele
- Bracing pattern: Academy Series Nylon Bracing
- Body finish: Matte 2.0 Varnish
- Orientation: Right handed
- Neck shape: Taylor Standard Nylon Profile
- Nut width: 1.875 in. (47.62 mm)
- Fingerboard: Genuine African Ebony
- Neck wood: Sapele
- Scale length: 25.5 in.
- Number of frets: 17
- Neck finish: Satin
- Pickup/preamp: Yes
- Brand: Taylor
- Configuration: Undersaddle piezo
- Preamp EQ: 2-band
- Feedback filter: No
- Tuner: Yes
- Headstock overlay: Genuine African Ebony
- Tuning machines: Nylon Nickel with peraloid buttons
- Bridge: Genuine African Ebony
- Saddle & nut: Tusq
- Number of strings: 6
- Special features: Armrest
- Case: Gig Bag
- Accessories: None
- Country of origin: Mexico