Taylor 856ce 12-string - Rosewood back and sides

12-string Acoustic-electric Guitar with Sitka Spruce Top, Rosewood Back and Sides, Mahogany Neck, Ebony Fingerboard, and Taylor ES2 Expression System - Natural
Taylor 856ce 12-string - Rosewood back and sides image 1
Taylor 856ce 12-string - Rosewood back and sides image 1
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Taylor 856ce 12-string - Rosewood back and sides
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A Full-voiced Acoustic-electric 12-string Guitar

The Taylor 856ce is an acoustic-electric 12-string guitar that's primed for brawny, full-voiced tone. That's because not only is it constructed with premier tonewoods - there are a solid Sitka spruce top, an Indian rosewood body, and a Tropical mahogany neck. You'll hear a richer voice, with more complex harmonics and a more open sound that's incredibly vibrant. The secret is that Taylor optimized the wood thickness and bracing patterns to give you the best that the Grand Symphony design has to offer - powerful lows, crisp highs, and exceptional balance across the entire spectrum. Even unplugged, the 856ce gives you a surprising amount of natural projection, and thanks to its onboard Taylor Expression System 2 electronics, it also sounds fantastic when you plug in. Take it from Sweetwater - you'll love the Taylor 856ce 12-string acoustic-electric guitar.

Taylor 856ce 12-string Acoustic-electric Guitar at a Glance:
  • Choice tonewoods and GS body style give you big tone
  • Taylor Expression System electronics
  • Taylor's prestigious 12-string family
  • Taylor's Expression System 2 delivers incredibly natural sound with full dynamics
Choice tonewoods and GS body style give you big tone

Taylor's 856ce is designed to make the most of the beautiful 12-string sound, thanks to its Grand Symphony body style. You'll enjoy excellent articulation, but enhanced projection - it's a perfect guitar for laying down tracks in the studio, but it's also a great choice onstage. As far as tonewoods, the Taylor 856ce features a solid Sitka spruce top alongside an Indian rosewood body. The neck comprises beautiful Tropical mahogany that opposes a smooth black ebony fingerboard. And, a carefully carved Venetian cutaway gives you comfortable access to the 856ce's upper frets.

A richer, more vibrant voice than ever before thanks to customized bracing

You'll notice that the Taylor 856ce boasts exceptionally vibrant tones with a unique character. Taylor went back to the drawing board and redesigned their bracing patterns, to get the optimum response out of each of their iconic body shapes. Taylor even added side bracing to add rigidity to the sides and enhance top and back movement. In the words of luthier Andy Powers, the updated Advanced Performance bracing pattern gives the updated 856ce a "nice, cushy swell and long sustain, even with a delicate touch."

Exceptional tone, volume, and balance thanks to custom-tailored wood thickness

One of the things we like best about Taylor at Sweetwater is that their various body styles are designed for specific purposes, allowing you to choose a guitar that's the perfect match for your style. With the 856ce, Taylor takes that to another level by carefully matching the thickness of the spruce top and rosewood back and sides to the body style. They determined what the optimum wood thickness for the 856ce's Grand Symphony body would be, to give you maximum tone and light weight while also being equally strong. Taylor is also using real animal protein glue (fish, in fact) instead of synthetic glue. Luthiers have been using protein glues for centuries for their incredible strength, and also for their tone. Protein glue optimizes transfer of vibrations and also holds amazingly well, which means you're sure to get a lifetime of fantastic tone from the Taylor 856ce 12-string acoustic guitar.

Taylor's Expression System 2 delivers incredibly natural sound with full dynamics

Traditionally, acoustic-electric guitars have employed under-saddle piezo transducers, but Taylor has discovered a better way. Their revolutionary Expression System 2 uses a proprietary pickup behind the saddle. The pickup's three individually calibrated, precisely positioned piezo-electric sensors respond organically to the instrument's acoustic energy as it's transferred through the saddle. In concert with Taylor's custom-designed preamp (which delivers a 25% hotter signal), the result is a more natural acoustic sound with incredible dynamic range and responsiveness to your pick or finger attack. Sweetwater's guitar gurus are mightily impressed with Taylor's Expression System 2. Whether you're onstage through a PA, plugged into an acoustic amp, or direct into recording software, the ES2 faithfully conveys the voice of a Taylor guitar.

Taylor 856ce 12-string Acoustic-electric Guitar Features:
  • Taylor's Grand Symphony cutaway body style gives you dreadnought-like projection with a more expressive upper register
  • Sitka spruce provides a bright and balanced tone
  • Indian rosewood back and sides add clarity and projection
  • Graceful Venetian cutaway gives you access all the way up the fingerboard
  • Incredibly natural-sounding plugged-in tone thanks to the Expression System 2 electronics
  • Maximum strength and tone with minimum weight, thanks to customized wood thickness
  • Exceptionally open, vibrant sound thanks to real protein glue, no synthetic adhesives used
  • Extremely thin gloss finish (3.5mil thick)
  • Hardshell case included
Taylor's 856ce features a Grand Symphony body and choice tonewoods - it's designed to project premium 12-string acoustic tone!

Why Buy Your Guitar from Sweetwater?

See how Sweetwater goes to great lengths to give you the very best online guitar buying experience. From our online Guitar Gallery that allows you to see and select the exact instrument you want to our 55-point Evaluation process and our in-house guitar techs, we take the guesswork out of buying your next guitar online.

Additional Media

Acoustic Guitar Buying Guide

Tech Specs

Series 800
String Type Steel
Number of Strings 12
Body Shape Grand Symphony
Body Style Single Cutaway
Left-/Right-handed Right-handed
Color Natural
Finish Gloss, 3.5 mil
Top Wood Sitka Spruce
Back & Sides Wood Indian Rosewood
Body Bracing Advanced Performance Bracing
Binding Pale Maple
Neck Wood Tropical Mahogany
Fingerboard Material Smoked Ebony
Fingerboard Inlay Mother-of-Pearl Element
Number of Frets 20
Scale Length 25.5"
Tuning Machines Taylor Nickel Tuners
Bridge Material Smoked Ebony
Nut/Saddle Material Tusq Nut, Micarta Saddle
Nut Width 1.875"
Body Length 20"
Body Width 16.25"
Body Depth 4.625"
Electronics Taylor Expression System 2
Strings Elixir Phosphor Bronze Light
Case Included Yes
Manufacturer Part Number 856ce-ES2

Customer Reviews

Based on 4 reviews
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Wonderful Guitar!

Last August I purchased the Taylor 856CE from Sweetwater with the great assistance of Kenny Stratton. The guitar is so beautiful and easy to play. I have a Taylor 810 I've had for 15 years which I love, but started playing for Mass and wanted an instrument with a bolder sound. This 856CE has fit the bill! I highly recommend this guitar to anyone looking for a great 12 string acoustic! I also highly recommend Kenny Stratton helping me with everything before and after my purchase!

Incredible 12-string sound from the Taylor 856ce

I wanted to buy a premium guitar and looked at several different brands on the internet over several weeks, but kept coming back to the Taylor 856ce. I finally decided to place my order with Sweetwater because I knew it would be thoroughly checked before it was shipped. I just hoped I'd made the right guitar choice. I ordered this guitar late Thursday evening and it was delivered by Saturday afternoon. It arrived in perfect condition and ready to play right out of the box. I began playing and immediately knew I'd made the right choice. The sound is incredible! My wife started phoning family saying," You've got to hear this guitar!" It's as easy to chord as a 6-string. If you want a 12-string, you won't be disappointed in the Taylor 856ce.
Music background: Hobbyist

Taylor 856ce - Perfect

Another recent purchase of a Taylor guitar from Sweetwater, and it's the 856ce. The grand symphony body size is quite comfortable for me to play being used to a smaller sized instrument. The guitar is stunning and sounds beautiful, plugged in to my acoustic amp or not. The guitar is quite easy to play, as expected from Taylor. Many thanks to Chris at Sweetwater, the consistently high level of knowledge and support from their team has been a fantastic find for me when looking to add to my collection of musical instruments.
Music background: hobbyist

Not as Great as It Could Be.

It's time, after almost eight months, to say that I am not super-pleased with this instrument. The new Taylor finish is delicate; I scratched it with barely a pass of my fingernail. My Taylor 314 doesn't scratch anywhere near so easily. And I don't think this guitar is as playable as it could be, I tried one in a local store and I think it was more playable. and the tone -while good- seems a little tinny. Not that this one is a complete train wreck, but it is an expensive instrument. Shouldn't I be amazed at this price? For the record, I normally like the "bright" Taylor sound; and it is a great-looking instrument. But I wish I could give it the high ratings like the other reviewers. Believe me: I wanted to love this guitar. For the record, I had it professionally set up by a renown luthier. That helped, but... sorry... at at this point I can't really recommend it.
See also: Acoustic-Electric Guitars, Taylor, Taylor 12-string Acoustic Guitars, Taylor Acoustic / Electric Guitars