Our good friends Mike and Kenny from Taylor guitars stopped by to give an insightful demonstration of the 12-String 552ce & 562ce models.
Taylor master guitar builder Andy Powers started with voicing refinements that would preserve all the great character of mahogany’s tone profile — an earthy midrange, a clear, focused response, and a natural compression that helps level out a player’s attack — while giving players a wider range of expression.
“The idea was to bring out more volume, low-end richness, and projection,” Andy says. “At the same time, we wanted the guitars to respond quickly to every type of articulation.”
The foundation of the revoicing efforts was a new internal bracing architecture that could be adapted to optimize the tone of the different kinds of guitar designs planned to live within the 500 Series. The bracing concept, dubbed Performance bracing, is grounded in the X-brace tradition with additional modifications that allow for subtle adjustments in shape and placement to influence how the top moves in relation to the back and sides.
One of the benefits of the new bracing scheme is the ability to adapt it to enable the creation of some breakthrough guitar models. One example is a pair of 12-fret/12-string Grand Concerts: the cedar-top 552ce 12-Fret and mahogany-top 562ce 12-Fret. Although 12-strings aren’t traditionally associated with a smaller-size guitar body, the bracing design played a major role in articulating a clear 12-string voice for a more compact and comfortable playing experience.