A 12-String That Steps Out of the Crowd

A bold, comfortable design meets state-of-the-art bracing to create a jangle box for the ages. The PG Taylor Builder's Edition 652ce review.

All examples were recorded with a Scarlett 2i4 interface into Logic Pro X with no post-processing added.
Clip 1: Mic'd up with a Rode NT-1A.
Clip 2: Recorded direct into the Scarlett 2i4.
 

Ratings

Pros:
Comfortable as hell. Beautiful low end and midrange.

Cons:
Pricey.

Street:
$4,199

Taylor 652ce Builder’s Edition 12-string
taylorguitars.com


Tones:


Playability:


Build/Design:


Value:
 

The Builder's Edition 652ce is the first 12-string in the Builder's Edition to feature the incredible V-Class bracing system that Taylor master luthier Andy Powers announced back in 2018. Powers has been slowly revamping the company’s lineup over the last few years, with the new bracing system. Built around Taylor’s Cutaway Grand Concert body shape, the 652ce feels substantial and well-built. (At this price point, I would expect nothing less.) The added beveled cutaway and armrest—both only available on the Builder's Edition—lend an impressive level of comfort and warmth to the feel.

After closer inspection I realized Powers had pulled a fast one and reverse-strung the octave strings. Pretty smart.

Naturally, I didn’t take out the manual or look up the specs before I started strumming. Once tuned up, I noticed a more present low end and midrange. At first, I chalked it up to the bracing and carried on. However, after closer inspection I realized Powers had pulled a fast one and reverse-strung the octave strings. Pretty smart. The jangle of the high end was clear and full, and it didn’t take long to try to hit a few CSNY jams. Overall, the 652ce is an immaculately built pro-level instrument that feels as smooth as nearly anything I’ve played to come out of El Cajon. As Ferris Bueller said, “If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.”


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