Taylor Academy 12-N (2017) Nylon String Guitar (Discontinued)

92 out of 100. Incorporating 70+ ratings and reviews.

Gearank High Notes


  • Not a traditional classical guitar
  • A bit expensive for a student guitar


  • Crossover design – steel string neck feel
  • Solid spruce top
  • Premium build quality
  • Warm yet detailed tone

Taylor Guitars is well known for its premium steel string acoustics, but it occasionally treads unfamiliar territory. A case in point is the Academy 12-N, a nylon string guitar with a modern design and playability.

It has to be mentioned that this is not a traditional classical guitar. Instead, it follows Taylor’s Academy series specs, having a grand concert body and a narrower neck, which makes it look and feel more similar to its steel-string siblings.

The neck doesn’t follow traditional specs, with its narrower 1.875″ nut width and 25.5″ scale length. This makes the Taylor Academy 12-N more of a crossover instrument, ideal for steel string players who want to try playing nylon strings. So, this is not for you if you are looking for a true-to-form classical guitar.

Thanks to its solid top and the big lower bout of its grand concert body, the Academy 12-N has a warm tone with slight bumps in the mids and lows. This is quite a departure from the usual trebly tone expected from Taylor acoustics.

The bass is deep yet retains clarity and doesn’t overwhelm the highs. It has good projection but a hard time sustaining notes.

Taylor Academy 12-N Beveled Arm Rest
Beveled Armrest

Taylor is a brand that’s hard to fault when it comes to build quality, and this same standard applies to the Academy 12-N. This attention to detail makes the Taylor Academy the best-value nylon string guitar for those who do not want to compromise quality.

Another noteworthy feature of this guitar is its beveled armrest, which makes right arm positioning comfortable. It also comes with a modern TUSQ nut and saddle. There’s also an acoustic-electric version available, the Taylor Academy 12e-N.

While its quality does punch above its price range, this student guitar from Taylor is priced higher than other entry-level nylon string acoustic guitars. But its well worth the price given that it’s from one of the best acoustic guitar brands.

Still, this is for you if you’re willing to invest in a premium and easy-to-play crossover nylon string guitar.


  • Top: Solid Lutz Spruce
  • Body: Layered Sapele back & sides
  • Finish: Varnish
  • Bridge: Ebony
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fingerboard: Ebony
  • Scale Length: 25.5″
  • Nut Width: 1.875″

Rating Source Highlight

Website Source *Rating Value
YouTube Heartbreaker Guitars 98/100
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