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The Taylor Academy Series of guitars show what an asset Taylor's Tecate factory is for guitarists, especially those on a budget. The excellent sound and playability is achieved by combining highly efficient production with a clean, functional aesthetic that looks simple rather than stripped down. The solid spruce tops are lightly braced and deliver a clean, clear tone with plenty of warmth and harmonic complexity. In impromptu blindfold tests here at Gryphon, these guitars consistently fool players expecting far less impressive sound for $699. These guitars get the same finely-dressed frets as higher Taylor models, so the playability is equally impressive.There are currently a number of Taylor Academy Series models in the catalog and each is available in acoustic or acoustic-electric versions. The two steel strings models, the Dreadnought 10 and the Grand Concert 12, have a shorter 24 7/8” scale, a narrower 1 11/16" nut and they're voiced to sound great with light-gauge strings, all of which make these guitar easy on your fretting fingers. The steel strings are available with spruce or walnut tops. The Grand Concert 12-N is set up for nylon strings, which are even easier on your fretting fingers.