Taylor American Dream AD12e-SB review

Taylor describes its American Dream guitars as “spartan and minimalist” by design, but does this add up to any shortcomings in tone? Let’s find out

Taylor american dream AD12e-SB
(Image: © Future / Olly Curtis)

Guitar World Verdict

Its cut-back minimalist look has an aesthetic all its own, and its tone and playability make it a sure-fire winner that could ably compete with instruments further up the range in terms of price.


  • +

    A superbly well-conceived instrument.

  • +

    No fuss aesthetic.

  • +

    Great tonal range.

  • +

    Excellent price.


  • -

    Purists may not go for the spartan appointments.

You can trust Guitar World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing guitar products so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Taylor’s American Dream Series has been expanded with a trio of sunburst finished models, comprising the Grand Concert AD12e we have before us plus the small-bodied Grand Theater AD11e and the Grand Pacific AD17e. 

All three have the same basic spec with Sitka spruce tops and walnut backs and sides, and boast uncompromising solid wood quality and tone at a stripped-down price point. 

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David Mead

With over 30 years’ experience writing for guitar magazines, including at one time occupying the role of editor for Guitarist and Guitar Techniques, David is also the best-selling author of a number of guitar books for Sanctuary Publishing, Music Sales, Mel Bay and Hal Leonard. As a player he has performed with blues sax legend Dick Heckstall-Smith, played rock ’n’ roll in Marty Wilde’s band, duetted with Martin Taylor and taken part in charity gigs backing Gary Moore, Bernie Marsden and Robbie McIntosh, among others. An avid composer of acoustic guitar instrumentals, he has released two acclaimed albums, Nocturnal and Arboretum.