The Taylor 914ce: Among Taylor’s rosewood/spruce guitars, the 914ce has always projected an aura of high-end sophistication, showcasing a detail-rich aesthetic and the most refined levels of Taylor craftsmanship.
A lush redesign has brought a sleek and comfortable hand-carved ebony armrest to the series, along with the same sweeping array of tonal-enhancing refinements first applied to the 800 Series. On the 914ce, the Grand Auditorium’s all-around versatility has been punched up to produce a more powerful bass response and a warmer, sweeter midrange. The refreshed appointment scheme boasts a beautifully calibrated balance of ebony binding and koa purfling, together with colorful abalone shell inlays and trim. Additional features include a Venetian cutaway and Taylor’s Expression System 2 pickup. The guitar ships in a Taylor deluxe hardshell case.
- Taylor’s signature shape embodies the ultimate all-purpose acoustic.
- An original Bob Taylor design introduced in 1994
- Full in the lower register, present in the midrange, and sparkling on the treble strings
- The most popular Taylor shape and a good place to begin your search
The most popular and versatile body shape, the mid-size Grand Auditorium arrived in 1994 bearing refined proportions that fell between a Dreadnought and Grand Concert. While the bigger Dreadnought was traditionally considered a flatpicker’s guitar and the smaller Grand Concert catered to fingerstylists, the GA was designed to deliver on both fronts. The shape produced an original acoustic voice that was big enough to handle medium-strength picking and strumming, yet with impressive balance across the tonal spectrum, especially in the midrange, producing clear, well-defined notes that suited both strumming and fingerstyle playing. The GA’s overall presence tracks well with other instruments both in a studio mix and on stage, and singer-songwriters have embraced its utility both for composing and traveling with one guitar. Many people want a single guitar that can cover a variety of styles, which is why the GA continues to be our bestselling shape. If you want a great all-purpose guitar, the multi-dimensional GA won’t let you down.
The most commonly used wood for guitar tops, Sitka generates a broad dynamic range and accommodates numerous playing styles, from aggressive strumming to finger-picking.
- Origin: Northwestern North America (Coastal Rainforests of Alaska and Canada)
- Goes well With: All styles of guitars and players.
As a guitar soundboard, or top, Sitka spruce is the tonewood standard of the modern era. It’s used on 85-90 percent of the guitars that Taylor makes. Its combination of strength and elasticity translates into a broad dynamic range, yielding crisp articulation and allowing for everything from aggressive strumming and flatpicking to fingerpicking. Sitka spruce is Bob Taylor’s personal favorite for an all-around great guitar.
Indian rosewood’s sweeping frequency range at both ends of the tonal spectrum has made it one of the most popular and musically rich tonewoods. Its deep lows can assert a throaty growl, while bright, sparkling treble notes ring out with bell-like, high-fidelity clarity.
- Origin: East India
- Used On: The 700, 800, 900 Series Acoustic/Electrics, Laminate 200 Series
One of the most popular and traditional guitar woods of all time, rosewood takes the basic sonic thumbprint of mahogany (which has a strong midrange) and expands it in both directions. Rosewood sounds deeper in the low end and brighter on the top end (one might describe the treble notes as zesty, sparkly or sizzly, with more articulation). If you look at its frequency range visually, rosewood would appear to be more scooped in the middle, yielding less midrange bloom than mahogany. Like mahogany, rosewood’s vintage heritage has helped firmly establish its acoustic legacy. It’s a great sound in part because we know that sound. In some music circles in which preserving the traditional sound helps bring a sense of authenticity to the music — certain strains of Americana, for example — rosewood has an iconic status. Also like mahogany, rosewood is a versatile tonewood, which has contributed to its popularity. One can fingerpick it, strum it and flatpick it. It’s very consistent, so players can usually rely on it to deliver.
Expression System 2
The Expression System 2 captures more of a guitar’s dynamic properties using a breakthrough behind-the-saddle design.
The Venetian cutaway is known for its soft, round lines. The sloping peak of the cutaway will vary depending on the shape of the guitar.
- Top Wood: Sitka Spruce
- Back/Side Wood: Indian Rosewood
- Scale Length: 25.5”
- Electronics: Expression System 2
- Neck/Heel: Tropical Mahogany
- Fretboard: Ebony
- Inlay: Ascension
- Tuners: Gotoh
- Neck Finish: Satin
- Back/Side Finish: Gloss 3.5
- Binding: Ebony
- Number of Frets: 20