Taylor Guitars 914ce
An Elegant Heartbreaker
Wildwood Guitars is pleased to present the Taylor 914ce! The top is stunning, and the Indian rosewood back and sides are truly out-of-this-world, but let's not overlook the tiny details that make them true heartbreakers. The koa trim around the fretboard, the paua rosette with ebony and koa purfling, and the stylish abalone and pearl ascension inlays are all small touches that make this guitar a truly elegant work of art. The beveled armrest only adds to the sophisticated aesthetic, and it has significant ergonomic benefits, too--cramped right arms after long practice sessions are thing of the past!
Andy Powers has done a bang-up job redesigning Taylor's bracing system to give these guitars exceptional balance, clarity, and fullness, too (more on this in a second!). When you add the beautiful bell-like response of the rosewood back and sides into the equation, you get a touch-sensitive guitar that somehow manages to sound full and rich even if you barely touch the strings. Of course, the Taylor ES-2 electronics ensure that all of this nuance and detail will come through crystal clear should you ever decide to show this beauty off to a live audience. We all flipped our lids over these guitars when it came in, and we are so excited to share them with our exceptional customers.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention Taylor's new V-Class bracing. It's an elegant solution to a problem that has plagued luthiers for decades. For years, acoustic guitar builders had to compromise between volume and sustain. Flexibility equals volume, and stiffness equals sustain. Obviously, a piece of wood cannot be rigid and flexible at the same time, so builders had to go for one or the other.
Andy Powers wanted to have his cake and eat it, too. After much tinkering, V-Class bracing was his elegant solution to the problem that has plagued luthiers for centuries. As the name implies, V-Class bracing features two long pieces of wood that make a "V" shape together. The bracing is quite thin and flexible near the rear bout, but it becomes thicker as you get closer to the soundhole.
So, you get volume from the flexible parts of the bracing, and sustain from the rigid parts! Many areas of the guitar neck that typically sound weak (ninth fret on the G string, for instance) have just as much presence, resonance, and sustain as the low E. As a result, the 914ce sounds supremely balanced and sculpted. When you hear one played live in the room, you'd swear a mix engineer had already done a bunch of post-production work on it. And, it gives the guitar piano-like note separation and crystalline clarity even when you play fancy jazz chords!
V-Class bracing also does wonders for the guitar's intonation. Are you ready to have your mind blown? When I visited the Taylor headquarters El Cajon, Andy Powers explained that an acoustic guitar's intonation is not necessarily just the sum of the typical adjustments like saddle height, nut slots, and neck angle (though they do a play a part). The way that the actual guitar itself vibrates also has a lot to do with how in-tune it sounds.
Andy told me to picture it like this: when you take close-up slow-motion footage of a guitar's top with a high-speed camera as someone plays it, you can see the top move vividly. On a traditional X-braced guitar, the top vibrates in a disorderly, disjointed manner. This can cause a guitar with perfect saddle height and neck angle to sound out of tune when you play a big open chord.
By contrast, guitars with V-Class bracing vibrate in a much more orderly manner. The graduated braces compel the energy from the player's attack to move from the thin outer part of the bracing to the thicker inner part in an efficient manner. If you were to take a high-speed shot of a V-Class top, you would see it rock back and forth evenly in a pleasing pattern. Because of that V-Class magic, the 914ce sounds so in-tune that it's scary.
|Top Wood||Solid Premium Sitka Spruce|
|Bracing||V-Class with Relief Rout|
|Back & Sides Wood||Solid Indian Rosewood|
|Back & Sides Finish||Gloss|
|Neck Wood||Tropical Mahogany|
|Neck Dimensions||.840 1st - .870 9th|
|Fretboard Material||West African Crelicam Ebony|
|Fingerboard Inlays||Abalone/Mother-of-Pearl Ascension|
|Width at Nut||1 3/4”|
|Nut Material||Black Graphite-Infused Tusq|
|Purfling||Ebony/Koa/Abalone top purfling|
|Electronics||Taylor Expression System 2|
|Tuners||Antique Chrome Gotohs with 21:1 Ratio|
|Bridge||West African Crelicam Ebony|
|Case||Taylor Deluxe Hardshell Case|
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