Taylor Guitars PS14ce
The Taylor PS14ce is like a jewel-encrusted Swiss Army knife: opulent and regal, but with a wide variety of practical applications! The PS14ce has a sinker redwood top, which is a great building block. Sinker redwood comes from reclaimed logs pulled from rivers in Northern California, and our friends at Taylor often refer to it as "cedar on steroids." Like cedar, it's responsive, and it presents a beautiful bouquet of warm overtones. But, it has more headroom and brightness because of its stiffness.
Pair that with blackwood back and sides, and you get quite an intoxicating sonic cocktail. Blackwood is a hardwood that shares some characteristics with mahogany-like round, even attack that gives way to warm, punchy midrange and woody, clear lows. But, blackwood has a bit more top-end sparkle.
When blackwood and redwood come together, it creates a warm, dynamic instrument that has robust resonance across the board. Most importantly, the blackwood rounds off the sharp edges of the sound, allowing you to play expressively without worrying about spiky frequencies jumping out. All in all, playing one of these guitars is a magical experience.
A Note About V-Class Bracing
We can't talk about the magic of the PS14ce without talking about Taylor's new V-Class bracing. V-Class bracing is 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 PS14ce 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 Taylor headquarters in 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 the 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 PS14ce sounds so in-tune that it's scary.
|Top Wood||Solid Sinker Redwood|
|Back & Sides Wood||Solid Blackwood|
|Back & Sides Finish||Gloss Shaded Edgeburst|
|Neck Wood||Tropical Mahogany|
|Neck Dimensions||.840 1st - .870 9th|
|Fretboard Material||West African Ebony|
|Fingerboard Inlays||Noveau Paua|
|Scale Length||25 1/2"|
|Width at Nut||1 3/4”|
|Nut Material||Black Graphite-Infused Tusq|
|Binding||West African Ebony|
|Purfling||Fiber and Paua|
|Electronics||Taylor Expression System 2|
|Bridge||West African Ebony|
|Case||Taylor Deluxe Hardshell Case|
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