Taylor Guitars 2021 314ce LTD – Torrefied Top
The Ultimate Swiss Army Knife
Taylor's glorious Grand Auditorium guitars are do-it-all workhorses, and no model better exemplifies this Swiss Army Knife functionality than the 314ce. By putting a new twist on a classic tonewood combo in a versatile body size, our friends at Taylor have produced a player's guitar that will handle just about anything you throw at it. So, let's dive deeper and see why the 314ce excels in just about any musical context!
A Magnificent Workhorse
The 314ce's shape is the biggest reason why it's such an all-terrain vehicle. The Grand Auditorium body is particularly cool because it's a Taylor original without too many antecedents or influence from "traditional" acoustic guitar design. Size-wise, it lands somewhere between a dreadnought and a grand concert, so it is supremely comfortable to play. Being an in-betweener, it also has stronger midrange presence, and it responds equally well to fingerstyle and pick playing. It captures all of the subtleties and nuances of the player's attack, yet it also sounds full and satisfying when you strum a big chord. And, it has Taylor's killer ES-2 pickup system, so you can be certain that you'll get excellent sound whether you're playing a solo set or a gig with a band.
The Taylor 314ce has solid quilted sapele back and sides and a solid torrefied Sitka spruce top, which is a new spin on a classic combo. Sapele is quite similar to mahogany, and builders have been making guitars out of spruce and mahogany for decades for a reason: they go together like peanut butter and jelly. But, sapele has a few important distinctions that separate it from its fellow hardwood. It produces more overtones and high-end sparkle than mahogany. Also, it is a bit denser and harder than mahogany, which gives it a bit more punching power.
Of course, we all know and love the sound of Sitka spruce. It's the standard tonewood for acoustic guitars for a reason, and its clarity, dynamic response, articulation, and midrange power are utterly delightful. When torrified, it imparts the type of robust depth and woody sweetness that often comes when a guitar has been "played-in" over time. This guitar sounds like that right out of the case. With the sapele back and sides, the 314ce's torrefied Sitka spruce top helps the guitar sound balanced, focused, and full-bodied.
We can't talk about balanced sound without talking about 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 314ce 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 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 314ce sounds so in-tune that it's scary.
An All-Terrain Tone Machine
Wildwood Guitars is proud to showcase the Taylor 314ce, a guitar that we believe provides inspiring tone, supreme playability, and world-beating versatility at an incredible value. We know it will be a steadfast companion as you embark on your acoustic adventure, and we can't wait to see what ways you find to use the ultimate acoustic Swiss Army knife.
|Top Wood||Solid Torrefied Sitka Spruce|
|Back & Sides Wood||Solid Quilted Sapele|
|Back and Sides Finish||Blackwood Stain|
|Neck Wood||Tropical Mahogany|
|Neck Dimensions||.840 1st - .880 9th|
|Fretboard Material||West African Crelicam Ebony|
|Fingerboard Inlays||Italian Acrylic Victorian|
|Width at Nut||1 3/4"|
|Nut Material||Black Graphite-Infused Tusq|
|Electronics||Taylor Expression System 2|
|Tuners||Taylor Satin Black|
|Bridge||West African Crelicam Ebony|
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Serial Number: 1206161036
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