The Taylor 314ce is the lowest priced solid wood guitar Taylor offers. It's a work horse that features a solid sitka spruce top with sapele back and sides. New for 2018, the 314ce features the all new v-class bracing. This means the braces lay out in a V shape pattern rather than an X shape. What this means for you is more volume, longer sustain, and better intonation. Is the hype real though?
Find out in this in depth review. I've got my hands on a brand new Taylor 314ce, and it sounds wonderful. Read on to learn if this guitar is the right choice for you.
Taylor is the king of the grand auditorium body shape. So much so that they have discontinued their dreadnought line. So much for trying to compete with Martin. I think this is a great move. Focus on what you do best.
There is something special about this body shape. All the grand auditorium Taylors I have played sounds great. From the 114ce up to the 814ce, they deliver a deep bass with clear highs. It makes for a well rounded guitar that can cover all styles.
The GA is a mid-sized guitar. A dreadnought has a big booming sound that is great for bluegrass and flatpicking. A grand concert is more suited to the softer style of finger style. The grand auditorium fits nicely in the middle to cover both styles of playing. If you've never played one, you are in for a treat.
I consider myself a Martin guy. My dad always played Martin guitars. I have a Martin 000-28 vs 12 fret that is a great sounding guitar. But the more I play the 314ce the more I fall in love with it. It has such a full low end. The mid range is punchy, and the highs are nice and clear.
The sound coming out of this guitar is stunning to me. Every time I pick it up to play it, I am so satisfied with the low end. Comparing it to the top of the line 814ce, it doesn't ring and sustain as well. The 814ce feels like a grand piano of a guitar. The 314ce with it's sapele feels more forgiving to the heavy handed. It's a great strummer that will fill the room.
Playing fingerstyle on the 314ce is also a joy. For me this is due to the great bass response of this body shape. The alternating bass lines come through with so much fullness. That is the only way I can describe it. The highs blend well. This guitar has a unique balance to it. It's not overly bassy or trebley.
What is there not to like about the sound? Well for the price, you are getting up there. You might try to convince yourself that if you are going to spend 2k you might as well buckle down and go for a 700 or 800 series. With that extra $1500, you could get a truly amazing guitar. The 314ce is a great guitar. I think it's the perfect choice for those that have to draw the line on cost. For most of us, guitar is a hobby. And divorces are expensive.
Like any Taylor you pick up, it's got a fantastic neck. It feels great in your hand. It's slimmer, and it has a playable feel to it. I have smaller hands, and it feel great to me. Players with bigger hands might not like the cramped feel if this neck. The satin finish on the neck glides well. I could go on and on about my love for Taylor's necks, but it's something that comes down to player preference. The more I compare this guitar to my Martin, the more I like the Taylor. This is due in part to the neck feel. It's easier for me to play, so I play it more.
The 314ce has Taylor's Expression System 2 on board. Plugged in, the guitar sounds great. They pride themselves on not just sticking a pickup on the guitar. The ES2 brings out the sound of the wood of the guitar.
This is because the piezo pickup mounts behind the saddle instead of under it. Taylor engineers discovered that mounting it behind the saddle captures the natural sound of the guitar. Traditionally pickups are mounted under the saddle, which can lead to a tinny sound.
Plugged in with a little reverb added gives a full and cavernous sound that is great for adding depth.
Less important when choosing a high end guitar are the looks. To me this guitar looks great. I love the aesthetic of the grand auditorium body with the cutaway. The black pick guard is fine. It doesn't look as high end and the tortoise shell or rosewood pick guard.
The binding is less prevalent on the 314. Some players love the fancy mother of pearl inlays and binding. Others think it's gaudy. This guitar is tasteful in its design. Not too flashy. Let your playing take care of that.
The satin finish on the back and sides is pleasing to the eye. It doesn't show smudges as much as the gloss top. It doesn't get sticky. If you own a guitar with a gloss back and sides, you know what I mean. The satin is smoother. It has less grip, and can slide around some if you are not wearing a strap.
Taylor is one of the top acoustic guitar brands on the market. Their prices are a bit high when compared to other brands. I still think this guitar is a great value. The great thing with Taylor is their consistency. The guitars are set up great from the factory. The sound is consistent. The build quality is consistent. If you are planning on buying one online this is what you want to hear.
The build quality is perfect, as you would expect at this price. I do not see one imperfection on the model that I own. Over all this is a great guitar. If you are on the fence, I say go for it. Hopefully my review has helped you make a decision on the right guitar to buy. Then you can get back to practicing!
Taylor 314ce John Holloway Rating: 5 out of 5