Without question, the Taylor 814CE is one of the most versatile and balanced acoustic-electric guitars we’ve ever played, equally at home on stage and studio.
Many years ago, guitar designer Bob Taylor shook up the guitar-building community with his introduction of the bolt-on guitar neck. Initially, his practice was almost universally ridiculed by stalwart conservatives who believed that an acoustic guitar’s tone would be destroyed by such a non-conventional practice. Then people played and heard Taylor’s guitars, and the skeptics were quickly won over.
Flash forward over 30 years, and Taylor Guitar is one of the industry’s most respected guitar manufacturers. With dozens of models in their current catalog, the 814CE is one of their perennial favorites. Once you play and hear one, you’ll understand why.
The 814CE features a solid Sitka spruce top with rosewood back and sides. It is outfitted with an ebony fingerboard and bridge as well as gold-plated tuners with gold buttons. The guitar is also adorned with a 5-ply purfling with maple binding, beautiful mother-of-pearl fretboard inlays, and an abalone rosette. The electronics are Taylor’s acclaimed Expression System pickup.
The Taylor 814CE is perhaps Taylor’s most versatile guitar model, and that’s saying something, given the number of guitars Taylor produces. Aesthetically, there simply aren’t many production guitars that feature this level of beauty. The Taylor 814CE is truly a work of art.
However, it is a work of art that begs to be played! And you will play it once you own it. Taylor guitars are reknowned for the playability, and the 814CE is certainly no exception. Chords and single-note lines flow with ease, and the guitar sounds equally at home with flatpicking or fingerpicking.
Played acoustically, the Taylor is simply beautiful, but when plugged in, that’s where it really shines. The Taylor Expression System pickup system is one of the best onboard acoustic electronics systems we’ve ever heard. Though it has only three controls, the Taylor ES proved to be extremely versatile whether played through an acoustic amplifier or directly into a PA system. The Expression System is appropriately named. It superbly expressed the broad nuances of the Taylor’s multi-faceted acoustic tones.
Without question, the Taylor is one of the most versatile and balanced acoustic-electric guitars we’ve ever played, equally at home on stage and studio. The Taylor 814CE is a guitar that could be used in a variety of contexts. Its versatility and playability are almost without peer.
Name of Gear: Taylor 814CE
List Price: $4,058.00
Manufacturer Info: Taylor Guitars; taylorguitars.com
Pros: Incredibly versatile; world-class build quality; excellent playability