Taylor 314ce Grand Auditorium Electro Acoustic
Taylor 314ce Grand Auditorium Cutaway Electro Acoustic
The 314ce is a Grand Auditorium cutaway with a solid Sitka spruce top, solid Sapele back & sides, V-class bracing, fitted with an ES2 pickup and supplied with a hardshell case.
Like other “goldilocks” body shapes, its broad lower bout sustains louder strumming but the narrowing of the waist precludes bass dominance and makes the guitar nice and easy to handle. An excellent body shape for acoustic folk and blues and also a good writing tool for singer-songwriters.
Sitka spruce is the most common sprucewood in use today. Sitka spruce is good for volume and will age nicely over the first four or five years of the guitar’s life, improving with time.
Sapele is now commonly used as an alternative to mahogany and belongs to the same family. It is often slightly darker in (visual) tone but confers similar acoustical properties as mahogany. It sounds very sweet, a little quieter than spruce wood, responsive to a lighter touch and blend really well with other acoustic instruments. It also has a natural compression.
The cutaway has become a standard feature nowadays. They have been introduced in order to allow access to the higher frets. Since the advent of pickups, it has been possible to get the requisite volume from the lighter strings on the upper frets and so cutaways have become more relevant to acoustic guitars. Most cutaways are ‘Venetian’, or soft as opposed to ‘Florentine’, sharp cutaways.
Taylor has used various voicings based on the classic ‘X’ pattern embraced throughout the industry. The big breakthrough has been Andy Powers’ creation of the V-class bracing. Traditional X bracing has been the mainstay for steel-strung guitars- it works very well. The sound is complex and brings out overtones, especially as you play further up the neck, that both blend and clash. One quality of X bracing is that the very strong sound one gets from playing closer to the nut and especially using the open strings can be diminished further up the neck. It’s just a tradeoff. However, the V class bracing works differently. Andy Powers first imagined it as water running either side of a post holding up a jetty. The V shape channels the energy through the guitar in a way that holds the centre of the top more rigidly than the sides, which respond with a rocking motion (not actually visible to the eye, of course). The result is an improvement in volume up the neck, better intonation, an audible change in the way notes blend further up the “dusty” end of the fretboard and one assumes a more stable area behind the bridge. It is a tremendous innovation to have been introduced to the modern guitar and demonstrates Taylor’s good sense in promoting Andy Powers as the new Master guitar Designer.
The scale length is 25 1/2 inches. This is called ‘long scale’. Long scale lengths cause the strings to be held under a higher tension at concert pitch. This means a louder, more powerful sound, fizzing with harmonic overtones.
The nut width is a broad 1 and ¾ inches, allowing a little more space for fingering and picking.
Bob Taylor began building guitars with bolt-on necks and as Taylor design progressed he came up with the idea of a neck to body joint which would preserve the best practical implications of a non-glued neck and restore the quality of tightness that makes hand-fitted necks desirable. The New Technology Neck was the solution arrived at. Essentially the NT neck uses a bolt-on method to hold the neck in place but this is where the similarity with any other bolt-on technique ends. The Fadal CNC (computer-numeric-controlled) milling machine was used to cut a very precise “pocket” in the body of the guitar. A corresponding extension is built into the guitar neck which goes the entire length of the fingerboard. Therefore the tension of the string pull is shared between the fingerboard, which is all of a piece, and the body, which is a more stable setup. The neck can easily be removed for repair and setup purposes and the neck to body angle can be finely adjusted using shims of different thicknesses. A Taylor-approved service centre is required and GAK can easily ship a Taylor guitar to the Amsterdam European HQ.
Taylor’s necks are slim and playable- Bob Taylor has always been able to shape a good neck. As he admits, he’s never been a great player, and this may be why he has always strived to make his instruments entirely user-friendly.
Taylor uses a UV cured polyester finish of their own devising which has none of the traditional vulnerabilities of nitrocellulose. There is a clear undercoat which allows the individual tone and colour of each piece of wood to come through.
The ES2 pickup is different from the standard under saddle piezo system which is under constant tension from the strings. This tension has a negative effect on tone, according to Taylor, and so they place their pickup on the side of the saddle, tensioned by 3 hex bolts which can be adjusted to calibrate the pickup response.
All Taylor 300 Series Guitars come with a hardshell case.
- Scale Length: 25-1/2"
- Nut & Saddle: Black Graphite, Micarta saddle
- Bracing: V-Class with Relief Rout
- Truss Rod Cover: Black Plastic
- Pickguard: Black
- Number of Frets: 20
- Tuners: Taylor Nickel
- Case: Taylor Deluxe Hardshell Brown
- Brand of Strings: Elixir Phosphor Bronze Light
- Body Length: 20"
Sensational. All I need to say.