Taylor Guitar 414CE by Arthur Stone
Background: Taylor has been manufacturing since the mid-70's and the company took off through the 80's. They are a top-selling brand for good reason - quality and musicality. Taylor have a good website with support, maintenance tips, and technical info; also a 12-year warranty via European dealers which is commendable and shows a commitment to their customers and confidence in their product.
Hardware: The 414ce has a sitka-spruce top (quite bright wood) and ovangkol back and sides; the glossy finish is superb and really shows off the character of the wood. The body shape is 'grand-auditorium with a Venetian-cutaway which allows easy access to the upper frets. The nut and saddle are tusq (man-made ivory) and the bridge, ebony. The fretboard is ebony wood with pearl dot inlays and the 20-fret neck is tropical American mahogany. The company has been innovative offering guitars with a patented bolt-on neck which is integral to the on-body fretboard; this system allows fine-tuning of the neck via shims rather than a complete disassemble and reset.
The onboard electronics - the Expression System - uses a humbucking induction pick-up (in the neck) and two dynamic transducers under the soundboard are wired to an onboard preamp designed by Rupert Neve. These are selectable. The tuning-machines are high-quality chrome-plated Taylor custom; I rarely have to tune. My friend plays in a busy travelling bluegrass outfit and he told me he never has to tune his guitar.
The 414ce comes with a superb Taylor hardshell case.
In Use:The guitar is similar to Lowden in that it demands precise playing and this is a good thing as you have to up-your-game...it's quite unforgiving of idiots...but once you get into the zone it rocks! Here's a quick track of an idiot playing:
Conclusion: The 414ce is a superb guitar acoustic or DI'd...it's just quality. Taylor guitars seem to invoke a love-hate relationship amongst guitarists e.g. https://www.gearslutz.com/board/instr...orta-blow.html
However most of the haters don't own them and they remain popular as studio guitars; I'm a lover as they tick all the boxes and if I only had one electro-acoustic guitar I would be happy with a 414ce (or perhaps a Martin).
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