Sponsored By

Taylor’s maple grand auditorium now includes V-Class bracing.

by Teja Gerken
August 28, 2018

Although it is the primary wood used for the backs and sides of archtop guitars and violin-family instruments, maple isn’t nearly as common on flattop steel-string guitars. When Taylor’s designer Andy Powers revamped the company’s 600 series in 2015, one of his goals was to highlight the tonal potential of maple, which can be sustainably harvested in North America, isn’t affected by CITES regulations (making international trade or travel a non-issue), has great stability, and looks beautiful. Taylor has now updated all grand auditorium models with its new V-Class bracing, giving the 614ce another major modification, and we had a chance to check out the latest version of the guitar in the Peghead Nation video studio.

From the outside, the new 614ce looks nearly identical to the previous version. The high-quality flamed maple used for the back and sides is stained with a transparent amber/brown color, giving it an appearance similar to the varnish finish used on violins. The guitar’s Sitka spruce top is torrefied, meaning that is has gone through a special roasting process that imitates aging. The guitar has relatively simple appointments that include grained ivory binding, Taylor’s “wings” fingerboard inlay pattern, an abalone rosette, and a wood pickguard. Inside, however, the 614ce now sports Taylor’s V-Class bracing instead of standard X-bracing. Based on two long braces that form a “V” shape, from each side of the soundhole to a point near the end block, V-Class bracing promises a more balanced sound, improved sustain and volume, and other advantages.

The new 614ce is indeed an incredibly balanced guitar with great dynamics and a big tonal range. It’s a lot of fun to play fingerstyle and offers a smooth tonality when strummed with a pick. Plugged into a Fishman Loudbox Charge amp, the guitar’s built-in ES2 electronics allowed it to continue shining in an amplified setting, offering great string-to-string balance and a natural sound.

Overall, the 614ce is a great option for players who have been considering a Taylor grand auditorium. Not only does it have a versatile voice, it also proves that a great flattop can be built without endangered woods.

SPECS: Grand auditorium body. Solid torrefied Sitka spruce top. Solid maple back and sides. V-Class bracing. Maple neck. Ebony fingerboard and bridge. 25½-inch scale. 1¾-inch nut width. Enclosed nickel tuning machines. Expression System 2 electronics. Made in USA. $3,499 (street). taylorguitars.com


Category: Instruments & Gear

What Is the Perfect Tonewood for You? | Taylor Primetime Episode 3

Taylor’s Andy Lund joins hosts Jay Parkin and Chris Sharp for a live discussion about the nuances of the popular tonewoods used in making guitars.

Taylor American Dream Series

Taylor introduces its lowest-priced US-made line of guitars.

The Guitars of “Duets”

Teja Gerken and Doug Young discuss the guitars used on their recent album of fingerstyle duets.

All About Guitar Picks and Strings | Taylor Guitars

Andy Powers answers questions about picks and strings on Taylor's Primetime Livestream.

Taylor AD17 Blacktop

A brand-new and affordably priced Grand Pacific.

Taylor AD27e

An American Dream series Grand Pacific with a mahogany top.

Ask Bob! Live Rapid-Fire Q&A with Bob Taylor | Taylor Guitars

Bob Taylor answers questions on Taylor's Primetime Livestream

Taylor K26ce

A redesigned koa grand symphony guitar with a soundport cutaway and V-Class bracing.

Comments and Discussion

Leave a Reply

Captcha Code

Click the image to see another captcha.


Article Thumbnail
Sep 17, 2020
The guitarist and founding member of the Waybacks pays homage to Doc Watson with a medley of "Bright Sunny South" and “Jack-A-Roe,” a traditional song that became a mainstay of the Grateful Dead.

Start Learning Today

One Course: $20/month or $200/year
Two Courses: $30/month or $300/year
Access to All Courses: $100/month

Peghead Nation’s String School is your source for roots music instruction, bringing you full courses in guitar, mandolin, banjo, ukulele, fiddle, and Dobro, featuring talented instructors, high-quality video instruction, accurate notation and tab, and fun songs to play right from the beginning. Enroll and become a Peghead today!