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

Taylor Builder’s Edition 614ce WHB

A hot-rodded version of Taylor’s maple grand auditorium guitar.

Cutaway vs. Non-Cutaway Guitars | Taylor Guitars

Taylor Guitars Product Specialist Marc Seal talks acoustic guitar cutaways, describing their purpose and how they affect the feel of the guitar.

Taylor Grand Pacific

Taylor’s Andy Powers offers a first look at the company’s brand new round-shoulder dreadnought.

Taylor Builder’s Edition 517e WHB

The mahogany version of Taylor’s new round-shoulder dreadnought Grand Pacific series.

Taylor 714ce

A classic Taylor model now includes V-Class bracing.

Tonewoods | Mahogany vs. Maple vs. Rosewood | Taylor Guitars

A helpful look at the characteristics of the three most common tonewoods, with suggestions for picking a guitar based on the sound you need.

Andy Powers on Meeting Doc Watson | Taylor Guitars

Taylor’s master guitar designer talks about being inspired by vintage acoustic recordings and meeting one of his flatpicking heroes.

Ryosuke Yufu: “D N A” | The Izu Sessions 2 | Taylor Guitars Japan

Guitar virtuoso Ryosuke Yufu plays an original tune on his Taylor 514ce at Kitty Izu Studio in Japan.

Comments and Discussion

Leave a Reply


Captcha Code

Click the image to see another captcha.



PEGHEAD PARTNERS

Article Thumbnail
Feb 14, 2019
A look at the design of the new Martin guitar strings and comparison to Martin’s previous string models.




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!