Taylor’s deluxe rosewood grand auditorium now includes V-Class bracing.
by Teja Gerken
May 21, 2018
Taylor Guitars’ rosewood 800 series is one of the company’s classic lines, and the 814ce in particular has been a huge success. A couple of years ago, Taylor began offering a deluxe version of the guitar that included an armrest, upgraded tuning machines, and some internal refinements. The company’s latest 814ce DLX is one of the second wave of models to receive Taylor’s new V-Class bracing system. We had a chance to check out this latest version of the familiar classic in the Peghead Nation video studio.
The 814ce DLX is constructed with the standard 800-series formula of Indian rosewood and Sitka spruce. As befits a guitar residing at the upper end of Taylor’s line, the woods used on the instrument are of the highest quality, featuring beautiful coloring and even grain. The ebony used for the guitar’s fretboard and bridge come from Taylor’s ebony operation in Cameroon and have the figure Taylor reserves for its high-end instruments. Maple binding, an abalone rosette, and the latest version of Taylor’s “Element” position markers in the fretboard give the guitar a distinguished appearance, and its Gotoh 510 tuning machines not only look great, but also offer ultra-smooth performance.
Introduced earlier this year, Taylor’s V-Class bracing is an alternative to the standard X-bracing found on most steel-string guitars. With two longitudinal braces that start at both sides of the soundhole and almost meet at the guitar’s end block, the V-Class design also includes two small braces on each side of the lower bout and two lateral cross braces near the soundhole.
Playing the 814ce DLX, it’s easy to see why the 814 series has been such a success. The medium-size body is comfortable whether you sit or stand, and the armrest on the Deluxe version further enhances playing comfort. Tonally, the guitar has a muscular voice with great richness when playing fingerstyle and excellent balance when strumming with a pick. We didn’t have an earlier 814ce DLX on hand for a direct comparison (check out our demo of a 2016 version), but there is little doubt that the guitar delivers on the promises Taylor makes in regards to its V-Class guitars: it’s loud, has a very even response, and its controlled overtones allow complex chords to shine, giving the instrument a highly refined overall vibe. Plugging the guitar into a Fishman Loudbox Mini Charge, the guitar offered the clear and uncomplicated voice we’ve come to expect from Taylor’s proprietary ES2 pickup system.
If you’ve played and liked earlier 814s, chances are you’ll feel that the new 814ce DLX gives you a bit more of everything. It can handle most steel-string guitar roles with confidence, and it’s fair to say that Taylor has managed to further improve a classic.
SPECS: Grand auditorium body with cutaway. Solid Sitka spruce top. V-Class bracing. Solid Indian rosewood back and sides. Ebony fingerboard and bridge. 25.5-inch scale. 1¾-inch nut width. Gotoh 510 tuning machines. Expression System 2 electronics. Made in USA.$3,999 street. Taylorguitars.com
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