414CE Review

manufacturer: Taylor date: 05/12/2014 category: Acoustic Guitars
Taylor: 414CE
Providing access to the upper registers of the fingerboard, the soft Venetian cutaway is both practical and attractive, while the Taylor Expression System allows you to share your music with the world.
 Sound: 9
 Overall Impression: 9.5
 Reliability & Durability: 10
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9.5
 Features: 9.5
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (2) pictures (1) 4 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.6
414CE Reviewed by: unregistered, on february 11, 2008
4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1259.04

Purchased from: ebay

Features: The guitar is confused as a dreadnought shape, however, in actual fact it is a "grand auditoriom" shape. It has 20 frets, neck width is 1 3/4 inches at the nut, and scale length is 25 1/2". The guitar has a solid spruce top. The tuners are high quality and chrome plated. The guitar came with a top of the range Taylor flight case which I'm guessing is worth atleast 100. The 414's back and sides are made of ovangkol, an exotic African hardwood said to produce a warm and deep sound. The neck is made of mahogany, and the headstock overly is made of rosewood. The top is solid spruce, and the fingerboard is ebony. // 10

Sound: This is one nice sounding guitar, especially at this price. It was warmer than most Taylors I've played, but not at the expense of the usual lively Taylor treble. The 414 is a very "liquid" sounding guitar, and it is also surprisingly loud. Although less punchy than the Taylor 310, I think it was a louder guitar overall. Sustain is also excellent in the Taylor 414. The only negative would be that the warm and enveloping bass could sometimes overwhelm the midrange and treble notes on delicate fingerpicking tunes. however sound is superb. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: I purchased the guitar second hand so I'm not 100% sure if the action was altered at any stage. The action is perfect which makes playability effortless. Only flaw is the solid spruce top may be slightly more vulnerable to be marked although it is very attractive. The guitar has never seen a plectrum in it's life as myself, and the previous owner, play a finger picking style so this hasn't been a problem. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is very reliable and would easily withstand gigs. The brand, Taylor, make high quality guitars and this one is no different. Guitar has been gigged with before with the previous owner and appears to be in almost perfect condition with minimal damage (small nick on the body, barely noticeable). // 10

Overall Impression: This guitar is great for a range of styles although I prodominantly play bluegrass/country. The guitar sounds great amplified through my Marshall MG100DFX which isnt even an acoustic amplifier. I also purchased a Fishman GII EQ which fits the style of the guitar perfectly and increases the quality of the already excellent tone. If this guitar was stolen or lost I would most certainly go out and purchase a new one as it's simply the best guitar I have ever played. I have played many top of the range guitars but this one edges it. I would compare it to the Martin D-16 or the Larrivee D-04 simply because they are similar in price and great guitars. I beleive every guitarist should experince the warmth and depth this guitar produces, cheers. // 9

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overall: 9.4
414CE Reviewed by: wdostrander, on may 12, 2014
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1999

Purchased from: GC

Features: Sitka spruce top, solid Ovangkol sides and back, ebony fretboard and bridge and pins, rosewood headstock overlay, mahogany neck, mother of pearl inlays, Taylor tuners. Comes with hardside case. Taylor Expression pickup system (volume, treble, bass). Fit and finish are really nice. I have found nowhere where I thought this axe could stand to have had a bit more attention to detail. I would like to have had a bit more latitude with the pickup system but it sounds pretty good run through a preamp. Set-up was exceptional right out of the box. // 9

Sound: I play bluegrass, country and gospel/Christian. I run mine through a tube preamp to add a bit of sparkle and then straight into the soundboard. Where this axe shines is acoustic sound though. While recording, I just mic it. Nice clear highs and lows with some nice mid undertones thrown into the mix. Volume is perfect across the neck. The top is incredibly responsive. I was playing mine under a ceiling fan and was getting a vibrato from the fan breeze. Not had that one happen before. The sound quality doesn't compare to high end acoustics like Naugler or Collings or Olsens, etc. But for $2K it is really nice. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Set-up was PERFECT out of the box. I wouldn't change a thing. With .012 gauge E string (Elixir Nanoweb) installed from the factory, it plays much like an acoustic with .010's. The inlays are perfect. Taylor uses CNC machines to make their inlays perfect. The top is a gloss finish which is nicely applied. The neck, back and sides are a satin finish which will be nice for warmer weather playing. Nicely chosen bearclaw sitka spruce top and well matched ovangkol back and sides. The mahogany neck is totally from the same piece of wood. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I've only owned mine for a few months - no issues. However, I know of two others in my area that are road tested and have stood the test of time well. They look a bit worn and slightly bruised but I am told that they have had no issue whatsoever with theirs. It appears to me that there is no place that will need attention in the near future. I will be taking the 414 on the road with me and feel fairly secure in not having to bring along a backup. The included hardside case is fairly snug and won't let the guitar do any flopping around inside of it. I guess the only down side I can think of would be the case MAYBE. I would like to see a little heavier latch system on the case but they seem fairly acceptable for now. // 10

Overall Impression: I've been playing professionally for 20+ years and this is my new BUDDY. I can leave the really expensive guitars at home and use the 414 in their place without sacrificing much in the way of sound quality. The 414 gives bluegrass a bit of a different type sound but it is a nice match in my opinion. I would use it for any type of music. I love how playable it is and the sound is nice. The vibration from the back can be intoxicating. I would most definitely buy another if something catastrophic happened to this one. I might look for one with the Expression2 system but the first type is acceptable. // 10

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