110CE review by Taylor

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  • Sound: 6
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 7
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 7.4 Good
  • Users' score: 8.8 (25 votes)
Taylor: 110CE
10

Price paid: $ 799

Purchased from: Musiciansfriend.com

Sound — 6
It flat out doesn't cut it. It sounds like a Taylor, pretty much all Taylor acoustics exhibit the sought after Taylor' sound. Still with me? So why am I going to pay $800usd for the sound of something I can get for $450? That is your decision. It sounds like a Taylor, do I like the sound of a Taylor, yes somewhat. Great bass and mid response, fantastic, wide variety of sounds based on where you are picking from (more towards the bridge or neck). But there was one thing that after spending 2 hours with this guitar that I could not dial in. Basic strumming. As you are reading this and thinking that I am completely off my rocker I will admit to you this. By nature I am a Martin fan, that is what I play and that is what I own. Although I prefer Martins I know what a good sounding Taylor is and I have a lot of respect for them. They can do a lot of things a Martin cannot just as Martin's can do a lot of things a Taylor cannot. Now that we have my predisposed prejudice established I will tell you my main problem with the sound of the Taylor 110ce.

As I was playing with a pick I was almost able to play it like a Les Paul, switch between the rhythm and treble channel by either playing more towards the bridge or more towards the neck. That I liked, it was nice to know it had a wide variety or sounds from this guitar. I believe this guitar did this better than my Martin. Extremely rich mid-range response and a nice chimey, sparkly treble response. The problem I had is there is absolutely no middle ground with this guitar. For me, when I play chords I like to be somewhere in the middle.' I like to have nice blend of both rhythm and treble, I like to fill up the sound on both spectrums. I kid you not I spent 30 minutes in the store, with people probably thinking I was crazy, trying to find the happy medium. I played an open G chord for 10 minutes straight moving millimeter by millimeter trying to find the spot.' Well needless to say, I did not find it. I tried open chords, bar chords, funky jazz chords to no avail. Wherever I strummed the sound shifted to polar opposites. It was either too bassy or too trebly. I thought I was losing it myself, but then picked up a Big Baby Taylor and found the spot' immediately. So I went back to the 110ce and nothing. Nothing worked, same problem even with finger picking. I am not sure what it is with this guitar but the sound did not cut it for me. When I think of an Acoustic I generally think of it has a rhythm and not a lead instrument. For this it failed, for solo work I think this would excel. If you need a guitar with polar opposites and no in between get this!

For electronics this Taylor has the ES-T system which is an under-saddle transducer. This system features onboard bass, treble, and volume controls, plus custom-voiced EQ and dynamic response. I personally believe the electronics on this guitar were the best part. I have always been a fan of Taylor's onboard electronics and these did not disappoint. I did not like the sound coming out of it but it did re-create that sound as good as possible.

As you are reading this and disgusted with my opinion just know it is exactly that, an opinion. If you own this guitar and love it, good for you, if you disagree, well that's great too. That's my job here, to write an objective review, and trust me, I am trying to be as objective as possible.

Overall Impression — 7
I am guessing by now most of you who read this review understand my overall impression and what I think about this guitar. I am giving it a 7/10 and some of you might not think it is that bad of a rating. Well for me it is, a 7 is a C' and I would actually give this a C-. I really don't think Taylor hit a home run with this guitar. For the price I really think you can get a better guitar, and for half of the price you can get an equal guitar. I know saying go big or go home is not always feasible for most of us. I know that times are tough we don't all get paid $70,000 a year but I also think it is good to make smart financial decisions even with your music gear. I just really feel that if you buy this guitar you will be settling for something, that is how I would feel. I would immediately think to myself, man I should have gotten the 310ce. I know it is double the price of the 110ce; trust me I understand how much $1500 is and how long that takes to save up, but here is the thing, I think the 310ce is more than double the guitar the 110ce is. The 110ce is not double the guitar the Big Baby is so that doesn't make sense to spend an extra $400 for not double the guitar. None the less I encourage you to try this guitar and share your thoughts, were you able to find the happy medium strumming zone?

As always,
Enjoy your tone and happy pickin'

Reliability & Durability — 8
No problems here. I have never have encountered any problems with Taylors or their electronics. The only thing I have noticed is that it seems Taylors are extremely responsive to changes in humidity so I would highly recommend you purchasing a humidifier for your guitar if you decide to purchase one, and not just for this Taylor, for anyone you purchase. Looking at this guitar you can tell it is built solidly and crafted extremely well. With the work they put into this guitar I know it will last if well taken care of.

Action, Fit & Finish — 7
Spending a considerable amount of time with this guitar I was able to look over it fairly well. The action was set up perfectly (about 90% of guitar players would agree), everything was put together well. There were no flaws in the craftsmanship or any problems that looked like they came from the factory. Once again though I have another problem with this guitar. The finish. An $800 guitar with Varnish? Now yes, I bet a lot of you like the look of this, hell, my Martin does not have a nice beautiful gloss finish on it but my Martin was not in this price range. Taylor has better looking guitars that sound better in the same price range, in fact for the exact same price, the Taylor 210E-G Dreadnought. That at least has a very nice gloss to it, it essentially has the same electronics, the signature Taylor sound, and oh yeah it has a happy spot for strumming. This is my main problem; almost every manufacturer has this problem, an ugly middle ground, mid-range guitar. It is either spend $400 and get what you paid for, a good guitar, not great guitar, or go big and take home their flagship instrument. For me you should chose one or the other because if you chose something in the middle you will kick yourself for not springing for the holy grail, or you will kick yourself for not saving yourself a couple of hundred bucks. I have the philosophy of go big or go home, and if you go home get the cheap one. Unfortunately the 100 series completely falls on its face in this middle ground. It makes perfect business sense for Taylor, they can sell something in the middle, but for the consumer, well, I'm not sure if it does.

To illustrate this lets use Toyota and Lexus automobiles. Both are under Toyota, both models are essentially the same car.' Let's compare the Toyota Camry and the Lexus ES. Both have the same frame, chassis, and same major components. For example, you can option out the Camry for $42,000 (leather seats, moon roof, big motor, etc) or you can just buy the Lexus ES (flagship of the brand) for $51,000. In my mind it would behoove you to buy the Lexus, better resale, less depreciation, and it is the top of the line. Don't waste your time, or more importantly your money on the in between model. The best two options would be either, buy a reasonably equipped Camry for $25,000 or the ES at $51,000. You won't kick yourself for being in that middle ground. I always apply this to music gear. In other words I think the 110ce is the optioned out Camry. Save up and just get the Lexus!

Features — 9
This guitar is a basic dreadnought with a cutaway. Standard Taylor guitar, details as from Taylor:

▪ Type/Shape: 6-String Dreadnought Cutaway
▪ Back & Sides: Sapele Laminate
▪ Top: Sitka Spruce
▪ Soundhole Rosette: Wood Fiber
▪ Neck: Tropical American Mahogany
▪ Fretboard: Ebony
▪ Fretboard Inlay: Pearloid Dots
▪ Headstock Overlay: Lexan
▪ Binding: Black Plastic
▪ Bridge: Ebony
▪ Nut & Saddle: Tusq
▪ Tuning Machines: Enclosed, Die-Cast Chrome Plated
▪ Strings: Elixir Light Gauge Strings with NANOWEB Coating
▪ Scale Length: 25 1/2 Inches
▪ Truss Rod: Adjustable
▪ Neck Width at Nut: 1 11/16 Inches
▪ Number of Frets: 20
▪ Bracing: Scalloped, X-Brace
▪ Finish: Varnish
▪ Cutaway: None
▪ Electronics: Taylor ES-T
▪ Body Width: 16 Inches
▪ Body Depth: 4 5/8 Inches
▪ Body Length: 20 Inches
▪ Overall Length: 41 Inches
▪ Case: Gig Bag

From all the features it seems like we are off to a pretty good start. Let's go through these and I will tell you why I do not think it delivers.

20 comments sorted by best / new / date

    ollerom_mot
    I own the guitar and personally I'm really pleased with it; the sound and feel were exactly what I was looking for. As for price, I got it cheaper and in mint condition second-hand. I think you make fair points and it's a good review, the only thing I would say about it is you shouldn't have to say so pointedly that it's your opinion, or compare it to a Martin at all - personally I think your points about the guitar are pretty valid on their own and justify themselves!
    KG6_Steven
    This is a "mid-range" guitar? It's a lower end Taylor. If you look at what's below it, there isn't a whole lot. If you look at what's above it, there's a bunch. What you've essentially done is compare a Squire to an American made Fender. No contest. Also, you compare this guitar extensively to a Martin. Again, they're like night-and-day different. Personally, I don't care for the Martin experience. I don't care for the tone. I've played some expensive ones. The 300 series does have the Expression system. I own a 314CE. Both it and my T5-C2 have it and it works great with my Rivera Sedona ES amplifier. Bottom line is this - I don't expect a lower end model to sound and compete with a more expensive one. Play the 110 and the 914 side-by-side and there's bound to be a huge difference. Play a Squire Strat and an American Strat side-by-side, and you'll see the same difference. You can't compare a Pinto to a Lambo.
    davessi
    I own this guitar as well as an 810c...which really hurt the wallet, plus a Martin M-36. I love the Martin for its overall tone and play the 810c when i need to stretch out. The feel on the 810c cannot be beat. All that said, those guitars combined are about $8,000. So, I bought a 110ce to kick around...use at the beach or BBQ or somewhere if a dog p'ssed on it I wouldn't kick the dog. Yeah, its about a 7 outa 10 and maybe a 6 just because it doesn't have enough volume in my opinion. You could do worse...and I have!!
    smattering100
    I don't agree with this review. Maybe I would if I had played the same guitar as the reviewer, but this weekend I spent a few hours in a couple of different guitar stores looking for a new guitar and I settled on a Taylor 110ce because I liked the sound. It has a hard, crisp punchy sound that very few guitars have and certainly not for less than $800. Yes I played the more expensive Martins and Taylors and Gibsons and found some really wonderful rich sounding well-made guitars, but they were not what I was looking for. I have that sound covered by other instruments in my collection, but I didn't have a guitar with the brash slap you in the face presence of my Taylor 110. It also impressed me by the quality of the fit, finish and overall solid feel and look of the guitar. It may not end up being my favorite guitar or the one I play when I need to hear something soft and delicate, but when I need a little extra high end punch, this will be my go to guitar.
    plectrums
    i cant believe what people are saying in this review..for me every guitar have diffrent voice, there a lots of guitar today Taylor, Martin, Guild, Takaminie, Yamaha... and so on... these guitars sing.. and i believe diffrent people have diffrent touch and tecniques on how they play a guitar... like in the guitar shop a sales person may have a heavy hand and play a guitar so heavy, while others are vely light players.. and same guitar will play diffrent in both players.. i know that because my friend we both play thesame guitar to test and the guitar sing very diffrent even its a same guitar we test.. its all about how you will play it. every hand have diffrent strokes and diffrent bones..it may not sound good to you but others will love it...some love bright guitars others love the warm dark sound.. i personally love both that is why i have both bright guitar and a warm guitar.. a person who love music understand what a good sound is... it is so hard to find a giutar that suits your taste.. and if u find one you will be suprise.. just remember we all diffrent players here.. i both love these guitars people are arguing... because when there beast starts to sing they are music to my ears..and make me happy..try to let a beginner play these guitars and they will sound anoying...but in the right hand you will be amazed!
    TheTwoSteps
    Stop being a pretentious ass hat and making car analogies. This is not a mid range Taylor. As was already stated, you can't get much cheaper from the company.
    Big man you are, talking mess in a review forum. Thank you so much for your input and wisdom; you bring so much to the table. Your vocabulary is just inspiring...a literary masterpiece.
    The Pickle Man
    Stop being a pretentious ass hat and making car analogies. This is not a mid range Taylor. As was already stated, you can't get much cheaper from the company.
    thejester
    KG6_Steven wrote: This is a "mid-range" guitar? It's a lower end Taylor. If you look at what's below it, there isn't a whole lot. If you look at what's above it, there's a bunch. What you've essentially done is compare a Squire to an American made Fender. No contest. Also, you compare this guitar extensively to a Martin. Again, they're like night-and-day different. Personally, I don't care for the Martin experience. I don't care for the tone. I've played some expensive ones. The 300 series does have the Expression system. I own a 314CE. Both it and my T5-C2 have it and it works great with my Rivera Sedona ES amplifier. Bottom line is this - I don't expect a lower end model to sound and compete with a more expensive one. Play the 110 and the 914 side-by-side and there's bound to be a huge difference. Play a Squire Strat and an American Strat side-by-side, and you'll see the same difference. You can't compare a Pinto to a Lambo.
    Thanks for the read but I have no idea where you are getting this info. I honestly compare this guitar to my Martin twice. Once where I say the Taylor does better and once where the Martin does better. Sorry for the bias there???? Reason I am comparing Martin and Taylor is because they are both looked at as the top two acoustic brands (beg to differ?). Should we not compare similar guitars in similar price ranges? Where is the purpose of competition then, based on that philosphy each company should only release there very best guitar or very worst, it wouldnt matter because we arent supposed to compare and contrast. People have options with their money, that is fantastic that you dont like the "Martin Experience", a lot of people do, and a lot of people enjoy the Taylor experience, heck if you read clearly, I stated I like that Taylor tone too. In closing, my whole point is that there IS a difference between the 110ce and its Taylor Acoustic counterparts. And it is not as good as them. I appreciate your comments but this is not comparing a pinto and a Lambo, this is comparing a Lamborghini Gallardo to a Murcieaglo. Well not really because the Gallardo is still great, but you get the point.
    thejester
    Gnicireland wrote: The 100 series doesn't have the expression system I'm about 99% sure. I don't think you get that till the 400 series which I think is the reason that I opted for a 414Ce rather than a 314Ce
    The 100 series has the ES-T system, which as, according to Taylor's official website "Inspired by our Expression System technology, the Expression System Transducer, or ES-T, is a single-source, under-saddle transducer with individual elements for each string. (The ES-T was originally called the ES Element, but the name was changed to avoid confusion with another product.) The ES-T has an onboard preamp and the same active controls found on the full Expression System. Featuring a custom-voiced EQ and dynamic response, the system is powered by a 9-volt battery, with a battery life LED power indicator (which is lit when the battery is being used). The pickup also has a Phase switch for feedback control, which is located on the preamp board inside the soundhole."
    crashupjer
    I upgraded from the Fender DG7 (plywood top el cheapo) so I absolutely love it... looked at some of their higher end models but too much $$. i dont have any trouble with tuning, but sometimes notice a little rattle from the electronics. all in all tho, huge difference in tone, clarity from what i was used too. Love the Elixir strings too
    Gnicireland
    The 100 series doesn't have the expression system I'm about 99% sure. I don't think you get that till the 400 series which I think is the reason that I opted for a 414Ce rather than a 314Ce
    TheTwoSteps
    I agree with Haanz; it IS nice to see the facts and a review not ending with all 10's. Also, I like a reviewer that doesn't tie everything into metal as well - even though it be pretty tough with an acoustic guitar, but I wouldn't put it past other reviewers. With that being said, I think it just comes down to the age old battle of Martin vs. Taylor. I have this guitar, as well as the same level from Martin, and they both have their uses. I am just thrilled that with both guitars, from both camps, they capture the"sought"after sound that is their namesake. That also means though, I'd be hard pressed to buy a $3400 guitar that I can get %90 of the sound of, with a$1000 guitar.
    Haanz
    I'm just pleased to see a detailed review that doesn't end in 10's. I don't think this interview would necessarily put off anyone interested in this guitar (see: WD Punk owning/loving it) and the overall rating is well balanced on it's qualities and shortcomings. Geat review, thanks.
    Larry Masterson
    I've been looking at the 310CE, so thanks for the vote of confidence. I would choose it over a Martin of equal value because of its electronics. For straight acoustic, I'm sticking with a Martin, a "flagship" model of course. Great review.
    WD Punk
    i own this guitar and personally i love it. i bought this to be my only acoustic and i like it alot but i use it more for leads. i am more of an eletric guitar person but this guitar was perfect for me i love the feel and tone i get from it. the only problem for me is it goes out of tune a little easier than you would expect. but i do like your review it is very unbias
    Austindicola
    Being a Martin owner, I can see why you may not like the Taylor too much. Martins seem to have more prominent mids than Taylors, and really can deliver a great tone for strumming. I very much like your review. Allot of Martin players would immediately say things like "Oh, a Taylor will never compare to a Martin", or something of the shorts. People usually seems to be or or the other, or maybe neither, so it's nice to read a review who's writer considers these kinds of things first, and clearly frees his/her writing of any bias. Thanks!