110CE review by Taylor

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

Price paid: C$ 850

Purchased from: Walter's Music

Features — 8
The 110CE is a full size guitar with a narrower, 1 11/16-inch, neck. The neck makes it easy for younger hands to hold and reach around for those wrist aching barre chords. It has 20 frets on an Ebony fret board. I've had some problems with action, but after some loosening of the truss rod, the buzzing disappeared. It has a solid, no reflection top and body; Sitka spruce is the top wood and Sapele is the body wood. I definitely prefer a laminated body with a darker, richer wood, but this being the cheapest full sized "CE" in the Taylor line, I can't complain. The Taylor 110CE is a dreadnought body acoustic guitar with internal electronics and a Venetian cutaway, hence the "CE" in 110CE (Cutaway - Electric). The cutaway is very, very flat; series like the 600 and up have rounder ones and steeper ones. It is really no problem aside for aesthetics (personally, Florentine cutaways are the most beautiful). This guitar has simple electronics (the three dials, volume and 2 tones) mounted above the fret board on the body's left side. that scream the Taylor name. The internal sound board is a Taylor Standard Expression System-T, powered by a 9 volt battery that sits in a slot beneath the guitar strap button on the bottom of the guitar. On the head of the guitar there are 6 die-cast chrome tuning pegs. They have perfect resistance which means getting the perfect tuning is easy. Where I purchased my Taylor, they included an amazing full-padded soft case (Taylor brand; $70 retail.) and a capo (not Taylor). For a beginner guitar, the Taylor 110CE looks like the bold, traditional dreadnought and functions past expectations, aside from personal preferences.

Sound — 8
I am a strummer and a flat-picker, with occasional finger-picking (on some songs). I play a lot of alt-rock and pop-rock, and occasional folk. This guitar is perfect for everything. I play the Taylor 110CE acoustic, no amp and no effects, and it boasts a full tonal range and a clean, bold sound. Granted, it isn't anything special. The tonewoods have a balanced sound, with moderate projection. While maple produces focused sound, mahogany will create increased treble and while cedar makes the whole room glow, the Sitka spruce and Sapele has a full sound that can't be distinguished as unique, but also can't be characterized as ordinary. With proper technique or help from effects or an amplifier, the Taylor 110CE can pull off the grit for rock, the smooth licks of the blues or the acoustic rhythm of bluegrass and country. The Taylor 110CE is a bold sounding guitar, but it lacks a voice that is it's own. This guitar would be a great backup, or an alternate tuning guitar.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
If one knows anything about Taylor guitars, then it is quality. Every Taylor that I have come across, including the 110CE that I own, is built to specification. It was set up nearly perfect, aside from slight buzzing with the strings. There was a low action, so I had to loosen the truss rod to end that (pretty quickly). This would be an issue for guitars whose rod is difficult to get to, but for the 110CE, the opening is right on the head, easy to adjust. The internal pickups were calibrated perfectly and the entire body of the guitar was seamless, not one speck of varnish was off. Overall, it was set-up great. I think that humidity was an issue when I received mine (the low action).

Reliability & Durability — 7
The Taylor name is quality, and even with their lowest series "CE," you get that. I use this guitar regularly during acoustic jam sessions or on the couch, but I have used it live, before. It does withstand the live vibe: the humidity, constant slaps on the body and the weight of the guitar hinged on the buttons, swinging around. The body of the guitar seems solid, until you look inside. There are no internal wooden supports along the back of the guitar, only on the front where the stress from the strings is present. Unless you're slapping the back of the guitar as a makeshift drum, this shouldn't be an issue, although I can't stop thinking about it when playing the guitar. This is why I would never, ever use the 110CE to a gig without a backup. I would always use a backup, but it feels like an obligation for this guitar. My guitar has a good beating around the scratch board from my picks and strums. This is because I have very, very long arms, and when strumming in the moment, my arm can move too far over and scratch the wood around the cutaway. Aside from obvious concerns with durability (it is the lowest Taylor series [100 series]), the guitar lasts and will last if it is taken care of properly.

Overall Impression — 8
I play alternative rock, often. I also write acoustic tracks for media works I do (games, short films, etc.). And for a guy who needs a guitar for changes in playing style, it works great! I have been playing for upwards of 9 years, and I currently own a bunch of gear (3 acoustics, 2 electric, 1 drum kit, 1 amplifier, 2 mics). I wish I really considered the durability of the guitar prior to purchasing, since the back keeps me very concerned. It isn't a guitar I'd get again, because of those issues, and my growing desire to get a darker wood guitar, but Taylor's have always been expensive, and I really wouldn't go for another Taylor over the 500 series. I love the small, camper/traveller vibe I get from it. I love the simplicity of it (very easy for a studio setup). The quality is extraordinary and the tone is clean, and the Taylor 110CE is beautiful looking. However, there were some initial issues with action and the durability give me some concerns. The voice isn't anything special, too. I really enjoy the traditional dreadnought shape. It's narrow enough to fit under arm and it great for beginners. I have used plenty of other guitars; I tested some other Taylor's when purchasing this one (GS Mini, Big Baby214CE, 100E, 614CE), but I settled for this one because of the cost to quality ratio. This guitar would really be perfect with a darker finish and a steeper cutaway. Nearly a decade playing guitar, and a collection of guitars that look like First Act student guitars compared to this, I can safely say that this guitar is amazing for the price. I would definitely recommend this for students, beginners, or for back up guitars and alternate tunings.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Tx for the review and all comments. Just purchased the 110CE in South Africa, it cost me R10 000.00 mickey Mouse rands new, here it goes for R19 999.00 normally. I have a Gibson Epiphone, various Ibanez acoustics and Yamaha, but this Taylor sustains more and is noticeably different. Yes here in the South it is a lot of money but check out Youtube for a comparison on the 110CE vs 214CE and 300's you will hear that the 110CE is so close - almost unbelievable. I believe strings make a large difference too. The higher Taylor Guitars cost from R25 000.00 to R40 000.00 here in Mickey Mouse land. I envy your money value over there, R40K is an average months salary here. Some of you can afford to have one of each that you like anyway. They are all different, so are we, 110CE = Cool for the price and quality.
    I picked one of these up yesterday and disagree that they "don't cut it". I tried a lot of guitars and for the money, it was the best for me (and I didn't care about the name). I almost went with a Breedlove for the same price, and it had a better finish and inlays -- but the neck wasn't even close to the Taylor. I tried a couple of Seagulls and really wanted to love one of them, but I kept coming back to the 110CE. IMO, the Taylor necks are just easy to play right out of the box, and the electronics are good enough for my casual band.
    R40k average months salary? I am certain that is not an average persons monthly salary in South Africa.You are confused by your social environment and give outsiders a false impression when making such statements not including the majority of the population in your comment
    I just bought this guy..I had a grand to spend and tried every single sub $1000.00 guitar at gc (spent the day there).I could have spent more for a different brand but kept coming back to this one. Is it a bit bright? Yes.. But I was looking for something that would resonate at a party type setting (stand out). Some of the "finished" guitars were much better looking,had better tuners,electronics ect...but did not have the sound. I wanted to hate this guitar (being from Pa. I wanted to find a Martin I liked)but in the end I took it home.It was not until I got into the $1500.00+ guitars that I started hearing a better tone..but who the heck can afford that? I am sort of pissed that it sounds so darn nice..would have liked to have some of the options the other guitars came with. If you are on the fence...GO PLAY IT! I don't understand what Taylor is doing different..but I like it. About the "starter guitar" and "affordable" comments...No. It's not on either regard. Spending nearly $1000.00 on anything is a huge decision if your blue collar,in collage,divorced ect.Felt that needed to be said. Pros?Super clean/bright and resonant sound...I am not sure why anyone would say it does not project...maybe you tried it with dead strings? Neck is very non fatiguing. I have smaller hands...this fits me well. Build quality is awesome. I don't care for the flat finish...but its put together well. No fret hang...neck is perfect. As an added bonus to me...they don't stain the wood! I have a beautiful blonde streak in my fingerboard. It's stunning and several people commented on it this afternoon while it was at it's 1st gig. Cons? Flat finish (I know its gonna chip). Soft case (come on Taylor...really?) No tuner...again...should have one. Feels VERY no frills compared to other brands (aside from the big M) at this price point.